Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Power of the Servant

Here lately I have been working on a night of appreciation for all of our volunteers at the church. One thing I have realized more and more, is that volunteers have more power than they realize, because they are a unified group.

let me explain.
Take any organization that utilizes volunteers as a part of its infrastructure.... like for instance.... a church. On any given Sunday, who do people (either guests, or regular attenders) talk with the most? Who do they spend the most time with? The pastor? Well maybe one or two people get to dominate the pastors time, but what about everyone else??
Let's say, for example, that the newly formed "Federation of planets" has upset some distant planet of cockroach like inhabitants... and let's say they have just produced a new form of biological weapon targeting the DNA of people who serve as volunteers... and let's say that they are so outraged by the comments made from the "Federation" in relation to them and a particular kind of motel that you can check into, but can't check out, that they decide to use said weapon on us. (if you are still with me, then you are either really curious as to how I could possibly end this, or totally A.D.D., in either case, I salute you )
So here we are, No volunteers... now what?? What does the church on Sunday morning look like??
Could you imagine a pastor trying to hand out bulletins, turn on the sound system, start coffee, lead worship, run overheads, preach, watch the kids, change dirty diapers, read a story to the toddlers, all in an hour and a half???
Now I know that there may be some who read this that say... Hey, When i started the church that's pretty much what I did... and to that I say... YEP... but not for long. You see in order to have a thriving ministry that is effective, it requires a lot of people. As the ministry grows, so does the number needed to make things happen at any given time. Setup, Tear-down, Counseling, Life Groups, Children, Youth, Sound / AV, Toilet Plunging.... you name it! Point is that WE (as in pastors) NEED People, without the volunteers, our job would be impossible. SO having said that, and with the power vested in me by Life Community Church, I say

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Flowers - God's way of "Helpin a brother out"

Last night, on my way home (late) i was tasked with stopping in and grabbing dinner for Eliza and I. Eliza (my wife) has got to be the most intelligent, most beautiful, and most creative woman I have ever met, to this end, I find myself always in a difficult place when trying to get her something to bless her when she if feelin down..... or sick..... or whatever. She is a chemist, so anytime I think about getting her some super intelligent gift (like a new space shuttle) we usually can't afford it. She makes jewelry ( BTW she is now selling jewelry here.... you really need to check it out) so when I go and look to buy her jewelry, all i can think about is how much prettier her stuff is (unless it is diamonds, but I am saving that for when I become independently wealthy). Then there's the practical things, like a new pan.... nothing says lovin like ....*think Sherman Helmsly - here you go, now get in there and make me some dinner woman!
I thought about a new band saw, or drill press, but again that wouldn't be used by her often.... OH and you can't forget about chocolate.... but that too is not for just her.... here's some chocolate babe... yes I know there is a piece missing, I mean c'mon it's chocolate.

Which brings me to flowers..... God's way of "helpin a brother out"!! You see, unlike those other things, MOST guys, although having no problems appreciating the beauty of flowers, especially in this context, don't personally benefit from flowers directly. Flowers say... "This is for you - not me, I was thinking about you - Not me". That's why they are so important, it is God's way of helping us guys understand that a gift/thought should have NOTHING to do with the person giving it. YES I Know that it is a nice "Surprise" when you realize that your wife doesn't really want to use that new arc-welder you just bought her, and has no problem with you using it to your heart's content.... But... Gifts like that aren't gifts....
When I give my wife something that is from the heart, it says this is for you and I have absolutely NO benefit from it, because of this I get the benefit of blessing you and hopefully brightening your day!

One of my favorite gifts I found for Eliza that demonstrates this perfectly was a bath pillow that had written across it "Leave Me Alone".
This is for her and her alone!

Thanks God for the little reminders that true love is about others, not symbiosis!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ignorance is WORK, Not Bliss!!!!

It's interesting the things you will hear sitting at your local coffee hot spot, talk of 2 of the most prominent non "Public Discussion" topics abound like nowhere else.... I of course am referring to Religion, and politics

It seems like every discussion centers around one of these two thoughts, but why?? Is it because of the oppression of the people for so many years to refrain from speaking on these topics??? or is it because the "Man" has put a secret neurotoxin in the coffee that causes us to uncontrollably speak every thought that comes through our head (which is then recorded by the microchips implanted in the napkins), Or even because of a "Higher Power" compelling us to join together for the benefit of mankind and form these coffee laden splinter-cells of change for the good of all mankind??????

