Those people

By the time you hear a sermon preached, there are words, illustrations and maybe even a rant or two that’s been left out.

This weekend, I preached from 1 Corinthians 12. We heard that one of the gifts God has given us, the church, is the gift of unity. The unity of God’s Church is unique. No other group of humans can experience this unity in the same way because God has brought us together.

I left out a quote I had been considering. In the end, it didn’t fit, exactly, what we were hearing. I’ll probably use it some time in the future.

In the mean time, it’s a great enough thought that you should hear it now.

I read The Turquoise Table this week. The book is about creating community. In our ever-connected but truly disconnected world, that can be hard to do. We have a hard time trusting others. Seeing others differently.

Writing about our need to deconstruct the walls we put up between each other, the author quoted another author, saying:

We are those people. The truth is, we are the others. Most of us are one paycheck, one divorce, one drug addicted kid, one mental health illness, one sexual assault, one drinking binge, one night of unprotected sex, or one affair away from being those people. The ones we don’t trust. The ones we pity. The ones we don’t let our kids play with. The ones bad things happen to. The ones we don’t want living next door.
(Emphasis mine)
Lord, with that reminder, help us, as much as it is possible on our part, to live at peace with everyone.
Stay blessed…john

3 steps to reading

This is a great idea!

If you’re wondering how to get kids to read, it’s actually pretty simple. Have them watch adults who do. I don’t have to prove that. It’s been demonstrated forever.

But here’s the more difficult question: How do you get adults to read?

Parents expect their children to learn how to read the Bible, for example, but aren’t in the habit of reading it themselves. What I’ve learned is that the adults don’t read the Bible not because they don’t believe it’s important. They just don’t read anything.

That’s a problem.

Reading impacts so much of our life.

I didn’t always read. It’s only been in the last 15 years that I’ve actually been a reader. It was difficult for me for a long while. But I stuck with it. It’s been several years that I read at least 24 books a year. My goal is to double that, at some point.

So, here’s my advice if you don’t consider yourself a reader. This is going to be a novel approach–you might want to take notes. There are 3 things to remember:

  1. Just do it. You’ll find it’s not that big a deal once you start.
  2. Start small. Carve out 10 minutes each day to read. (That’s the same advice I give for starting to pray and read the Bible.)
  3. Start smart. If you’re not used to reading, don’t start with a book about brain surgery, unless that interests you. Find something that you’re easily engaged with. Remember, the goal is to get used to reading.

And no, none of that is novel at all. It isn’t Rocket Science. They’re just words that need to be read.

Speaking of novels…

Stay blessed…john



Now you can understand a procrastinator

I know people like you!

You mock people like me.

You get-things-done-in-a-timely-manner people always make fun of us procrastinators.  Yes, I am a procrastinator.  In fact, I’m a Pro procrastinator.

One time in seminary, I decided to do an assignment early.  It was a bit difficult to muster the right attitude to get it done.  But I finished the paper about 10 days before it was due.  I laughed about it and considered it a blessing from Baby Jesus.

Baby Jesus forgot to remind me to turn the paper in on time.

I lost a whole letter grade because it was late.

Since then I’ve learned that I’m a procrastinator and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s how I work best. And my work gets done.  And it gets done well.

Here’s a great explanation of how a procrastinator’s brain (kind of) works.

Stay blessed…john

Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me

I love CityAlight!  I’ve listened to their albums and appreciate their ability (willingness) to create songs that are meant for congregations to sing together.  The music is good and the writing is wonderful.

Here’s their latest single: Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me

For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
-Galatians 2:19-20

You’ll be singing this today!

Stay blessed…john