Month: June 2014

Elevator Etiquette


Just left the hospital and had a wonderful experience with the elevators there.

As a result of that experience here is a sign I would like to suggest to be hung in every elevator at Baptist Hospital.

Elevator Rules of Social Conduct

1. Wait till everyone is out of the elevator before you get on.

2. Don’t not pass gas on the elevator.

3. If you do pass gas get out of the way of the person who is about to throw up as a result of your stench.

4. Please, do not discuss medical things that would turn someone’s stomach if they were at a dinner table with you.

5. FYI the elevator is not a good place for ” private time “. Everyone can hear what you are saying… We do not want to know who is sleeping with who… (Even when we do not know them)

6. If there is only 3 people in the elevator when you get on, there is no need for you to stand really close to someone you do not know.

7. Cover your mouth when you sneeze… Even when you are not in a confined space this is a good idea.

8. Please wear deodorant… If you find you forgot to put some on they sell it in the Gift Shop…

9. Do not blow your nose in an elevator.

10. If you do please get out of the way of the person who is about to throw up because of the nastiness of you putting snot back into your pocket.

11. When getting off of the elevator always clean your hands with the sanitizer the hospital provides for you. There is a reason it is located on the wall in the elevator area.

Thanks.

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Trust

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I was just sitting here, wrapping up my day, reviewing conversations I’ve had today and thankful God has placed people in my life I can trust.  That is a blessing…

I can’t say that I have always had people around me I could trust.  Many times I have found myself trusting, and believing in people only to be hurt by them in the end.  This has been a painful reality that I’ve had to come to grips with.  Currently the people that desire to have my trust so “in the end they can make  point”, I know who they are, because all betrayers smell and look the same.  Something that only experience can teach you.

But…

To currently have people around me who I can trust is awesome.

Of course in the back of ones mind… ok mine… is

what’s the catch?

when will the betrayal happen?

but maybe that will not happen…

Trust is the foundation for all successful ventures in this life.   Successful ventures that last.  Trust is the foundation for meaningful relationships,  relationships that stand the test of time regardless of distance, or difference.  Trust is what allows marriages to last and friendships to prosper and grow.  Trust enables families to stay together and church’s to unite and do the work of Christ.

Trust is essential to the development of our character and our souls.  Trust is the key to stability and when you are trying to get something accomplished, trust is the difference between failure and success. Trust allows you to count on people, to keep their commitments and to never doubt they will accomplish what they agreed to do.

A leader is always looking for people he/she can trust.  For they know the more people you have that you can trust the more you can accomplish and when it comes to a church and leading as a pastor it impacts how much the  church can do for the Glory of God.

I think trust is taken too lightly in this day and age.  People criticize others for not having it but seldom look inside to see if they are really trustworthy.  Most people rationalize away their actions that violate trust so they will still be able to look in the mirror and think that they are trustworthy.  But the emptiness this causes is not so easily discarded and causes undo criticism which is another volition of trust.  We all want to have people in our lives we can trust but fail to be the person other people can trust and count on.

Am I the person others can trust?  Am I living a trustworthy life where my wife, my kids, my friends, my church family and my real family know, without me saying it, that they can trust me to do what I agreed to do, to keep confidences, to protect them when others are trying to tear them down?

I’m trying too.

Yes it’s because of “Jesus, the Bible, etc….”

but the biggest reason is because I am thankful for those around me right now that I can trust though they have never asked me too.   It’s a blessing of stability and brings confidence that you have people around you… “you”… can count on….

and that is a blessing.

I want to be that blessing to others… don’t you?

How the Bible Speaks

Meaninful-Bible-Verses

The Bible is Alive, it is a living thing.  As strange and weird as that sounds it is absolutely true.  Hebrews 4:12-13 says…

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

The Bible is Alive, it is a living thing and it desires to speak to you…

But how does it do that?  How does it speak to us?  Is it like one of those cards you open up at Rite Aid and it sings you a song?

Nope

It’s more than that.

The Bible doesn’t speak to you like a normal person would, it connects with you on a much deeper level.  It penetrates to your soul and to your spirit, the deepest part of you.  It gives you the sensation, the feeling, the realization that it knows who you are and reveals to you what you need to change or continue to do.  Things that may bother you during the day until you ignore them or deal with them.  It’s communicating with you when you find yourself meditating on what you have read when you’re not even trying too meditate on it.

The Bible is alive… and active.

Sometimes we do not connect with the Bible in order for it to do it’s work on our lives… on our souls.  Here are a few reasons why…

1. When we fail to read the Bible it is impossible to connect with it.  You can’t connect with something that is alive unless you are spending time with it.

2. When use it as a textbook.  We use the Bible as a text book when we use it to give confidence to our intellect with the factual knowledge we have gained by working on it rather than looking for a connection so it can work on us.

3. When we only use it when we want to support the way we want to live or the point we want to make.

These things (and more) will prevent the Bible from speaking to you…  In order to connect with it you have to remove everything that prevents it from speaking to you.

