Saturday, September 15, 2007

Gentle Giants and Benevolent Bullies

I have a friend who is a big guy.  Shane.  280, 6'7".  Bigger than me.  He's a guy who's imposing at best.  He wouldn't hurt a flea unless that flea threatened to hurt someone else. He's a gentle giant.  But, don't tick him off and don't threaten his friends.  He can hurt you.  It's better to be his friend or keep your distance if you are him enemy.

I remember in grade school there were bullies, brutal thugs.  I won't call the names.  But they were tough guys who frequently enjoyed beating the toast out of me and others. 

I wish my friend Shane had been around then.  His very presence could have restrained the brutal bullies.  Oh, he might have been looked upon as a bully himself if he had needed to kick the toast out of them. Many wouldn't have understood his motivation and action would have been protection and the better good even if some people had to be hurt.

That's the way Gentle Giants and Benevolent Bullies are.  They only strike back when the brutal bullies get out of hand.  Others observing may not understand what or why.  They might even be critical.

In the end a gentle giant is essential.  The mere fear that if you step over the line he might crush you keeps potential bullies at bay and far away.   Someday those bullies grow up and are defanged by adulthood.  That's what happened to the bullies I grew up with.  They became good productive members of society.  It took a gentle giant that maybe looked like a bully to others to keep them at bay. There was such a man in Ellendale Grade School who was a defender of the weak.  I'm thankful he sometimes bullied the bullies.

And that my friends, Ron and all, is what our role is in the world, in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It looks like something it's not unless you are on the field of play.  I am thankful we have the giant able and willing but restrained enough to do good.  How would anyone have it different.  Allow the bullies of the world to intimidate and beat the toast out of everyone else. 

I can only hope not.  At least not as long as GWB is in power.  Thank God!




Ramadan Pikers

Today is the beginning of Ramadan. I don't even have my tree up yet. Ever wonder why Ramadan is in the fall? Days are shorter. So what you say...............?

If the Muslims weren't such pikers they would schedule Ramadan (where they fast during daylight) during June. I might recommend a start date of June 21 when the day is 15 hours 13 minutes long.

Not Sept 15th when the day is 12 hours 30 minutes long.

I mean, we Christians schedule Christmas on the shortest day of the year and I know full well you can't open presents till daylight. So the longest night means the longest wait. We're tough.

Come on nation of Islam, show some Kuhones. Move Ramadan to June, then you can fast for real; Not an early hearty breakfast and a late big lunch.

Oh, now don't get cranky. You need a little fun poked at you. Don't get all uppity on me.

I'm making the kind of Joke of your religion like people do of Christianity all the time.

Anyone laughing yet??

Didn't think so.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Why I don't understand those who deny the Gift of Tounges

Whenever I run into a Glossolalia denier I shake my head in disbelief.

Here's the story of a man who after an accident (he couldn't speak English before) was able to converse in perfect English. Happens all the time. Read the comments under the news story. I know of people who couldn't speak any Chinese spoke a dialect of rural China who speaking in tongues and witnessed to a Chinese woman in the room. I know of another woman who couldn't speak nor had never heard Ukrainian spoke it perfectly in a message in tongues and a Ukrainian in the room heard and believed.

I have heard people speak in tongues and understood every word they were saying although the language was was unknown. I think there are some things only the gift of tongues can describe. Without it things will be less than the description could carry.

My Lutheran Pastor and friend Barry Kolb tells of a Russian from Siberia who attended a conference in Russia which was being conducted in English by some Americans. While praying and traveling on the train he became instantly fluid in English both to hear and speak. This lasted thru the whole conference and when it was done the gift departed him.

So, why in the world would ANYONE deny the power of the Holy Spirit to enable one to speak in an unknown tongue or even in a known language. More important why wouldn't anyone want and even pursue it as Paul the Apostle advises.

I don't know. Do you? Who can deny these things? Only one who has chosen out of disobedience to the leading of God to deny the reality of his gifts for all believers.

