Thursday, September 30, 2010

Busier Than Jesus

John Bishop wrote a blog for the National Outreach convention entitled, Are You Busier Than Jesus?" He said,


There is nothing wrong with serving. Service is a hallmark of great leadership, but there is a big lesson here:  "Our activity for God has to be the response of intimacy with God."  So often we get this backwards.    One of the biggest things I am doing in the next several weeks is letting go of ministry details that have caused me to be distracted unnecessarily.  Sometimes as leaders our activity becomes our identity, but who we are, is always more important than what we do.


Are you busier than Jesus? If so, why? Does God have a better plan? What might it be?  Start with intimacy with God. Don't start with "less busy." If you don't know what that is or how to do it, ask.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The Pew Forum (a reputable group) just released the results of a religion quiz it gave to Americans. The results are both surprising and disheartening.  For people who know loads about sports statistics and celebrity lives and song lyrics, we do not know much about religion. Worse yet, the atheists did better than the religious people and much better than those who are of mainline churches (Episcopal Church in this group.) It makes me sad. To see the results click here. To take a similar 15 questions test (theirs was 32 questions,) click here. I got a 100%. It was not too hard. I would have thought we could do better than getting half the questions correct. You too may have gotten 100%. Some did.


Here are the questions that arise in my mind (and heart.)  How can we love the Lord if we don't really know much except what we feel about God? I admit that religion and Christianity are about relationship more than fact but we know more about Paris Hilton (or the flex defense) than about God. Speaking of relationships, how can we love our neighbor if we have no idea who she is? If I know how many sacks Mario Williams has, should I know at the very least the basics about my neighbor, a fellow citizen.


What really is painful about these data is that it makes us so susceptible to bad information, innuendo and rumor about people who are not Christian and it plays into the hands of those who find us more culturally religious than true followers of Christ.  Talk radio and television exploit our ignorance. Christ is not served. Regardless of the religion, God cares about all his children. We who claim Christ are given a special mission to reach out to those who do not know Christ. To do so, we must know Christ ourselves and know enough about our neighbor to respect him as a person and not a project.


How do you feel about these results? How would you fare? What is your responsibility now that you know this? Open these questions to God and to your neighbor as well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


What makes a leader? People who claim leadership or command our follower-ship seem to be a mixed bag. Some leaders talk a lot, appeal to our feelings in order to get elected but leave us empty. Some swagger and glow in fame and money, allowing us vicarious glimpse of their life. Others fill pulpits in order to benefit themselves and the cult of personality, even exploiting the very people Jesus held dear – the poor, widows, and children. And a few lord it over others, barking orders, using manipulation and control. And some lead like Jesus.


All of us have to lead. Some more than others. Jesus taught to lead by serving. He listened a lot. He had no swagger and few possessions. He traveled light. He had no pulpit and was hated enough to be done away with. He sought out those deemed "losers."


The economy of Jesus' leadership was 'the last is first and the first will be last." He washed feet. He gave his life to 12 very frustrating rabbinical drop-outs. He was focus on a vision of a better world. He called it "The Kingdom." He had very strict standards, which he salted with generous helpings of forgiveness.


Who will you follow today? What kind of leader are they? Truly? How will you lead when called?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Handshake

I miss the power of a handshake. My dad actually taught me about handshakes. He didn't tell me anything about a curve ball and little about sex. But I got a lesson (formal) on handshakes.


I was to firmly grasp the other hand but not so hard as to hurt the other person. I was to look the other person in the eye till I was done. Even more than the mechanics was the lesson in everything that stood behind the handshake. By shaking a hand, I was transmitting the fact that I was good for everything that I would promise or say. I was genuine in my transaction. The handshake was my expression of integrity. I became a real man when I deployed the handshake. I was good for what I said.


Now, I must admit that I have not always lived up to my standards but I tried. I sought forgiveness when I failed. I return to the handshake. But the land has shifted.


As I grow older, I notice that The Handshake is typically just a formality. Not much behind it. The world prefers the "I'm committed until something better comes along" tip-o-the-hat. As long as it's not too inconvenient.


I bet Jesus' handshake meant business. He'd deliver or die trying. Community is strengthened in the presence of such people. They are bedrock.


