Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. You are invited to come to church tonight. We have a soup supper in the fellowship hall and gym downstairs, from 6-8pm.

From 6-730 you are invited to come to the sanctuary for a time of prayer, imposition of ashes and Holy Communion. It is one of my favorite services of the year. It is a time that is private, quiet, sacred, and so very meaningful.

I hope you will join us.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

football

The Superbowl is over.  If your team lost, did you get angry?  How many days, hours and minutes do we spend being angry of things that are a waste of time?

Football is just a game.
A few weeks ago I watched the playoff game between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.  Honestly it looked like a gang fight.  I was so embarrassed for the city of Cincinnati.  I wonder why the league allows some of the hateful behavior.

It's just a game.  I must get over it.  People are important no matter what jersey they are wearing.  Just because someone is a different race, a different age or a KU jayhawk fan it does not mean that we have license to be ugly to them.

Jesus taught us so much better than that. We must all learn to see people as God sees them.  They are all valuable whether they are on our team or not.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, February 8, 2016

shaping

Someone is shaping you.  Someone is providing you input.  You may not even be aware of it, but you are being shaped.  Who do you spend time with?  Who is hanging around?  Intentionally or unintentionally people are shaping you.  Some to the good, some to the not so good.

Consequently, the choices that we make about who we spend time with are very important.  The choices that we make about the voices that we listen to are very important.  If we are not aware of the input that is coming to us, we will end up being shaped without even knowing it.  Make sure that you don't allow others to influence you towards unhelpful behavior.  Conversely, take in all of the time that you can with precious people  who are healthy.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, do everything you can to keep it that way.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

hospitality

I witnessed an amazing piece of hospitality last week in church.  It was at the 10:10 service.  A couple that I know were in their favorite pew on the back row.  They were sitting on the isle.  Primo seats.

The service was very full. The only seats left were up in the very front.  The couple noticed a young family around 30 come in the back.  Husband, wife and a baby in a carrier.  After a brief discussion between the couple seated in the pew, they got up, got out and offered their seats to the young family.  They insisted that the young family take their seats.  I was so touched.  I almost started to cry.  The act made me so happy!

Later I saw that couple seated up in the balcony.  Such graciousness needs to be recognized.  If we gave an award for monthly hospitality, this month it would go to Keith and Regina Province.

Who can you bless at church tomorrow?  How can you help someone else feel welcome?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

change

Life has it’s seasons.  Our lives change when children are born.  Our lives change when they go off to college.  One day we look in the mirror and ask what happened to my hair? Our parents die.  We retire.  The only real constant in this life is change.
                As always, we can choose how we respond to change.  Angry, happy, sad, and 100 emotions more.  Hopefully, we feel what we feel, but choose to see the good.  We can choose to worry, or we can choose to trust in God.   There is always good to be seen.  And the best of all, God is with us.  Regardless of what changes come our way, we are not alone.  God is with us and he continues to love us so very much.  Whatever changes we may face in this life may we always lean on the everlasting arms.

 It’s a beautiful day in God’s world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, February 5, 2016

learning what we don't know


I have come to believe that in this life we must learn what we do not know.  That seems patently obvious when we are young and when we are growing up.   Although we want to get done with school, we know that it is needful.  Unfortunately, often as adults we tend to think that we know it all.  Hey, I am 40- what do I need to learn?  Hey I am 50- what do I need to learn?

The truth is, we are all so very limited.  We all have much to learn.  If we aren't learning, then we are limiting our future and our options only to those things that are currently in our minds.

I have realized that much of what has propelled the growth of our church over the last few years are things that I learned from others.  I have started telling people that much of what will help you be successful in the future, you do not even know yet because you have not learned it.  We must keep learning.

Who in your life can you learn from?

Woodrow Wilson said, "I not only use all of the brains that I have, but all I can borrow."

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

we benefit

We think that we do mission work to benefit the poor.  We think in our arrogance that we are helping people.  I hope that we are.  I trust that we are.  It is certainly far better to help the needy than to not help them.

But time and time again, I have heard it said and experienced it myself-  When we act out in mission, when we step out in love, we benefit as much if not more than those whom we are helping.  How might we benefit from helping the needy?

