Month: March 2015

The Last Enemy to be Defeated

Death brings out the best in people.

Or not.

As I feared last week, the family chose Saturday to hold the funeral. They would not be persuaded, and no other option was good enough. Why? Because they said so. It wasn’t a time that overlapped our evangelism event, but it was so close — most, if not all, of our evangelism people would also be at the funeral. Can you imagine coming to a church event and being welcomed with tears? Yeah. And again, refusal to move.

Then, I hear through the grapevine: If I mention that this woman who died was a sinner, her brother will punch me in the face. Heaven forbid I say what every single person knows. The woman who died knew her Savior, and her Savior knew her. I have no hesitation to say that she is in heaven. However, I must acknowledge that she was a sinner. She struggled in major ways. To not acknowledge this is to not only “simply” allow the popular funeral heresy of saying she was a good woman, but also to speak a lie that would offer no comfort.

Incidentally, this is no idle threat. This same man is known for his violence. (more…)

Advertisements

It’s so very Lent.

I have no hair left to tear out.

If you had to choose one, which would it be:
a. Support a church family that is currently grieving
b. Offer an outreach event to support Easter worship

For months we’ve been building up a Wii bowling tournament we’re hosting. The idea is that it gets people into our building, introduces them to our congregation, and gives us a direct chance to invite to Easter. It’s pre-evangelism. It’s a way to get names and addresses for our prospect list. Using these names, I’ll personally invite each person to Easter during the following week. Fun and simple! We’ve got ads in the newspaper (yay free advertising!), online, and in other places. We’re holding the event this coming Saturday. Good times!

Today after worship, a phone call changed the atmosphere. One of our members, a young single mother, was found dead in her bed. Cause of death unknown.

I love being in a small congregation. We all prayed together – with the family. We grieved together. We felt the absence of this person. It is good to mourn with your brothers and sisters. It is good to admit that death sucks, but we need not fear it.

But now…. Now, it appears that the family will choose Saturday for the funeral. (more…)

Pastors Don’t Always Want to Go to Church Either

This is very true. There are days I’d really like to sleep in. Yes, even on Sundays. But thank God for his grace!

I like the psalms, but I can’t pray some of them with a straight face. Psalm 122 is a prime example. David is a little too cheerful for me as he exclaims,

“I was glad when they said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”

sleepinginchurchThat certainly doesn’t roll off my tongue when I roll out of bed on Sunday morning. Maybe my wife and I stayed out a little too late on Saturday night. There’s still yard work and grocery shopping and laundry and a hundred other things that need to be done before Monday comes around. There’s a voters’ meeting after church that I’d like to avoid at all costs. I’m likely to get corned by Mr. Meddler or Mrs. Gossipalot and have to find a way politely to excuse myself from their logorrhea. Or maybe I’m just bone tired. I want to chill…

View original post 1,011 more words

Getting Moving…

Call it cabin fever, if you want. I’m ready to get out and do something.

It’s been almost two weeks now with the vertigo. I had a cat scan on Friday, but I won’t hear any results from that until Monday. I have physical therapy on Wednesday coming; I’m told by people who’ve had this before that the therapy helps almost immediately.

But for these two weeks… I’ve not been able to concentrate enough to really deal with anyone or anything serious – at least not in person. About a week ago I couldn’t understand my Bride because I couldn’t put enough concentration toward her words when she was speaking very clearly. I can type – and I’ve been doing that, but at a much, much slower pace than normal! Naps have become the new standard, as I use up all my energy very quickly.

But today, after my nap, I was ready to get stuff done. I planned for this coming week. If I can’t visit people… I can call them on the phone! Time to make contacts! Let’s get moving!

And after that… well, there’s one family of prospects that live a block away. I can walk that far without falling over, right? I set out! (more…)

No Story to Tell

You’d think a week of missing almost all direct ministry would either be relaxing or frustrating, but really, it’s just made me go, “meh.” There’s no story to tell… at least, not any story involving me.

Monday night, something hit me hard. I felt sudden exhaustion, and the room swirled around me. Tuesday the dizziness continued; I didn’t feel safe driving. I canceled my appointments and attempted to do office work. While I could make forward progress, mentally I had to shove through a morass of vertigo that made it difficult to concentrate on anything and left me exhausted.

Wednesday, the doctor told me I had an inner ear infection, which gave me vertigo.

All week, I drove nowhere. That cut out nearly every single appointment I’d made. People understood; to my knowledge no one was upset. What work I could do in the office remained sluggish. I feel I accomplished the bare minimum for ministry: I planned and readied for Sunday morning. I faced some frustration in having to concentrate so hard on what usually is a delight, but really, it was just a week of accepting that I wasn’t able to do what I wanted. (more…)