|Bill and the giant inflatable |
hammer I won by looking 38.
|Just ONE of the delicious |
things you can eat at the fair.
Anyway, one of the things I love about Asheville is the church I used to go to when I lived there – Grace and Peace Presbyterian Church. It’s a very relaxed, understated little PCA kirk with about, I don’t know, 50 people there on any given Sunday? The music is basic hymns deliberately sung – nothing fancy. They go over a bit of the Westminster shorter catechism each Sunday, then the pastor, Jonathan Inman, a slightly scruffy guy about my age clad in hiking boots, hiking shorts and Neil Young t-shirt, saunters up to the front, perches himself nonchalantly on a stool and starts talking in a voice that I would describe as … conversational…? His voice is soothingly low, almost as if he’s … pleading? That’s not the right word, but I really can’t think of what I mean to say. There’s nothing oratory or preachy about it – a spectacular feat… for a preacher!
I’m not married to a particular denomination; I just love me some gospel. And I love a church with fantastic, sophisticatedly arranged and presented rockin’ music, so I was looking for such a place when I moved to Asheville in 2000. I settled in at Grace and Peace, though, because I loved this fellow’s sermons and style. His MO is to go through books of the Bible chapter by chapter with the congregation, which I love. Nothing gets left out, and you get to hear about all the parts the pastor might shy away from otherwise. (Is this the longest intro EVER?) Anyway, Jonathan normally reads out the chapter at hand then just sort of talks through it, his quiet discourse always winding around to … Jesus.
|While doing an image search for |
a photo of Jonathan Inman, I
discovered that the hilarious guy
from "Are You Being Served" is
called John Inman. I couldn't resist
using his pic instead!
This past weekend, Jonathan said that his wife had made the following comment regarding an earlier sermon: “My mind kind of started to wander before you got to the Jesus part.” So this time, he decided to BEGIN his sermon on Proverbs 3 with what he called, “the Jesus part.” Now, I never gave much thought to the structure of his sermons until he brought this up. But now that he mentions it… that’s exactly the way I write a blog! I never thought about it before (except the other day when I gave you the actual outline), but that’s mostly how they go, right? Story, music, movie or book, self-deprecating humor…. JESUS! See? Because everything begins and ends with Jesus.
One time I was making an eight-hour drive to visit my brother and his family in Chattanooga and to pass the time, I thought, “I’m going to make every song on this album, (Pete Townshend’s White City: A Novel) about Jesus.” It was surprisingly easy. As Pete Townshend frequently trades in the imagery of sin and redemption, I was able to pull out at least one line or reference that spoke to me of God’s own Son… I was momentarily stumped by the jealous tirade that is Second Hand Love, until I remember that God describes Himself as “a jealous God.” Piece of cake. Delicious cake.
|He's got the WHOLE world in His hands!|
|Remember when Horton |
heard the Who?
|YAY! An excuse to |
put in a photo of
Graphically illustrated, if this were one of those silly flow charts people post on Facebook, it would all flow to Jesus. Look – I made one! My first! I often wonder at the time some people must have on their hands to make those detailed charts.
So… here’s the outline of this post: Story about Asheville and reference to Jonathan Inman… JESUS! That one was easy.