Sunday funnies

I found this hilarious. I have dealt with several committees, and their perception of candidates can be quite interesting.

bluebird of bitterness

Pastoral Search Committee Report

The committee thanks everyone who suggested candidates for this position. We have followed up on each one. Here is our report: 

Adam: Good man but has problems with his wife.

Noah: Prone to unrealistic building projects.

Joseph: Obnoxious braggart with a prison record.

Moses: Has a speech impediment and a bad temper. Rumored to have left an earlier position over a murder charge.

David: Had an affair with a married woman, then had her husband bumped off and used the power of his office to avoid charges.

Solomon: Good preacher, but our parsonage would never hold all those wives.

Elijah: Bad temper, prone to depression and occasional suicidal tendencies.

Hosea: Good man, but our people could never handle his wife’s profession.

Jeremiah: Emotionally unstable, alarmist, negative, always lamenting things.

Isaiah: Claims to have seen angels in church. 

Jonah: Refused God’s call until after he’d been swallowed…

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Observations from Reaching Out to Pastors

Over the last few weeks, I have been reaching out to pastors with the question “How can I pray for you?” For the most part, it has been well received. Some never responded. Thanks to Facebook Messenger, I know that they read the message. I was pretty relentless in my pursuits some days to message up to 5 pastors to get one to respond with a prayer request.

This confirmed to me that some pastors are reluctant to open up. They have difficult trusting people, even other pastors. Believe it or not, pastors can be vicious toward each other. Ministry can become a competition where one pastor trashes another pastor to his church and community. In a small community like where I reside, it takes very little to ruin a person’s reputation. They may have done nothing wrong, but one person’s reaction that stems from bitterness can be believable. Soon it spreads like a cancer. No wonder some pastors don’t feel like they have a safe place anywhere.

At this stage of my life, I’m not too concerned with how my ministry to other pastors is perceived or received. Matthew 10 tells us that there are times when you have to shake the dust off your feet and move on.

I’m determined to fulfill my God-given mission no matter what. In this transition, I still don’t know what that looks like. I feel like a fish out of water, but I hold fast to the reality that God will assign me to something that will accommodate the craziness of my life. Most churches won’t have me on staff because of my travels to pick up and drop off my kids. Who said I need to be on staff somewhere? Some churches won’t allow me behind their pulpit because I’m divorced. God can still use His Word and my mouth to proclaim it. It may be a little unconventional, but I trust God to open doors no one can shut.

I will tell you one thing that is on my heart right now. I have been on staff in churches where money was an issue. I would love to be able to provide some ministry to churches that do not have the resources but have the desire to be a biblical New Testament Church. I envision God making a way for me to provide training, pulpit ministry, worship resources, strategic planning, visionary direction, or whatever a church needs that doesn’t have the funds to do it. I don’t know what that will look like, but I know there are still some people and pastors out there who would love to have certain resources but can’t afford them. I would love for God to use me to help make it happen. Is it because I think I’m the answer? Absolutely not! It’s because I know the answer – the Lord Jesus Christ who wants them to be a shining light where they are.

Please pray for pastors as we wrap up this month of appreciation for them. Also, I ask that you pray for me that God would allow me to refresh the weary laborers who pour their lives into their congregations and communities.

Apology

For those who have followed my blog for a brief time or a long time, you know that my writing style has been a bit straightforward at times. It could be the way I perceive things, or what is honestly the truth. Not all things are meant for the public to read.

I have shared some posts regarding my recent church plant. Things did not end as well as I would have liked, but the ministry still continues. I should not have been so “vocal” about how I perceived things to the world without addressing the matters at hand privately. I have gone against the biblical advice I have given my audience, and I have dishonored God in my approach.

Many of us have been guilty of “puking our guts out” on social media when we are hurt. We give subtle jabs to those who have hurt us. As a part of my healing process, I am going to take the high road and take my hurt to God and godly counsel when necessary.

Too many of us are guilty of talking to others first before we go directly to the source. It really is the coward’s approach, and it goes against what the Bible tells us to do.

In correction to my blog posts, I took out parts that were better left unsaid. I was going to originally delete them altogether, but I saw some things that still should have been said that were not harmful.

To my blogging audience, thank you for reading through my junk. I want to apologize to you for times when I should have acted in a more Christ-like manner and did not.

God bless each of you. Thank you for hanging in there with me!

Little Lessons | When Love Hurts

Love can be risky, but it is the heartbeat of Jesus. I couldn’t help but share this post from another blogger who articulates the risks and rewards.

Rejoicing In Hope

I am a worrier.

I don’t wear that as a badge of honor, but rather like a scar.

Or perhaps its more like a scab – one of those that you pick at over and over until it bleeds and it never really heals.

  • As a mom I worry.
  • As a wife I worry.
  • As a Christian I worry.

I worry about those I love!

