Tag Archives: The Wow

Sanctuary

I attended parts of the Episcopalian prayer retreat held at our church last month. The good people of St. Luke’s church were there as part of their spiritual preparation for Easter. Their focus that day was on the Good Shepherd as found in Psalm 23, John 10 and other scriptures. During that time, Father Georges donned his vestments as they gathered around for communion. There was much time for reflection and prayer. A simple sandwich lunch was followed by a group discussion and more silent meditation.

Some remarked that they remembered a time when neither Baptist nor Episcopalian would have considered holding a prayer service in the other’s church.  Our churches have partnered together for nearly 35 years with Meals on Wheels.

2013-03-30 19.39.33The window was why they asked to hold the retreat at the Baptist church. Our church sanctuary is a second home to me. I’ve seen the first light of day illumine the darkness as the sun rises behind the stained-glass Good Shepherd window. The setting sun casts its light through the angled southern windows painting the walls with reds, blues and yellows. Walking into our church sanctuary for the very first time usually elicits a “Wow.” The size and grandeur of the window is awe inspiring. I am told that our window is the largest religious work of art of its kind in Oklahoma.  Centered above our choir loft, the window is 18 feet wide and 25 feet tall. The traditional picture of Jesus holding a shepherd’s staff and lamb, with a ram and ewe walking beside, is bordered with a Native American beadwork motif.

Sometimes I can get so used to seeing and handling the sacred things around me that I take these blessings for granted, or no longer notice them. Seeing the meaning that these neighbors found in the beauty of our sanctuary reminded me to open my eyes to see the sacred, and not just at church. It is springtime. Look at the sacred beauty of new life all around us. Open your eyes to the sacred moments.  It’s awesome everywhere.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Discover the Wow. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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Filed under Christian Life, Church life, Darryl DeBorde

The Sweetest Moment

It is the most challenging assignment I face nearly every week. It is much harder than it might appear. Fellow ministers are no longer doing it, if at all possible. Some even say it is pointless to try. Yet I press on with it. It is almost harder than sound preaching and deep praying. I have to do it in public in front of people with short attention spans and little children as well. But it can become the sweetest moment in my week—when a genuine connection is made, a truth becomes real, a life memory is formed.

I count three people as the ones who taught me the basics: Don Herbert taught me curiosity; Fred Rogers taught me patience; and Bob Willets taught me spiritual application. Don Herbert was TV’s Mr. Wizard, turning ordinary objects into mysteries of science. He taught me the importance of the “Wow!” Mr. Rogers, of course, taught us all how to get along in the neighborhood. He taught me that not everything needs a “Wow.” Dr. Bob Willets, my predecessor, taught me that absolutely everything in the world contains a spiritual truth. These three gave me the confidence to attempt the Children’s Sermon. They did not mention I would be dealing with actual children.

It was in dealing with preschoolers and grade-schoolers that I came to understand the difference between literal speaking (a boat is a toy that floats) and speaking in metaphors and similes (a boat can be like a safe place on the waters of life). But then some little voice in front of me may proclaim, “A boat floats unless it’s got a hole in it. Then everyone drowns.” The crowd laughs, the preacher sweats, God teaches, and a different spiritual application connects to a young heart. These sweetest moments always go best when God brings the “Wow.”

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Connect to the Spirit. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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Filed under Christian Life, Church life, Uncategorized