What is “Easter Monday”? I heard newscasters use that term last night and this morning. I had never heard it before? What does it mean? Anyway, it’s “Easter Monday.” And I am at LAX (again), waiting to get on a flight to go somewhere to preach (again). Yesterday was a good day. I was feeling sick all day Saturday, with a cough and congestion adding to my sinus problems. And I really didn’t feel like preaching/teaching. I had finishing touches to put on the message that I wanted to preach Easter. But I was unable to get anything done. So I selected a message that I wrote a few years ago and preached it instead. It was on John 14:6, called, “How to Get to God.” It’s a strong message that I get really excited about. But I wasn’t feeling well. So I struggled through it in both services. Attendance was good. Worship was warm. And the Lord moved several people to respond to the message. Praise God! Sunday School was also good. I am teaching on the “One Another” statements of the New Testament. And I taught on “Forgiving One Another.” It’s a touch subject to deal with. But the class was really attentive and responsive to the lesson. I have the best Sunday School class. They are a great joy to teach each week. After church, I spent the evening with Crystal, while the kids went out on the “play dates.” We didn’t do much of anything. We just hung out together – we are really good at that. And I needed the time alone with her.
So, here I am waiting for my flight to Oklahoma City. I am on my way to preach for Dr. John A. Reed, Jr. and the Fairview Baptist Church. And this meeting is a part of the larger Simultaneous Revival taking place in OKC. There will be some thirty different churches in revival at the same time. Each church will have their own services at night. And their will be mass services at noon and late night (10 or 10:30 PM, I think) each night. I am preaching five nights at Fairview (the only 5-nighter I will do all year). And I heard that I am scheduled to preach the late night service on Friday night, but I am not sure about that.
When I was a little boy, my father did this revival at Fairview each year. Dr. Reed and my father were dear friends. Pastor Reed would do my dad’s revival each June (even though my father never called it a revival. He called it “Homecoming week.”) And my dad would do Reed’s revival each year, the week after Easter. I remember that my dad would preach all day on Easter. We would change clothes and get something to eat. Then we would get on the road, driving to OKC. My dad would heave LA after church on Sunday and be in OKC in time to start the revival at Fairview on Monday Night. It’s enough for me just to get up Monday morning and get on a place for several hours! Anyway, the year after my father passed, Dr. Reed invited me to do the meeting, kind of in honor of my dad. And I have been doing the revival ever since. I think I have only missed maybe two years since I was seventeen.
I really enjoy preaching at Fairview. It is a lot like preaching at home. I feel a great sense of freedom in preaching there. If I preach really hard, they appreciate it. But if I get into my “Charles Stanley mode,” and lecture without raising my voice too much, they appreciate the message just the same. I love it. I don’t really feel much pressures about the congregations expectations related to style, when I preach at Fairview. It is really refreshing. I have probably preached in Fairview’s pulpit more than any other, besides Mt. Sinai. Pastor Reed is my “adopted dad.” Before my father died, he was “Uncle John.” But since my father’s death, he has been the paternal figure in my life. And he has been there for every significant moment in my adult life. I love him more than I can express. And I love his family and the Fairview Church. It will be a joy to go to my second “home.” OKC is home to me for another reason. My mother lives there. And all my family, on my mother’s side, is there. So I will get to see my mom and my grandma while I am in town. I should also get to see some my aunt and cousins and my siblings who live there. In fact, my brother Kevin, who pastors in Memphis, will also be preaching during this meeting. So I will get a chance to see him as well. I hope I get the chance to hear him preach, as well. It should be a good week. I don’t know how much work or rest I will be able to get done this week. But I am trusting God to help me to manage my time as best as I can. Pray for me.