This morning got off to a great start with breakfast at church. I visited with our "SunRisers Breakfast" crowd. The group, traditionally men, has grown over the past few years and now averages around 20 regular participants.
I think it's awesome that there are two strong arms to our men's ministry. My "support and encouragement" group meets Wednesdays, then Tuesday mornings the SunRisers get together and pray.
The SunRises have an ongoing prayer-card ministry, praying for people in (and friends of) the church. Every man present signs each card and they send them out along with words of encouragement.
Talk about a faithful band of disciples!
The group has one fundamental problem, however: The idea of a "heart-friendly" meal is completely outside their cooking repertoire! This morning, for example, we ate stuffed French-toast, eggs scrambled in sausage fat, and the fattest, most enormous pile of pork sausages I've ever seen. They should have been served with a side order of defibrillation.
Ironically, we prayed for one member of the group who is dealing with thoracic cardiovascular issues.
I was there for two reasons (in addition to eating cholesterol-enhanced food).
- First, I shared a meditation that fits into Rebekah and Tim's current sermon series on "Perspective". I talked about how God has given me renewed clarity to see things through spiritual eyes, and how I am now able to see things more clearly than ever before.
- Then, I started a conversation about the history of First Presbyterian of Brandon (fpcbrandon.org). I asked the men to share how long they have been coming and what it was that helped them decide to stick around.
I only had fifteen minutes, but managed to glean some powerful testimonies and wonderful insight. My favorite was Ralph, who's been involved for 45 years. "I realized I'd been a hypocrite all my life," he said. "But here at First Brandon I found people who understood about moderation. It's all right to drink, and to dance, and to go to movies. They were honest, they were moderate, and they weren't afraid to have a good time."
I'll be sharing more insights about the history of this faith community as we approach our 50th Birthday celebration, next year on May 21.... Interestingly, that's the day - according to one extremist religious group - that the world is scheduled to end. Either way, it should be quite an interesting day!