Today, be bedrock yourself. Put all of you in your handshakes and the promises that go with it. Build unshakable community.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Good Enough

Andy Borowitz wrote in a recent The New Yorker a humor piece entitled, "The Good Enough Baby." His humor bordered on satire and, at the same time, contain wisdom. He wrote in support of raising "good enough" babies instead of "perfect ones." We all know that the perfect child (didn't we all strive for this on the first one?) is an impossible goal.  Everyone wins if we lighten up and enjoy our kids (and they, their parents) without the pressure of the impossible "perfect."

What if we all lived "good enough "lives?  Perfect, if we mean  following the plan, without mistake or blemish, is a crushing fantasy we keep. Even Jesus, when he tells us to be "perfect," means for us to be perfectly who God intends us to be - whole and loving.

I say we all strive for "good enough" and enjoy the life God gave us as well as take the pressure off parent as well as child. Good enough is not bad and very serviceable. One can follow Jesus by being forgiven but cannot follow by being perfect. Perfect people, you see, have no need of a savior.

Bear in mind that good enough does not mean "let the other guy do it" or "slack off and do nothing" or "lowest common denominator." Its good. God likes good. We all benefit from good.

I think we would do quite well with good enough parents, children, marriages, churches, jobs, sports, lawmakers, schools, volunteers, and bosses; and gave up pretending that we were actually going to pull of perfect and ruining "perfectly" good lives in the process. Think of all the free time we would generate. All the reduced stress. The money channeled elsewhere than debt (which we use to "create" perfect.) We would begin to appreciate each other and stop wearing out those who are willing to lead. Expectations might become holy instead of grandiose.

Good enough today.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banned in Houston

The Houston Chronicle ran a story about books banned in Texas. Some books are not banned but are "challenged" in school districts. Happy Banned Book Week.


I personally think banning books is un-American. Some of these books are dumb. Some gross. Read a few myself. Banning books is also a huge advertisement to our children to "READ ME!"


Reading material is part of the bigger issue of raising children. My dad said to me, "Enjoy life but once you decide to have kids, you can no longer let life be about you." It ain't about me.


Children are raised differently than I remember (I may have a bad memory.) Parents are more fearful. I am not sure the greater fears are based in reality but we are surrounded by a lot of fear-mongering. Fear crowds out love (at least God says so.) Fearful people make bad life decisions. As a result we over protect, over organize and over censor children. Parenting is hard. No manual. Parents need allies. No adult should "graduate" out of or claim immunity to mentoring children.


Curve balls, wide-outs, double times, hit-the-marks, practices, homework, science projects, scouting, spikes, and alike are all very important to raising loving, productive adults. Thank God for those who mentor the next generation in these and more.


Yet, as a priest, I find one area that I wish had the zeal of sports or band or grades or even banned books. That endeavor is mentoring a child to know God. Not know about God but to know, personally, God. It takes as much practice as that curve ball or a perfect SAT. The task of a child knowing God primarily falls to parents. Often parents need to get to know God themselves. I thank God for parents and others who (often without cheering, consistency in access or thanks) work this part of God's vineyard.


Help a child to know God today. Thank those who help parents in this endeavor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The current issue of The Atlantic has an article the basic gist of which is this: The Baby Boomers may not be responsible for the current Great Recession but they have the resources to get us out of it (if Boomers exercise financial sacrifice.) Further, the Boomers have a legacy of idealism (I was a child of the 60's) and were a generation who wanted to make a real difference but may not have yet delivered on that. In effect, my generation, for the good of all, can say, "This one's on me," and pick up the tab.


As a priest, I find that we want easy ways out of things but there are no easy ways out. This creates a terrible tension, which only is alleviated by some one or some group making a sacrifice. This is our Christian story (I am aware that there are some in the Christian stream who say God is a cosmic vending machine and will give those who are really faithful all the want. I think this is baloney and not a faithful understanding of Christ and the Cross.)


Regardless of our political allegiance, is God calling us, you and me, to sacrifice, to give up having our way? Is the answer to our problems today right in front of our noses? Is the solution not found in "I am right!" but in who will live the life of Christ? God is speaking to us. A response in the shape of The Cross will yield life. Nothing else will. There are no easy ways out. There is a way out, however. One that is FOREVER.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yes and No

We all deal with people each day. Some of the frustrating situations arising from our interactions are the "Yes but meaning No" conversations. There are two ways these conversations arise. First, the person has no intention of following through but wants to avoid saying, "No." Secondly, there is the person who over commits and bails out at the last minute. How disruptive to life not being able to count on people is. I treasure the few who I know mean what they say.