Blame the Victim

Happens all the time in a rape case. Or if a person leaves the door open on the house. If they are ravished or robbed the victim is blamed.

Now it's been 6 years since 9-11. The idiots in world press blame Bush. Blame the USA. Blame YOU.

It's all our fault. There is no war. There is no Al-Quieda. There is no evil. All is peachy keen except for the evil USA and it's evil Leader GWB.

Of course it doesn't take a Brit to say this, or a Frenchman or even OBL. It only takes our treasonous left wing who hate America.

So, blame the victim. When and IF the liberals take over the White House and we are victimized again they'll blame Bush still. The blame game never quits.

Thank God he is still President. Wish it were ever so.

But it's not. Sadly. Stay the course Mr Bush. Ignore all rants and raves from both sides of the political aisle. You do what you know to do is right. A few of us out here get it.

When the evil strikes again the rest will get it. Otherwise they remain blind.

Horror Movies and Halloween

In a conversation with a friend yesterday we were talking about the damage that is done to our spirit, souls and psyche from the observation of Halloween and the viewing of horror movies.

I am not a crackpot that doesn't believe that we should celebrate Christmas because it's not a Christian holiday. That's another issue all together.

I do believe that most horror movies and much of the current celebration of Halloween is causing damage to people that will take a long time to heal. I think for those who are pursue following Jesus this is a particularly devastating practice.

I no longer watch any horror movies. I like science fiction which can get edgy. I watch movies like the 300 which I liked very much. That's not horror. It's the saw movies involving casual torture and death inflicted by evil people that is part of the new genre.

I no longer celebrate Halloween. Yes I will buy a pumpkin (to eat). I am not a grinch. If kiddies come to the door we give away candy. I just don't believe in severed heads, caskets, skeletons and all other forms of represented death and demonism.

Reasons I believe people should reconsider watching horror movies
and reconsider the celebration of Halloween:

* Desensitizes us to real horror. If we watch people killed, real horror of terrorism, death on the streets or child abuse affects us less.
* Creates images that will come back to haunt us. I think parents who compel or allow little kids to watch horror flicks are abusing their little spirits. Where to nightmares come from. We are the sum total of every experience we have ever had, every movie we have watched, every book we have read. Why inject death and pain into that composite of your life?
* Opens our hearts and spirits to accept irrational fear. We all know these movies and Halloween are not real. Or do we. How much of the fear society is driven by opening our spirits up to real fear. Where did innocence go. Lambs who did not fear the lions lay down with them. People who watch a lot of horror flicks seem to be more laden with fear than most.
* Becomes a barrier to accepting the love of God. Hinders us from loving God the way we should. Creates an obstacle for hearing from God. Anything that raises itself up against the knowledge of God scripturally is a stronghold. The question I have is does the Horror and Halloween practice create any strongholds? If not, then what does pornography do in damage? Is there any difference?
* Other voices are opened to us by the images. If a person wants to hear the voice of goodness and yet continues to infect themselves by Halloween and Horror movies will it quiet or even silence the voice of God? Or worse, will other voices be allowed in to speak and cause the Christian to drift off. I believe that these practices open a way for demonic entrance and influence in our lives. If it's true of other forms why not this?
* It's a horrible waste of time and money. I won't give you the old hackneyed idea that you would be better spent in time praying or studying the Bible but I believe that quiet time would be better spent pondering HIM than Horror and Halloween.
* It's all make believe but your spirit doesn't know it's make believe. This truth is one that we all know but don't understand. If we keep telling ourselves we are a loser, we have nothing good to offer, we are no good our spirit soon believes it. You know it's true of parental influence. So, if your spirit takes messages you received all your life and translates them into who you are today, how much more will messages you intentionally integrate today cause you to stumble in life.
* Your spirit is instructed by these movies on how to react when crisis comes. We don't act godly, we act in fear. The Devil is the author of confusion and fear.
* Yelling and screaming is part of both genres. People who watch much of this are influenced in behavior the same as those who watch too many soap operas. You know that peoples days are made or destroyed by what happens on the soap operas. How we react to situations when we yell and scream at others is a result of the conditioning we get in Horror movies and Halloween.
* Horror Movies and Halloween violate the Biblical principle of whatever is good, pure and holy think on these things.
* It's false instruction on how to deal with core evil. There are methods and modes in how to deal with real life evil. The name of Jesus is never used by believers to deflect evil. Those who have confronted real evil demonic and otherwise and who understand it don't fear evil. They deal with it. Horror movies give a wrong impression of how to deal with it all.
* False strategies in dealing with difficult situations. People in Horror Movies and victims in Halloween Scenarios deal with circumstances that are not realistically dealt with.
* There's no consequence for those who commit evil in these movies or in Halloween.

