Inadvertently, I took a “bye-week” from blogging last week. But I am back and better… Well, let’s just leave it at I’m back.

I did not do much writing or journaling at all last week. By Saturday, I started going through withdrawal. I can’t describe the joy I get from reading and writing.

My installation Sunday was the first Sunday this year that I have not preached. Through relocating MSMBC, having a baby, and transitioning to Jacksonville, I have been in the pulpit to preach every week. I really think that my mind needed the mental break from sermon preparation. I pray the break will prove to be beneficial as I take on my year-end pulpit work.

Yesterday, I began a five-week series on the parables of Jesus recorded in Luke 15. I am calling the series, “Lost People Matter to God.” I preached the first of the messages in our morning services yesterday. My text was Luke 15:1-7. I labeled the message, “The God of the Missing Sheep.”

I intend to preach the second parable of Luke 15 next Lord’s Day: “The God of the Lost Coin” (Luke 15:8-10).

This time last year, I was working on my preaching calendar for 2008. And I planned to end the year preaching through the parables of Luke 15. In the ironic providence of God, I am preaching through Luke 15 in Jacksonville, not Los Angeles. “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Prov. 19:21, ESV).

Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church is a great place to preach!

Slowly but surely, I am getting into a preaching rhythm here. But I still have a long way to before I become get into a steady stride. But that’s okay. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I pray that I have a long time here to learn and grow in my preaching.

Yesterday, the Jags came out for the second half of snatched defeat right out of the jaws of victory, losing to the Titans, 14-24.

The Dallas Cowboys wore down the Redskins to a 14-10 victory. Tony Romo was back. And the workhorse, Marion Barber, took over the fourth quarter.

If USC would have lost to Stanford Saturday, I would have started cheering for the Florida Gators. Just kidding. Really. It won’t happen. March on Trojans!