Wednesday, June 30, 2010

thank you

Thank you for the comment on yesterdays post that appears to be in disagreement. I totally agree with what you are saying.

Anytime a person gives a sermon, gives a speech, makes a point, it is hard to cover every angle of the topic. If I talk about love, someone asks if they should be a doormat. If I talk about sin, someone asks about grace. If I talk about grace someone asks about sin. It is just difficult to cover every aspect of a topic. And each topic has an opposing side that makes a good point as well.

The point of the sermon or the blog post was not to encourage people to celebrate their opulence or to be disrespectful to those who are hurting financially. The point I was trying to make is that in all things we should honor God and bring him into our lives. I don't want anyone to feel guilty about what they have, but I do want us all to feel responsible. When we bring God into the middle of the things that we love, they tend to get more submitted to him really quick.

Even those who are struggling in this difficult economy have things that they love and things that God should be brought into. So I encourage you all, whether you have much or little, to thank God for all things and to bring him into every moment of your life.

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

as if

If you were in service on Sunday, you have already heard this. I repeat myself simply because I have heard from a few that struggle with guilt.

Do you feel guilty about loving or enjoying things in your life? One of the problems with inappropriate guilt is that if you follow it to it's logical conclusion, we should all get rid of everything we love and sit in church with nothing. Then we can pray this prayer,

"ok, God, here I am, I gave away everything I love, I have nothing left in life that I enjoy. I am here for you now. I am not very happy, but I am here for you with nothing."

Do you think that is what God wants? I don't. I think that God wants us to thank him for the things that we enjoy and to thank him for the feelings that those things give to us. When we acknowledge him in these things, our relationship with them changes and they become things that we know have come from God.

Yes, we should be good stewards. Yes we should give back and give sacrificially. But, once we understand that we are only enjoying what God has allowed us to have, once we put those things into his hands, they should be enjoyed. Guilt free. Grousing Christians do not bring glory to God.

Life is good. Celebrate it.

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

Monday, June 28, 2010


One of the things that I enjoy the most about being a pastor is when a young person lets you know that you are reaching them. Gosh, if we are making connections with young people, that is awesome.

Yesterday a 14-15 year old girl stopped on the way out of church to tell me that she really loved the sermon. It helped her so much. I said, thank you. She said, I have a friend that is telling me that I am sinning all the time and today you told me that I can live my life, celebrate my life and trust God. She said that she struggles with depression and her friend says that depression is a sin.

[who teaches young people that everything is a sin? who teaches them that they should go around laying all of that guilt on their friends?]

I told her that she knows right from wrong and she knows when she is doing something wrong, but depression is not a sin, it is a condition.

She was happy. Her mother was happy. I was happy. When we are connecting with young people, it doesn't get any better than that.

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

Sunday, June 27, 2010

cats in the cradle

Last night my daughter came home from work at 9pm. I was in the middle of a movie. In for the night, relaxing. "Dad, take me for a motorcycle ride," she says.

"Ah. Um. Hey, I am right in the middle of this movie. How about tomorrow night," says Dad. Jenny says, "ok" and heads up to her room.

Then it happens to me. The voice of the preacher in my head. The voice of Harry Chapin singing about how his kid wanted to spend time with him, but he was too busy. I pause the movie and call to her. She bounds down the stairs joyfully.

Off we go, into the night. It's a ride down memory lane. Past the parsonage, past the house that we lived in for a few years after that that I told her mother was not going to work for us, past the old church, her grade school [she commented that she was able to remember the Chapel Lakes fight song], past her middle school, then around the new church and home.

Last night a memory was made. Not so much a memory of a ride, but a memory of a time when Dad said to child, "you matter more." I finished the movie and went to bed, pleased that I had made the right decision.

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

Saturday, June 26, 2010

the watering can

If you are squeamish, skip this post. You have been warned.

We have a plastic green watering can that lives in the garage. It lives right next to the overhead door so that if I need to water some flowers that the hose won't reach, it is right there. I have got into the habit of filling it up full and leaving some water in it so that I don't have to fill it so often. Since we have had a good cadence of rain, I have not used it for a long time. So to recap: water can, half full of water, sitting in garage for a long time.

