Darkness Does Not Overcome It

Years ago I heard a pastor use this illustration to press home his point:My pastor and one of his pastor friends walk into a dimly lit restaurant. The pastor friend starts confessing his questions to my pastor, how he struggles with some fundamentals of the faith, and how he wonders if this is a legitimate part of his growth to spiritual maturity. My pastor quickly jumped in to correct him and says, "Did you notice how dark it was in here when we came in. We could hardly find our way to this … [Read more...]

navigating plateaus

I teach English as a second language to international students at a university. One of the things you learn as a teacher is that students will plateau in their learning, acquisition and utilization of English.This can be caused by many things such as over-saturation, educational exhaustion, complacency or ability. I believe it is helpful to educate the student not just on the subject being taught… in this case English… but to educate them on the process. Once a student learns about the ine … [Read more...]

Corn, Sprout, Stalk, Ear

I have been reminded that my ministry has mainly been one of uprooting and tearing down. Apparently, I've done an excellent job. The church is a small but vibrant community poised for good things. I have never felt it was my job to grow the church physically, but to build it spiritually. In fact, I'm not interested in church growth. I truly think that Jon, the new pastor, has the gifts for growing a church. I think there's an excellent foundation for the next season to build upon. And even … [Read more...]

cartoon: get and stay thin

Check out my tees HERE. I'm growing my inventory all the time. And check out my art HERE. … [Read more...]

A Parable of Me and My Community

This parable, roughly written yesterday and today, captures the story of my life and my church's life. Here's how it goes:A beautiful young woman fell in love and married the perfect man. It was a famous wedding. They were the ideal couple. They had the admiration of everyone around. It was a fairy-tale wedding and a dream marriage. Things were wonderful. For about a year.She realized, as she became more mature and self-aware, that she wanted to continue to grow and develop as a person. She … [Read more...]

Hummingbirds, Crabs & Independence

I went on vacation this last week to Prince Edward Island. I had a great rest. The cottage we were staying in was very peaceful, on the Cardigan River. Splendid! There is a hummingbird feeder hanging on the deck and I sat out there for hours trying to get a shot like this one of the several hummingbirds that were literally warring over the feeder. None of the hummingbirds would let any of the other ones feed. As soon as one got close to the feeder, the others would dive-bomb it. It was a … [Read more...]

The Questions of Possibility

Sometimes I just don't know. When I read the New Testament, it really isn't that great a testimony to the strength and vitality of the early church. I mean, look at Jesus' church, which started with 12. And at the pinnacle of his career they all pretty much abandoned him. Then there's Paul's record. Not very impressive. I mean he did get lots of churches off the ground, but I think most eventually disintegrated. John's churches too. Read the gospel of John, The Revelation and the three epistles … [Read more...]

10 Tips For Increasing Church Growth and Income

Yesterday I met with someone who asked about my message that morning. I insist that you can't embrace the reality of the cross and pursue the security of success at the same time. I also said that we could increase the attendance at our church as well as the giving, but I can't prioritize that with a clear conscience if I hold Jesus Christ and him crucified at the center of all I believe and do. This person asked, "What would you do, if you felt free to do it, that would increase the attendance … [Read more...]

How To Be You (2bU)

With my tongue in my cheek, I put together this list of how to be more you. Hope they help!First of all, admit you are not you: unless of course you are. Then skip this whole thing. Get introduced: you can't become yourself until you know who the real you is. Hardest part! Like what you see. No matter how repugnant or glorious the real you seems to you, you're stuck with you, and that's the real thing. Murder the masks: Detect the masks and say bye-bye to them. Shed no tears. Their death … [Read more...]