Thursday, May 26, 2011

Be a do-er, or encourage those who are

I once heard a story about a pastor who one Sunday morning announced that in that night's evening service there would be a special vote on whether the church would continue holding that service in the future.
Next Sunday morning in the church bulletin there was no mention of a Sunday evening service.
When asked why, the pastor replied the church had voted to cancel the services.
This greatly upset some people and a group of them got together and complained to the pastor that they had not voted to stop these services!
The pastor then asked, "Were you here last Sunday night?" "No," they replied, each with a different excuse.
"Oh, yes. You did vote," the pastor responded, "And you made your vote clear."

Patrick Mead sums this up in his rule of "those who don't do shalt not complain about those who do - WHATEVER they may be DOing"

So often (and this is not reserved just for churches) these days people want to sit on their hands doing nothing, saving all their energy to instead be used on crushing the spirits of those who are doing things.

We see people up in arms when an event isn't held or when something doesn't make the calendar when they have never attended or supported the event in question in anyway.

People fervently want ministry booklets full of programs, even though they will never attend, support, or staff any of them... but they better still be available!

People look down on the planners for not planning it how they would plan it, even though they wont assist

They call into question trips and classes even though they don't attend

They are angered by the days and times chosen because even though they work for everyone else, they don't work perfectly for them personally (again, even though they would have no intention of attending or supporting it anyway).

  • Strive to be an encouragement to those who are planning and doing.  If there is a program you would like to have at your church and it isn't being offered, start it
  • If there is a need that isn't being met, meet it
  • If you need to be reached out to, then reach out to others
  • If you need to see something, then be the light
  • If you desire a change, then be that change
  • Always strive to be an encouragement to those who are trying to bless others, even if it isn't in the way, the place, or the time that you would have picked - because they have a heart, and they are trying.

Be a do-er.  Be a planner.  Be a leader.  Take the initiative.

Recognize church for what it is (a place to serve and feed others) and don't mistake it for a 'made-to-order' fast food mart where you are a price shopping consumer.

We are not shoppers and consumers, we are servants and stewards.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This Sunday I'll be speaking at Highland View Church of Christ during the Sunday morning service.

I don't pre-write sermons and store them away in a drawer so they'll be ready when the time comes, nothing at all against those who do, I just can't work that way myself.  Instead, I try (beg) to let God show me what in the world I need to talk about that day - what does that one person in audience need to hear from You (God) today?
I usually write mine sometime between Tuesday and Saturday, depending on how bad I fail at listening to what God is trying to tell me to speak on...

This week, I was sitting in church on Sunday listening to Curtis McClane deliver a fantastic message and at the end of the message (as it usually happens) I was hit with an idea for my sermon and began frantically jotting down the notes out of my head.  I was glad to have (man, a full week in advance... that was early!) a few disjointed notes and passages and ideas down on paper to build the sermon out of later.

See, my plan was to then take those notes and write my sermon today or tomorrow.  I had a plan.  To which, God laughed.  Don't get me wrong, I love the idea and it may end up being my next sermon, who knows, but it wont be this Sunday's.
But...I had a long talk with someone after church (after I had jotted my notes down) and then had visitors over to the house last night who showed me what my sermon really needed to be about.

This Sunday I'll be preaching on (prepared sometime between now and then) Christian Fellowship.  What is it, why is it important as Christians, and why is it important to you (me/the individual).

What do you think?  Think on your own: what comes to mind when you hear "Christian Fellowship"?  What does it conjure up to you?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All the single ladies....

This blog has been on my heart for a while and with each week, the importance has become more and more prevalent.  I want to take the next few minutes to address the fairer sex in regards to dating (this is predominately focused on high school girls - but if we're honest, we Know this issue does not stop there).

Though I could theorize all day, I don't know exactly what caused this growing trend, but it is becoming an epidemic that reaches to all parts of their (your....) lives:  a complete lack of standards.

Girls dating any guy, any guy at all, when they are receiving nothing out of the relationship.
An interesting point to note is that this issue isn't just with those girls who are introverted, not involved, from bad families, those with poor (or no) father figures, or those with low self-esteem.  In fact, many of the girls that are breaking my heart in this regard have exceptionally strong, present, and loving father figures, are self confident (and rightfully so), outgoing, and are stunningly beautiful.

And yet....  these girls (you...?) are dating boys who treat them indifferently at best, and criminally at worst.  Guys who have no desire to date them, to cater to them, to even show any real semblance of interest in them at all.
"That's just who they are" -- "they don't like _____", -- "they don't want to go out places" -- "they have other things they 'need' to spend money on", -- "they are too nervous to come to my house (and my parents)"
... ok.  So what you're telling me is that they don't like you enough to change anything?  To adapt any behavior, to even spend 20 minutes doing something they don't like as well as (whatever), even though you love it?  Yet, you (the lady) are adapting, changing, chasing, and giving up everything about you, your wants, your desires, your needs, your identity, just so they don't have to give up or change Anything?

Girls, let me be painfully honest here.  If they wont (even sparingly) do what you love, or get involved with what You're doing, or show an interest in your passions, then they don't love you.  They don't even like you.  Period.  End of discussion.  No if's, and's, or but's.

You are beautiful, you are beloved, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are special, you are worthy - own that.
Find someone who will cherish you, respect you, love what you love, be interested in what you're interested in, and that you will be a focus of their life -
not just a convenient sideshow that sticks around and is always available on the back-burner for when they have Nothing else to do.