Here are just a few of the ways:

  • Seeing what others do not have, makes us appreciate what we do have.
  • Seeing people who are happy with less, makes me realize that I can be happy too.
  • I make new friends
  • I get my mind off of my own problems
  • My life paradigm can change.  I can move from being a collector of things to a lover of people.
  • Missional living is habit forming.  It is a positive force that can infect my life and the lives of others for good.
  • I sense a purpose in life.

What are other ways that we benefit?  Please write in with any that you can think of and I will post them.

One final note- we should not help people because of the benefits that come back to us.  That would be selfish.  But neither should we feel like the great saviors that come along side of those in need.  To help another person in this life is a real gift.  It is good for them and good for us, and it is the right thing to do.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I'm mad at Alli

I'm mad at my oldest daughter Alli.  At least I was the other night, for a few minutes.

So here is the story-

I met some of my buddies at Brew Top last week.  Tiff and Jay's it is called now.  We selected a table and took our places.  I looked over at the next table and there she was- my daughter Alli!

Now this is a huge surprise because she lives in Florida.  My brain is on full blast now - she came to town without telling me?  Did she not want to see me?

Wait- is that her?  I am within 10 feet.  That is her.  No it's not.  Yes it is.  YES, that is my kid!! I am going to punch her in the head.

Then I heard the girl talk, and that was not Alli's voice.  Ahh, my daughter is off the hook.  She is no longer in trouble.  But wow, did that girl look like her.  A true double.

There is a moral to this story... sometimes in life we think we know what is going on.  We get all worked up about what is going on, and in fact, we are wrong.  We don't know what is going on.  We have totally misread the situation.

Good thing I did not go over and hug and kiss that girl.  Beware of those who insist they are always right because we are not as smart as we think we are.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

release

I cannot make you love me.  No one can make someone else love them.  Love requires freedom to work.  Love cannot be pressed on another or forced.  It is only love if I choose it out of my own free will.

That's why we can't force people to go to church.  They must choose it.  That is why we should stop guilting our children about coming over for holidays.  If we make them come to Thanksgiving, it is not love.  They may come, but they will hate it and they will resent us for it.

When we release people from their perceived obligations to us, then they can choose their life paths for themselves.  We may or may not like their choices, but they will be acting out of love instead of coercion.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Baseball

Yesterday it was warm and I saw some kids playing catch in a front yard.  It reminded me of my youth.

We ran and played all day.  Every chance that we could, we were outside.  We played every sport:  baseball, football, soccer, pickle and more.  We had bicycle races, neighborhood Olympics and baseball games.  Did I mention baseball?

Oh, what a time of life.  Back then we didn't worry about paying the bills.  We did not worry about how our kids were doing.  We didn't worry about retirement or love or divorce or surgeries or muscle atrophy.  It was clearly a very good time, but I am not sure that we realized just how good it was.

Now, we are older and we are burdened.  With love and rejection, with bills, with cataracts, with extra pounds, and with worry about children.  We are burdened with loss, fear and anxiety.

And I have a thought.  We can still play catch.  Hey, let's have a catch.  I have gloves at my house, here and in Florida.  Just for a moment, lets slip back in time and just enjoy the moment of freedom.  No worries, no fear, just catch and throw.

If the good times where playing catch when we were young and had no awareness of problems, the great times are when we know about toxic waste and toxic people and all of life's messes, but can still stop to play catch.  To not know pain is one thing, to rise above pain is another indeed!

Just because we know about the troubles that are here now and troubles that may come, doesn't mean that we should not celebrate from time to time.

It is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see  the good.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

we don't say it enough

I was at a memorial service for Coach Sheridan yesterday.  What a great man.  The place was packed.  The floor, the balcony and the Worship Center.  It was a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.  Pastor Sherri did a great job.

I was moved again by something that I have been thinking about lately.  We assume that others know how we feel.  We don't tell them enough how much we appreciate them.  Maybe we start and they get uncomfortable so we quit.  Maybe they cut us off.  Maybe we did a good job last month or last year of telling them.  We need to tell them again.  And again.  Over and over.  We need to tell those we love that we love them.  We need to hug everyone that we can and let God's love pour out through us.  People don't just know how we feel.

