Monday, July 30, 2007

When Ministry Becomes a Job- Pt. 1

There is nothing more exhilarating than when one receives a call to ministry from God! It may be to pastor, to serve on a church staff, or be a part of the church leadership team. Ahhh- the Ministry, what bliss and excitement to be used in the Kingdom of God serving His precious people!

Jesus called us to follow His example in ministry: "I didn't come to be served but to serve." It seems that the apostle Paul kept that perspective in what he did and suffered for the cause of the Kingdom of God.

But, there is the possibility that the precious ministry may soon become nothing more than a job. It is approached as a job, worked as a job, hours kept like a job, expectations are those of having a job, etc.

So when do we crossover from ministry to a job?

You know ministry has become a job when...

1. You no longer enjoy serving God's people.

2. People get under your skin and are now a bother to you.

3. There is no flexibility built into your daily schedule for the needs of people. They are viewed as interruptions.

4. You keep 8-5 office hours and everything must happen within that time frame.

5. You become a chronic complainer about others.

6. You expect your boss (Senior Pastor) to give you time off, pay increases, excessive absences.

7. You stay upset at the very people that pay your salary.

8. You no longer have the joy of ministry.

9. You think your job would be easier if it weren't for other people.

10. You are looking to move on to another 'ministry.'

I know there are probably others but I was trying to stay to the popular 'Top 10' format. You may add others in the comments.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Jubilee 2007

Debi and I are in Durant, OK, attending Victory Life Church's Jubilee 2007. It is held yearly and brings in top ministers from around the country. (click here to see ad)

We are enjoying the anointed preaching, teaching and worship. It charges one's soul, floats your boat, shiver your timbers, chills and thrills...

Did I say we were having a great time!

Be back to Arlington on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Before these...
There were these!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dry Spell Affects the Church

Virginia is so dry that:

The Baptists have started sprinkling.

The Methodists are using a wet wash cloth.

The Presbyterians are giving rain checks and,

The Catholics are trying to turn wine back into water.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Absurdity #28- CDC Wates Your Money!

absurd-ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous

“CDC Off Center,” a 115-page oversight report authored by the Minority Office of the Federal Financial Management Subcommittee, under the direction of ranking member Senator Tom Coburn, examines how CDC has tilted off center and makes recommendations about how it might get back on track.

The American people expect CDC to spend its $10 billion budget this year treating and preventing diseases and dealing with public safety threats, including the threat of bioterrorism. While CDC will meet some of those expectations, if history is any guide, it will also waste millions of dollars.

Read more here.

I wondered what all they did- this is scary!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Job Description for Church Staff

Senior Pastor
* Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound
* More powerful than a locomotive
* Faster than a speeding bullet
* Walks on water
* Gives policies to God

Associate Pastor
* Able to leap short buildings in a single bound
* Almost as powerful as a locomotive
* Just as fast as a speeding bullet
* Walks on the water (if the sea is calm)
* Talks with God

Minister of Children
* Leaps short buildings with a running start
* Prefers toy trains to locomotives
* Faster than a speeding B-B
* Walks on water (if he knows where the rocks are)
* Talks with God if special request is approved

Minister of Music
* Can climb over a small building
* Falls off of locomotives
* Can fire a speeding bullet
* Swims well
* Is occasionally addressed by God

Youth Minister
* Runs into small buildings
* Recognizes a locomotive two out of three times
* Owns a squirt gun
* Knows how to use the water fountain
* Mumbles to himself

Church Secretary
* Picks up buildings and walks under them
* Knocks locomotives off of the tracks
* Catches speeding bullets in her teeth
* Freezes water with a single glance
* When God speaks, says, "May I ask who’s calling?"

- Author Unknown

Sunday, July 15, 2007

'Shrimp and Grits' at Crook's Corner!

Debi and I are in Chapel Hill, NC, visiting my sister, Patrice, and her wonderful family.

Crook's Corner---

"A legend." — Bon Appetit (Best Restaurants of the South)

"The best place to eat in Chapel Hill, in North Carolina and possibly on Earth."— Delta Sky Magazine

Crook's has the reputation for being "the birthplace of Shrimp and Grits."

I had my first award winning shrimp and grits at the famous Crook's Corner a few years back. We had them again last night and they remain a delicious meal. I have tried to make their recipe a few times at home with various results. So it is aways great to eat the real stuff. They have wonderful food and desserts. Check out their website here and spend some time browsing. Colorful history.

We are leaving Monday and heading back to Texas. It is a 19 hour drive! Appreciate your prayers.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Paul Potts singing Opera- Who?????

Bobby Lepinay had this on his blog recently. It inspires, makes you realize that you can go for your dream, and accomplish it! By the time this was over, I was crying...if you're not, check your pulse and then call 911.

He had a dream to sing opera- moral of story- don't let anyone stand in the way of your dreams.

I am crying!!!!!!!!

BTW, he went on to win the contest! Read more about him here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Get Stok (stoked)

Wow, for all you coffee lovers out there, found new item on my trip to NC. Stopped at a Mapco Express convenience store to get some coffee and found this sitting next to the creamers. It is Stok- a 40 mg espresso coffee shot (sweetened or unsweetened) to be added to your favorite beverage for an additional punch. (It's half of the caffeine you get in a can of Red Bull.)

