Friday, February 29, 2008

Change


When I was a Respiratory Therapist, we used this symbol, the Delta, to signify a change in orders or change in Vent settings.
I never realized at that point how radical this symbol or change could be, especially in the church.
It is so interesting to see the dynamics of church life from the inside. Interesting and often frustrating. Good people find themselves fighting and bumping up against things all the time. You often witness good people on both sides of an issue. Why is that?
When the church is seeking to find the vision that God has for the church or trying to figure out how best to implement that vision in the community, what happens? Why do good people sometimes begin to hunker down for a fight?
I guess in the end, it could be tied to fear. Fear of a loss of control, identity, or worth. We sometimes tie up the value of ourselves in programs, traditions, or events. When we see them changing or being eliminated, perhaps we think that we are next.
I think it is time for a radical change in the way we think as a church. The church is NOT a country club, the church is NOT a social club. The church IS the body of Christ in the world. We are to go out and make disciples and to reach out to the least, last, and lost. If we are not doing that then we are not the church.
Don't be afraid of change, be afraid of not being the church. Because the world needs the church, because the world needs Jesus.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Word

So is it the Book? Is it the version? Is it the cover? Is it the print size? Is it the cool book names?
What is it that makes it so special? I know these questions are really not serious, well I hope not.

I have been in the midst of some discussions about the Bible and how it is used in worship. I have made a point recently to use more readings from the Bible, because for awhile I do not believe we were using it enough, at least for my context.

In a church I used to attend, it seemed everybody brought their Bibles with them. Even though there were pew Bibles available. Personally I just liked having my own, if anything cropped up that was being said or sung, I could look up what I wanted easily. I soon realized that is not necessarily the norm in all churches.


More to the point of those original questions. What makes the bible so important? I believe without question it is the eternal truths that exist inside. Whether those truths are read or sung or projected on a TV, CD, or projector is not the point. The point is God's word and how it shapes our lives.

Books may go away some day. Does that mean we lose the Word of God? I think we all know the answer to that.

Monday, February 25, 2008

God's House?


This church and its members mean so very much to me. I am so very pleased that I have been able to share in ministry with them. I also look forward to many more opportunities to do ministry with them in the future.

However, we seem to be running into more and more challenges together. There is a consensus that there is a refocusing needed. We need to find a way to truly be in the world making disciples for Jesus Christ. yet, we often spend much of our time thinking about maintaining buildings or propping up programs that are no longer working.

Questions such as "what is the church" seem so basic, yet they need to be asked again and again. We need to find a way to go into God's world and tell the story of Jesus Christ. It does not take fancy technology or snazzy graphics. It takes women and men who are committed to real transformation taking place in the world.

Do we really need to vote on making disciples?

Do we really have to have committee meetings about how to do it?

Do we really have to ask if we are being effective Christians?

Are we more tied to the way things used to be than we are committed to the work of the church?

Are we more impressed with the history of our church or the history that our church should be making?

All living things must change(grow) or they die.


Are we growing or are we dying?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

There but the Grace of God

Last night my son called me at 11:50.
I assumed he was calling me to tell he that he was going to be late for his curfew. What I found out instead was that he had just hit a deer on his way home.
He sounded okay. He said the car was driveable so I told him to come home. I went out to the see the car when he got home and it looked pretty bad but not as bad as I thought it would.
He came inside and we talked awhile. Over time you could see that he was very upset. He was shaking. He said that he felt bad that he had hit an animal.
We talked to him for awhile and then he went to bed. This morning when we looked again at his car, it was a wreck! the whole side of his car was dented and trim was peeled off and there were "signs" of the deer all over the car. Even now sitting here I have a put in my stomach thinking about what could have been.
So why the picture of Bambi? Believe me it was not with malice that I put that picture there and it was not done to suggest the life of the deer was insignificant. In many ways, I believe this is the image in my son's mind of who he hit last night, or at least it was initially. He was shaken not simply by the accident but by killing a creature of God's.
The moral of the story? Heck that is easy. Life is precious. All life. But the big moral of the story is that every day, I realize more and more how much my family means to me and how much I love them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Out of (in)focus


How exactly did we used to do it? Was there ever a time when I did not have my projector? Ahhh man! I don't like this one bit.

