We Should Be Better Than This

In the song “Hosanna” by Hillsong United there is a part of the bridge where we sing “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” Those words are so powerful to sing, and I wonder if churches in the U.S. want that to be true.

With the reports from the Houston Chronicle about the Southern Baptist scandal, my heart is hurting. And I can’t imagine what God’s heart feels right now. So many victims, so much injustice happening by merely turning a blind eye so ignorance can be an excuse.

It’s a giant mess and because of this many people will never believe in the religion that should be above these evils. I mean the churches are quick to judge “Hollywood” for their misconducts, but it looks like we needed to get the log out of our eye before we judge others.

As a pastor now for almost twenty years, I have seen my share of pastors I knew to get in trouble for these situations. I had to have phone calls from elders where friends of mine wanted to go back into ministry after being fired from sexual misconduct.

I had seen parishioners support their pastor even after inappropriate conversations because he stood up in front of the congregation and repented for his sin. And then when he got fired, the church got heat because he repented.

This shouldn’t be a gray issue, but it looks like from the report churches either do a terrible job with their hiring practices or sadly doesn’t care.

I know the more that will come out, isn’t going to be good and I hope this story stays in the headlines for a while as a wake-up call to the churches in this blessed country because we should be and need to better.

If you haven’t read the article, feel free to read it here


My “Why” That Helps Me Live

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Sheryl Sandberg, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

I am finally finishing Option B, and it has been a book that has been taking me forever to complete.

The book is a good read but filled with the story of Sheryl losing her husband way too soon. Being a husband and a father, I know that life can change dramatically in an instance. Tomorrow is not a guarantee for me, my wife or even my children. So this book was hard to get through. I definitely had to read it in sections.

There has been a lot of material that I have been thinking about, and one is from the quote above.

As a believer in Christ and one who puts their identity in that hope, I know that I have a greater chance of resilience in hard times.

The hope in life after this life, believing in its absence of death, sickness, and pain allows me to know that whatever happens today, I believe in a better tomorrow — going back to the original version of creation that I find in the early chapter of Genesis.

Though my faith and identity is in Christ, I must be careful not to merge my faith in other things. Like politics, rules, sports, entertainment, family…

Many people start their faith and eventually find other things becoming their religion. I see Christians who live by the “law.” I see Christians, whose identity is in their political party.

My faith gives me a purpose to live, to give, and to belong in a world that is ever changing and has no guarantees.

Almost $900 Million On Our Pets?!

Sometimes it’s embarrassing to be U.S. American, and this stat is an example of the abundance of our wealth.

Gifts for pets continue to be popular, purchased by 20 percent. Pet spending is expected to total $886 million, up $519 million since NRF first asked in 2008. (https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/fewer-consumers-celebrating-valentines-day-those-who-do-are-spending)

This a waste of resources. We could use these millions to make this world a better place.

We could use that money and sponsor a child in from Compassion International.

We could help with a microloan from World Vision.

Even our community could use this money for local opportunities like food banks, homeless shelters, etc..

900 million dollars is a lot of money, and I love my dog, but humanity and community are in need more than giving your dog a valentine.

Interesting Listen About Penmanship

Today is a good day for an intersting podcast. Art of Manliness had an interesting show about a lost art in today’s U.S. culture.

Michael Sull. is a master penman, penmanship instructor, and the author of several penmanship books. Check it out and let me know what you think about penmanship.


Blessings In The Winter Storm

In the PNW, we are having a record amount of snow. And we have been pretty much in house arrest for a couple of days. We could go out, but what is the point of risking slides especially since many people are walking on the street cause of the sidewalks being covered in a foot of snow.

Source: pixabay.com

I’ve been relaxing the past couple of days with the family, and even though I am ready to get back in the groove of things and ready for the kids to be back in school. I’ve enjoyed having this extra time with them.

We have had all our meals together and enjoying some good conversations. My oldest son came up to me to see if it was okay to chat with his crush from school, which lead to a nice little chat about being respectful and appropriate. He also got the chance to help with driving the car out of a snow bank when I tried to see if the driveway was clear enough. Why? Because we didn’t bring a snow shovel from Michigan. We also had some faith conversations from their devotional books.

So you can say, the weather has been terrible, but I wouldn’t trade this moment for anything else in the world.

Thoughts After Watching The Fyre Documentaries

This past month, I and the misses watched a couple of documentaries on the Fyre festival debacle.

If you have either Hulu and/or Netflix, you can watch the story unfold.

Photo by Osvaldo Coelho Jr. on Pexels.com

I am a savvy documentary viewer, so I know that what is shown isn’t necessarily the entire truth of the event. I know that the viewpoints are only onesided and you would have to interview hundreds of people to get the complete story.

But with that said, it was a fascinating, depressing and heartbreaking story of the lives that were affected by a few people’s unrealistic ideas of what can be accomplished in a few months.

I have a few takeaways that I might unpack in the next couple of posts.

And the one that was so evident is the money that was spent. From the people putting on the event to the people who paid to attend the event. And the money was for an experience.

Imagine what could happen if just a portion of that money went to clean water, education, health care, or anything that had an impact on others lives. Instead of for a weekend with influencers.

Money and materialism is a struggle for me as a pastor in the US. I struggle with the idea of having a nice home and clothes. Do not get me wrong, having shelter and clothing is essential, but how much is too much to spend on nice things?

I like having a good size television, but do I need it?

I heard an interview with Larry King on the Rubin Report that challenged me a while back. Larry said: “If anyone who has a calling from the above has more than one suit, then he is a copout.”

That idea has plagued me for a while and watching those documentaries has reinforced the number of blessings we have that we use for non-essential items.

Just some thoughts that haven’t been completely fleshed out.

What do you think about all of this? Have you watched either of the documentaries, what are your thoughts about them? Feel free to let me know.

How A Blind Dog Made Me Think About My Routines

One of my favorite videos to watch on Youtube is the Fine Brothers React videos.

Been watching them for years and one of my favorites of theirs is the “Try Not To Smile” videos.

Sometimes they are hit and miss, but every so often I find a video that makes my day.

And yesterday this video made me laugh out loud.

I know I am a sick person, laughing at a blind dog thinking he was jumping on a couch.

But this video made me think about a lot of things in life.

I am a creature of habit. I like my routine from when I wake up to when I go to bed. When things upset my day, like work meetings or when a dinner outing starts later than when I usually eat, my behavior can become a little grumpier.

It’s important to understand that everything in life is fluid. Life changes and you can’t rely on everything being the same every time.

I need to be better for sure, and this video, while hilarious, helps me understand how silly I look when I rely on my routine in a fluid life.