"No" is a perfectly good answer. (Always saying "No" is not conductive to society.) Finite people (do we know any other?) must say, "No" from time to time if not most of the time. Craig Groeschel says, "To say "yes" to the best things, you'll have to say "no" to the good things." I like that.


So, here is what I have learned.  Only say "Yes" to God. God will not crush us but he won't let us excuse ourselves from real ministry and real life either. This is where being in conversation with God (from a regular doses of scripture reading, worship and prayer) helps. Without this conversation, we are clueless and have to rely on others (not good) to tell us what to do or, otherwise, rely on our feelings (really not good) to tell us what to do.


I wonder how life would go if we all said "Yes" when God expected us to and "No" when he expected us to. All the best things God had in store would bear fruition.


When I planned this, did I do it lightly? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say, "Yes, yes" and "No, no"? 

2 Corinthians 1:17 (NIV)


Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.  James 5:12 (NIV)


For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. 

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Corrugated Sheet Metal

On my travels this past weekend, I passes a field in which a contraption with a bumper hitch and wheels rusted away. It was obviously hand made and covered with corrugated sheet metal. The "trailer" was a piece of folk art, more fancy than functional. I imagined a story that went with it.
Bob (I have protected him by changing his name) found a whole bunch of sheet metal at a farm liquidation sale. He just knew he would find a use for it. Molly (also an alias) rolled her eyes (she had had years of practice) when Bob drove up to the house. She knew he
a.) Thought he would use this one day (Lord knows where!)
b.) Whatever it was, it would barely be functional and
c.) It would die a slow death of idleness, never to be used again
She had the accuracy of an ancient prophet in her predictions.
Why do I tell this made up story? I do because God made us to be creators. Creating is the first thing God tells us about himself in the Book of Genesis. One o the next things he tells us is that we are chip of the old block. We, too, are creators.
Somewhere, most of us were told we weren't all that good at creating. Our cow was green and had 6 feet. It sported a skull tattoo (or flowers - or BOTH.) Mine probably exploded as well.
We were trained to confuse realism or success or artfulness for creating. Creating is done for creation's sake. The end product is not what is important as much as the need for the creator to create. You have to admit, God's Creation seems to have a few kinks in it, huh?
Consider life as an experiment. Yes, you must weigh the cost of your creations. Yes, you may create a monster now and then. Yes, you may surprise your self (and others!) with your creativity. Point is, you were made to create. Life flows through the act of creating; be it a home or an airplane or a contraption.
Go wild. Create. You will be standing on holy ground. Don't give hoot what others think. Success will be in the sheer creating. Save your soul today.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trust Me, I’m a Doctor

Dr. Pepper is using this phrase in its current advertising. My wife, Christine, works in the medical profession as a Certified Diabetic Educator. I worked at St. Luke's Hospital and have spent 25 years as a priest after getting a graduate degree. Bear in mind that neither of us is perfect. That said…


Now, here is the interesting part. Both of us are continually surprised (should we have learned by now?) that the people we serve routinely tell us in so many words (after seeking us out) that they know better and will do things their way. In most cases, a harmful way. In other words, people often believe their gut trumps the solicited advice of those with years of training and experience.


God talks about Wisdom a lot. He is the source of it. He says to listen to it. He says to embrace it. He says to learn from it. He says to be open to it. He says it will reward us. He says it is worth more than gold. He also says that to ignore it is foolishness. To ignore it will lead us to wear ourselves out. To ignore it will finally kill one long before a physical death occurs. And wisdom comes from listening to the wise. No shortcuts.


May you be open to wisdom today. May you flourish because you embrace it. May you resist knowing best when, if fact, you do not or are blinded to what's best by your feelings. May you flourish.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

That’s Just Perfect

I'm not perfect. And…, well…, sorry…, neither are you. Deep down, we know that. But up front, well, we put on a front.


The paradox is that we know we are not perfect yet cannot accept it. Those of us who are well adjusted let others off the hook when they are not perfect. Still, we just cannot bring ourselves to let ourselves off the hook when we are not perfect.


