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January 02, 2011


Sermons are by far my favorite part of a church service. They make me laugh and learn and think over the most meaningful things in this life. But sermons are also a bit odd, with the man putting on his prophetic voice, standing up in front, talking as if he knows something.

He does know something. Does he? I've said before that seeing how someone lives tends to make me want to take in or disregard what's being "preached." It's the whole "you will know them by their fruit" thing.

Well today I learned a lot about Pastor Brown. His stake went up in my eyes, and it had little to do with the content of the sermon (which was hilarious, by the way).

Today after some announcements and general greetings, Kevin stood up in front of everyone, made a few fat boy jokes, and shrugged off holiday treats. But then he turned, with a sober face, to ask the roomful of friends to pray for him, for his resolution of getting his life together in the way of physical health.

That's a tremendous thing, coming from the leader. Coming from the guy who really does have so many other areas of life pegged. Ugh, to be vulnerable and risk failure in this way before his own flock. What kind of person does that? The kind I want to listen to.

I even appreciate the way he worded the request.

"Pray for me to get my life together in this way..."

He didn't focus on himself for too long. He didn't ask for miraculous intervention or willpower or suggestions on an effective diet and exercise plan. He just put it out there. And that takes courage.

Maybe courage is one of the things we should pray for ourselves. I believe in the other important virtues, and humility certainly ties into this. I believe that God can intervene miraculously. But I also know that the floodgates of heaven seem to open up on those with the courage to hold their own feet to the fire.


Anonymous said...

It's that kind of vulnerability that makes you want to pay attention. I know some pastors who have up huge walls around their persona, to protect them from such vulnerability. I never feel like I connect with completely with what they say. I want to be able to relate to my mentors.

Next step for this guy would be accountability... so are you going to stop by for a weigh-in every week? I think he might actually appreciate it!

Bob Gorinski said...

Biggest Loser style in front of the church would be...pretty awful!

Sam Van Eman said...

I like the new look here, Bob. (I've been away for a while, can you tell?)

I appreciate your sensitivity to health issues. What a great guy for your pastor to have in the congregation.

David Rupert said...

It takes a 'big man' to admit things in public like that.