How to be happier

We’ve all been told, and you may even believe that it is better to give than it is to receive. That’s what we know. That’s what we say.

Quite often, however, what we know and say does not match what we do. Consequently, we have a church full of people who don’t know the true joy of giving the way God shows us is better. Oh sure, we may give our donation (I dislike that word). We may even give in ways that don’t involve money. The impact, though, is not in how much or how often we give. It’s the attitude we have when we give that is important.

For many people, this attitude we have about giving reminds me of this guy:

That’s why the Apostle Paul reminded us that God loves a cheerful, or a hilarious giver.

At least that’s what I said in this week’s sermon.

I don’t know that I emphasized the more joyous point, that when we give with a cheerful heart, God rejoices and is blessed. God isn’t interested in us learning how to give money (or any other kind of gift) to him. I think God is much more interested in us learning to trust in God and to learn how to give money (or any other kind of gift) away to others who may need it.

When our attitudes reflect the gift of God’s grace in our own lives, it doesn’t matter how much we have to give. We give freely. Too often, I hear people’s idea that once they begin making a certain amount of money they will give regularly or more faithfully. I want to recall some of Jesus’ words about being faithful with little. That is an almost understandable approach to giving. What tends to happen, though, is that the more we slowly begin to make, the more we begin to spend or keep for ourselves. Mo money. Mo problems. Mo bills.

I consider the tithe to be a biblical standard, that we begin our giving at 10% of our income. That comes out in my sermons and studies. I can’t see that I would ever encourage someone to not do that. Still, I don’t make it a mandate. Paul said we should give as we have decided to do. All I would like to do is remind you of the blessing we are missing and are taking from others and God when we don’t give with a hilarious heart.

Here’s my sermon from this Sunday I hope it’s a blessing.

Stay blessed…john

P.S. If you find yourself upset or disturbed by me speaking about money, that may be what the FBI calls a clue. 😉

Jesus is impressed

Everyone’s greatest fear is having to read scripture in church on a day with a passage that has a difficult name. I’m always asked, “Does that verse have any hard words?”

I encourage readers to practice sounding out the names. But I know nerves can get the best of anyone. So, even if you’ve rehearsed 1,000 times, when you get in front of the church, that can go out the window. My advice? Don’t make a big deal. If you mispronounce a name, who is going to know? Actually, who is going to care?

Any tips on getting through hard-to-pronounce names/word in the Bible?

Stay blessed…john

Too much awesome for one day

How great was it to have these two conversations in one day!


Just before 6am this morning, I had this conversation:

Nathan: Dad, I slept great!

Me: That’s good. We need rest.

Nathan.  Yea, P.E. is going to be awesome. When I sleep good, I’m awesome at P.E.


After school, we took a 6-year-old friend home and I had this conversation:

Me: (As I make a quick turn) Hold on to your shorts!

Friend: Why?

Me: It’s just an expression.

Friend: Oh.

Two minutes later

Friend: Can I let go of my shorts now?


By the way, after school Nathan told me he had an awesome football game during P.E.


Stay blessed…john