Showing posts from May, 2013

Great Lesson in Racial Insensitivity


Before You Can Lead

Brandon Cox shares three important Prerequisites to Leadership -- absolutely true, and especially fitting for those who serve in small communities.

Swarms of Annoyances

While doing yard work the other day, I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. I ended up on the losing end of that altercation, though I jumped, smacked, flailed and flapped like a maniac. I’m pretty sure the neighbors wondered why I was break-dancing with a garden hose.

Annoyances are like mosquitoes. They’re everywhere, come at you from every direction, attack when it’s least convenient, and usually come in swarms. Everybody deals with them, as an unpleasant part of life.

Why do we expect life to be trouble free? No person in the course of human history has experienced a trouble free week, so why should this week be any different for you?

Some troubles are huge and life altering. Most, however, are just pesky annoyances that get under our skin and bother us.

Here are a few thoughts to help when you’re swarmed by annoyances.

1. Look for the blessing in it.
We have a choice. Are we going to focus on our frustration or look for the bright side. Negatives are always accompanied by blessings. …

The Secret of Rejoicing

At the funeral of my dear friend, Joyce Hubbell last week, someone stated, "Joyce chose to rejoice.."

The longer I live, the more I’m convinced it is, indeed, a choice to rejoice. 

It’s commonly believed that rejoicing is just a response. Certainly, there is some truth to that perspective. If my team wins the game, I rejoice. If I receive some unexpected money, I rejoice. If I experience a happy event (such as a marriage or birth of a new baby) I rejoice.

However, rejoicing goes far beyond the emotional response to life’s happenings.

If it’s only a response to momentary events – then it comes and goes – rises and falls – depending on what’s happening now. That kind of thinking makes our attitude a roller coaster – up one minute and down the next.

The Bible says to “Rejoice evermore” (I Thessalonians 5:16.) It also says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and I say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4.) Now, the Bible does not command us to do the impossible. These verses of Scripture t…

How They Should Settle Local Church - Denomination Property Disputes

The question of who retains property rights of a local church that decides to leave a denomination is in the news again, in light of the Virginia court's recent ruling that the historic Falls Church building belongs to the Episcopal denomination, rather than the local congregation.  Falls Church  is now seeking a rehearing.

Property deeds in many denominations (including ours) are not held by the local church, but rather by their governing bodies.  This arrangement works fine as long as everybody is in harmony with each other, and in many respects is a safeguard agaist a few rogue members taking over and stealing a church way from it original, intended, historic path.

However,  what happens when the denomination strays from its original, intended, historic path and the local church departs in protest?  Who should get the building?

The way I see it, in disputes like this, church property should always go to its primary investors.

If the denomination was the primary source of fundi…

Bible Thumper

This woman is a Real Bible Thumper.

How to Get Along With Others

It is always more pleasant when people get along. As the Bible says, “Behold how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.” One mother recently told her children, “I only want one thing for Mother's Day – Just one full day when you all get along with each other without squabbling!” They didn’t make it. (You could say they gave her half-a-present!)

Ask anybody, and they will tell you they want to get along with others. However, more often than not, we find ourselves embroiled in controversy of some kind or another. Usually it’s because of misunderstandings.

Understanding what frustrates others is the first step towards peaceful relationships. What gets people upset?

Abrupt Change:
Mark Twain said the only person who likes change is a baby with wet diapers! Normally, however, people are not totally opposed to change. They just get worked up if it is sprung on them!

Unclear Expectations:
When we assume they know what we’re thinking, we’re asking for trouble. It’s aggravating to…

Here, But Not Yet

Last week's May-day winter storm is something northwoods folks will remember (and brag about) for a very long time, though last I heard,  the weatherman joined Salman Rushdie in hiding for his life.
Where is spring? That's what I want to know! Everybody around town has been asking the same question, too.
This Sunday's Mother's Day, for heaven's sake. Last year, we were sunbathing. This year, we're still wearing long johns and tossing snow balls  (kids, don't throw one at your mother!)
Last year, the crocuses bloomed. This year, we feel like croaking as we shovel the bloomin' sidewalks. . . again.

Last year, we caught fish all day on opening weekend.  This year, we vicariously watched Pete Maina catch them on  t.v. instead.
The robins are going to need extensive therapy I'm afraid.  And just yesterday, I saw two Canadian geese flying south!  
Again I ask. . . where is spring?

And here's the answer: spring is here! Beneath the surface of the earth, she…

One Pastor's Greatest Regret

In her beautiful book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp relates one pastor's answer to the question, "what is your greatest regret?"

Being in a hurry.  Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me.  I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained by being in a hurry.  But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing. . .  Through all that haste I thought I was making up time.  It turns out I was throwing it away.
(Quoted from Mark Buchanan's Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Your Sabbath.)