Did I say it was free!

Warning label reads: Not for those under 18, pregnant, or caffeine sensitive. Limit 2 per day!

It is available only in convenience stores right now. Check 7-11 for it also. You will be able to buy it publicly in September 2007.

However, for you Ebayers, you can buy it online right now. Go to Ebay and type in Stok. I just bought a box of 100. Going to give it to the staff at the church- more productivity, right!

Here is the website for Stok.

Also, check out new link in side bar under Coffee- Death By Caffeine. They say it would take around 300 Stok coffee shots to kill a 175 lb. person. Putting that in to realistic terms, that would mean drinking a gallon of Stok. Probably not a good thing!

Here is a comment by one satisfied user: Dude I'm drinkin that stuff right now. You gotta get the Energy Coffee you can get there too and then add the shots. Dude, you start shakin and sweatin and you can't write. It's wonderful. And they're free! I love it. Jäger

Remember, keep the buzzzzz going!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Three Red Marbles

During the waning years of the depression in a small south eastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Brother Miller's roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.

One particular day Brother Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Brother Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"Hello, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Just admiring them peas, sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

"Fine. Getting' stronger all of the time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"

"No, Sir. Just admiring them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?"

"No, Sir. Got nothing' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I've got is my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it."

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

"Not exactly .....but, almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."

"Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said: "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Utah but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their bartering. Several years went by each more rapid than the previous one.

Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there I learned that Brother Miller had died.

They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.

Upon our arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed, by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. "Those three young men, that just left, were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size...they came to pay their debt. We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny, red marbles.

Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

On My Way---

After preaching this morning, Debi and I are on our way to North Carolina for the Liberty Fellowship Annual Family Conference.

It is a long 15 hour trip by car so we are driving to Jackson, TN, spending the night and arriving tomorrow at Lake Junaluska.

I am looking forward to time away, some rest and relaxation, and Debi likes having me 'captive and alone' in the car!

If I can, I will blog some things while away.

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Absurdity #27- Job More Dangerous than Pastoring?

absurd-ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous

I thought that pastoring was rough. Sheep do bite! But their bite is not often fatal like the bite of this persons constituents!

Some might say Doctor Brady Barr is a little eccentric, what with his dressing up as a crocodile to crawl along on his belly and pat the real beasts. But Dr Barr would say his bravery in getting up close and personal with the killer reptiles is all in the name of science. And yes, he did make a snappy dresser.

The zoologist risks life and limb to study up close a colony of Nile crocodiles in Tanzania. And it's no mean feat - the animals can grow up to 20ft long. The expert says he's very safe. His costume consists of a glass fibre head attached to a metal Kevlar reinforced shell, which is smeared with hippo dung to hide his scent.

Dr Barr claims to be unique in having studied all 23 species of crocodiles, alligators and caymans in the wild.

Adds new meaning to a sheep in wolf's clothing!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Who Do You Fear?

Chelsea Clinton was talking to a combat decorated soldier and she asked him what three things he feared most.

He answered:

"Osama, Obama, and Yo Mama."

Absurdity #26- You're a Muslim and a Christian???

absurd-ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous

Ann Holmes Redding has been an Episcopal priest for 20 years. She claims she became a Muslim last year, but still considers herself a Christian. According to a Seattle Times article, Redding says she has never believed in original sin, and has struggled with the nature of Jesus' divinity for years. Still, she says she is both Muslim and Christian -- "just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman. I'm 100 percent both. At the most basic level, I understand the two religions to be compatible. That's all I need." Also, Redding's bishop says he accepts her as both an Episcopal priest and a Muslim.

Redding will start teaching New Testament classes at Seattle University this fall. The Times article says she believes the Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- "is an idea about God" and cannot be taken literally. In addition, she does not believe Jesus and God are the same, but rather that "God is more than Jesus," says the report.

Peter Frank is with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, a leading conservative diocese. He says Redding's announcement has created a lot of confusion about biblical Christianity.

Redding's confusing announcement, says Frank, should be addressed by conservative Anglicans. "We Episcopalians owe the rest of American Christianity an apology," he says. "You know, we make your job harder by confusing what Christianity actually teaches or about Jesus Himself.

Well, duh, somebody better help this confused Muslim/Christian!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ahhhh... time to try to relax!

I really am going to try to let go... I mean it! Summer is here, some have already taken their vacations, some are enjoying their vacation even now... and I am about to experience some much needed r&r.

July 3rd-- going to Granbury to our favorite Bed and Breakfast for our 36th Wedding Anniversary! Thank you dear for being and remaining the love of my life! I love you, Debi!

July 8th- July 16th-- Lake Junaluska, NC, for Liberty Fellowship Summer Conference.

July 25th- July 28th-- Durant, OK, Jubilee at Duane Sheriff's Victory Life Family Worship Center

Aug 6th- Aug13th-- Perdido Key, FL, family vacation. Sun, surf, 'Grits à Ya Ya' at The Fish House!

I am going to let go, I am going to let.., I am going..., I am..., I...! Really I am---