The other day I was caught up in my thinking (worrying) and praying about a particular situation, and the thought struck me.

Loving hurts!

Lord, why does it hurt to love?

When we allow ourselves to love, we are leaving our hearts open and exposed. The more earnestly we love, the more vulnerable we become, and with every beat of our heart we are summoning pain.

  • Sometimes our hearts are returned to us mangled and defiled.
  • Sometimes we are left to collect the shards.
  • Sometimes…

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What Gift Are You Giving?

Tonight, our family watched a movie that is older than the kids – “The Ultimate Gift”. It is the story of a young man who grew up with everything he ever wanted. The entire family was wealthy. The patriarch of the family died, and everyone lined up ready to receive his or her share of the estate. Most walked out disappointed. The last one to enter was the estranged grandson. He received his inheritance after learning some valuable life lessons that were the true gifts.

What gift are you giving to others? I’m not asking if you give money or possessions. I’m asking if you give time, love, gratitude, work, service, encouragement, and the intangible things that will outlast possessions. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. So I ask again, what gift(s) are you giving to others?

…safe sin…

Kenn Smith has written a great post about pride. Please swallow your pride and read it. We’re all guilty if we’re honest.

Kenn's Komments

There is a sin all of us suffer from…one we will readily confess too.  Seems like we feel secure in the numbers.  We see everyone nod agreement when we claim to “struggle with” this sin.  It’s become our “go to” sin when it’s our turn to admit we’re not perfect.  When the discussion turns to our weaknesses…we race to be the first to claim it,  I’m talking about “pride.”  I put it in quotes because it’s typically how it gets used…not much real thought, the catchall for everything.  The problem is though, pride is a problem…a serious one…it sideswipes our submission, alters our abiding, and overthrows our obedience.  Yet we still seem to be quick to claim it…’cause it is still “safe.”

What if we pulled the covers back a little and dug deeper on this “pride”…and called it for what it really is…
(gentle reader…as we switch pronoun focus…this is…

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An Open Letter to All Church Leaders

Every church leader should read this.

Live 4 Him

Do not take a step on your own. Avoid using the Lord’s name in vain by claiming your ideas and dreams are all from God. Lead from a place of humility understanding that you serve God by serving those who are a part of the collective of Christ followers under your care. Be careful how you view your position as you oversee what does not belong to you.

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Don’t Blame This Generation!

For many years, I have heard older people speak unkindly about the younger generation. When I entered my first full-time church ministry, I quickly discovered that the older generation would lie and handle things as unprofessionally, if not more than, the younger generation.

It is true that more is caught than taught. You can tell children all you want, but our example makes the difference. That is not to say that children will not grow up and still make poor choices. I find it terribly disheartening when grown adults who now have grown children have less a sense of responsibility than a high school boy. They don’t have the common courtesy to tell people when they quit a job or how they really feel on a matter. Honest thoughts from this pastor – it’s pathetic! I’ve been guilty. If integrity and character is part of the fiber of an individual, it will show forth in his or her actions.

Bottom line – whether you’re old or young, take responsibility! Don’t make excuses for laziness! Be honest about how you feel. If you don’t feel like doing something, either make yourself or say you don’t feel like it.

Those are my honest thoughts…

Good Move for a Popular Restaurant

I was sitting in a local restaurant on Monday. It is a well-known chain and a weekly stop for me. I was expecting a predictable day where I would sit, eat, and leave. I am about to commend this franchisee for a move that blessed my heart. Sadly, there are those who would criticize this move.

When I walked in, I noticed a man young who works there. He seemed a bit insecure as he walked around the dining area to see what needed attention. As he was sweeping, he stopped to talk to me. The conversation was a bit awkward as he began talking about my phone. I could sense that he may have had a learning disability. We discussed cell phones, and he continued to work. He came back later and offered to take my trash.

As he walked away, I thought about how many businesses would discriminate because of his condition. This company hired him to do something that was needed. He engaged the customers to the best of his ability and blessed my heart in the process.

It bothers me that some people may have considered him a nuisance and would complain to management. People can be cruel. I will not call out the restaurant by name, but I will say that I appreciate them giving this young man a chance to make a contribution where needed.

Thinking Like A Servant

We desperately need people who understand that they must serve before they can lead. This is one of the greatest posts on what is means to be a servant that I have read in a long time.

lucretiashaw

My servant Caleb thinks differently and follows me completely.- Numbers 14:24

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself- Philippians 2:5

Service starts in your mind.  To be a servant requires a mental shift, a change in your attitudes. God is always more interested in why we do something than in what we do.  Attitudes count more than achievements.  King Amaziah lost God’s favor because “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a true heart.” Real servants serve God with a mindset of different attitudes. 

Servants think more about others than about themselves. Servants focus on others, not themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. They are self-forgetful. Paul said, “Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” Philippians 2:1-4. This is what it means to “lose your life”-

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