After my time with this man he said to me, "My ex wife had just asked me what was going on in my life, why I seemed like I had drifted. I have been in an environment where these kinds of influences have been around me. I realized my demeanor spiritually and otherwise had been so affected that others could see it on me".

I saw it and that's why we had this conversation.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It's predicted it might frost tomorrow night. And just when everything looks so nice, all begonias blooming. Beauty all around.


We aren't in North Dakota Here. It frosted on the 17th in North Dakota.


The Party of Luther

Of course, in politics all would be solved is we all just joined the Lutheran Party, particularly the scandahoovian branch. I stole this:

by Eric Iverson

Two weeks ago I was idly browsing the personals, when I saw an ad for a Lutheran Party. Now I don't normally respond to these things, but I couldn't help noticing that I not only happened to be Lutheran, but was also a great lover of parties. It seemed like the perfect match, and so I wrote the following letter:

Dear People,
I was heartened and a bit surprised to see your ad for the Lutheran Party, as I was not aware that such a party existed. I am currently a Democrat, but after this latest election I guess I'm willing to try just about anything. To show my devotion to your cause I have drafted the following:


In many ways a political platform for the Lutheran Party goes against our grain. What with our motto "Anything worth changing is probably just as worth keeping the same" and all, a piece of paper with a bunch of big ideas on it just isn't the way we do things. In fact, under a Lutheran Administration, about the only thing that might change is that we might get to that fence out back that needs a coat or two of paint (that is if we can decide on a color). Nevertheless, here are a few things we as the Lutheran Party could maybe think about doing.


Under a Lutheran Administration, all US residents would be declared legally Scandinavian (or at least slightly Germanic on their mother's side). To signify this, residents would in addition take on a new Scandinavian name. In cases where the resident refuses to do this, an auxiliary pseudo-Scandinavianization will take place. This is a simple process wherein one or more "j's" will be inserted in unlikely locations in the person's first name, while a "son" or "stad" will be appended to the persons last name. For example, the following are good Scandinavian names:

Kjerstin Rustad (GENE HERE, I actually had a Kirsten Rustad in Sunday School class as a 6th grader in the Lutheran Church long long ago)
Hjalmar Andbjornson
Gjertrude Aslakson

while below we see the fruits of pseudo-Scandinavianization:


Miguel Hernandez Mjigjuel Hernandezson
Gina Cabrini Gjina Cabrinistad
Malcolm X Mjalcolm Xstad
Prince Pjrinceson

Mind you this process can be dangerous in the hands of improperly trained personnel, so watch out:

John Jones Jjohjjkjjn Hjkjonestadson
Paul Hanson Isadora Lutz


Unlike its alphabetical predecessor, the Libertarian Party, the Lutheran Party does not favor a radical reduction in the size of the Federal Government. (Well I suppose you could reduce the size a little, but only if it's not too much trouble.) Instead, the Lutheran Party advocates increasing the size of the Federally Governed. This can be accomplished through a national diet filled with white sauce, granulated sugar, butter and of course hot dish. After all "yew can't have a big strong government if yew aren't big and strong yerself."