"Perfect" is a GREAT ideal, a GREAT goal. If we have no mark set before us, we miss it every time. But a goal or a standard is just that, a measuring stick for our behavior, not a way to measure our worth. We falsely believe that our imperfect activity diminishes our worth. It does not.


Why not? 


#1 – Jesus' death and resurrection are about claiming and purifying imperfect people. God evidently loves 'em and has a plan for our imperfections


#2 – Our worth is not based on us (our activity) but on God. We get our worth because God says so. You and I are beloved (if not wayward) children made in God's image.


#3 – God's plan is to renew the earth with imperfect people. He can use us as we are. We do not have to be perfect to be fruitful. The bible is full of imperfect, fruitful people (Abraham, Jacob, Rahab, David, Peter, Paul)


Here's the deal. Give your imperfections to God and work with God to become perfectly YOU.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


We love black and white. If you are not a conservative, you are a liberal and visa versa. You are either for guns or against them. Longhorn or Aggie. North or South. Legal or illegal. Adult or child.


Now, not everyone one of these does every one of us subscribe to but we tend to prefer black and white. Life seems simpler that way. More clear cut. I don't think this view is helpful, however.


The ancient (modern, too) Eastern mind, the one Jesus had, took a "both/and" outlook on life rather than an "either/or." The former is more inclusive and the latter more exclusive. Jesus is both God and human. God is just and merciful. Those two attributes seem incapable of occupying the same room! "Either/or" probably gets more money and votes thrown at it but "both/and" may be more truthful and, if embraced, may yield much more contentment with life as a whole.


We are made in the image of God and we are sinners. The same person is capable of wonderful AND horrible things. We prefer a pedestal for the former and "lock 'em up and throw away the key" for the latter. But what if we are both?


"Either/or" collapses life and people into neat categories than can be easily brushed aside or embraced. I have noticed that people and life are messy. Period. Little consistency. "Both/and" leaves people and life as mysteries to be explored, feared and relished.


May you resist brushing aside your neighbor or yourself today for the sake of simplicity. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, a unique masterpiece of God that may need tweaking at any moment. Content people live in the gray.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Job (as in employment)

God doesn't want something from us. He simply wants us - C.S. Lewis



Some days are a grind. Even, I must admit, some days in God's vineyard, are a grind. I mean, there is so much to do, so much he expects. I have a lot to do for him. I mean, the world doesn't look any better than yesterday. Lotta work to be done.


How did I get to a place of working for God (working my butt off, thank you very much) from one of loving him as a kid with little to offer? I think I let the culture inform my faith rather than the other way around.


Lewis is correct. God has everything. God can get everything. God is in the thing making business. He makes things out of nothing. However, there is one thing God does not have always, me (and you.) God is a lover and not a forcer. He yearns for us. Do we yearn for him? Or just punch a clock for him?


When I love God, really love him, I naturally do certain things out of that love. I do this for Christine and the kids and the grand kids. Maybe I did it for you once.


Our busy is successful (valid) culture seeps into my pores each day. I begin to feel and think that God will accept me more if I earn my keep. Maybe earn so much that I have a little credit going into tomorrow.


How sad. Like a genuine father, he loves us even when we are at our worst and do nothing at all. I can get so busy doing "godly" things that I forget to love God (out of which the required things will come.)


Worship is where we yearn for God. Sunday worship can be that place or a place that is "yearn-free." A daily time with God can be a yearning place or an appointment akin to one for a root canal.


May you yearn today for the God who yearns for you. Out of that, just the right things will come and you will be at peace as well. Resign your God-job today.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You For Real?

Authenticity is being what you seem & saying what you mean.

Rick Warren


I love being a pastor. I love people. I ache when I see those I love struggling. Most of the struggling comes from becoming real. Becoming real takes a life time. There are lots of detours. I would like to say that the process of becoming real is resurrection from the dead. Resurrection begins with Jesus Christ, flows through us at baptism, is lived out (or not) to the extent we act out our baptismal vows, and is made complete in eternity.


The struggle to be real takes two forms.


Narrowing the gap between who we are and who we seem to be

Narrowing the gap between what we espouse and what we do


The former is the life free from being who others need us to be and one of accepting who we truly are. The latter is a life free of hypocrisy. Only God can lead us to these states (even if we claim he does not exist!)


Jesus was real and loves forever. His Resurrection gives you the power to be real and really alive.


