Month: November 2014

Top Ten Dislikes by Church Visitors

I’m curious, when you visit a church what turns you off?  Here is a top ten list off a twitter survey:

http://thomrainer.com/2014/11/01/top-ten-ways-churches-drive-away-first-time-guests/

 

church

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Manure Spreaders

Mennonites

A friend told me a great story today.  Let me paraphrase:

I was born into an Amish family.  My dad needed a new manure spreader for the farm but he couldn’t find any with steel wheels.  He searched and searched but he couldn’t find one.  He finally bought one with rubber wheels and used it for a couple years with no issues.  One day, a man came and told him where he could get one with steel wheels.  He was happy with the one he had and chose not to change.

The Bishop soon came by for a visit and told dad that he had to change to steel wheels or leave the church.  Dad replied “My relationship with God isn’t based on manure spreaders.”  That’s when we left the Amish Church and became Mennonites!

With all the changes affecting the church today, what is your relationship built on?

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Image of God

I met a man at a restaurant today that I never met before – I didn’t know what he looked like and he didn’t know me either.  He did know my dad well and when  I walked in the door he immediately said, “you must be Brian, there is no hiding that you are Clyde’s son”.   I’ve never seen the likeness.  I’m taller, heavier and I have a much different nose.   But I’ve heard about the likeness all my life.  I’ve actually had total strangers come up to me that recognized my from dad.

Although I have difficulty seeing the likeness now, when I look at our childhood pictures we were twins!  In one photo he is wearing nickers which I of course never wore.  Otherwise you can’t tell us apart!

What a great asset – to have someone’s “likeness”.  Although my dad is gone from this earth, I guess I am a legacy to him.

I wonder if I’m a “likeness” to my Heavenly Father.  Do people see me and see the Father or do they see the devil?  What is my image?  What is my spiritual look?  Is the likeness that I had as a young person faded or has it grown?

2 Corinthians 3:17-18New International Version (NIV)

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

hannahpraise

Planks and Specs

We all have planks and specs.  Who do we judge?  What do we judge?  Who do we love?  Who are worthy of love?  This is just one different look at it:

http://culture.viralnova.com/haley-morris-calfiero/

fat

 

I know this scripture is referring to spiritual issues but many spiritual issues begin in the physical realm.

Matthew 7:“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

I lost, or did I win?

Some Random Thoughts on success and failure following the elections and World Series.

Success and failure are two items that are very, very hard to judge and evaluate.  No one wants to lose.  No one wants to get second place.  Who remembers who was the loser in last year’s World Series or the Superbowl?  Those players may walk off the field feeling like failures but they did get to 2nd place.  Would they have been better off not making it into the playoffs at all?

Let’s take a rising baseball star who is “famous” for his high school ball playing.  He leaves high school a hero and huge success.  He gets into minor league play and is “average”.  He makes it to a major team but is benched and fades out after two years.  Still loving to play baseball, he signs up to play minor league ball in small towns for several years before ending up a coach for a high school team.  Here is the question: When was he most successful?  A rising star in high school?  An average minor player?  A lack luster major?  An average left over player?  Or a coach?  When was he a failure?  Was he ever a failure?

Although his professional career was not “shining”, he did make it to the professional arena.  This is far beyond the hopes of most ball players.  By most standards, this player was very successful and he should be elated.  In reality, he may sit in his room and feel like a total failure because he didn’t “succeed as a professional”.   Would he have been happier to walk away as the high school success?

Many incumbent politicians got voted out of office yesterday.  Are they failures?  Is holding a governor’s post for four years a failure because of not getting re-elected?  Is it an oxymoron to use the term “failed presidency”?  If you make it to the level of president, can you be considered a failure?

We should all strive to reach the best and highest level that we can.  At some point, we will all reach our limit of “success”.  We all hit a point of limit – it may be because of talent, skill, age, time, or just will power.  Success isn’t gauged by the point of limit but the attitude and effort getting there.

Although the “failed” baseball player didn’t succeed in his eyes, in my view he outdoes the player who quits before making the big league.  The challenge to all of us may be finding the “success” at whatever level we are at.  That ball player may end up being the best coach the school ever had.  That failed governor may become the best husband, father, grandfather and citizen in the state.

That is success in my book.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

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Euthanasia, part 2 – my thoughts

Random Thoughts

When I heard the term euthanasia as a child, I thought it was “youth in Asia”.  I couldn’t understand why people were against youth in Asia.  I now know what the word is and I still don’t know why so many are so against it.

I recognize the dangers.

I value life.

I honor God’s value of life.

I think there needs to be many safeguards and checks to monitor this and I think it should only be available in the most extreme cases.

But!  I value quality of life.  I see the sufferings of people trapped in a physical body that won’t stop – often because our own medical system has prolonged it unnaturally.  I respect God’s value but also realize that He doesn’t always take people home based on our time table especially when medicine has prolonged it.

I witnessed my mom suffer for years with Parkinson’s Disease…

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