Sunday night repose

• A study Bible and a commentary say the appeal in Psalm 51:7, “Purify me,” literally means, “Un-sin me.” How neat is that?

• In the Sunday Bible study in SJCampos, we’re studying “Great Prayers of the Bible.” (I’m writing the curriculum as I go.) Today’s prayer was David’s confession in Psalm 51. Next week: the prayer for courage in Acts 4.

• Daughter is my timekeeper in the Taubate meeting. Tonight I preached 40 minutes. She informed me of the official time once we got in the car, without my having to ask. Reckon she thought I went too long?

• Preached without notes tonight, using 1 Cor. 5 as the stake in the ground to mention the letter’s larger issues: pride at their liberty (i.e., licentiousness) cured by love; innovation in their practices cured by a return to apostolic traditions, taught in every church.

• At one point in the sermon I drew a blank. Blame the heat. I covered well, I think. Afterwards, one brother pulled me over to another and said he hoped to preach like me when he grew up. They like how I circle the the text with the context and then zero it in. But he does a good job already. Simple, but effective.

• Finally got a bulletin printed to distribute to the local congregations, first in a long time. Simplified, but (one  hopes) effective. Boiled down to one page. Have you noticed that my byword these days is “simplify?”

• To prepare for the week-long intensive study on 1 Cor. and Hebrews in the preacher training school at the end of the month, this week I’m working on Paul’s letter and will have to knock out two chapters a day, Monday through Saturday. Similar pace next week with Hebrews. They invited me at the last minute, with their problem of replacing a teacher. So we’ll roll with the punches and … simplify?

• What with people sick, working, and traveling, our numbers were down today. I pray that a word of truth and sincerity changed or nudged someone’s heart. Just one, at least. Even in groups, large or small, change often comes one at a time.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?