The church is full of hypocrites. That’s one of the top reasons people don’t give Jesus serious consideration for their spiritual journeys. One aspect of this truth that has subtly invaded our Christian communities has been on my mind lately: our inability to live in true, hardcore community.
I’m waking up the morning after our wedding with a sense of being out of my element. It isn’t because I don’t belong here, it’s because I don’t know how to belong here. I am the same person and yet everything has changed. Yesterday I woke up a single man with only the promise of matrimony. Today I am a married man, terribly excited but not knowing what to expect or how to act.
Will I remember to put the toilet seat down every time? How often is too often to play ball with the guys? Vanda is British, and they have already thrown me with the crazy tradition of crackers last Christmas. I’m still not completely convinced that everybody in the United Kingdom wears those silly paper hats during Christmas dinner. What if there are other traditions I’m unaware of that will stress the boundaries of my comfort zone?
Silence, however powerful, is not the cause of poor communication – the fear of pain is. It is basic to human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. But people actually avoid pain first and then seek pleasure.
Les and Leslie Parrott, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Page 81
This book by Les and Leslie Parrott is about marriage, but I also heard truth in it about our difficulty with sharing Jesus Christ. We know that telling people about Jesus is our most important job as Christians, yet most of us have never done it – and never will.
The young adult group discussion that I mentioned in my last post was based on a chapter in my book. They are graciously reading my book and discussing it one chapter a week. It’s based on John 10 where Jesus uses the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep to explain the relationship he has with us. The Shepherd (Jesus) leads us (his followers) to pasture, but that only happens if we actually leave the safety of the pen to follow him. The pasture is the ultimate fulfillment for the sheep; their way of living life to the fullest extent.
“Failure to report” was the charge against two Tulsa, Oklahoma youth ministers upheld by a judge last November (Christianity Today, Jan/Feb 2013). The attorney for John and Charica Daugherty had filed a motion to dismiss the charges with the reasoning, as reported by Tulsa World News, “the definition of abuse in the failure to report child abuse statute applies only to people who are responsible for the well-being of the child – which [the attorney] argues that John and Charica Daugherty were not.”
A former church employee had pleaded guilty to six felony sex crimes against children. The charge brought against the minister couple, who are also the son and daughter-in-law of the senior pastor, is because a 13 year-old girl had informed them about the abuse and they waited two weeks to report it.
Homer Simpson is part of my every day.
My phone is handy for organizing events through texting, having access to my three email accounts, and keeping up with people in general. My phone also informs me when I receive text messages. It’s a great way to stay efficient.
The alert sound I’ve chosen to let me know when I’ve received a message is the sound Homer Simpson, the dad on the famed animated series The Simpsons, often makes. When a message is received on my phone, Homer shouts out D’oh! On the show, Homer says that when he does something stupid, injures himself, or hears some bad news.
Libby Phelps Alvarez is a very brave woman. She made a tough decision that changed her life forever. Four years ago, Libby left the church started by her grandfather, Westboro Baptist Church.
I watched her interview on NBC’s Today Show yesterday. ”They think that they are the only ones that are going to heaven,” she said. She was taught that if you don’t go to that church, you’re going to hell. Libby had protested military funerals around the country from when she was eight years old. What’s really crazy is that this church believes that they are saving people with their views.
Libby had begun to question her church’s actions when her family protested the funeral of her friend’s husband who had died in service to his country. It was about the same time that they had started to pray that people would die, though she hadn’t done it herself.
I find it extremely difficult to read at times. That doesn’t sound good for an aspiring author. But there’s a good reason for it, and it’s why my Christmas gift from wifey this year was brilliant.
I’ve been diagnosed with ADD (who hasn’t?). If there is any sound while I’m trying to read – music, TV, or a loud conversation – my attention is drawn away from my reading and towards the sound. I am powerless against it. So my favorite Christmas gift in a long time was . . . headphones.
How much should the rich be taxed in America?
Okay, I don’t really care what you think about that. I am concerned with how you think about such things, though. The way we consider political viewpoints tends to influence how we deal with conflicts in the Christian community. The Apostle Paul wanted his friends to focus on how they thought about divisive issues in his letter to Philemon.
Have you ever played hide-and-go-seek in the dark? Last weekend I was with a group of young adults from my church at a secluded place for a weekend of fun and Bible study. We had a bunch of board games, a few movies, and even did some sledding in a very beautiful setting.
At just before midnight on Saturday, we turned out the lights and closed the shades. One person gave the rest of us 5 minutes to hide. I’m older (and wider) than everyone else, so finding a spot was harder for me.
He’s only 19! Angus’ newly found faith has come at a great price. When teenagers get passionate about something, they go all out – even before they’ve considered the best course to accomplish their good thing. In all of the hullabaloo about his comments on the video that went viral, I’m wondering how much investment was put into seeking wisdom on how to share his testimony in the most productive way possible. Where were the adults in his life?