Yesterday I had the opportunity to ride along in a combine harvesting corn. For you city-folk, a combine is a large (and very expensive) piece of farm equipment used in harvesting. It's large enough to harvest ten or so rows of corn at a time at a speed of 7 mph. It makes harvesting a section take no time at all. In fact, the slow part is waiting to unload the corn into trucks to take back to the silos at the farm. It was a great first-hand experience for me in farm life.
As the combine harvested the corn rows, pheasants were flying out of the field all over the place. This time of year is pheasant hunting season and many of them seek refuge from hunters in the fields. Unfortunately they can't hide from a combine. Apparently you can also come across deer and even mooseswhile combining (also avoiding hunters). Hunting is the big past-time around here this time of year. So far I haven't gotten invovled (you need a license...and a gun) but...
Last Wednesday I attended a pastors' appreciation at the local nursing home. I got to meet a number of the employees and residents. I also signed up to preach once a month on a Sunday afternoon. I figure this will give me the opportunity to meet more people in town and serve the community as well. I will have to make some changes since their services last only 30 minutes and my sermons usually go that long (this week even longer!). Please pray for me to find ways to get to know more people in the community. Harmony and I are prepared for trick-or-treaters tonight, so hopefully we'll meet some families that way.
One of the amazing aspects of small town life that we've been picking up on is how people know and care for one another. Whenever someone in town is suffering, the community as a whole rallies around them. One of the members of our church has been having some medical problems and therefore incurring some medical bills. On Sunday there was a pancake benefit to raise money to help with the bills. 500 people attended (pretty good for a town of only 800!).
I was reading a sermon about the Holy Spirit by Charles Spurgeon yesterday in which he made a point I had never considered before. In connecting the roles of Father, Son and Spirit in creation ("Let us create man...") to salvation, he said, "It is a source of sweet comfort, to think that it is not one person of the Trinity that is engaged for my salvation; it is not simply one person of the Godhead who vows that he will redeem me; but it is a glorious trio of Godlike ones, and the three declare, unitedly, 'We will save man.'" What an amazing thought that it isn't just the Father or just the Son who desired to save us but all three members of the Trinity are equally as passionate about our salvation.
This week's sermon was on 1 Peter 3:13-22 entitled "Righteous Suffering." I learned a lot about how to face suffering in a way that please God through this passage. If you would like to listen to it you can by clicking here.