“My name is Reuben. I’m on your sermon mailing list as I’m a prisoner at a correctional institution. You even sent me a birthday card last month! Due to our mail now being rerouted through a 3rd party company, it gets to us between 2 weeks to 2 months late. But it’s all good; I always seem to get your sermons in God’s perfect timing!
I’ve been locked up almost 20 years now and recently got an attorney to work on my case. Getting my hopes up has been very stressful and has had some adverse effects on my relationship with God, because I have expectations of God to act a certain way, along a certain timeline.
God has recently made a way for some very unexpected people to speak wisdom into my life, and your sermons are a huge part of God’s way of speaking to me. I don’t speed-read your sermons; it usually takes me an average of 4 hours to get through one!
While reading a recent sermon entitled “The King And His Kingdom”, I felt like the entire sermon was speaking directly to me! There were a couple things the pastor said, but the main one was, “When you read through the gospels, you begin to notice that there’s somebody else in charge, completely in charge. And the very best thing for me to do is to submit, to surrender to the one who really has both the authority and the power to accomplish what’s necessary”. I cannot overstate how precisely those words fit my current situation.
I looked up the words ‘submit’ and ‘surrender’ in the dictionary, and realized that my history with churches and religion have given those words negative connotations, and given me a complete misunderstanding of what they mean. Surrendering something to God doesn’t mean you’re giving up on it! It just means you’re giving it over to someone who can handle it infinitely better than you ever could.
My point is, I really love all your sermons. I love how you speak frankly and you don’t hold back, I really like how all your pastors share personal stories to drive home their messages; it makes me feel less like “I’m the only one going through stuff”.
I appreciate you all and appreciate your messages. Thank you for the sermon mailing service and thank you for allowing yourselves to be used by God. Thank you for everything, Duluth Vineyard. God bless and keep you all, always.