In order to pay back the federal deficit, new sources of funding must be found. One way is to restructure the US currency system in a manner more in keeping with the traditional pioneer values that made this country great. In this spirit, the Lutheran Party recommends that the new value of the US dollar be based on that of sod. This would not only immortalize the numerous sod homes that once dotted the Prairie, but would also act as an incentive for people to keep their lawns properly cared for so as to protect their investment. We also propose that new coins bearing the likenesses of long dead Danish and Norwegian Kings actually be made of sod; as the sod's natural mottled green color would most likely better represent these Kings' natural appearance.


One of the Lutheran Party's prime environmental goals is to inform the country that Lutefisk is actually not a toxic waste, and can in fact be eaten. In order to do this, we propose creating a new character: LeRoy the Lutefisk who will resemble a talking cod soaked in lye (actually a cartoon cod soaked in cartoon lye) and will say things like "Give a hoot, eat yer Lute" or "Der's no risk in Lutefisk". If this doesn't work, our new president will begin making speeches at Rotary Club gatherings about how Lutefisk tastes even better than sod. (See Currency Regulations.)


"I tot I tode yew I'd paint de fense in da spring! Can't yew see it's still vinter?"

In common word and sacrament,

Kid Nation

When liberals are in charge you get the one word children learn first. NO.

The kids from congress are now running the country . They whine, wail and refuse to cooperate. Just like little kids. Then accuse and play all kinds of power games. Just like little kids.

I know this is a phase, but when do the adults come home? I'm really sick of this foolishness and so should you be.

Harry Ried wants to blame the Republicans for everything. To paint all Republicans with the same Iraqi brush. To heck with the country, My party tis of thee.

Nancy Pelosi is acting like a spoiled child. She says she feels insulted. WAAAAA

If Jesus himself was nominated to be Attorney General the kiddies in Congress wouldn't confirm him. Ted Olsen is a good man and should be confirmed. They won't. This is what you get when you let the kids try to run the nation.

Reid has declared any plan for Iraq unacceptable.

What that means is we will now have any movement, any cooperation, any progress because of the so called progressives.

The kid leaders only say NO. And those are the leaders. How about the ones who don't get so much sycophantic press. The real nutcases.

If you voted for any Democrat in the last election I hope you really like what a mess we have now. Anarchy and stagnation.

We need the parents to come back home and spank these children. I sometimes wish Bush had the power to just wipe the slate clean like Putin did yesterday. I don't really but when I see this kind of stupidity I understand it a little.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can I Borrow $14,615??

I know it seems too good to be true. But they can't advertise it on the Internet if it's not true, can they?

With only 4 Minutes a day if I buy this exercise machine I can lose
weight and get back in shape.

The only thing between a fit and
svelte Gene is $14,615.

Waddaja say?

A tip o the hat to KDNY.

Anyone who supports a separate Palestinian state supports this

Hitler action figures would have been better 65 years ago.

Look at this.

Now tell me we should give the Palestinians their own state.

A Why more than HOW

Rosie O'Donnell is in my opinion a very sad case. I have always found her to be pitiful.

Her conspiracy theories and hatred of all things American are better understood when you get behind the curtain.

I have this theory. Not proven. Just Theory. The more disfunctional and painful the childhood of any person is, the more likely they are to be rabidly and radically counterculture. In America today much of that is expressed in radical hatred of George Bush.

When I see the hatemongers on TV and see them as they write the vile things they do on Daily Kos and Huffington I say to myself, SELF, these are people with pain and sadness in their childhood.

I like Wolf Blitzer. He's an honest liberal. He isn't vile or angry.

I see Keith Olberman and I wonder how often his father beat him or what other trauma was in his life.

Most radical liberals who are haters of America (Like poor Rosie) are broken people looking for identity.

I hope they find it but I promise them they will be disappointed in what they find in hatred.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I forgot how good it can be

Sometimes I need to be reminded.

When Bob Dylan was writing music in his redemption it was so pure and good.

Just a couple.

