Some weeks you just hear the same message over and over again.
This week, it was…Jesus is coming soon.
Like, in the words of 1996 Crystal Lewis: People get ready, Jesus is coming, soon we’ll be going home.
“Keysha, come on, people have been saying this for 2,000 years.”
Yes! Wow, and just think how much closer we are now!! LOL!
It all started with my blog post, The Worship Shirt. I was just going to write something lighthearted about my trip to Nashville to see Third Day, and it turned into a plea to not be caught unprepared, without oil for your lamp when our bridegroom returns.
I ended up using Matthew 25: “Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Jesus Christ (that is His name) has gone to prepare a place for us, and I want us to be ready.
As I thought about our friends and family, the people we see every week…I am greatly convicted that my family and I don’t do more to build God’s kingdom.
If I am honest, we might be like those workers on the interstate that you see standing there, with one holding a sign, and five or six watching him. Two more are hanging out in the truck. I’m not sure what they do. They are working, but they aren’t getting very far. They need Aunt Bee, The Warden, and “get to it!”
Are we there yet?
No, not yet, but it continued Sunday morning when my pastor’s sermon title was, “The End is Near.”
I’m not kidding.
It gets better though. Before the sermon, we had a VBS presentation where video highlights were shown from the week’s activities. A group of children took the stage to sing two of their favorite songs. The first was an upbeat melody, complete with hand and arm movements, that I guessed was probably a song from Lifeway that came in the VBS kit (and I don’t mean that offensive). I love Lifeway music.
But, the next one was introduced as something we would possibly recognize as a hymn…it was the 1976 Andraé Crouch song, Soon and Very Soon.
“Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.” 🎶🎵🎶
Sung by the innocent voices of the next generation, that song was a soulful, decades-old battle cry for Christ-followers of any age.
The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer.
Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.
Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything.
To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:7-11
Before I get to my favorite part, I loved the way he opened the message because I work in a school. He asked what happens when a teacher steps out of a classroom.
You can just see it now. Some are throwing paper, getting into lunch boxes…maybe it’s like the scene out of Kindergarten Cop.
However, there’s always at least one or two that are watching the door. They are waiting. They do not want to be caught doing something wrong when the teacher returns.
(Because I cannot hold a candle to everything our pastor said, I have included a link to the sermon series below. )
We began to study how Peter was writing to believers who were scattered over various provinces, encouraging them to remain strong under persecution and discouragement.
My mind has stayed back in the room with the unruly students for a moment…wondering if we ever truly consider what we will look like – to the One who sacrificed His life for our sins – after He stepped out of the grave to go and prepare a place for us.
We went absolutely nuts while he was gone.
Sometimes, I feel like the kid in the corner, looking at the door, pulling my friends over, begging them to please sit with me.
Other times, my eyes get distracted by what is happening in different areas, as I go investigate what entertainment is keeping everyone so distracted.
One time, I just crawled in our naptime blanket (with the built-in pillow) and hid for a while to block out all the noise.
“Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
The service continued, and I can never write notes quickly enough, but the verse below was used and I immediately recognized it as something I had just written in my journal.
I flipped back a few pages and then elbowed my husband to proudly show him that I had already written those verses this week!
He held back his excitement, so as not to cause any distraction during church, but I could tell he thought it was very cool.
⏭ I am quickly writing more references that I will have to look up later (like now):
Then, our pastor said something like this about a specific verse, in order to describe it as “the icing on the cake.”
“After you have on your shirt and your suit, then this is the trenchcoat you put on over it.”
I stopped writing.
Did he just say after you put on your “shirt?” Like the worship shirt I just wrote about the day BEFORE??
Am I only on wardrobe level 1?
Do I now have to master levels “Suit” and “Trenchcoat?”
Does anyone else attend this church? Should he just put my name on the outline?
“Lord, I don’t know if I can worship in a trenchcoat…it’s so hot in Alabama.
You’re lucky I refrained from that sleeveless shirt.”
I take up my pen and finish my notes, but my brain is done.
Who talks about shirts from the pulpit? 😂
My mind is in a gear that doesn’t exist. It’s already writing this post and about five others, and creating a “Worship Shirt” playlist (oh yes, that is totally in my music library now).
Frankly, I am fine if all of this is meant for just me and the Lord… it is not a coincidence. I’ll write it here. Maybe my girls will see it one day. Maybe another hundred years will pass and someone else will be asking, “Are we there yet?”
And then I came home.
I already knew which songs I wanted to add to that “pretend playlist” in my last blog post, but I could not remember who sang Days of Elijah.
After searching for a while and realizing it was not Travis Cottrell (but adding one of his as well).
I finally found it, along with Soon and Very Soon. It may be easier to just post a picture of the list in progress.
One helpful tip:
- If you search for “I’ll Fly Away,” old Kanye has a song with that name in between the Gaither Vocal Band and Johnny Cash, but his has a big E beside it.
- THIS IS NOT A CHURCH SONG.
- Just FYI.
- You’re welcome.
- E does not mean Eternity in iTunes.
Morgan and I were home early because we all went to the 8:30 a.m. service, so I turned my TV to Youtube so I could watch Bellevue Baptist Church. I’ve had some pretty great days lately by watching two church services, so when I can, that will be the new plan.
Now, I know you won’t believe me unless the video is still there, or maybe you call their office up in Memphis (not really), but they had the music to Days of Elijah playing as the live streaming began.
For just a moment, I honestly thought maybe it was my technology (VIKI), and not the Lord. Mawmaw always said, “don’t go looking for signs in everything,” but my bedroom Youtube isn’t logged into an account. It DID NOT know me. I don’t think…😂
Brother Steve begins preaching and his sermon is safely from Psalm 121.
Then, he mentions his son, Grant, who has been preaching from the book of Isaiah for a long time, and was on his last sermon that day.
Bro. Steve had asked him what the title would be, to which Grant replied, “The End.”
Ha ha ha!!
Hey, if y’all don’t know the Lord, I am not saying we should be drinking any kool-aid over here, but don’t we basically get closer with each passing second?
(That was a joke about the kool-aid. Please don’t do that. Geez. It’s like having to put “not actual size” on the 40 ft. hot dog sign at the Sam’s Club snack bar.)
Are we there yet?
Well, we are still talking on this blog, so guess what?
God is still waiting.
Someone still needs time.
He’s so patient.
A name has not been added.
What if it is your child? Your spouse? Your parent? Your best friend?
Maybe it was the village in Africa that recently had the Bible translated into their language for the first time EVER…I know the family that did it.
We must be about our Father’s business.
And only His business.
“But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:8-9
What about that whole passage of 2 Peter, chapter 3? It’s good stuff.
When I am reminded of chapters like this, I wonder how we can go one day without telling someone about the saving grace of Jesus.
We should really be rushing around telling them about it like a Black Friday ad that has $19.99 boots.
I’m not joking. I have gone after those boots with more intensity that someone’s eternity.
Why are we waiting? Why am I waiting?
We’re not there…yet.
MOVE – Keep Walkin’ (Tobymac)
Revelation Song in Nine Languages
One of These Days – FFH
The oldest song ever shared.
Sorry, it was one of my favorites and this was all I could fine on Youtube.
▫️▫️▫️🔶▫️▫️▫️(Imperishable Righteousness Series: Hear the entire message from 06/25/18 at http://www.gowestwood.org/messages.)