From Facetime with school teachers to livestreaming worship services, we’ve all been doing whatever it takes to carry on in this new age of social distancing. So many church services started using Facebook Live for the first time in the past couple of weeks they crashed the system. FB apparently didn’t see that coming but they have worked hard to get those archived videos back up. I’ve seen so many posts about how to participate in worship from home as well. Getting up and getting dressed is helpful for working from home and on Sunday morning. If you sing, clap, read along in your Bible and shout “Amen!” it makes worship a group activity and not just a spectator sport.
I’ve been blogging for over a decade and posting sermon audio to our church website for the past three or four years. “Whatever it takes” for me includes being backwards compatible. Our core group of senior citizens are not what you would call websavy. I didn’t want them to be left out when we stopped meeting together and everything went online only. So I did something I had never done before: I started recording my sermons on cassette tape. I found a portable cassette player at the church that runs on 4 AA batteries. And discovered that in our sound equipment room there is dual tape deck wired into the sound system. I have been the pastor since 2014 and as far as I know that machine has never been turned on during that time. It works great, pulling the feed in directly from the mixer. I have always known about the six or eight blank cassettes in my office desk drawer, just didn’t figure I would ever need them for anything. So as I preach now to an empty sanctuary I still record a .wav file with my phone that I later upload to unitybaptist.church but I also make a cassette tape that our seniors can pass around.
I showed our 10-year-old the cassette on Sunday morning and asked her if she knew what it was. She did not. I explained that it’s like a CD but you can’t select which track you want to listen to, the sound quality is not as good, and you can only replay it so many times before it destroys itself. She said “What’s a CD?”
This morning at church I preached a rare topical sermon. I wanted to point out two things, first that all expositional sermons have a topic and secondly that even when offering a topical sermon I do so in an expositional manner.
What I really said – or tried to say, perhaps almost said – was that I would deliver a topical sermon in an exponential manner. Exponents, you know from math class. If the sermon multiplied exponentially that would mean the longer I preached the more of it there would left to preach. It would never end. Not what a congregation wants to hear at 11:30 on Sunday morning.
You can listen to the Never Ending Sermon at the Unity Baptist website. Don’t worry, the actual run time is only 36 minutes. There should be a link in left-hand sidebar to Storms of Life. This funny moment brought to you by a tongue tied preacher. Writing can be edited; live and in person just happens.
We hope everyone enjoyed the Spooky Monday post earlier this week. It was a little bit of a gamble but several factors were considered; Happy Monday is a funny, uplifting thing never meant to be taken too seriously, there were Christian themed images/cartoons included, and those without a sense of humor probably don’t visit this site.
The only thing stopping us from calling it “Spooky Monday” was the Martin Luther meme. It was necessary to acknowledge Reformation Day. There is another image, both creative and brilliant, that I can’t believe was left out. So on this All Saints Day please accept this October 31st 95 Theses inspired project. I can’t believe this was somehow overlooked.
I don’t usually created a new post to share a single cartoon. But today is New Year’s Eve and this is the kind of stuff people think about as they reflect on another year past. Today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday, but when the calendar turns over people tend to think in larger terms. Coffee with Jesus reminds us that important depends on your point of view. One might even interpret that ours is skewed and should be more like his, but now I’ve quit preachin’ and gone to meddlin’.
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Coffee with Jesus is a product of Radio Free Babylon. Join the Resistance.
Writers tend to work through things by writing about them. There hasn’t been a new post at My Other Blog in quite a while but this one lists some things I’ve done over the past 40 years. Big birthday coming up, this is more productive than buying a small sports car. Continue reading
Yesterday I suggested (in this post) that the people reading Newsweek magazine were not the same people reading Al Mohler, Daniel Wallace, etc. I drew the conclusion that some people would make a decision without giving Christianity a fair shake. Jesus himself may not have replied in so many words, but here is a very timely Coffee with Jesus comic strip that just cannot wait until the next Happy Monday post:
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Coffee with Jesus copyright/produced by Radio Free Babylon.
David Wilkie is the co-founder of Radio Free Babylon and author of Coffee with Jesus. That comic strip frequently makes a Happy Monday appearance and occasionally gets a dedicated post. I’ve been to the Radio Free Babylon site looking to find the person or persons responsible for the website content but they are purposefully elusive. If you have no sense of humor, or don’t think Christianity should be the subject of humor, neither RFB nor Coffee with Jesus are for you. But those people are probably not reading this site either. Fair warning just in case.
Steve Brown, host of the Steve Brown Etc. radio program, recently interviewed David Wilkie. Steve Brown’s online presence is now hosted by Key Life. Follow this link to listen to the full interview on Steve Brown Etc.