Don't settle for less today.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I saw a picture of Tiger Wood with his golf coach. I read an article about how Michael Jordon, one of the best if not the best basketball players ever, had a trainer. Both practiced endlessly. My mom trained me to write thank you cards to darn near everyone who showed kindness to me. Most of us train our kids to brush their teeth and use the bathroom. We carpool our kids to soccer practice, piano lessons, and crack-of-dawn swim practice. I went to school for 19 years. Training.


Okay, now, do you have a trainer for Eternity? Most of us, unless we take up tennis or golf or a hobby do not seek a trainer. In fact, most of us probably would admit we do not want any more training. Life needs strategies aimed at Eternity because life never follows a playbook. The playoffs, a medal, a trophy, a degree, a wedding, even a family we train for. After that, we often drift. That "drift" time, however, includes most of life and all of Eternity.


I pray you have a coach in things spiritual. A coach to re-aim your life towards the eternal. That coach can be a person or a group, as long as he/she/they can tell you the truth and you listen and act on it, just like in the case of a sports coach. We need a coach. Friends and family seldom coach. They have an agenda for our life but it usually is not Eternity. Coaches have one agenda – to get us to our goal. If you care about Eternity, you will need a coach. Independent agents, those who feel they do not need a coach, often end up in places they did not desire. A coach will get you there. Where do you want to go?


Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather,

 train yourself to be godly.

For physical training is of some value, but

godliness has value for all things,

holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.  1 Timothy 4:7-9 NIV)


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just Wing It

Everyone is ignorant- just on different subjects. - Will Rogers


In 60+ years on earth, I have observed a few things. Now, observations are not facts. I do notice trends that longevity provides. Age gives one the possibility of gaining insight from the span of years.


I have forgotten most of the thermodynamics and integral calculus I learned. I never get the names of plants or trees correct and, by the look of my plants and trees, have never mastered how to keep them alive. I cannot "arrange" things.


I have some things that I have observed over a long period of time. like, how anyone is capable of good or evil (there are no "good" or "bad" people.) How people behave in groups, sometimes noble and sometimes ignoble. I also know when people are getting into the ignoble realm. I work best when someone tells me "can't." And I have come to know kids, especially teens.


I am surprised when I offer my insights (I never offer arranging advice) and others are not interested. Wisdom that comes with age is not valued in our culture. Many people (maybe due to video games?) prefer to learn "on the fly" and "wing it" rather than have a plan based on insight.


I think wisdom is God's gift to us. The Bible seems to agree. Imagine. God sends insight in the form of written wisdom and people who embody his wisdom.


Today, own your own wisdom and your own ignorance. Seek wisdom. Crave it. Give up needing to pose as an expert on life. Connect. Value those who have gleaned wisdom from their travels in following Christ.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


On any given Sunday, 35% of St. Andrew's worships together. 65% are elsewhere. I wonder where they are. I am always here except for a few vacation Sundays. I don't get out much (on Sundays.) I wonder what my "children" are up to? Sometimes they are sick or their hearts are broken. I often find out later. Sometimes they just skip church. Facebook lets me know many times what they are up to at 10 am on Sunday. Many get very few weekends off from work or carpooling. Sometimes they get a much deserved Sabbath with friends or family. Sometimes they sleep in. Work is hard. I pray they know God and that they know peace.


I love my "children." Few call me "Father" but all are my children.  Often, I get very proud of them and their triumphs, both secular and sacred. I worry about some. I want every one of them to have a rich spiritual life and I know that includes worship. I hope I lead something on Sunday that lifts the spirit, challenges the will, soothes the soul and feeds the mind. We need that.


I love my "children."


Have you told someone you have not seen in a while that you missed them and love them? Do you have those you love outside your family who you know well enough to miss and love enough to contact?


As the end of life gets closer and the beginning gets farther away, the richness of relationships sustains the day more than any achievement, portfolio or diversion. I hope you are rich today.



I will not be burning the Qu'ran on 9/11/10. Pastor Terry Jones of Florida says we should and that Islam is of the devil. I think he is misguided at best and, in this case, an agent for evil, at worst.


I am a Christian. This to me means that I follow Christ. I know that there are some violent and somewhat crazy Christians out there. They, too, are misguided. Upon reflection, I have had times of being misguided, mostly when I "went with my gut" and did not consult God on the matter. Feelings are real but lousy gods. We are all sinners and we all, even Muslims, have resident in us the Image of God.