Don't assume that they know.  Tell  them.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to say the good.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

image of God

One of the people that I like to read is Father Richard Rohr.  The other day he wrote about how our image of God affects all of life.  If you have a toxic image of God that is an angry, vengeful God, then all of your world is full of worry and fear.  If you have an image of a God that is distant and uncaring, then you never feel the love of a God that is immediately present.

If however, you believe in a God of grace and love, your life can be filled with joy.  You can find forgiveness and grace.  I love it.

What is your image of God?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, January 29, 2016

5 more months

On Sunday in Church, several people thought that it was my last Sunday.  Not true.  I will be at Woods Chapel thru May and probably a few weeks into June.  So I have 5 more months to torture you guys. [If the good Lord gives me those days.]

We had a Q&A meeting on Sunday night.  If you are interested, here is the link-  http://livestre.am/5hV42

Someone asked at our Q&A meeting on Sunday if I do get an appointment in Florida would the sermons be online.  I told them that I don't know, but if they were, it would just be the same old stuff.  They would go to all that trouble to find it online and then start to watch the sermon and they would say, "hey, I have heard that story 6 times!"

I have treasured every day of the last 22 years with you and will treasure the next 5 months for sure.  That is a good blog topic.  Treasure every day that you have.  After today, you will have one less day left in your life.

So, it is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

what is the real challenge

In most situations, although I want to blame everyone else and everything else, usually the problem is me. I am the one that will not adapt. I am the one that seeks my own comfort. I am the one that gets in the way, and I can't even see it in myself.

It is easy to see the fault of others, difficult to see the fault in me.
But we are often the very ones who hold us back from what we would be.

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from the old ones.” 
                                                           John Maynerd Keynes

Pause to consider your life, your circumstances and your situation.  Are you a part of your solution or a part of your problem?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

comfort, preference and mission

Humans have a preference, always.  Our preference is also always focused on our comfort.  We prefer our comfort over everything else.  We have designed our lives around comfort and we have turned our prayer life into pleas for our comfort.

God has a mission.  It involves a cross.  It involves sacrifice.  It is rarely concerned with our preference and would sacrifice our comfort at a moments notice for the sake of the mission.  The mission is connecting people.  Finding people and loving them.  Whatever it takes to get that done should be the priority for the Christian.


  • Park further away so visitors can park close? Done.
  • Sit in an unfamiliar pew so someone else can sit in my favorite spot?  Done.
  • Give money for the village in Nicaragua?  Done.
  • Give more money than I initially thought I should? Done.
  • Stop the gossip?  Done.
  • Be kind to the server, remembering that they are humans too?  Done.
  • Fight against selfishness within me?  Done..... well, at least we can work on that one.


Don't be afraid to be brutally honest with yourself about how much of your life is about your comfort and preference vs how much of it is about God's purpose.  The Holy Spirit is discovered at the outskirts of our preference.  God is desperately seeking those who will emerge from the edge of their comfort zone and give themselves completely to him and his work.

Something to think about.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

comfort

I have been thinking about comfort a little bit lately and it reminded me of one of my favorite sayings.  I will leave this post simple, simply offering the quote. I don't remember where I read it, but it is something to think about.  I will comment on it tomorrow.  Here it is:

Spiritually developed people are those who have learned to set aside their comfort and personal preference for the sake of the mission.

That is something for all of us to think about in every arena of our lives.

it's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, January 25, 2016

glad to see you

When Mary went to visit Elizabeth in Luke chapter one, the baby [John the Baptist] leaped in Elizabeth's womb.  What a wonderful picture of "glad to see you."

I think that sometimes we are glad to see people, but we don't tell them.  Or we say, "so good to see
you" and it is said in such a way that the words do not register with them.  We love dogs because they always make us feel like they are glad to see us.  We should do the same for the people in our lives.

I am glad to see you.  I AM GLAD TO SEE YOU!  Given the alternatives, I am so glad to see you.  Take their hand.  Look them in the eye.  Tell them what a great pleasure it is to see you today.  Thanks for being you.  Life is short.  Make sure that people know that they are loved by you.

I am always glad to see you.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday

When you are a pastor, it feels like Sunday comes three times a week.  Oh, my!!! I have to preach again!! And so soon.  That is how pastors feel.

Someone once said, "Hey Jeff, my mother is with me today, I hope the sermon is good."  So this is the kind of pressure that pastors feel.  Its like people are saying, I'm here today........ inspire me.