You gotta Serve Someone


AND one of my favorites,

Man Gave Names to all the Animals

It's good to get back to the good stuff again. For those of you that didn't know, Keith Green and Bob Dylan were good friends until Keith died. Many think he was shaken by that whole thing, I don't see how anyone writing at the level he did can ever go back again. I don't actually think he ever did. I do think he got tired of the whole "Religious" Circus and bailed.

Brother Dylan, come on home. We need your songs again.

Outdoor Blogging

It's September 11, I'm outside on my patio. The Temp is 67 degrees and dropping. It will get into the very low 40's tonite. I' have a hat on and a quilted shirt. The traffic is mean on the road behind the house. It's sunny outside.

This is my first attempt to use the wireless router in my back yard. Guess what. IT WORKS.

I haven't noticed it yet but I will. The Mosquitoes have little parkas on so they don't fly fast or well.

The wind is blowing pretty good besides.

I have to say, all is well. This is why I got this high falutin laptop with wireless gizmos as part of it. This is why I enjoy blogging more since I am part of the really fast generation.

The sun will set in an hour, it's just 6 now.

Reminds me of a poem by Goethe:
Uber alle Gipfelin is ruhe,
im alle Wipfelin sperist do kaum eiem hauch,
die Foegelien schweige im Walde,
warte nur, ruhest du auch.
I learned that from Minnie Onsrud and never forgot it.

Watchman Nee describes the Plight of the Dead Church

I copied this from the screen you can see here. See the bottom of the triangle? That's where most Churches that are dying are stuck. They keep preaching about sin and never about the fullness of salvation. The verse about working out your salvation with fear and trembling eludes them.

I wish to call those churches up higher. A higher call to the fullness of the Gospel. It's going to take a change of mind.

Or you can just drift away.

Nothing about 9-11

Nothing. Everyone will have so much to say I would only be MORE boring. So nothing.

A Trend I am Part of And of Which I Approve

It was in the Chicago Tribune.

Last Sunday was the last Sunday for the Lutheran Church on Austin next to Oak Park. Demographics have changed. People who now live in that area no longer are interested in what the Lutheran Church (ELCA) has to offer. The church offered ministries including a food pantry and after-school program. African-Americans living near the church were invited to attend, but the hymns remained the same ones favored by the old-timers, and few stayed.
So the church has closed.

Wisely the synod president (who I lambasted for other reasons recently) has done the right thing. They gave the building to another thriving congregation. Since forming in 1987, the ELCA has steadily lost members, dropping from 5.3 million to 4.8 million in 2007. Empty churches have closed or consolidated with other congregations.

They could have sold it. Lots of church buildings are sold for condos, nightclubs, restaurants or torn down for a new McDonalds. They rather did what they should do. They continued to preserve the building dedicated to the Kingdom of God perhaps a hundred years ago and allow it to fit the culture that changed around them. The liturgical style [of Lutherans] is not friendly to Africans-Americans and the way they worship," Legania said. Many feel once they walk in the door they're told to "leave your culture at the door and pretend you're someone else."

In my ministry I am part of this trend. The church plant of which I am a part has just recently moved into a covenant church building. We are now larger in attendance than the home congregation that was there. I suspect the end of the story looks more like the story of this Lutheran church in the news story than not.

I have a dear friend who lives in Minnesota. He is a licensed minister who travels. I sort of "Came Up" with him. He was appointed as the interim pastor of an ELCA church who needed a pastor. The ELCA Lutheran Church often uses pastors like me or Mike when they don't have any seminarians to fill the vacancy. It's hard work and low pay. Something a seminarian with lots of student loans doesn't want to hear about. When he took the church over it was running fewer than 50. As pastor he built it to 300. People loved it. They reached the community. They built and addition. Money came in. Debt was paid off. Mike was paid. Then the synod spotting a successful church where failure had been before decided that Mike, who was not a seminary grad ordained Lutheran (just a really good pastor) wasn't what the church really needed.

So, in their infinite stupidity they installed a seminary grad ordained Lutheran pastor. Now the church is failing again. Back to 50. They have become irrelevant once again. I don't think Mike is going to take it back even if they ask him.