"What is that smell?" My wife kept asking. I told her it was the trash. But even after the trash was out to the street, the smell lingered. Yesterday I picked up the watercan which I have not moved for months. Whew. The smell is the water can. I look inside. The water is brown. For some reason, the water in the can has soured. I take the can around the house to the hose bib and dump the water out. I turn on the hose and clean out the inside, and here they come: those lovely bones. Little bones.

At first I thought it was a bird, but then I realize there are no feathers. What ever it was, got in the bucket looking for water, and could not get back out. Died, right in the garage and completely decomposed in the watercan. Nothing left but bones. Frog? Mouse? Impossible to tell at this point.

There are many morals to this story. Sometimes we get ourselves into places that we can't get out of. Look before you leap. Water is a good and needful thing, but too much of a good thing can get a person off track. Think it through. Well over half of the problems that people tell me about are self-induced.

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

Friday, June 25, 2010

our mission

Our mission at Woods Chapel is ________ _____ to _____ _____. Were you able to fill in the blanks? Our mission at Woods Chapel is connecting people to Jesus Christ.

Last night I was at a dinner put on by an arm of the national church. There were 21 people present, 13 of them from Woods Chapel. Part of the reason for that is that one of the organizers is a member of our church. When she got up to speak, she was talking about direction and purpose and she asked the folks from Woods Chapel if they knew their mission. Without hesitation, the Woods Chapel crowd stated our mission in unison.

I was of course very proud of them.

When we know what we are about, it directs the flow of energy. We cease being the lost and tend to become those who are helping others find their way. What is your life about? What is your mission? Each of us, each day are able, if we are willing to share God's love and so connect people to Jesus.

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

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Last night I sat with an angel. We talked about brokenness. About how everyone is broken in one way or another. Some pretend that they are not, but they are. We spoke of the sadness that comes into a life when people act like they are not broken, and the joy that can come into a person's life when they are honest about who they are.

We spoke of the gift that people that love can give to each other's brokenness.

A broken person sits at your table. They are expecting to be judged, ridiculed and rejected. But you give them something else. You welcome them. You hug them- for a bit longer than they expected. You cry with them. You acknowledge their stuff. Maybe we can't fix it, but we at least hear it and we welcome you and we love you.

This is the gift that one real person gives to another. It is the gift of love. It is the gift of Christ. It is a Jesus thing. Maybe it is the Jesus thing. Is there anything more holy than to love someone who was expecting to be rejected and thrown away? Look for someone like that today and when you find them, tell them that everything is ok. Tell them that they are accepted, that they matter to you. Hug them for just a little bit longer than they were expecting. Make your point. Make God's point.

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

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I hurt your feelings. I know that I did. I could tell by the paper exchange that took place. Then I am sick to my stomach about the whole thing. I am worried. I tell myself that you are a good person and that we will patch it up. I find some solace in that, but it still eats on me. I am looking forward to the next time we see each other so that we can talk it out and make every thing ok.

Now we meet. Surprise. You are not mad. I have to explain what I was thinking to help you understand why I thought there was a problem. You did not even think there was a problem. I am relieved. You are a much better person.

Am I crazy? No, I am sure that there are many of you out there, just like me, who tend to be pleasers. I want to make everyone happy. It is both a gift and a curse.

So I thank God that his love for me and for us is unflinching. God is patient with us and waits lovingly for us to love him. I am glad that God encourages me/us to relax. Everything is ok. Don't worry, be happy. Can you gain one hour to your life by worry?

God wants us to enjoy life and celebrate the day. Even when we do things to upset people, we can usually patch it up. When we can't, we still have to go on. Try again, get up and go. Today is a new day. God is with us. Let's go share his love.

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I am sorry

I am sorry, I was stupid.

Sometimes I cannot write about what is going on with me because I don't think that you want to hear about my stupidity. Like all people, I don't want to show my backside to people. But this is so bad, I have to tell someone how stupid I was.

By the way, when my children were young, no one in our house was allowed to say the word "stupid". It is just too painful and insulting, but today, I wear it well.

It was Memorial Day. My wife and I went to Mt. Washington cemetery. There we ran into two of my cousins. We had a nice visit. My cousins told me among other things that my sister in California was sick and was under going some tests.

