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Showing posts from February, 2011

Conflict

It would be really easy for me to quote Matthew 18:15-17 for you. For those unfamiliar, that's the part where Jesus instructs us on how to deal with brothers who sin against us. And is anyone else like me, just hoping to someday see the 3rd option take place in Church?

I can see it now. The pastor stands up and outs the jerk who refuses to apologize, even though he was confronted by his small group of friends. All pandemonium breaks loose as the congregation chants 'Jerk, jerk, jerk' until he finally breaks down into tears and makes it all better. Then kittens and bunnies are released by the ushers to run amongst the pews, helping everyone to celebrate the joyous victory of this reconciliation.

Ok, I may have lost some of you there. You've probably never seen that and never will. The real problem is that not all conflict is because of outright sin on someone's part. Sometimes people just don't see eye to eye. Sometimes living with family members will cause tensio…

The Next Christians

I have to be totally upfront and honest about this. When I went to Waterbrook/Multnomah's blogging for books site in order to select a book, I did not want to select this book. There was a choice between this book, The Next Christians by Gabe Lyons, or some novel that had Lifetime movie written all over it.

I selected this book anyways because I figured it would be interesting enough. Then I could select another book that I actually wanted. (As it turns out, it was a glitch in their website on the very day I was selecting my next book. I guess I should exercise more patience.)

Now you know that Waterbrook/Multnomah does not make me say anything positive about the book. However...

I absolutely loved this book. This might get filed under I-can't-believe-I-ever-didn't-want-to-read-this-book. (I know, I have a very lengthy filing system that needs to be worked on.)

Gabe Lyons has done an outstanding job with this book. A few years ago he co-authored Unchristian, which I also read.…

Luke, You're the Prince!

I look forward to supper at my house. It has nothing to do with the food, although my wife can cook quite well. It has to do with the creativity that is unleashed like a group of teenage boys at a all-you-can-eat buffet. We encourage creative storytelling in our home. And our 4-year old, fondly referred to as Jilly-Boo, has taken a liking to spinning her tales.

About a year ago the stories were little more than a listing of characters. The sister became a princess, her brother, Luke, was named the prince, and king and queen were left for mom and dad. After the characters were all listed there was little time left for telling a story. But as the months have gone by we've heard tales of dragons and hobos bested by the efforts of the king and prince.

The stories are great. But the choice of who becomes whom is not always readily accepted by the siblings, especially Luke. He wants to be a knight or a ninja, someone who has a real chance to bring a beat down. So even after he has been c…

How Much Do You Want?

Consumerism is our rear view mirror and God is in the blind spot.

Confused? So am I because when my dad was teaching me to drive he told me the driver's blind spot was a myth. 'Maniacs on the road just need to learn how to adjust their mirrors.' Regardless of the veracity on that little piece of parental advice, I do believe that our consumer mentality is causing us problems.

I listen to sports talk radio and I heard two similar stories this morning that make me wonder if I should have practiced my batting swing more as a kid. A pitcher for the Yankees is talking about opting out of his 90-million dollar contract so he can sign a bigger contract. Another player is asking his team to sign him for a 10-year, $300-million contract. (Excuse me for a moment while I ponder in which pocket to place the dime I just found.)

How much do you want? It's not just athletes who crave more. I watch families, including my own, as we take a look at our busy schedules and figure out how we …

Why Relationships Make Everything Better

This post could just as easily be labeled My Sunday in Review or One Way PeopleCould Apply My Sunday Sermon in Their Lives. But the first one makes it all about me, which is totally against what this blog site is about. The second is a tad wordy besides focusing on me.

Despite the fact that today's content is in fact a rundown of my day, don't be fooled into thinking it's about me. It's not. But here's what I learned from my day.

For me, it was the second week of filling the pulpit. Doesn't that sound awkward? Simply put, I preached. Unfortunately, it was also the second week of our church experiencing technical difficulties with anything that could be plugged in. Despite that, the services went well, which is to say that God was still the focus. It helped that the people in attendance are fun to be around, in spite of the circumstances.

The second part of this past Sunday revolved around a little football game that was played. Perhaps you heard about it. More peo…

Why Attendance is Important

As a pastor, I believe in the power of meetings. Call me naive, but I think stuff can still be accomplished at them. Plus, I have a fear of missing them. I worry about what will be discussed in meetings when I am not there.

This is not a simple junior-high fear of wondering what people are saying about me behind my back. No, like any long-term church members should know, I fear being volunteered for something I don't want to do. (Or as Jon Acuff calls it on Stuff Christians Like, being volun-told.)

Some people might call this an irrational fear. After all, you can just tell the committee later that their good idea will be great, just as long as someone else besides you has to carry it out. That works, right? Good luck carrying out that plan with a committe chair trained to get volunteers, willing or unwilling.

But I finally have Biblical proof that missing meetings is a bad idea, a very bad idea.

All the proof I need is found in Genesis 34. A young lad by the name of Shechem falls in …

Pigeon Holing People

I think some people have one identity. Ok, that sounds weird. All of us only have one identity, though many of us entertain several inner voices. What I mean is that while each of us have many hobbies and interests, there are some people who get pigeon holed. One of their interests becomes the showcase that people know them for.

Sometimes it's a job they have. For some people, it's their haircut. Whenever I think of Billy Ray Cyrus, which is often, I think mullet. Sorry Billy Ray, but I do.

The same thing happens with people in the Bible. I think I can guess the words you would associate with certain characters. After all, what is Samson without his hair, Jonah without his great big fish, David without Goliath or Moses without his burning bush?

But, just like us, these people from the Bible were deepr than that. And there is one character that I think I get more now that I have applied this truth.

If I were to mention Sarah, you might simply think, wife of Abraham and mother of Is…

Seems to be a Theme

As far as pastor's schedules goes, this one was considered a full day. In fact, my Sunday could not have held but one other teaching opportunity.

I praught in the morning. (Even though I have the helpful red line underneath praught, I'm holding my ground on this spelling. If the past tense of teach is taught, then the past tense of preach should be...?)
I taught at a youth group meeting that night, followed by a college group meeting. All in all, it was a good day. As I prepared for each of these unique meetings, I never saw a common theme building. But at the end of the day, it was unmistakable.

Here's the recap. In the morning I talked about how important connecting with people is in our lives. (By the way, it's Tuesday now and I still believe it to be true.) At my youth meeting, we discussed how to find happiness despite our circumstances. And in the night cap, college students and I discussed our true identity in Christ.

As amazed as I probably shouldn't be, the sa…