Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy


Pastor Leo leading worship

Pastor Leo leading worship

My trip to Manila was a whirlwind.  We had 5 full days in the country and 4 church services.   The believers there really enjoy getting together at church.  They come to stay for the day.  I guess when the world around you is not pleasant, it causes you to enjoy the benefits of church as a refuge from the world.  It made me think about our life in the US and how we frequently do not so value the gathering of the church body.  Maybe it is because our daily life here is “nice” and we like it alot!  Is that bad?  Probably not, but it is interesting that our comfort in this “present evil world” (Gal 1:4) often hinders us from plugging in to the local church.  Interesting.

The Filipinos, for some reason, have been gifted with amazing singing talent.  So many of them have perfect pitch.  Interestingly enough, when they began their worship time, the volume was so loud that I couldn’t even hear myself singing (screaming!).  When I mentioned to them that they sing so beautifully and that they might want to turn the volume down a little, with an ear-to-ear grin and while nodding his head rapidly one of the pastors said, “We like it!”

Then it was my turn to preach.  Since they all speak English, I needed no translator.  I preached for a full hour and after the message one of the men of the church came up after me and said to the church, “Thank you Pastor Jeff for that message.  It was SHORT and sweet!”  I laughed.  I thought that some of our church members back here needed to hear that!  It turns out that their “normal” church service has 30-45 minutes of LOUD singing followed by 2-3 hours (yes, I said 2-3 hours) of preaching!

I guess its all just a matter of context.  Its good to know that you CAN love Jesus with loud music and long preaching.  Personally, I loved the whole experience.

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I personally think that we should go to an all day format on Sunday. 8:30 a.m. Sunday School, 10 a.m. Worship Service, break for lunch, 3 p.m. Fellowship Service. I have a DVR to record sports.


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