The last couple of times I have been at our "Shipyard Office" (stop by but call me first as my hours at this office are sporadic ) I have seen this one particular gentleman one would consider to be "Wise in Years". This gentleman.... let's call him BOB for ease of use..... Bob is not very soft spoken, either because e took some shrapnel to the ear in the Revolutionary War, or because his hearing aid battery is low... either way, I was able to enjoy his many colorful rantings..... here's some things I found out from his "Wisdom"

  1. If you hear it on a commercial that follows the Today's Show.... it MUST be True!
  2. If there has been absolutely NO proof of any particular government conspiracy in 80 years that means It's not conspiracy theory, it's conspiracy FACT!
  3. Because it happened to me, means that I am the expert and it will happen to everyone GUARANTEED!!!

Let me expound, but I will start in reverse.... it's more fun for me that way

BOB, was sitting with 3 other people which seemed to be friends, they were all older, and you could tell they were enjoying yelling stories, and memories to each other. Well, BOB started talking about riding a motorcycle... so NATURALLY my ears perked up. Well he made the comment that

"It is a PROVEN FACT that where you look is where you are going to go, that's why you have to look into the turn not at the road, otherwise you will drive in a straight line right off the road"

Now mind you, in all of the years riding, I will agree that it is a GREAT Idea to look ahead and know where you are going, however, if - say - your main tank is out of gas and you need to switch over to the reserve tank, and you glance down to make sure that you don't grab the searing hot engine, and - say - you happen to be in the middle of a long curve.... my advice... DON"T MOVE YOUR STEERING HAND WHEN YOU MOVE YOUR HEAD!!! It is possible, may not be safe... but I wouldn't use that as grounds to say it is a "Proven Fact", It is a proven fact, however, that if you don't pay attention, watch the road, and be smart on a motorcycle, eventually you will be a part of a HUGE grease spot on the highway! - nuff said

Number 2 - BOB, at another point in my auditory interaction with him, began talking about the all seeing eye on the dollar bill. Now, mind you, I don't doubt that there are a lot of things that the government doesn't want us to know about... either for our safety, or to keep us from interfering with their plans for world domination.... either way, I'm good with it. But BOB began spouting off what sounded to me like a mix of all of the "Conspiracy Theory Type" movies out there.... his explanations didn't even make any since, he would use examples from WWII and Vietnam, to prove that the all seeing eye is a part of the Illuminati ???? WHAT THE??? Are you joking??? absolutely no proof, and to this date, I have NEVER heard anyone, even the most Conspiracy Nut talk about stuff like this.... so it must be true!!!

Last, would be point number 1.

BOB sat there and started quoting "Facts" about John McCain, and Obama...

Now, I am not one for much political discussion or debate, but lately I have been listening allot... there is so much to be said, and to be honest, I don't know what is true and what isn't..... now before you start telling me what is true, know this.... It doesn't matter!!! I like the guy I like, for the reasons I believe are important.... all that matters...

but as BOB was discussing the finer points of the flaws of McCain, I started thinking.... wow.... this sounds really familiar.... then it hit me.... He was quoting verbatim a commercial that I had heard that morning after the today show from the Obama campaign and against John McCain. Interesting thing about it is he was adding in front of the key points the words..."Its a Fact that..."

That's when it really sunk in, it really takes a lot of work to try to convince people that your personal opinion (or others) is fact

Ignorance.... it's Work, NOT Bliss!!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend In Review! (for Tim B.)

This weekend at LifeCC Was AWESOME!!!
Just to recap (For those that were not there, or out of town... say in the mountains of western NC or something like that)

Sunday Morning (this morning) was a GREAT Success. Everyone was there ready to go with smiles on! Worship was good, and the teaching this week by Dick Teed (listen online)was RIGHT On Target and Much needed for today!
Thanks to all who made it and all who served today. Such a joy to be a part of a team that works, worships, and plays together!!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Interesting thought for the day.....
I was on my way to work today, stressed about an issue I am having with some computer problems... didn't sleep much last night (as usual) as I am working through a problem. When I got to work, I realized that my stomach was all a fizz over this stress, and it hit me....

My priorities are NOT In the right place. I remember lying in bed this morning with the news going on and on about the financial crisis etc. so on and so forth...... and all I can think about is this computer issue.

I have had quite a few conversations surrounding this financial situation, and all of them involve me saying that there is nothing to really stress about. We have been through a recession before and besides that, I KNOW that God will take care of us, because he has seen us through some pretty wicked times already.... we will snap back, but until then we just need to relax and trust God . - And Here I am .... The Pot calling the Kettle "Cast Iron". Am I stressed about the financial situation and the state of the global economy.... NO instead I am stressed about 3lbs of Metal that would make a GREAT Paperweight one day, WHAT's That about???
Instead of focusing on God, I traded one stressful situation for another!

So all that to say.... I gotta get and keep my priorities straight!! God First, Wife and Dogs Second, Ministry Third... and Computers and the Economy LAST!!!

nuff said, time to walk it!

I'm Out