Another friend of mine who was a pastor at the Assembly of God Church in Fargo, Pastor Curt, is now is head pastor at a thriving Lutheran church about 40 minutes from Fargo. Dying it was before, now it's thriving. I suspect if he really succeeds it will become another pension plan opportunity for an ordained Lutheran seminarian to kill off.

I have a relative, Pastor Jeff Redlin in South Dakota who pastors a few small ELCA churches. He has been pretty successful. I know because he plays lead guitar. That's kind of a joke but in relevance to the culture it made sense when I first walked into his church and saw him wailing away on the guitar before he preached. I thought, this is relevant. What are the people he is trying to reach listening to on the radio, watching on TV, humming in their head? I'm guessing more Metallica than Mozart. More Bob Dylan than Bach. More Faith Hill than My Faith Looks Up to Thee.

Is it any wonder? Last Sunday in Church Pastor Barry said something about which I agree. No music is of itself holy or unholy. Pure or impure. If you played a song for me and I didn't know the words perhaps I might think it was unholy or maybe not. Opinion. I happen to think that Stairway to Heaven by Lead Zeppelin is the perfect worship song. The words are not but in style format it's the perfect song. I wish the Church would adapt it like they did Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" which has nothing whatever to do with Jesus or God or anything. It's a pagan song redeemed with better words. We can do that with Stairway.

There are thousands of these dying churches around Chicagoland. Thousands of buildings that are coming available. Thousands of budgets that aren't being met and decisions need to be made. Thousands of staff members not being paid. This is a trend that is not going to change any time soon. We have the solution but it will take courage and commitment.

If I could wave the magic wand I would say to the leaders of these stagnant churches, let us in. I no longer believe you can change these dying churches to become relevant to reach the culture. They must die and new life emerge. The traditions, rituals, sacraments are fingernails on a chalkboard for a person seeking truth and purity in Jesus. At best they are irrelevant and time consuming and at worst they are off-putting. Although the congregation at North Austin Lutheran was not unfriendly, Legania said, the Sunday service retained its European flavor. African-Americans who came for help at the church were welcomed at the food pantry, but rarely felt at home in the church's pews on Sunday,

I have many good pastor friends ready and willing to take that over that empty church building and plant a church that will fit the needs of your community in the 21st century. The culture, white, black, Hispanic and Asian has changed and is changing all around us. If the church continues to fail to discard it's irrelevance it will simply fade away.

The good news is there is an army of the Lord ready and willing to step in and blossom. Now if we can just keep those dying congregations from destroying the heritage they built up in a building out of spite and just selling them off we can have real church where those dead and dying congregations used to be.

Let's let the old die and start with what works. Incrementalism is no longer relevant. The best thing for most dying churches is to fire all the staff, dismiss all the board, dis-member all the membership and then say, "We now going to have a real Christian Church here on the site formerly occupied by the old dead church, you are welcome to join us but you join like everyone else and we are starting all over with or without you." The dead wood will leave. The offended will be more offended as they stomp out the door. The traditional will sulk off. The power hungry will try to impose power but after a couple of attempted coups will depart. What you will be left with will be hungry people looking for more of Jesus. The impact will be that others who watched and waited will gravitate toward you and new life will return to the body of Christ." Resurrection!!

If you think I'm being harsh or kidding I know of a real life example in Western Michigan. A Dutch Reformed church that was dying was reborn. A new pastor came in and said if you want me to rebuild this church I must be free to do what I know to do. They said ok. He said, "If you trust that I know how to this, you must do what I say for the next year." They said OK. They were at the point where they had to do this or die. They were ready to agree to anything.

With that approval he closed down the church. No services of any kind were held for a month. The doors were locked. He repainted the building, tore down the old sign, changed the name of the church from the something Dutch Reformed to a fresh new name. He took out the pews and the religious stuff in the sanctuary and filled the room with chairs, inspiring banners and lots of light. The place was bright and inviting as people didn't sit in darkness during church. He cleaned up the altar area. Took out all the religious gobbeldy gook that confused people. He covered the old pipe organ, brought in a live band, guitars and all.

