Preaching In The Tavern

1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

The above was from 2nd Timothy, chapter 4. Last week I printed it out and just have it around here to remind me. Things happen strangely sometime though. Just when a person is getting comfortable with something it gets pushed back and something much more demanding is placed on a person. What a ride its been up to this point! Tonight i’m just looking back at the last couple of years, in the faith walk. Where a person was a couple years ago and where a person is now, the stretching that keeps taking place.

A couple of years ago it was almost a terror if I had to go up in front of church to do a very,very short testimony. Also a couple of years ago I had one line in the church Christmas program and it was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life up to that point. All those people looking at me!! Seven months after that I remember the first sermon I ever did on a Wednesday evening. I was so scared that I don’t think I could get the words right describing it all here!

But time went on and I did a few more sermons and some short messages in church here and there. Things got easier, but the nervousness is still there before every one. I don’t ask for speaking in church, it just kinda drops in my lap. This past week on the Wednesday evening service I didn’t have to teach Children’s Church so I figured I could sit my butt down in the main church and relax a bit for once. But just as it was to start the pastor asked me to take over, the pastor had an emergency to attend to. So in a split second I had the church meeting. Luckily after a bit the pastor came back, false alarm, and I handed the service back. An easy service to be sure, just introduce a John Bevere DVD and then have a question and answer thing after it was all said and done, but it shocked me never the less. That has taught me to be ready!

But that’s not what this is all about. “Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season!” As I wrote, after Wednesday’s service I came home and printed out these verses and a few more that followed it. This past Sunday at church was a Sunday where I didn’t have to do anything in the service. Ah, a pew sitting experience. They’re getting rarer and rarer. Good service, about personal evangelism, a favorite of mine. Afterwords our youngest daughter wanted to stay at our pastor’s place cause the daughter of the pastor is the same age and they wanted to make a day out of it. No problem except how to get home. I had planned on having a “grease feast”that evening, once in a while I like to fry up a pound and a half of side pork and relax a bit on a Sunday evening but there was the thought on how to get the daughter home.Well, we decided to nix the grease feast and called our pastor and said let’s just go to a small town cafe about seven miles east of here and eat some great food that they have there.

So when the time came we got together and headed east on a chilly evening.It was dark out already and there were snow flurries outside. We walked into the cafe and there was a big bunch of ladies near the rear of the cafe and I was wondering what the heck was going on! As we entered and were looking the situation over the lady owner of the place looked at me like she seen a ghost! Then she scrambles over all excited,and I mean excited! She said she couldn’t believe it that we showed up at the very moment that she was praying that we would! There’s really a long story behind this, but it involves previous conversations with her.You see this cafe is only a year old or so. The place as a bar for 102 years.The interior still has all the bar stuff, minus the beer and liquor, and is almost like walking into a museum. A year and a half ago, during the summer I was at an event right across the street and was almost over come by the Holy Spirit. Standing outside I was facing the then active bar and plainly said that God was going to move in that place. Kinda unlikely when you think about it. A well established bar for 102 years, a money maker too.

After that time the owner was convicted by God to close the bar and make a restaurant out of it. Pretty risky really. Around six months later when the cafe was opened and running they did a newspaper article about it.How the owner was called by God to close the bar and open a cafe instead. The article blew me away to say the least. Then one time when we were eating there we had a talk with the owner and we told our story. The owner was in tears and came back out in a while and asked me to repeat the story about prophesying over the once bar.

So when we walked in Sunday evening, the cafe owner had her lady’s church group there for a Christmas party. The owner was so excited when we walked in because she said she was praying that I could give a preaching testimony to the ladies! I kinda gulped and had to laugh at the situation. I do believe God has a sense of humor in all of this! For a long time writing on the Healing Water’s blog I wrote about the old circuit riders and how they’d preach anywhere. Even in taverns and bars. Well, God sure set up that opportunity for me. So old Tom’s first ever Sunday night preaching to a rather nice sized group was in an old tavern! The one thing that still sticks in me is the fact that even though this was a church group that I spoke to, there were other tables with regular local folk that had to listen too.

I write this not as a brag, heaven forbid, but to be journaled and someday maybe look back to these times and places to see the journey as it continually unfolds. From almost forgetting my one line in a Christmas program two years ago, so nervous I thought I’d drop, to preaching near an old mahogany bar, with over one hundred years of business behind it. A devils lair for so long. And it went good. I’ll never forget it, ever!


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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Tom,
    How the Lord is talking to me through you and your blog! Keep preaching it brother! These ears need to hear what you are writng/saying. Your words inspire and encourage me and yes the good Lord even uses your writings to give me a much needed kick in the seat of the britches!

  2. Evening Ray!

    Hey, how goes it over in your territory weatherwise, winter hit yet? From a beautiful, warm November around here to sub zero windchills and snow. The wind is howling tonight, but the house is warm burning that dead elm and boxelder I’ve been cutting the last few weeks.

    I tell you, you folks over at Mountain Home sure do inspire me too! Anyone wanting to read your writings can go here:

    I gotta put this on my blog list right now,I am so scatter minded on this thing sometimes πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the encouragement cause it helps me allot!

    God Bless!

  3. Hi Tom,
    Well we finally got winter here too. There’s about a foot of snow in the yard, a little less downtown at lower elevations. We are spared much of the wind here at the cabin so far. I have spent so much of my focus on taking Lee Ann south out of the cold this winter, that it caught me a little unprepared. The temperatures are yet mild in the 20’s at night and near or slightly above freezing by day. But as we say in New England, wait about five minutes and that will change.
    Stay warm and God Bless,

  4. Morning Ray!

    Its 8 below here right now so you all out east can know what to look forward too πŸ™‚

    Life has slowed down here because of it, things take allot longer, trudging around in heavy, heavy clothes and boots. Feels more like an arctic explorer walking around than a farmer.

    Had church last night and that was warm and comfy and I sure ain’t complaining about that!

    God Bless!

  5. it was 8 here this morning, and a frozen wellhouse πŸ˜•
    but all is well now πŸ˜‰

    glad to see your alive and kicking , how mauch snow it ya get?

  6. Morning Jan!

    Its only six below this morning, durned hot outside πŸ™‚

    Gotta catch three steers for butchering today, I hope they don’t run me very much, my lungs ain’t used to this winter weather yet.

    As far as snow goes, just a little over a dusting.

    God Bless!

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