The scariest costume ever

My idea for the scariest Halloween costume came to me this morning. Yes, on Halloween day. Have I ever told you I’m a procrastinator?

It won’t cost you much money. You’ll be dressed in no time. In fact, where whatever you want. Dress up. Dress down. Wear your work clothes. Dress like a minion (There’s a joke in there somewhere). It doesn’t matter.

Next, crab a pile of index cards. Write the word “DARN” on each of them. DARN as opposed to D**N just in case the children are reading. Then give a card to anyone you meet.

“Who are you?” they’ll ask. And you’ll say, “I’m someone who gives a darn.”

That’s the scariest thing for a selfish world! Can you imagine if there were more people who walked the earth that did give a darn. Perhaps I should clarify. Give a darn about important things.

I often return to Galatians 6:2. It reads:

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

When I give a darn about you, I’ll bear your burdens with you. When I give a darn about abused children, I’ll bear that burden with them. Drug addicts? Homeless families? Dropouts? Criminals? Those thinking of suicide? Divorced families? When I give a darn, I’ll find ways to bear their burdens with them, and, thus, fulfill the law of Christ.

Hopefully, it won’t just be a costume.

Stay blessed…john

Playing church

Playing Church

When you play church
you stop playing

Then what happens
to the holy church
you were playing

Stay blessed…john

He better be joking

One of my comments in this weekend’s message, Interesting Places to Worship, was that we, as God’s people, should stop going to church.

We considered the story from Daniel 3 of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.  You may remember that the three young men were threatened by King Nebuchadnezzar because they did not bow down and worship his over-sized golden statue.  There defense was no defense at all.  They just weren’t going to worship anyone or anything other than God.

You’ve probably seen this before: Stop going to church. Start being the church.  I agree with that, but my take was a little different. 

Essentially, going to church has become the end all of ministry.  We’re so desperate just to get people to go to church.   We’re even comfortable just going to church ourselves.

And there you have it.

The 3 young men understood what their worship was, and we need to as well.  So, instead of going to church, let’s learn how to stand in awe of God.  Stop inviting people to go to church with you.  Invite them to experience the grace and love of God.

I didn’t mean to preach to you again, but I wanted to make sure you understood what I meant when I said we should stop going to church.

There was one young soul that may have needed a bit more time to think about what I meant.  When I first said we should stop going to church, a young girl in our congregation raised her head in disbelief.  She scowled and declared, “He better be joking.  We’re supposed to go to church.”


Thankfully, we’ll have more time to continue to train her in the way she should go.

Oh, and if a visual reminder of the story of Daniel 3 is helpful, how about this one:
++If you’re reading by email or news reader, click here to watch.++

Stay blessed…john

Broken Hearts

Broken Hearts

Broken hearts need time
they need their space
to be broken.

Broken hearts don’t need
you to fix them
or to help them.

Most times we just need
the space we need
to be broken.

And trust healing comes
when we cannot
trust it will come.

when we are ready
we will join you
and trust with you.


Stay blessed…john

Sharing Bible verses

You’ve seen our bumper stickers and bookmarks.  Oh, don’t forget our doormats and Facebook posts.

So, obviously, you know that us Christians like to share Bible verses.  It’s an extremely common thing.  We’re used to it, and we know you expect it.  That’s why we do it even if you don’t ask us to.  We know your heart.

Another common place I’ve seen Bible verses referenced is in cards.  Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, get well, you’re-the-best-pastor-I’ve-ever-known, or just a simple hello card, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a passage of Scripture referenced.

I say referenced because it’s usually never written out.  I believe the assumption is that I know every Bible verse; that’s fair.

But what about someone who doesn’t?

Try this next time.  Go ahead and reference the verse, but make sure to tell your recipient why you included it.  Is it a favorite passage of yours?  Does it have a special meaning to you?  Is it related to a life experience you have endured?

Let people know.  You might find they appreciate the verse more, and it may become an important passage for them, too.

Stay blessed…john