August 25, 2013, 2:58 PM

So, I have a day off.  And what happens?  I walk towards the kitchen first thing this morning to feed the dogs, and then, I am struck with this incredibly sharp pain in my back.  I end up on the floor groaning.  Man, getting old is not for sissies, as one of my elders likes to say.  (Thanks, Aubrey.)  But, THIS is my day off.  And I WANT to worship.  This is the Lord's Day, NOT my back's day!  3 Aleve's and 2 hydrocodones later, I am gingerly easing into my car to head over to First Presbyterian Church Roanoke with my family.  Let me tell you, when I finally made it inside and parked in the pew; I looked up and I almost had tears in my eyes.  I made it!  It was not easy.  But, man ole man, it was so worth it to get to church.  It felt good.  And I felt nothing but joy.  There was no other place that I would have rather been at 11:00 on a Sunday morning.  And, in God's Providence, if I were "working" today, I don't think I would have been able to preach.  The back was very brittle this morning.  But my heart was so ready for worship.  Thanks to Bob Smith and the family at First Church for the hospitality.  Godspeed to those Saints as they seek their new denominational home.  Thanks as well to my elders and Lowell Sykes for holding down the fort this morning at New Hope.  I just listened to the service, and I am thankful for the Word that was proclaimed along with the beautiful music -- and the children's sermon.  What a delight.

I am back in the pulpit next week with a dream to share with you all.  Let's come back strong next week.  Too many empty seats in the last two weeks.  Let's worship the Lord.  Nothing more important.  And, I mean, there is nothing more important.  Period.  Exclamation mark.

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