To me, following Christ means to listen to him and do as he says. Jesus had an incredible respect for others: in their wrongness or rightness. Nothing in my relationship of follower tells me that the Gospel will be served by blowing up abortion clinics, exterminating Jews, ignoring the poor, hating gays, or burning the holy text of others. If their salvation is truly at stake, I want to engage them as people for whom God chose to die. My care should be more for the subject of my concern than the project. God completes projects. Giving into my own zeal to do harm will and, in fact, take me farther from Him who I love.


Reach out to a Jew or Muslim or Hindu or an atheist today. You need not co-opt your religion. Just show the same respect that Jesus showed. You don't even need to talk religion. Listen. Jesus can and will speak through them. In your respect, Christ will speak to them.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I recently saw a special on TV about "Irrelevant Week." Since 1976, the last person picked in the NFL college football draft was named Mr. Irrelevant. He received a week in Newport Beach, CA in his "honor" along with some gifts. The motto of the group that puts this together is, "Doing something nice for someone for no reason."


I imagine you are of the same stuff I am. I would not want to be last at anything, let alone a very public last. Reading the bio's of some of the past recipients, I see that a great deal of humility is necessary for what is an otherwise very good college athlete (after all most football players don't get drafted at all.) Humility and humor. Let even receive a Lowsman Trophy, which mimics the Heisman, but depicts a player fumbling a football.


Further reading of bio's reveals that some actually made the team, some started for the team and one even played in a Super Bowl. "Irrelevance" is no predictor.


Those who follow Christ need humility. Even Jesus did not look like a success in his lifetime. Much of the life of a follower is pretty routine; doing the right thing for a good God and getting very little recognition. Maybe even getting in trouble or looking stupid when the world chooses to go in another direction.


Most of us will receive few accolades for our work in God's Vineyard. We may feel like losers. We may not be sure we had much impact. Faith is all we have. Faith we are following God honestly. Faith that in God's economy it makes a difference.


Head into today knowing your life matters and produces fruit even when you don't see it. You are not irrelevant. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for the hours, days and years of faithfulness. Do something nice for someone for no reason today.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I hate interruptions. Okay, if you were interrupting me to give me a million dollars, I would welcome that. Otherwise, I hate interruptions.


Now, with that said, I do tolerate interruptions. On occasion, I even embrace them. I look to see if there is gold in them. If we are to be in the following Jesus business, we will be in the interruption business. People and their lives do not follow plans much less rules. Most like to "wing it" with "wing it" results. Life is, well, messy.


Christians are in the people business and see many of life's interruptions as God's way of nudging us into ministry. Interruptions seem to be the work of The Spirit. Without a nudge, I might stay on the sidelines, consuming life (and avoiding it.)


Sometimes, we all (some more than others) begin to see the Christian life to be about tasks and not people. Holy tasks, we say. But we forget that the tasks are for the benefit of people. The tasky Christian begins to see people and their interruptions as a nuisance. I often hear this in an alternative form, "I will do whatever you say (task) but I will not lead. You lead." We are all called to lead from time to time and leading will encounter interruptions due to that fact one leads messy people with messy lives. Good thing Jesus didn't shirk the interruptions. In fact, he seems to have made an industry out of them. And he lives even now.


When you get impatient with an interruption today, or when you want to by pass on the person for a task, ask yourself if this. Is The Spirit calling you to life?


The Crowd

When I first came into ministry, I was called upon to claim that a list of people were all among my parishioners. These were softball players. None were church goers. Few had ever set foot in the church. The team had been very successful in a church league. I saw it as telling a lie. Yet, I wanted to be accepted (if not exalted ;)  I tried a discussion with the presenters of the list. My case was weak. Little fib versus a juggernaut of a team. No contest.


I decided not to sign. I was, to say the least, not popular (oh, and I wanted to be so popular!) Wounded, I pressed on. God says this.


You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice.  Exodus 23:2 (NLT)


Today, check the crowd's conventional wisdom. Is it "right" because it comes from a crowd or is it right because it comes from God. It is now easy to tell sometimes. Can you risk going against the flow when Jesus calls for it? Penultimately, it cost him his life. Ultimately, it gave him his life. I will pray for you today to resist the crowd and embrace God.