"I said last year that the next ten years of my life would be learning how to be a pastor and that the ten years after that would be spent learning how NOT to be one. So, I'm still learning how to be a pastor.
I think right now, it's focusing more on what not to say though... when to pastorally hold my tongue.
I'm learning my anger is rarely productive and my love almost always is."
Check in, April 2006
"I'm thinking of the people this morning, my little church family. I will marry some of them, bury some of them, pray with most of them, do my best to love all of them. I'll try to teach them and be taught by them, correct them and be corrected by them.
Hopefully, together, we'll continue to strain our ears, hear what the Spirit of God is saying to us... and act on it."
Two years on...
"Now, Jesus is praising the widow, but this story is not (regardless of how this may have been presented to you previously) a lesson on tithing… We always read this as though Jesus is giving the disciples a lesson on giving- but it’s not and the placement between his condemnation of the Pharisees and then what He says in the rest of this chapter confirms that. I think Jesus said what He said here through clenched teeth, His heart breaking over what He saw. Like nearly everything in this section, this is an indictment on the religion he saw all around Him- religion that put perception over reality, and law over people and worse… cheated widows out of their property and then pretended to be pious. He’s not saying- “Look how cool she is for sacrificing the little she has”- He’s saying “Look how corrupt this religion, this society has become- all that this beautiful, giving widowed woman has to give is 2 pennies. And the reason why is because of the very people who should be caring for her, the very system that should make sure her needs are met!” Can you see that?"
sermon excerpt Friday...
"We did our first Maundy Thursday gathering this year. I loved it. Loved it even more than Good Friday this year. We gathered in a home, did some readings of Jesus washing the disciples feet, focused our time on servanthood...
We had a communion time, but rather than a somber time, we made it more of a celebration. Probably a bit more like that last passover/first communion. Yeah, a weird undercurrent of knowing something bad was coming, but still... Passover! God freeing us from slavery (in our case, to sin and self).
So, rather than break off little tiny pieces of bread or have an oyster cracker, we took big chunks of bread hot from the oven, poured ourselves glasses of grape juice or wine and talked to each other as we ate. And before we did that, we washed one another's hands. It was wonderful.
Good Friday, however... Will someone please remind me that last year after Good Friday I said I wanted to do something different and this year after Good Friday I'm saying "Next year... let's do something different!"???
I don't know, maybe it accomplished what it was meant to. It's 3am... I can't sleep... all riled up inside. Too many images of Christ (and not the good ones) in my head, too much darkness..."
oh, "Good" Friday...
"Remember, Little Pastor- Easter is not a marketing opportunity. The resurrection of the Son of God is not an opportunity to pimp our programs or build our flock, even under the guise of "concern for lost". And it's not about me. (Please wait a minute while I repeat that a few times to myself... ) Heaven forbid we should ever do community in such a way that our main avenue for people coming to Christ is hearing the Gospel preached from the mouth of one person, rather than hearing the Gospel preached from the mouths (and lives) of the whole community. If, in your community, more people are becoming Christians on Sunday than during the rest of the week, I think you may have a problem."
The Dangers of Easter...
"God offers this forgiveness, this new life, this chance to turn around and start over to the Dutch, to the Germans, even to the French. And He offers it to Native Americans, Italian Americans, African Americans, and undocumented Americans- Why? Because Americans need Jesus.
And more than just Americans… North Americans need Jesus. South Americans need Jesus. Canadians really need Jesus. Asians need Jesus, and Indians need Jesus and Russians and Slavs, and Turks need Jesus. And while it’s a dicey thing to say these days, I’ll say it- Buddhists and Hindus and Muslims need Jesus. And just as much and sometimes more than them, Episcopalians and Lutherans and Baptists need Jesus. Man oh man, do the Baptists need Jesus.
And hear this: Even people who meet in weird little pub churches need Jesus."
Sermon excerpt Friday...
The Hank Hill goes to church video I put out there on YouTube got a lot of play...
For those who might have missed it: Video for this Sunday
""In questions of this sort there are two things to be observed. First, that the truth of the Scriptures be inviolably maintained. Secondly, since Scripture doth admit of diverse interpretations, that no one cling to any particular exposition with such pertinacity that, if what he supposed to be the teaching of Scripture should afterward turn out to be clearly false, he should nevertheless still presume to put it forward, lest thereby the sacred Scriptures should be exposed to the derision of unbelievers and the way of salvation should be closed to them."- Saint Thomas Aquinas
Aquinas on Scripture... and a generous orthodoxy