Peace to a chaotic world

I guess you could call me a disciple of RVL.

I’ve made use all of his That the World May Know studies either in church or for personal study. Multiple times, too.

His approach to reading scripture, which I know is not unique to him, changed completely both the way I read the Bible and the love I have for God’s word.

This weekend, Gloria and are attending a seminar he is hosting. This will be the second time I’ve seen him teach in person. I made every effort to see him in NY a few months back. This is a shorter trip!

Here’s a recent interview with him. See if a fire doesn’t ignite within you.

#SpeakFreelyNotFluently

One of the most frustrating things about having a child with a stutter is the reaction from adults. Here’s something my wife and I have heard repeated so often: But she’s so smart.

Friends, having a stutter impacts your speech. It has no bearing on your intelligence or life potential.

One of my children has a stutter. She has taught me a lot about persistence and courage. Don’t be surprised that she is an A-honor roll student or was a part of the Texas All-State choir (with the possibility of doing it again).

Don’t be surprised that people who stutter are great athletes or fabulous chefs.

And don’t finish their sentences!

#SpeakFreelyNotFluently

Living up to expectations

When it comes to being a pastor of a church, I’m used to being the odd man out. That is, for whatever reasons, I tend to be the one that people remember because he was that different.

You might think that works to my advantage. Not usually.

As a result, I’ve learned if you don’t fit people’s expectations, they will not listen to you.

That’s okay. They were only going to listen to their expectations anyway.

Stay blessed…john

To Children’s Church or not to Children’s Church

I wholeheartedly disagree with the concept of completely removing children from “regular” worship. It’s a stupid, modern idea that perpetuates what’s wrong with our sense of worship.

What’s wrong with our sense of worship?

By and large, we speak of worship in terms of what it means to us. Going to church makes me feel good. It reenergizes me, gets me ready for the week.

That’s why we argue about worship styles and formats.

We’ve made worship about us. Worship is all about God.

Keeping fidgety children out of worship helps me focus more. Friend, if you can’t focus on God when you’re in a sanctuary, it’s not that child’s fault. How are you going to focus on God outside of the sanctuary?

Of course, we won’t say it’s because they’re disruptive. It’s to help them learn about Jesus. If that we’re true, you’d have brought them to Sunday School.

Now, again, having a complete worship “experience” just for children bothers me. What I wrestle with is whether there are moments or times when it’s good to allow children a time for themselves. My inclination is no. But I’ve always been a little flexible.

What’s your take on Children’s Church?

Stay blessed…john

Just asking

It’s been annoyingly repeated too much: there is no such thing as a dumb question. I stopped believing that lie years ago!

Within everything we do, there is an important task of asking questions. There is also an art of learning to ask the right questions, or the right kinds of questions.

Forbes, in a recent article, offered an example of a great question.

Think about looking for your next perfect job. That’s the context of the article. The first question people often have when discerning a career move or a new job is, “Is this the right job for me?”

Basic, right? That question would lead to other questions, hopefully.

Here’s Forbes’ better question: Do I want to be exactly like the people who work here?

If I were to ask myself that question, imagine what I would have to pay attention to. Think about what I would be looking at in a potential place of employment.

I wonder if, on some level, people ask that kind of question of church. If a friend invites them to a church, they have to make a decision that mirrors the idea of that question. In other words, is their friend the kind of person they want to go to church with?

What are the attitudes people notice of your church? What are the impressions your church makes to someone new? Would someone new want to be like anyone you picked out of your congregation?

Stay blessed…john