The pressure to inspire people is very heavy, and I don't know if pastors can really do that every week.  Sometimes sermons should make you feel good, sometimes they should make you think, and sometimes they should make you uncomfortable.  There is an old saying that was passed on during seminary, "comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable."

Having said all of this, I am sure that today will be an emotional day for me.  It is not the last time that I will be preaching at woods chapel, but it is the first time that I will be preaching and seeing most of you since the announcement was made.

Please go easy on me today.  The sermon is more informational than inspiring.  I will be glad to see each of you, as I always am.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

keep blogging

Someone asked if I was going to keep blogging after I moved.  The answer is yes.

I was appointed to Woods Chapel in 1994.  I started blogging on May 3, 2007.  Certainly the work of ministry flows in and out of my appointment to the church and the blog, but they are not officially linked.

I will keep writing about seeing the good and other random things and you are welcome to keep reading if you so desire.  Sometimes I am out of town or sometimes my soul is dry, and in those moments I will continue to ask my friend Lions Den Man to post.

I hope that this blog has been of comfort to you.  I also hope that this blog has challenged you and caused you to think.  When left to our own paradigms, our brains will reason ourselves to mediocrity at best.  I thank you for your comments over the years which have caused me to consider what I was thinking as well.

Life is good and seeing the good is so very very important.  The blog will continue.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure  to see the good.

Friday, January 22, 2016

who is in

Someone asked me to write more about who is "in" and who is "out."

For centuries, some Christians have reveled in insisting that they were in and others were out.  They were going to heaven and others were going to hell.  We like to be right and we like others to be wrong.  How sad is that!

Let's stop here for a moment.  The only people that Jesus condemned were the Pharisees.  They were the ones who were saying who was in and who was out.  How sad that in such a short period of time, the Pharisees rise again in the form of any number of religious groups that insist that they are in and others are out, and sadly, they don't see that they have become the Pharisees.

I believe in Jesus and I follow him.  That does not mean that Jews for example are going to hell.  In Mt 8:11 Jesus indicates that people from the east and the west, from other cultures, and Abraham, Issac and Jacob will all be there in heaven.  So never throw out people who are not exactly like you, and for heavens sake, don't count out the Jews.  They are God's chosen.  They are the original tree, we Christians are only grafted in.  See Romans 10 and 11.

We also worry about people that don't know about Jesus.  Will they go to hell?  well, maybe, but that is not up to me and you.  We are not in charge of who goes to heaven or hell.  That is a decision that is in God's hands.  I take much comfort from Romans 1:20 which says,

      For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--      have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

So every person is responsible. Every person is accountable.  God will hold every person with out excuse.  I don't know what that means and it doesn't fit the theology that I was raised on, but they have witnessed him in the things that he has made, and they are without excuse.  This does not absolve us from telling the story of Jesus and his love.  They have not heard the story yet, but they have seen the story via the things that God has made and he holds people accountable for that somehow.

Friends, God's ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  We cannot insist that he follow the exact pattern of our minds.  God alone decides who is in.  It is his job to lead and our job to follow.  Maybe we would do better if we stopped  trying to be the boss and instead lined up to serve him.  Maybe we should stop trying to play the role of creator and take upon ourselves the role of the created.

When we spend our lives measuring and judging others, we don't have time to do what we were created to do, which is to love God and love others.  God knows and God chooses.  We are to LOVE and to live and to do our best to tell the story without judging.  The outcome of a person's eternity is between them and God alone.  Oh, it is so nice to leave all of that in God's hands and oh how that leaves me in peace!

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Marriage

Someone asked me to post some of my "stuff" about marriage.  So, let me leave the issue of me moving and talk about something else today.

Marriage.

First of all, if you don't believe that your spouse is the best wife or husband in the world, it is time for your opinion to change.  If you don't look across the table and see the best person in the world, your future is in trouble.  It's not too late to change.  It's never too late to begin again to love that person with your whole heart.  I hope that you believe that your spouse is the best person in the world for you to be with.  If you are not there, get there soon.

Secondly, don't expect them to make you happy.  Only you can make you happy.  Invest in them.  Pour yourself into them.  We laugh about the old saying, "if mamma's happy everyone is happy."  But it goes both ways.  We should each invest in our spouses.  Each should honor the other.  Each should prefer the other.  Because you know it is true... we never find joy in taking from another.  We find joy and love when we pour ourselves out for another.  Love usually comes back when we give it away, and if it doesn't we still have no choice in this life but to pour out love.