Last at week, the Infocus projector seemed to be losing its power. The output was very dark and faint and had a greenish tinge. We made it through the services but that was about it.
This week, my plan was to order a light bulb/housing/assembly for a very "reasonable" 200 dollars or so. However, a lot of things popped up this week that did not allow me a lot of office time this week at all. One of the minuses to being in a smaller parish is the lack of office help at times. This week that was a big problem on a lot of fronts.

Well, I just spent the last 90 minutes or so printing bulletins and also printing out "song sheets" for the contemporary service.

I don't know how or when I became so enslaved to technology, but I am and I do not like it one bit!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What Time is it?


As a pastor, sometimes I look up at the clock at the back of the church and think, "uh oh". I realize that my sermon has gone longer than anticipated and if I don't wrap up soon we are not going to get done, "n time" and people are going to get a little antsy.

I guess the next thing I often think is who made up that rule? Why are we so tied to the clock? The sermon must be between 18-25 minutes and we must be done in one hour or whatever the time frame is.

I would never look at the clock in the fourth quarter of an Eagles game and say, "uh oh", it better be over soon.

I would never look at the clock while spending time with my family and say, we are running late.

Is it just me?

Do we sometimes try to put a time limit on our worship time, so we can get to other things?




Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I read this today during a time of prayer....

The sheep follow the Good Shepherd because they know his voice." (John 10:4). How do we hear the voice of God? As a hectoring father, a nagging mother, a moralizing preacher, a didactic teacher, a calculating accountant, a roaring sergeant-major?

So do any of these "voices" fit for you? Or do you hear God another way?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nice day


It is a beautiful day today. I was able to get my wife to take a little walk outside. She is doing really good and it is great to see her up and around.

I am planning a trip with my son to visit some colleges in Missouri and North Carolina. It will be a whirlwind trip but I think it will be a good one. Bonding and the like.

All in all as I look back at the hectic nature of life recently, I just take pause today to realize just how blessed I truly am.

Sunday, February 17, 2008



I am jealous of this cat. I need to take a nap. It has been a long week and it is time to realx and unwind.

So I am going to take a cue from this furry fellow and do some serious resting.

Have a Blessed Sunday!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ministry/Life goes on


It is humbling to note that the world continues on despite the fact that I would like it to slow down for awhile.


My retreat, my wife's surgery, parishoner's who need caring, boys who needs their dad.


In the midst of all this, i must stop and look for the moments of grace.


Where have I experienced God today?


Where have you exeprienced God today?

Friday, February 15, 2008

All is well

Well all went well so far. We got her t the surgery and out of the surgery. Doctor reports that all is well. She is sore, tired, and nauseous but all signs point to
a good result. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts and calls etc.

Boy oh boy. This has been some week!


God is going to get tired of hearing from me!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday I was filled with excitement and joy and now today I am troubled. My wife was scheduled for surgery next week. It is not "major" surgery I don't think, but really anytime you are undergoing surgery it is major.

Recently her symptoms have become more pronounced, she called the doctor and now her surgery is tomorrow!

Wow life is something. I have a pit in my stomach that won't go away.

Anyway, peace.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yes!

I can't think about it too long because I will be weepy but I received the call that said those words I have been waiting a long time to hear..."Yes Larry you are approved for Ordination into the GNJAC".

It was two very long days of interviewing and processing and at times it seemed that it would never end. It was humbling at times, the hardest interview was the one I thought would be the easiest. I believe God is trying to tell me something with that.


Last night was difficult because although it all appeared promising for me, some of the brothers and sisters that I had traveled with were troubled. We talked and we all prayed and I continued to keep them in prayers. I heard my news today and was so excited and yet I waitied to hear. From all indications from those whom I have been able to hear from, we have all got through this journey together! Glory to God.

Even now, I am feeling the emotion pour forth.


So much more to say and I believe over the next few days I will have lots more to write here.

In the meantime thanks for the prayers and support.

Peace!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's time

I am getting ready to go pack , my bags and head off tomorrow for the end (I hope and pray) of this process. Ordination interviews start tomoroow and will last for two days. It has been a long, tiring, exhilirating, anxious, fantastic, crazy, time.

Through it all there have been very few constants. One of those constamts has been the love and support of my family. Another of those constants has been the support of great friends. I have met some fantastic people on my journey and tomorrow is just another step.

In my heart I know god has called me into the ministry, of thatr there is no question and I have no doubt. this process can beat you down at times but there are so many chances to experience grace as well.

So, I am off to go do some last minute cramming and some more praying.

My prayer for the next several days is just for peace for myself and my fellow candidates as well as those that will be interviewing us.

Peace!