Monday, September 29, 2008

New Church Playground - not for old people!

Last Sunday, I jokingly mentioned the new church playground. It was still under construction, but I told the kids, "You can't play on the new playground yet...Pastor Rob and I get to play on it first." Well...I guess the kids can play on it now! Check this out:

Would you like to see a picture of my bruised forearm after I pulled it on the monkey bars? Ouch! Painful and ugly!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Churches Closing--

It was with sadness that I read the following email:

"My church is coming to a close after many faithful years. It is not a bad ending, just time for our tiny church to go in a different direction. SO, they have a ton of stuff that needs to be sold to support our missionaries, or donated to a non-profit org. It is make a reasonable offer, if you are an individual who would like to purchase. Due to established law, items can only be given to a non-profit org, individuals must purchase equipment. There is a lot of sound equipment. Please email me if you have any interest or questions about any of these items. I am sorry this post is so long."

I remember my time in Scotland and was overwhelmed by the number of church buildings being used as furniture stores and disco halls. It was sad to note that at one time they were vibrant churches proclaiming the gospel. But became irrelevant and eventually when the last aging member died out the church closed.

Why do you think churches close? Any comments?

Here is one point of importance:
"People do not remain loyal to institutions when they no longer believe in their importance. The importance of the church is essentially tied to the reality of the Gospel. When people no longer believe that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation, the church becomes a time-consuming irrelevance. " Dr. Albert Mohler

Lord, help us to continually maintain the need of a Savior and not buy in to the lie of many pathways to God. If you believe that as a pastor, then you really have no reason to exist and you probably won't exist much longer as a church!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rejected Titles of David's Mighty Men-


7. Dave and his Posse (too modern)

6. The Warm Fuzzies (too cute)

5. The Whole Hee Haw Gang (too overused)

4. The Mod Squad (it had potential)

3. A Bunch of Really Great Guys Who Killed a Lot of People (pretty accurate but a little long)

2. The Imperials (everyone else has been a part of that music group, why not them?)

1. Dream Team (good, but Mighty Men was just a little better)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Supersized Churches Revisted!

A fellow blogger, Trey Morgan, had a great blog about Super Sized Church - read it here.

I commented to him from a book by Bill Johnson. Bill says the following:

"Most of the goals of the modern church can be accomplished without God. All we need is people, money, and a common objective. Determination can achieve great things. But success is not necessarily a sign that the goal was from God. Little exists in church life to ensure that we are being directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit."

Pastors, let's get back to making Jesus the main thing and 'building' true spirituality in God's people.

Saints need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Nothing dare not nor should not replace that!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Can a Church do to Keep the Pastor from Resigning?

Pastors today are faced with more work, more problems, and more stress than any other time in the history of the church. This is taking a frightening toll on the ministry, shown by the (North American) statistics below:
--Fifteen hundred pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout or contention in their churches.
--Eighty percent of pastors and eighty-four percent of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
--Fifty percent of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
--Eighty-five percent of pastors said their greatest problem is they are sick and tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, worship leaders, worship teams, board members, and associate pastors. Ninety percent said the hardest thing about ministry is dealing with uncooperative people.

So we can see that there are unique stresses that pastors have to deal with not to mention the attacks of the Devil. What can a church do to keep the pastor from resigning?

Here is my top 10 list:
10. Help him grow the church by inviting your friends to church. The growth of the church is your responsibility too.
9. Don’t be a party to gossip and strife in the church. It destroys him and the church.
8. Understand your pastor has feelings too, so don’t be critical.
7. Give him the benefit of doubt when he makes mistakes or misspeaks. You expect it when you do big pieces of stupid!
6. Forgive him quickly when he needs it. Forgive period!
5. Don’t allow yourself to become offended at him. Offence causes a breach in trust and destroys relationships.
4. Give your tithes of 10% or more faithfully every week. Pray for the finances of the church.
3. Don’t keep him poor, ‘to keep him humble.’
2. Edify and encourage him regularly. Love builds up! Encourage him to get rest!
1. Pray for him everyday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kerr-isms #3 - quotes by yours truly!

Successful people -
doesn't necessarily mean they are more gifted, they're just more passionate.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tacky and Insensitive -

Obama and his campaign once again demonstrate their lack of understanding and sensitivity:

From the AP story about the computer illiterate ad:
"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."
Jonah Goldbergs comments: "Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "extraordinary." The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):"
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.
Obama and clan just keep showing their true colors!

Friday, September 12, 2008

THE FUNERAL============

One day all the employees reached the office and they saw a big sign on the door on which was written:

Yesterday, the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym.

In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they started getting curious to know who was that man who hindered the growth of his colleagues and the company itself.

The excitement in the gym was such that security agents were ordered to control the crowd within the room. The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up.

Everyone thought: 'Who is this guy who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he died!

One by one the thrilled employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it, they suddenly became speechless.

They stood nearby the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. There was a mirror inside the coffin; everyone who looked inside it could see himself. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said:

There is only one person who is capable of setting limits to your growth: IT IS YOU!!!!!

Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your husband or wife change, when your company change, when your church changes, when your location change, when your money change, when your status changes...

Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs.

Examine yourself, watch yourself. Don't be afraid of difficulties, impossibilities and losses. Be a winner, build yourself and your reality. It's the way you face Life that makes the difference.

~Author Unknown~

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A New Low!!!!

Video entitled 'Lipstick' was removed from YouTube after CBS said it was copyright infringement - it showed Katie Couric talking about sexism in recent politics.

But you can see it here - at McCain's website!

So here is another video talking about it-


Lessons for Pastors from Football!

It’s Football Season! We were overwhelmed with all the pro and college games this past weekend. There were great triumphs and great defeats! In the midst of it all there were injuries and some that were season ending.

For instance, Tom Brady is out for the season with a torn ACL. Sportswriters, coaches, and fans are thinking about what could have been for him. Now he is facing surgery, rehab, and the bench. We hope all goes well for him and he has a speedy recovery.

Injuries do occur. It is a battle! For the Dallas Cowboys (God's Team) quarterback Tony Romo received a cut on the chin that required 13 stitches. Marion Barber has bruised ribs. It was a tough weekend for some to say the least.

I just thought about Pastors in all this. We are on the playing field in the most crucial game of all time - the battle between the Kingdom of God with our opponent being the kingdom of darkness coached by satan himself. It is intense!

We see and hear almost weekly now how satan is succeeding at taking ministers down and out of the game. Recently, in the Kingdom of God, a great healing revivalist is taken out making many even suspect the healing revival. Or, consider the man who wrote ‘Healer’ and sang it as he was ‘dying’ discovered to have faked it all even duping his family. A pastor here in the Metroplex travelled to another city to have sex with a 13 year old – or so he thought even as he was being arrested!

It becomes obvious from the above that the opposing team is out to maim, hurt, cut, bruise, and destroy you and me. And the opponent is well coached. Satan is watching film on you, has the game board mapped out, and is directing the attacks against you. Satan is always watching you just as he was Jesus – the Bible says that satan “left him until the next opportunity came…” (Luke 4:13 NLT) He will capitalize on every opportunity. We as pastors need to get this image in our minds and never take for granted our adversary. Leaders fall because they naively underestimate satan! If we don’t watch and keep to our Coach’s instruction and game plan, we too can be taken out!

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

I am praying for you today – please pray for me!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Jesus Touched with our Infirmities!

Phil Hines tells a humourous imaginary story about Jesus walking along the road one day and seeing a man crying.

When He asked what was wrong, the man replied, "I'm blind," so Jesus healed him.

Further along He met another man in tears and asked him the same question. He replied, "I'm lame," so Jesus healed him.

Then He encountered a third man weeping. In response to Jesus' question he replied, "I'm a pastor."

So Jesus sat down and wept right along with him!

Friday, September 05, 2008

When Love Says Goodbye-

“You offended me by your comment (or that action, or no action...) and even though I know you probably didn’t mean it that way – I am leaving! And, oh by the way, ‘I love you.’

Tragic words whatever the scenario. It can be a husband and wife who have spent years together experiencing a struggle and not willing to work it out. It can be parents and children who have hit an impasse and rebellion is staring them down. It can be best of friends who have shared life and secrets together suddenly going their separate ways. It can be church members who you as a Pastor have invited into your life, had them in your home, counted them as close friends, and suddenly they are walking away.

Whatever the situation, after the blow of the defection, the words ‘I love you,’ sound so empty and hollow. The mind races to try to comprehend and sort out those words. ‘Well, if you love me,’ you say to yourself, ‘then why are you leaving?’ Again you think, ‘If you love me why not try to work this out?’ ’If you love me don’t give up on me!’ ‘If you love me stay with me!' The mind races into the early morning hours trying to figure out those emotionless and empty words - I love you!

Love and the expression of it have become trite and cheap in our society. There is no substance to it anymore. It has become empty words coming from an empty heart!

The Message Bible describes true love this way:
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. 1Co 13:3-8

God, help us return to a love of the heart and not the head. Help us recapture these qualities of love and once again put these actions to that phrase ‘I love you’ so that once more it will have meaning!

True love will warm the heart not confuse it!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

...and the Media Cried Foul!

Why are liberals and the liberal media crying foul?

Because they thought they had destroyed conservatism!

...but now rising from the ashes of their attacks

...but now confusing them

...but now rising above their vicious attacks

...but now throwing it all back in their faces

...but now unborn babies have a defender

...but now special needs children and their families have an advocate

...but now, conservatism and the Red States have a face (and a pretty one at that!) and a voice

...Gov. Sarah Palin!

I just love it!!!!

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table.

But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. 'We must do something about father,' said the son. 'I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.'

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.

Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl!

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, 'What are you making?'

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, 'Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.' The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Note: This story is centuries old (Leo Tolstoy- Brothers Grimm - variety of cultures) - but has the same heartwarming effect today!