The answer is never found in taking.  The answer within is always found in giving.

It's a beautiful day in God's world be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

what I am going to do in Florida

Several have asked if I have been offered a bigger church in Florida.  The answer is no.

I have interviewed with the Florida Conference, but they have no guarantees that there is an opening for me.  They have many people that want to transfer to their conference.

If they have a church, I will gladly accept it.  I have loved being a United Methodist Pastor and I would love for that to continue.  If they don't have anything then I will look at being a chaplain at a hospital or look for a support role at a local church.

It will be fine.  But the point of this post is that I am not leaving because I have some big offer.  I have no offer.  I am leaving because I am still in love with the girl that I married all those years ago.  And in a world where so many married people are satisfied with tolerating each other, it is great to be in love.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Apology

Pam told me not to apologize, and I love Pam, but I am going to do it today.

I am sorry for the foolish idea that I had that I was going to be able to keep this long distance marriage up for seven years.  I fought off rumors because at the time they were not true.  [see my posts of October 2, 2014, April 22, 2015 and November 14, 2015]  I have never been disingenuous over what was going on.  I have been truthful about my feelings and the situation every step of the way.

I am sorry.  I am sorry for every person who is disappointed that I am leaving in June.  I am sorry for every person that is sad.  I am sorry for every moment of your life that I will not be there for.

However, this is a decision based on love and family values.  I know everyone understands that.  So, it is bitter sweet.

I love you all.  We have had 22 wonderful years and we have 5 more months together.  God is good.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Monday, January 18, 2016

announcemnent

Yesterday, the following announcement was made in church.

Good morning, my name is Carol Quiring and I serve as chair of our staff parish relations team. I’m coming this morning to tell you of a change that will be happening this year. As most everyone knows, Pastor Jeff and his wife Cathy have been living a long distance marriage for the last year. Initially Jeff hoped this situation would become easier as time passed, but that hasn’t happened, and it has grown increasingly difficult for them.
So for the first time in 22 years we will be working with the Bishop and the District Superintendent to facilitate the appointment of a new senior pastor. That will occur in June of this year.
I know this change is especially difficult, but it is an opportunity for us to share God’s love with someone who has so willingly shared with each of us.
Please celebrate with Jeff and his family!  By making a change to be re-united with his family, he is modeling the unselfish love he has described to us on so many different occasions.
We as a Woods Chapel Church are blessed and have much to be grateful for….
Our SPRC has begun meeting with the District Superintendent .
An email will be distributed later today with this information and additional details describing the process.
Jeff will be preaching next Sunday and will hold a Town Hall type meeting the evening of January 24th in the Worship Center.
Thank you for keeping Jeff, his family, our Church staff, and Church family in your prayers.



More to come. Please keep me and my family, our staff and the church in your prayers.
It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

clutter


I don’t hoard but boy do I have a mess of stuff that has no value to me anymore. I have moved past that stuff so I am working at finding it a new home. My dad was great at not keeping things that had no value. To him it was clutter that got in the way of things of more importance. He always said he could think more clearly when the clutter was gone. That type of thinking works well for me, too. I try to use that logic in other areas of my life, like my faith. A lot clutter can be accumulated on our journey and can get in the way of clear thinking. It becomes dead weight and keeps us from moving forward. When we remove such things it becomes easier to see the things of greater value and importance.

Peace,

Lion’s Den Man

Saturday, January 16, 2016

loving yourself

I think we all believe in love.  Many people that I know work hard in this life to love others, but never learn how to love themselves.  Oh how our lives change for the better when we finally understand that God does love us, and we can love ourselves as well.  By loving ourselves, I am not recommending pride or arrogance, I am simply suggesting that you can cut yourself some slack and see the value in yourself that God sees.

You are valued- believe it.  You are loveable- receive it.  The messages that others gave you about how worthless you are can be set aside.  God has another message for you.  He loves you.  He loves you so much that he sent his Son.