He dismissed the staff and the board of any leadership position. He said, "I must select the team I'm going to work with". They let him. That was very smart. He cleansed the membership rolls and told folks that they were welcome to join the new church but he understood if they didn't.

Today it looks like many contemporary charismatic churches in America. Here's the rest of the story. Today the congregation that was down to 40 is 400 and growing every Sunday. Most of the original 40 are gone. New life has come.

If you write me I'll put you in touch with this pastor. But, unfortunately too few pastors, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Covenant, Reformed of dying congregations have the courage to do what needs to be done. Most pastors face this terminal disease as if the church needed a new hairstyle or perhaps a cavity filled when in fact the church needs major brain surgery. This is a Heart Transplant. We have too many pastors trying to do a few little tweaks here and there and hoping it will take. None will. This takes major surgery to save it.

That's good news for my fellow pastor friends. We need your building. You're not using it anyhow. Sorry to sound mean but it's the truth and know it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dope Slap From a Friend - UPDATE

I got a comment from a long time friend of mine. Reverend Rod Hall. He is a pastor in Aberdeen South Dakota. He's also the prime influencer of my becoming pentecostal long ago. I can't thank him enough for leading me into the fullness of the Spirit. In a way I am fruit of his ministry. Thanks Rod. Looks like I have the wrong Rod. But, truth is truth and thanks revrod anyhow. I guess he says I'm welcome. Rod Hall's still a good guy however.

I posted a complaint litany below about what a Pastor really thinks. Rod posted an essay floating around the net that David Foster wrote.

I read it and hung my head. I agree with what Rod posted and what brother Foster wrote. I just need to be reminded of why we do what we do. If there ever comes a time that at my core I no longer feel like Brother David does I'll hang it up.

Here's the text:

Being a pastor/church leader does not make me immune to the Monday Morning Blues, especially after a weekend of intense and focused engagement where I’ve loved, led, helped, created, pulled people together, taught, preached, led small groups and managed crises. Like everyone else, I need to be reminded why I do what I do. So here are the reasons why I love being a pastor:

1. It’s my calling. It’s what God called me to do. I know deep down in my bones this is what I was made for. If you don’t have a calling, you may never understand why we often say we can’t walk away from the ministry. That would be to live in open defiance to God. And that’s not something we can do.

2. I love the Gospel. It’s changed my life. I’ve lived it many decades and it’s still as powerful, still as sweet as it ever has been. Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so still moves me as much as it did 35 years ago when I met Jesus Christ.

3. I love people. I love being around people who come together with the same purpose, same heart, organized around a great mission to accomplish something really great for God and good for people.

4. I’m a leader. I was born that way. I’ve also been working hard to be made that way. I love leading people, influencing people to become more together than we ever could become separately.

5. I love pastors. I love being around them. The majority are loving, good, committed people; smart, fully-engaged, learners, leaders who love God and want to make a difference in the world.

6. I love what happens when a person is converted as a follower of Jesus Christ. I love seeing life change. I love seeing marriages being put back together. I love seeing people be set free from addictions and sinful habits that are destroying their lives, into a lifestyle of love, freedom, and joy.

7. I love being part of something that redeems culture in the world in which I live. I love being a part of a movement that knows no geographic or cultural barrier; that like water, finds its way into every crease and crevice of humanity.

8. I love being a pastor in leadership and ministry because it forces me to engage the Scripture in a way that transforms my life. I’ve never had a problem in the false dichotomy between reading and studying the Scripture for my own personal improvement, or reading and studying to teach. I can’t divide the two. I have to teach out of the overflow of what’s going on in my life as I engage the full scope of Scripture.

9. I love the Bible: not the pages, not the ink, not the leather; but the words, the ideas, the concepts that teach me that I serve a great God.

10. I do this because I believe that the Gospel is the only hope of the world, that when church is done right, it is absolutely amazing.