Later that week I called my sister. I left a message. She called back and caught me at a time that I could not talk. [too busy with church stuff] Over the next three weeks, I called her and she called me and we played phone tag. Fifteen times during those three weeks I thought about calling her but I was too busy and here is where the stupid part comes in. My sister is sick, and I am too busy being the pastor to get her called and make the connection.

I am ashamed. Last night we finally made connection. She has lost 60 pounds and while that is good, she keeps losing past her goal weight. The doctors cannot figure out what is wrong. They tell her that she does not have cancer but so far they cannot diagnose her. She goes to see another one on Thursday.

I am sorry that I was so busy doing church stuff that I neglected to get my sister called. Please pray for her, her name is Amy.

And today we rise to a new opportunity. Thank you God that we are not bound by yesterday's mistakes.

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

Monday, June 21, 2010

the sunrise

The sunrise marks another day. Yesterday is gone and today is here. Although I may deal with the consequences of past choices, today I am free to make new ones. I am free. I have power. God gives me free will. I can choose to see the good, I can choose to celebrate each person that I see. I can choose to treat others as God treats me.

I have a friend that is condemning me. I choose to not be hurt by the judgement. I will simply choose to love them. They have chosen the path of the unmerciful servant who was forgiven by God, but refused to offer grace to another. I cannot help this, it is their choice. But I still have mine. My choices.

I will not be held back by negativity. I will not be wounded by arrows in the wind. The sun has come up and it is a new day. This is the day that the Lord has made. Do not miss his love and joy by being consumed by the unhappiness of another. Discover your happiness in the joy of God and share it with someone today. What a great victory you will give to the world as you allow God's love to be the most powerful thing in your life.

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

It is fathers day. I am up and gone from the house. There are no cards or gifts on the counter. That is perfectly fine with me. I want to be the kind of father that works and provides and protects so that his family can sleep in. I love them.

What do I want for fathers day? Hugs and smiles.
And I want my children to listen and learn. I want them to be prepared for life. I want them to respect their mother. [they do, I am just saying.]

That pretty much sums it up. Oh, and hugs and smiles.

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

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Moles pt. 2

I heard some great comments from you about your experiences with moles and how you managed them. I got a picture sent from one of you joyously holding up mole traps as if to say, "now I am going to get them." Someone emailed me a story of being frustrated over the moles, coming home in a suit and seeing the ground move, then jumping with both feet to squish the varmint.

There is an interesting relationship between frustration and joy. It is like the level of satisfaction that we feel when victory is achieved corelates to the level of frustration that we feel over a problem like this.

I have set the trap. Nothing yet. The water thing did not work. I have put out poison pills that I got from an exterminator. They disappear and the mole comes back for more. The pills are the size of a half dollar and the mole has eaten 5 of them.

Sometimes there are problems that you can't solve the first time. You just have to stay after it. Persevere. Never give up, never give in. Right now the moles are winning, but the final chapter to this story has not yet been written. I will keep you posted.

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

Friday, June 18, 2010

take over

I will come back to the moles another day. Today I want to write about some things that you should never introduce into your yard. Things that sound like a good idea at the time, but later you will wish you had never planted them.

Let's start with Tiger Lillies. Pretty, tall, orange flowers. Beautiful, but very aggressive. Pretty soon your entire yard is a bed of Tiger lilies. Mint. Nothing worse. It smells good, and you will be happy that it fills in the intended space pretty quickly, but then the mint will move on. In a matter of days, it will be all sort of places that you don't want it, and it is very hard to kill. Finally there is Indian grass. Lovely. Wonderful to look at. But again, pretty soon, it is taking over the entire world. Hard to get rid of, hard to kill.

There are many lessons from the yard that transfer well into life. There are some things that you should not allow into your flower beds, and there are some things that you should not allow into your lives.

Hatred and resentment will take over your life. The love of anything that shouldn't be there will also grow out of control. Pretty soon our hearts are full of things that should not be there.

I have pulled out and killed all of the mint. It took two years. I have pulled almost all of the tiger lillies. The rest are not long for this world. The Indian grass, well I have not started on that yet, but it is going as well. When the things that take over are gone, then there is room for the kind of things that should be growing.

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

Thursday, June 17, 2010

to the death

This story goes back a long way. It is an epic, life long battle between good and evil. Between man and beast. Between me and the mole.