Once we accept the fact that we are loved by God everything changes.  The arguments in my head slow down.  The strife in my soul mellows out.  The battle that I have been fighting within my head, my entire life finally stops.   If I can finally believe that I am loved by God, my daily thoughts are no longer consumed with judging myself or others, I simply let the goodness of God fill me up and pour out to others.

You are loved.  Don't waste another day questioning that.  Receive it, breathe it in, accept it and let it flow right through you to everyone that you meet.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Disciple

One of the words that I think we like, but non-churched people do not get is the word "disciple."  The missions statement of the general United Methodist Church is "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."

In my opinion, random folks on the street, unchurched and marginally churched people have no idea what we are talking about.  Shame on us.

I woke up the other night thinking about this.  Now that is weird isn't it?  I should be thinking of sleepy meadows in the middle of the night but no, I woke up thinking about this.

Here is my middle of the  night train of thought-

  • A disciple is a follower of Jesus.
  • One who follows is going somewhere.
  • So, a disciple of Jesus goes where Jesus went and does what Jesus did.


That means for us, that if we are going to be disciples, I mean followers of Jesus, we need to go out to the marginalized.  We need to find the needy, the lost, the sick and the lame.  We need to spend some time with the lonely, the frightened, and those who are not on society's A list.  And it means that when we find those folks, we need to do what Jesus did.  We need to love them, hug them, forgive them, value them, heal them, and on it goes.

Here is the good news.  You don't have to go down and look under a bridge for such people.  Right in your office, right in your church, at your family reunion, maybe in your own home, maybe in your own skin, you can find people who are marginalized and hurt.  Love them and bless them- do what Jesus did.

That is when we become true disciples, I mean followers, of Jesus.  And friend, let me tell you, the world is waiting with open arms for people that will love as Jesus loved.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

words

Church people have fallen into some bad habits.  One of them is using words that normal people do not understand.  By normal, I am referring to random people that you find out in life that have little or no church background.

When we say words like "spiritual formation" normal people have no idea what we are talking about.  We take it for granted that they do, since we think we know what it means, but try to define it sometime.  Non-church folks do not talk like this.  And since we are trying to win them, maybe we should learn to talk their language.

Another word that we use that doesn't really fit in modern society is "transformation."  Now, I think everyone knows what transformation means, but people generally don't talk about it in the same ways that church folk do.  For non-church folks what that word means and their first thought is likely to move towards the movie Transformers, which is a show about robots.

My point of all of this is that we church folks need to learn to talk in ways that are relevant to unchurched folk.  If they are our target audience, it doesn't matter if we are comfortable with the words, it matters only if they are comfortable.

Take a look at your speech sometime.  Do your unchurched friends, family and coworkers get what you are saying or do we sound like people from the 1950's?  There is a reason that church attendance is down, let's not add to the problem. There are perfectly good ways to talk about our life journey with God without sounding like we just left seminary.  How do your words fall upon the ears of the non-churched?

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

quote from the movie Unconditonal

The storms of life- they are bound to come, but maybe even in those storms, in the loneliest time of all, you're never really alone. Love is the most powerful thing on Earth, I've seen what it can do, and it can do amazing things. Sometimes I imagine a world where everyone knows that love is unconditional, and what a beautiful world it is. I think some people get it right, that there's truly enough love to go around, all you have to do is share it. What if God's love is like the sun, constant and unchanging. What if you wake up some day and realize that nothing can take that away.

What if it shines on everyone. The good the bad, the whole and the broken. Love is like light. It is in discriminant. it goes out to everyone. The sooner we learn that, the better the rest of our lives will be. And the sooner we share it indiscriminately, without reservation, the sooner we find the true joy of living.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

no one to talk to

We have all felt like there was no one to talk to.  I have.  Welcome to the human race.

If you feel like you have no one to talk to, God is there.  He never leaves.  Oh, you don't believe in him?  He is not offended by that.  You can't drive him away.  If you have no one to talk to, if you think you are alone, you are not.  You are never alone.  In that dark valley that you are feeling, God is there.  He is with you.

Ok, hate him.  Be mad at him.  Reject him for 5 or 10 or 30 years.  He never leaves.  He is there, waiting for you to call upon him.  He is never offended when we do.  He welcomes you with open arms.

If you think that you have no one to talk to, he is there.  Call upon him.  Right now.  In your home.  In your car.  In your office.  He is there.

It is a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.