11. I continue to do this because I accept the fact that the church of Jesus Christ can at one moment be an amazing and healthy, loving, growing environment, and in another can be a very toxic, destructive place. How could we expect anything different when we get broken people coming together confessing the reality of their own sin and brokenness? There are bound to be sharp edges among us.

12. I do this because I believe in advancing the good. The best way I can do that is promoting the redemptive mission of the gospel.

13. I do this because it is the best way I can spend my life. I’ve got to do something. I might as well be doing something that matters for eternity.

14. I love pushing myself to greater understanding and innovative ways of redeeming culture.

15. I love being around people who don’t get it, who struggle, who have questions, but are hungry and are open. I love presenting the gospel to them knowing it’s not my job to convert them.

16. I am in this work because I’m a seeker of truth. I love the truth. I embrace both mystery and certainty all at the same time. I do believe that Jesus is the answer, but not all the answers are available to me right now in the state I’m in.

17. I do this because I love being a part of a worldwide movement that has indeed changed the world and it continues to change it. It is not bound by lines on a map, or by race, creed, or color.

The Preacher's Lament

This is what your Pastor really thinks...

• If I express myself on a subject, I'm trying to run things.

• If I'm silent, I'm dumb or have lost interest.

• If I'm often at my office (preparing sermons or studying), why don't I get out and learn what's going on.

• If I'm out when they call, why am I not tending to business, or studying for a sermon.

• If I'm not at home at night, I'm out having a good time.

• If I'm home, I'm neglecting important outside contacts and activities.

• If I don't agree with people, I'm bullheaded.

• If I do agree, I don't have any ideas of my own.

• If I don't do what I'm asked, I'm a poor pastor.

• If I do agree, well, that's what I'm paid for.

• If I give someone a short answer, I'm "too big for my britches."

• If I attempt to explain the pros and cons of an issue, I'm a know it all.

• If I'm well dressed, I'm a big shot.

• If I'm not, I'm a poor representative of my office.

• If I'm on the job a short time, I'm inexperienced.

• If I've been there a long time, It's time for a change.

Stole this off the web, thought it was funny, it was. Sorta...............

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Stuff to Read and an Answer to a Question

First, if you are a Pastor or a teacher of the Bible, you need to reread the post I made on the True Gospel. When a Church talks in terms of being a FULL GOSPEL Church this is what it means, not just Gifts of the Spirit and Speaking in tongues, although that's part of the full Gospel as well. My question is, why do most denominational (read that dying) Churches refuse to preach the Full Gospel? I'm really interested in tipping over some of the sacred cows in Christendom. Read it HERE. MOOOOOOO

Second, I was asked by a friend of mine if I had any comment on the recent releases re struggles of faith Mother Theresa had. Yes I do, but I have already voiced my opinion elsewhere.

Read John Armstrong's first and second iterations. I made a comment there and stand by it.

The Anchoress's take on the whole thing. I agree with her and she has enough links regarding all this to help you and me grasp what it's all about. Any person who has not had a long dark night of the soul most likely isn't even a Christian. Even Jesus did.

Think about that.

Klingons in Aurora IL

I know a man from the Lutheran Church who is an apartment owner.  He has regaled me with many stories of evictions, drug dealers and such. 
None impressed me as much as the story he has of a few men who share an apartment he owns who live as Klingons.  You know, Worf and all.  Star Trek Next Gen.
As I understand it they have jobs.  They do those jobs as civilians.  But when they are home on the "mother planet" (apartment) they speak only Klingon to each other.  They wear Klingon regalia.  And observe Klingon ritual. 
Klingon is one of the worlds manmade invented languages.  There are several.  Esperanto was the most famous but there are many more.  J R R Tolkien loved to invent languages which is why there several in his books.  Orc, Middle Earth, Fairy etc.  Klingon is the most widespread other than Esperanto. There is even a translation of the Bible in Klingon.  I have to get me one of those Klingon Language Versions (KLV).
In any case it's just one of the Joys of living in a large metropolitan area.  We didn't have that many Klingons as neighbors in Fargo.