EChurch@Wartburg – 1.19.14 Le Conte, in the Great Smoky Mountains of Sevier County, Tennessee, USA

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Here is Our Order of Worship

From the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) – Online link

O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works;
that, rejoicing in thy whole creation,
we may learn to serve thee with gladness;
for the sake of him through whom all things were made, 
thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Prayer for the Hurting link

Lord Jesus,
Our souls are weary.
Our burdens heavy.
There is not a time when we don’t need You.
We ask for your grace- to relieve the pain.
We beg for your mercy- to extend beyond our reach.
We cling to your promises- with all we can muster.
We praise You for the clay You shape…
Into the beautiful sculpture
That reveals Your Glory.

Our guest preacher is Paul Burleson, Wade's father. Several years ago in a Father's Day tribute, Wade Burleson wrote:

Dad began pastoring at the age of seventeen and has spent over fifty years in ministry, not only pastoring several churches, both large and small, but mentoring pastors from all across the United States. From 1976 to 1982 he was the pastor of Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, not far from Southwestern Theological Seminary. I can remember as a high school student going to church on Sunday night and hundreds of seminary students would all sit in the center section to hear my dad teach. He not only related to the seminary students, he became friends with many SWBTS professors and administrators including T.W. Hunt, John Seelig, and others. His ministry continues to reach people across the nation through his revival meetings, blogs, and personal mentorship of those who frequently call him for counsel and advice. The people I pastor love to hear him teach more than anyone else.  Everything I know about ministry I learned from my father. Many times on Sunday's after the roast my mom prepared for the family, my dad would sit at the table with me and discuss theology, ministry and various other subjects. He prepared me to pastor when I was only in my early twenties.

But the greatest thing that I could say about my dad has nothing to do with ministry and everything to do with life. He lives and loves more than most. What I mean by that is he knows how to simply enjoy life and people. Whether its riding his motorcycle, or going to OU sporting events, or attending various social events, or ministering in churches, my dad meets people, hears their stories, and ministers to them. Ministry is not something my dad does, it defines who he is–simply because relationships are everything to my dad. Whether it is my mom, Mary, who is his best friend and love of his life, or his four kids, or a fellow pastor, or the stranger off the street, my dad is interested in people. I love to hear him laugh. It's a laugh that comes from inner joy and happiness. You can't fake  the kind of laugh my dad has. His heart is full joy, and he makes the atmosphere around him joyful.

I used to hear my dad say that when people get older "they either get bitter or they get better." That saying used to be just an illustration to me, but as I've seen my dad get older, I now see the euphemism as a more colorful reality. My dad is getting better. Not only has he not gotten stuck emotionally and spiritually, he far surpasses any human being I know in both categories. I hope that I am half the man my father is when I am his age.

Paul Burleson has been married for 53 years and has 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. In addition to his speaking engagements at pastors conferences and other events, Paul blogs at vtmbottomline.

Scripture Reading:  Romans 1:18-25 (NASB Bible Gateway)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident]within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For All Sorts and Conditions of Men link
BCP – Online

O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind,
we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men;
that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them,
thy saving health unto all nations.
More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal;
that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit,
that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth,
and hold the faith in unity of spirit,in the bond of peace,
and in righteousness of life.
Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness
all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed,
in mind, body, or estate;
[especially those for whom our prayers are desired];
that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them
according to their several necessities,
giving them patience
under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions.
And this we beg for Jesus Christ's sake.

Benediction BCP – Online link

Give us grateful hearts, our Father,
for all thy mercies,
and make us mindful of the needs of others;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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