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Summary: When we come to worship we must participate fully not just in the parts we like.

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This sermon was adapted from an idea of Larry Brincefi

Growing up in a military family I have had to learn how to adjust. When we moved from Texas to California we had to learn how to forget that Bar-B-Que existed and move on to other things. When we moved to New Orleans we had to adjust from beautiful mountains in the back yard to flat everything.

Moving from Nashville to Gainesville we had to adjust from being one church in a town with 100 to being the only church in town.

And now since this is the first small town I have ever lived in we are doing some more adjusting. One of the areas we are adjusting to is restaurant situation. Living in Atlanta for 4+ years there are still some restaurants that we never made it to. But there were some that we liked and went to often.

We love to eat out! It makes it easier for Trista, because there is less mess and clean up. I don’t have to cook. Everyone can order what they want, we don’t all have to have the same thing.

Of course, on the down side, it is more expensive. And you really don’t know who is back there cooking the food or the care they take in their food preparation. You know I’ve gotten food poisoning on occasion in a restaurant; but I can’t remember ever getting food poisoning from home-cooked meal.

One of our favorite places to go is a buffet. Now Dan and I joke every time we go to the Hospital in Jasper about not having enough self control to eat at Ryan’s but there is merit to an all you can eat. Not only does everyone get what they want to eat but they can go back and eat as much as they want!

I can assure you that regardless of whether Dr. Phil would call me an Apple or Pear shaped person I am aware of the healthy eating habits. I know about those things called “vegetables”. And I have been to a salad bar or two in my life. But to be honest when I get to the buffet line, I usually don’t load up on salad and vegetables. I head straight to the good stuff Fried Chicken, Red Meat, Pizza, with lots of cheese, sausage, and pepperoni. And when I do get vegetables, they are usually breaded and deep-fried, and dipped in sauce.

Now before your stomach starts growling and you get lost in thoughts of Moo Go Guy Pan, or Sesame Chicken with extra Sauce let’s try to make this relevant to our text tonight.

Unfortunately there are many people who live their Christianity like they are standing at a buffet line! They have their favorite parts and then there are some parts they don’t understand or like so they pick some of this and some of that, trying to make them selves happy.

It’s like the time I got a call at a church where we were working and the voice on the other side asked me about our worship style and how it compares with other denominations. Do you have a long sermon or is there plenty of music? How long will we be there? Is there much congregation participation? I answered his questions… But after we hung up, I got the feeling he wouldn’t be coming to our church. He didn’t want to know if the people were friendly. He didn’t want to know if he would hear Biblically based sermons. He didn’t even care what we believed. What our doctrine was. I got the feeling he was looking for a church that was entertaining. Where he could sit back and get a blessing and leave without getting involved.

He was going through the Christian buffet line taking a little of this some of that and probably never really got to the vegetables the stuff that is so important to our spiritual health. Paul says in I Corinthians 3 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.

Most people think worship is like a buffet line where you go and gorge yourself on things that satisfy your appetite your taste buds without ever realizing that they are missing the point of what worship really is.

If I like to pray then I want to go to a church that has regular prayer meetings. If I want to hear the Scriptures read than I look for a church that spends time in the Book. But most of us like the singing, and would rather have shorter sermons and more singing.

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