Don't laugh. Moles are not cute. They are not benign and they are not anything that you want at your house.

This battle began when I was 19. A couple of moles decided to invade our property near 99th and Holmes. My father was at his wits end trying to eradicate them. My mother was in tears. Our backyard was being destroyed by the pesky little rodents.

It was during this time of desperation that I had an inspiration. It involved a garden hose and a shovel. I went out one afternoon to the scene of the crime. I stuck the hose in the newest hole, the farthest uphill and turned it on full blast. I watched and waited. After about ten minutes I saw some dirt being disturbed down the line. Time for the shovel. Chop chop dig dig, oh what a relief it was to find that I had ended the life of one of the varmints.

They raised the stakes. The next day, there was a new hole in the back yard. A really big one, and our dog was missing. He had sniffed around too much and had fallen victim to the critters. We never found our dog. Now the war was on. Over the next week I stayed at the hose and shovel bit until I caught another mole. Jeff 2, moles 1. With their ranks depleted, they retreated from our home to fight another day.

That day is here. They are back. I am engaged again in an age old battle of life and death. Mole vs Jeff. Somehow they found me. I have been at this for a couple of weeks and it is weighing on me. Please pray for me because so far I have been unable to make any headway.

They are digging up my yard and my flower beds. They are eating my poison and coming back for more. They are not responding to the hose and shovel bit. They have adapted. They have morphed into some sort of super mole. I must rise to the occasion. Caddyshack.

If you have any battle plans, please help me.

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

your word

When you tell someone you are going to do something, do it. Keep your word. Do the right thing. Never say that you will, then decide that you won't. People have a long memory when it comes to promises unkept.

Your honor is at stake. Few things are as valuable as the commitments that you make. So keep them. You will be happier and so will everyone else. The world makes sense to those who know who they are and live out their principles.

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

thou shalt not steal

It has happened again. Someone has stolen from the church. You know we were losing a few small things inside the building and security cameras put an end to that. A few years ago someone dug up and carried off one of our hostas. Around the same time, someone used a loader of some sort to pick up and haul off a rock the size of a washing machine.

The latest thievery involves a butterfly bush. The bush is about two feet tall and has pretty blue or purple flowers. I guess that someone saw it and decided that they needed it more at their house than the church did.

I am tempted to do a little drive around and see if I can see it in the neighborhood nearby. But you have to ask yourself, who would be able to enjoy a bush that they stole from a church? And so we pray for them:

"Lord, please bless the person that took the butterfly bush. May the bush flourish on their property. May the beauty of the shrub cause them to consider your glory. May you use that piece of creation to speak to their heart about who you are and your great love for all people. Bring them to a place where they want to tell others about your beauty. Bring them to a place where they want to provide that joy and celebration to others. So bless them and do your work in their life. In Jesus name, Amen."

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

Monday, June 14, 2010

the weather

I get a lot of requests to pray for certain weather. Pray for rain. Pray that it won't rain. Pray that the heat wave will break. Pray for snow. Pray for Spring.

Our requests for prayer have a good deal to do with our plans for the day. God please give me the kind of weather that is good for us today. Somehow it always comes back to what we want.

Well, today is the church golf tournament. Lot's of requests that it won't rain. "Jeff, please pray!" I always tell the folks that I am in sales, not management. The weatherman says that it is going to rain this morning. There is a big band of rain on the radar. But, lets pray anyway.

"Dear Lord, we thank you for a beautiful day. Thank you for the gift of sleep and for daily breath. Thank you for all of those who have worked hard on the golf tournament. We humbly ask that we could get this golf game in today. But if not, may we all enjoy the fellowship sitting in the clubhouse. In all things, we trust you and we love you. Thank you for the chance to share your love with others today. Rain or shine. In Jesus name, Amen."

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

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Available. Someone needs a date to the prom. Are you available? Someone needs a babysitter. If you can help, it will bless them and allow them to achieve their goals. Are you available?

God would like to accomplish a few things in this world. Are you available? Everyone sounds like they want God to be present in their lives, but are you, am I willing to make ourselves available for his purpose? To the degree that we are available, we find the joy of being a part of the life and work of God.

What are you doing later today? Are you available?

