Friday, April 20, 2007

Interesting Preaching Moments

It's time for a new list. The following is a list of "Interesting Preaching Moments" since my first "full length" sermon in the Fall of 1968. WOW! Is that really almost 40 years ago? I never have trusted my math! Which leads me to the following:

1. That very first sermon was capped off by a young boy standing up in the middle of my lesson and projectile vomiting all over the pew and wooden floor of that old country church building. Was it a comment on the lesson?

2. In the middle of my first "Gospel Meeting" - I was preaching and I ment to say "trap" but, you guessed it all ready, I say "crap" with all the "fire & brimstone-Jimmy Allen-look-a-like" I could muster. What did I do? I acted like it never happen.

3. Then there was the time I tried to think of a different word for swine, from the gospel story where Jesus caused the herd to rush off a cliff into the see. Out of nowhere, I called them poultry, and couldn't figure out why so many people giggled through the rest of the sermon. I guess the mental picture of chickens going over a cliff does change the story.

4. Just before I stopped using a pulpit, I discovered a little known reason to keep using it. As I stood to sing the official "song before the sermon," I put my hands in my pocket and suddenly felt a rush of air flow into my pants from the front. Yes, it was the unattended zipper. Back then, the coat I wore hid everything and the pulpit gave me the cover to recover. Now I know why so many of our folks think sports coats and pulpits are required parts of worship.

5. With three published books on worship, I tend to think I have a thorough understanding of the subject. Except for the time in Texas when I preached an entire lesson on "Horizontal Worship and Vertical Worship" and had horizontal and vertical backwards for the whole thing.

6. Then there was the little boy on the front pew with a toy gun, which he kept pointing and shooting at me until I finally stopped and suggested someone give him some guidance.

7. I will never forget the invitation song where a cricket came the full length of the aisle, all the way to the front. What could I do? I baptized him of course.

8. In Virginia, we had a guy come to church and he had a Bible with a nail driven through it. He said God told him what to say so he didn't need an open Bible any more. So we made him an elder. (Just kidding!)

9. As a fresh-out-of-college-preacher in Arkansas, I got so excited to baptize someone who responded to my lesson that I put my light brown "leisure suit" back on forgetting that my underwear was soaked. They didn't have waders, so I just used a baptismal jumper and kept my undies on. I had a rather interesting "ring-around-the-pants" when I came back out to do the final announcements. Did I learn anything? Depends.

10. I don't know! When all is said and done, I still think of Kevin's "JOY TO THE WORLD" invitation song experience as one of the highlights of my preaching career. (For those who don't know, my brother-in-law scared us half to death with his sudden start to the old song and since the whole family was there for Christmas, we try to make sure he never forgets it) Thanks Kev.

Alright you gutless preachers! Own up to your low-lights!


Kathy said...

I've enjoyed your posts so much today. Lots to laugh about, remember, contemplate, and experience conviction in. Good thoughts from a terrific brother-in-law. Thanks!

Kevin said...

WOW! I made your top 10 list! That "Christmas of '95 in WV" was a family highlight we'll all remember! That was amazing we were able to get everybody here..and even had snow! 12 years later, I still can't lead that song with a straight face. I will never forget the surprised look on your face...nor Randy rolling on the pew in laughter!

elizabeth said...

Very, VERY funny! I about fell out of my chair when I read #7 and #9. And, the "Joy to the World" christmas has to be one of my favorite memories of all time! Thanks for the laughs, Dad!

hr said...

Ha ha ha...Depends. I love a good "Dad joke."

Rachel Cochran said...

Hahaha, I absolutely remember the "Joy to the World" moment. I was with Mom and Dad this last Christmas, and I told Dad he should lead that one in church "just like Uncle Kevin did"... just for old times sake. :)

Tim token_crip(at)sbcglobal(dot)net said...

Definitely remember the cricket. Mike Miller sent me your blog. Still love your writing. You guys need to come by next time you are in Searcy.