So how do you know if the Bible is working on you, communicating to you?

When you feel like it’s reading you while you are reading it…

and when that happens it’s time to listen, to pay attention to how it is dividing you and work on the things it is showing you that you need to work on…

and then change direction if needed.

 

The Top 5 Church Bugs

There are bugs in churches across this nation and literally in churches all over the world. Bugs are not a respecter of denominations, in fact they do not mind if the church is Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, handles snakes, wears robes, has a drum set or uses an organ.

It seems that the bugs that get into our churches are interdenominational.

An interesting fact about these “church bugs” is; they are not the same bugs we commonly use in sermons as illustrations, like the caterpillar and the butter fly. Instead they are rarely used as illustrations if at all. And maybe that is why they are showing up… they are saying “PICK ME! PICK ME!”

Here is a list of those faithful bugs….

#5 – Water Beatles

Regardless if you baptize by sprinkling or immersion these black bugs seem to show up. You know they are present when you hear screams from the ladies bathroom. Mistaken for roaches, these guys are always around. Their walking style is vary odd, which makes them a little creepy. They also love to hang out in the baptistry and like to float in the water on the morning you are going to baptize a new convert.

4. Zacchaeus Ants

These “wee little things” show up from time to time looking to take what isn’t theirs for their own prophet.

Organized without committees or teams they have one central mission… they want food that was blessed by Jesus.

The preschool gold fish are what they often go for first… but be careful they may make it to your kitchen and become little surprises for your next communion service.

3. Spiders

Now I know what you are thinking, Spiders are not bugs. However if “you are what you eat” and spiders eat bugs then at some level they’re bugs… right?

Spiders come in all shapes and sizes. They are reminders that all is not good in the world and are capable of making a grown man scream like a girl.

I had a big one in my office last summer that put me on top of my desk. After I got up enough courage to kill it, I went looking for the second. They always travel in twos.(I am sure this is in response to a command Jesus gave…)

Soon, I found the second and send it to its grave. Shaking the whole time I was trying to kill it.

Most of the spiders I saw in the church growing up looked something like this…

Just a weird exoskeleton looking sort of thing that was designed to creep kids out in church.

I am sure of it.

I am not sure what this type of spider eats but I do know that if there are peaces of water bugs in a corner, at a door or by a window there is a bigger more terrifying spider than the one pictured here, somewhere in the room.

The peaces on the floor are either the remains of what he did not want to eat or a tithe of his food to God.

Regardless, at this point, I leave the room.

2. Zombie Crickets

Here is a normal cricket…

Here is a cricket that has died and come back as a Zombie…

Now, if your church has a basement chances are you have these.

Ugly, deformed or mutated, back from the dead and scary looking.

They can jump higher than a human can… which brings on heart issues for most people.

There is only one redeemable quality in my mind concerning these bugs…

they eat spiders.

I am willing to not kill them for that reason alone.

 

1. Potluck Flies.

Coming to the sanctuary the sunday after your potluck.

Most flies die after a few days but potluck flies seem to have eternal life. I have actually smashed one flat only to see it get up and try to fly again.

Even if you do kill them it seems they haunt the area where they lost their life.

Yes, they come back as ghost flies!

How do I know this?

I have seen a fly seemingly appear out of thin air, then by the time I turned around with my fly swatter its was gone.

Seemingly disappearing in thin air!

So there you go… it would be cool if you would comment on this post and tell about your experiences with church bugs…

if not… I understand… you need to sleep tonight.

 

10 Things a New Pastor Needs to Keep in Mind

The-ideal-pastor

It is always exciting to see a Pastor finally find a church he feels called to minister at.  His first year at the church will set the tone for the rest of his ministry there. It will set the pace for the quality of ministry he will have and will set the length of time he will be able to remain at the church.  Here are 10 things to keep in mind during that first year…. this list is not exhaustive….

1. There are things that the previous pastors have done that cannot be quickly undone. Do not criticize any former pastors.  Stay above board on this one.

2. There will be things you do during your ministry that the next pastor that comes in will need to undo.

3. There are things the previous pastors have done you need to build off of.

4. There will be things you accomplish that the pastors after you will be able to build upon.

5. The advice you have received to “not change anything in your first year” is not wise.

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6. To change things the wrong way, without thinking through the right steps to make the change,( steps that include adequate communication, a developed plan and an adequate assimilation time line,)  is unwise…. and really stupid.

7. Get to know your environment and your people.  This will take some time.

pastor-break-in

8. Only change one thing at a time… this allows time for people to adjust.

9. Stick with the Bible and what it says.  Always preach to the best of your ability.

10.  Study and Pray more than you do anything else.  Do not negate this task, it is what you are called to do.  Many times pastors allow distractions to limit their study time. You need to limit your response to distractions in order to maximize your study time.

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BONUS – NEVER, EVER sacrifice your family time for the church ministry.