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

Saturday, June 12, 2010

facebook again

I still don't like facebook. In fact, I have a pastor friend who closed his facebook page because it can just take up all of your time. And so much of it is silliness. I usually get on it about every other week just to clean out all of the invitations to join a farm or share a plant.

Now we have the problem from yesterday. My oldest daughter who I won't name [Allison] decides that it would be funny to get on my facebook page and declare my status. So, she puts in one word..........I won't even repeat it, but it is an embarrassing medical condition that happens to folks when they have the flu or food poisoning.

I had no idea that she did this until I started getting emails.......about 20 of them from people who are commenting on the word. TMI! I'm sorry. I will pray for you. Everyone was very concerned about my medical condition that did not even exist. And my daughter is roaring with laughter.

Now, as a Christian, we are supposed to turn the other cheek. Vengeance is the Lord's, let him repay and all of that. Not this time. I am going to get even. I am going to find a way to get her back, but I don't have any good ideas. Do you? How can I return the joy to my daughter? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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

Friday, June 11, 2010

your deck

Last night I sat on your deck. You invited me over to celebrate a milestone in your life. I was only there a short time. That happens to me a lot. I may get somewhere, but I can only stay for a while.

The music was great. The weather was great. The company was superb. You asked for a guy hug and spoke to me. The things that you said made me cry. Your words totally turned around my day. I will remember being on your deck last night, for a long time.

Friends, never pass an opportunity to tell someone what they mean to you. Get ahold of them, make them stop and listen. It just may touch them in ways that you can't imagine.

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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the gates of hell

One of my friends hooked me up with a Kenny Loggins quote yesterday, "the gates of hell are locked from the inside."

I know that this is a generalization, and that we cannot fix every problem. [repeat] There are some things that happen to us that are outside of our control, but our attitude is within our control.

And then I think of the countless problems that people bring on themselves. I have done the same on many occasions. We don't like where we are, and we sit, waiting to be rescued by an outside delta force.

We have alot more power in many situations that we know. Sometimes our own choices can free us from a problem or at least make a radical change in our attitude.

The gates of hell are locked from the inside.

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

open mouth, insert foot

Please forgive me for the times that I speak or write something that doesn't come across right. I do try to engage brain before putting mouth or keyboard into gear, but occasionally a bit of foolishness just slips by. I am sorry for the times that I have allowed this to happen. Please forgive me.

Apologies would not be necessary if I was more careful, but I pray that you accept my sincere apology and focus on that, and not the words that hurt. It was not my intent to be hurtful, because I love you very much.

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

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I love trees. We have lots of trees at our house. About 18 in all, of which I planted 11 of them. They are beautiful, unique and speak to me of the glory of God.

One of them is dying. One of the biggest ones on our lot. I think it is an elm, and I think it has Dutch Elm disease. It is dying from the top down. It is kind of odd. It is in a grove of trees all bunched up together, but it is dying. Right in the midst of life, here is a dead one. Suddenly, with no warning, gone.

I don't want it to die, but sometimes we don't get to choose do we? We can't control everything that comes our way in life. Sometimes in life you get what you want, and sometimes in life you get what you get.

Everything dies eventually. And we go on, because life is still good.

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

Monday, June 7, 2010


I am posting late. Sorry, but I can't think of anything to write about. Mama said there would be days like this.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.
[maybe that is enough]

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Can you hear the birds sing?

I have had several write to me in the past week and tell me that they were sitting on the deck listening to the birds sing. They described the joy of listening. The joy of quiet. The beauty of the birds and the world that they had been missing. To listen is to renew the soul. To listen is to hear the voice of God singing through his creation.

What are you listening to? Are you even aware that the birds are out there, singing to the glory of God? Might you take time to hear them? "I took the road less travelled by and to me it made all the difference in the world."

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

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Resurrection Blue Springs

Church of the Resurrection, United Methodist. The big one in Leawood. The one with 9,000 on Sunday morning.

After much discussion and prayer, the North Spring United Methodist church has agreed to partner with Resurrection. Resurrection will be bringing their worship and culture to the North Spring campus on I-70 between 7 highway and Adams Dairy Parkway.

It will open in August sometime.

