Monthly Archives: May 2012

Church Signs… Funny or not?

Please check out this video and then read my response. I’m interested in having some conversation about my concerns.

The Funniest Church Signs!!!! from churchsignslol on GodTube.

I enjoyed some of these. But I wonder if I’m SUPPOSED to be enjoying them. (Not that there’s something wrong with my enjoyment, but rather shouldn’t the public sign of a Christians church offer hope and invite the non-Christian into relationship with HIM? Signs that only a Christian insider can understand are probably lost on the ones we say we’re trying to reach? And signs like “God doesn’t believe in Atheists” and to the “dyslexic atheist” seem to be a deliberate snub or mocking of the atheist. And I was appalled to see a United Methodist Church sign mocking victims of natural disasters and blaming them on God. How does that do to help them receive the REAL message of Christ?

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Finding the Right Words to Say

This morning, I ran across this article I found a few years ago in my urologist’s office as I was having one of my semi-annual cancer followup appointments. (In fact, I just realized that I passed the 5 year cancer free point a couple weeks ago! I missed it!)

When I was going through my surgery and the pre-op and post-op times, there were a lot of people who said a lot of things to me. Some were pretty stupid. (Saying ‘Everything has a reason’ or ‘God won’t give you more than you can handle’ are NOT comforting or helpful!)  Some comments were simply failed attempts to try to connect with me in a painful time… by turning the conversation away from me and what I was dealing with. (I don’t really want to hear how you cousin’s brother-in-law’s father died of cancer! You came to visit me… I’m not there to visit whoever you just referenced. I’m already overwhelmed at just what I’m dealing with.) 

I KNOW that EVERYONE who came to visit chose to do so because of love and concern for me. I LOVED the visits, just not everything that was offered as ‘support.’

The visitors I appreciated the most came, expressed how sorry they were that I had to face that crappy situation and asked me how  I  felt. They may or may not have prayed with me. Then, after 10-15 minutes they left me alone.

(There were so many that visited me that day after the surgery that I did’t push the pain button so I could be somewhat conscious with the visitors, again, people that loved me and were concerned about me and I loved them for coming. By that night, when I was all alone and all anesthesia had worn off, I was in so much pain I would have gladly had someone just put me out of my misery. I repented for trying to stay alert to be able to visit with visitors!)

ALL of that to say, I really appreciated this article and wished I could have seen this myself when I started as a pastor 16 years ago. And I think there would be great benefit in requiring people to read it before they’re allowed to visit someone.

It was written by Leslie Starsoneck and appeared in the July/August of 2009 issue of Coping magazine.

(Clicking the image should bring up a larger, readable version of the article.)

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Mother’s Day Prayer

Mother’s Day Prayer | Get Up With God

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The Twelve Steps for Christians

A friend sent me a message asking me about how the Twelve Steps of groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Overeaters Anonymous line up with Scripture and Christianity. 

I shared with her about the way the Twelve Steps are used in a specialized Study Bible called: The Life Recovery Bible. I’ve owned this study Bible for about a decade and refer to it often: professionally (as I work with others) and personally (as I continue to struggle often with my own addictive relationship to food).

The second resource I referred her to is a small book: The Twelve Steps for Christians. There are encouraging and inspirational meditations on each step. It also highlights Biblical passages that contain the principles embodied in the Twelve Steps. 

I highly encourage any Christian who struggles with any kind of brokenness (and we’re all broken aren’t we?) to delve into these resources and others like them.

1.        We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies – that our life had become unmanageable.                           (Romans 7:18)  (Psalm 6:6-7)

2.       We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.                            (Philippians 2:13)  (Mark 9:23-24)

3.       We made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God.                           (Romans 12:1)  (Galatians 2:20)

4.       We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.                           (Lamentations 3:40)  (Galatians 6:3-5)  (Psalm 139:23-24)

5.       We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.                          (James 5:16a)  (Psalm 32:3-5)  (Romans 14:12)  (Jeremiah 14:20)

6.       We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.                          (James 4:10)  (Psalm 37:4-7)  (Romans 12:2)

7.       We humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.                          (1 John 1:9)  (Philippians 4:6)  (Psalm 51:10-12)  (James 4:6-8)

8.       We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.                                                                              (Luke 6:31)  (Luke 19:8)  (Matthew 7:3-4)

9.       We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.                           (Matthew 5:23-24)  (1 Peter 4:8-10)  (Romans 13:8)

10.   We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.                        (1 Corinthians 10:12)  (Psalm 34:12)  (Ephesians 5:15-16)

11.   We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out.                       (Colossians 3:16a)  (Mark 11:24)  (Hosea 6:3)  (Matthew 7:7)

12.   Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.                       (Galatians 6:1)  (Philippians 4:8-9)  (Colossians 4:5-6)  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)

These Twelve Steps were adapted in the Life Recovery Bible (Tyndale: 1998) from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Scripture passages cited for each of the Twelve Steps are from The Twelve Steps for Christians (revised). (RPI Publishing, San Diego, CA: 1994).

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Toward a Theology of Levity

One of the Wesleyan theological bloggers I regularly follow is Craig Adams. I really identified with this blog post: Toward a Theology of Levity. Check it out!

Toward a Theology of Levity | Theology | Commonplace Holiness

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