Throughout my years of being a Christian, I’ve attended thousands of worship services. I’ve listened to sound and engaging preaching, endured a fair number of confusing sermons, sung countless songs, and watched the behavior of fellow Christians. I am ashamed to admit there are more than a few services from which I leave saying, “I got nothing out of it.” I frequently blamed the preaching, the song leading, the members nodding off, my own exhaustion, the failure of others to acknowledge my existence, but rarely did I do the thing that really needed to be done. Instead of saying, “I got nothing out of it, I should have been asking, “What did I put into it?” When we feel like we are leaving worship “unfulfilled,” it’s time ask ourselves some hard questions.
This morning I was doing some Facebook catch-up and one of my friends had posted this picture: The picture immediately reminded me of God's Love and the awesome gift of prayer He as given us. It was a ray of sunshine into the dark of my early morning. Intrigued by the beautiful rendering of the… Continue reading Tired of all the Negative in Your Newsfeed?
The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. ~ Proverbs 14:15 ESV A few years ago my spouse and I were driving to San Diego. Because of the labyrinth of freeways that make up Southern California, we had the GPS (Global Positioning System) running. I knew generally how to get where we… Continue reading Am I Intellectually Lazy?
Parenting is inconvenient. Yes, I just said that. Once you have a child, your life will be forever changed. You will be humbled. Humiliated. Screamed at. Loved with abandon. Squeezed with unimaginable strength by those little arms. Amazed. Shocked. heartbroken. Overwhelmed with love. Filled with a newfound awe for your own parents. Unfortunately, once the baby… Continue reading Is Your Parenting on Cruise Control?
This is part 3 of the series "Invisible Illnesses." To read the previous post, click here. The heavy beat of drums and the wail of electric guitars blared through small white earbuds. Her cold, trembling fingers pressed them deeper into her ears, attempting to drown the screaming and thumping echoing down the hallway. Another uncontrollable tantrum. A tantrum… Continue reading Depression: The Big Conundrum
Every congregation has a core---an unofficial group of members who show up to nearly every function, work party, moving help, or bible class. These are the folks who are actively involved in the church in whatever capacity they are suited to. Sometimes they are noticed, sometimes not, but they are familiar, reliable faces and their absence is felt if not always acknowledged. No matter what the situation, our congregations should seek to expand this core, bringing the fringe members in so that there is no longer a core, but rather an entire group that works together as a family. This begins with building meaningful relationships.
"I didn't think 'A' would cause 'B.' "I didn't think what I said would be offensive." "I didn't think it was important." Key phrase: "I didn't think." The rapid pace of our society coupled with a constant influx of information affords little time for mental processing. We need that time. In order to become wise, time and meditative thinking are essential.
Communication is a lost art. In spite of the vast amount of books, classes and seminars on the subject, we are probably worse listeners now than we were 50 years ago. We are instantly connected these days through social media, email, and texting and yet much is lost in the cacophony of wires, pixels and tones. How can we be better listeners?