Yes it is probably going to happen, and everything is ok. i have heard a few worried voices, but every thing is going to be ok. It will be good to have a strong church in the area. Iron sharpens iron. Our mission does not change. We will still be working to connect people to Jesus Christ. Do not be worried about other partners in Christ working in our area. There are plenty of people in Blue Springs and Independence for everyone to reach.

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

Friday, June 4, 2010


In the 80's there was a movie starring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis called Perfect. She was an aerobics instructor and all of the characters were working out in pursuit of the perfect body. Lots of skin, no perfection attained.


When you drive by that beautiful church on 291, everything looks perfect. The bell tower is a wow. If you actually drive onto the property, the landscaping is perfect. The flowers, the trees, the bells chiming makes for a wonderful, perfect setting.

That doesn't mean the people are perfect. In fact, the opposite is true. Every single person that attends Woods Chapel is broken in one way or another, or many ways. The smiles and the hospitality, the love and the joy is not a sign of perfect people that have it all together. The signs of the spirit that you may see at church are simply signs of the presence of God and of broken people pursuing God.

Never look at anyone at church as perfect. Never think that the preacher is perfect. No far from it! But enjoy the beauty and the joy! Celebrate God! That is why we are there, but never forget that we are all sinners saved by grace. That is the thing that gets us up and headed in the right direction. That is what makes us continue to work to make the church a wonderful place. Not our being perfect, but the gratitude we have to a God who makes all things beautiful.

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

Thursday, June 3, 2010

do not publish

Occasionally I get a comment that includes the words, "do not post" or "do not publish." I received such a comment yesterday. I always honor their request.

To the person who sent the comment and to anyone else that needs to hear this:

There are very few "pat" or perfect answers in life. About anytime some well meaning preacher says something about "just do this, or just do that," there is always a situation for which the advice seems impossible. I am sorry that my post from the other day appears to have just stirred up old wounds.

I have no experience with the kind of pain that you are describing. I did not and do not ever mean to provide anything but the highest respect for the pain that people are feeling. There are some situations that defy advice. Yours is a tough one.

Although I have never experienced what you have, I want to tell you that in my life, I have experienced a good deal of pain. I wish that there was a good answer. I encourage people to pray and to do their best to trust in God and release the pain. I would also encourage them to put some distance between the source of the pain and themselves, but this is not always possible.

And so we live. Sometimes joyful, sometimes limping along, dragging ourselves through the day, praying that God will help us see the good. Having friends helps. Having someone to talk to helps. If I could, I would hug you and tell you that I am so sorry for what has happened. Words, even words from a pastor do not fix every problem, but I am hopeful that the kindness that we can show to one another will help to brighten the day.

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I just can't get away from this love thing. I guess that is good.

Here it is again: love keeps no record of wrongs.

I read this the other day: "when we are offended over something, we lose our ability to love others." What does that mean? Our job is to love. Always. Period. To the extent that we are offended we separate ourselves from others. Even when we are justly offended, we don't have to take offense.

Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love covers a multitude of sins. I try to remember this when I am hurt by others, because I want others to cover my sins and forgive me as well.

Love draws us together. It heals us. It takes us into God's presence because God is love.

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

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

new friends

Wow. where do I start with this? It is memorial day at 7pm and I am working in the church office catching up. I am the only one in the building, but I hear a pounding on the door. It comes and goes as if someone is trying to get into the building. Then I find them. A group of youngsters from the neighborhood that want a drink.

Can they come in and get a drink?
[I don't know any of them. Well maybe i have seen a few of them playing basketball a time or two.]
Can they come in? Sure of course.
I will show you where the fountain is....
We already know where the fountain is.....

So I follow 12 kids age 5-14 into the foyer to get a drink. The little ones want a cup. Then they want coffee. Then they want creamer. Pretty soon I am running a Christian coffee shop for the neighborhood kids.

I introduce myself. I am jeff, I am the pastor. If you ever need anything here, ask for me.
Should we call you Mr Jeff?
No, just jeff.

I went back to my office and let them enjoy the air conditioning in the foyer. Some of the little ones said that they liked this church and they wanted to come here. I told them to come anytime.

I found some hotwheel cars in my office [imagine that] and gave one to each of the kids. They seemed to like them [smart kids].

They decided it was time to leave and out the door they went with about ten cars, 5 styrofoam cups and a new friend.

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