Things I Think

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17 Responses

  1. Linn says:

    Michael,
    When I feel I’m about to throw in the towel, I go back to Scripture (I don’t know where else to go), and I find these words from Jesus:

    And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matt 16:18

    I’m in a pretty good place in my church. There are moments (like talking with a woman whose is the daughter of immigrants and hearing her say that our former president “fixed” the immigration problem. I almost choked on my soda!), yet I still see a lot of church building going on. i was also encouraged by the election as most of the candidates who kowtow to the former commander in chief and believe in little green men weren’t elected. But, my biggest hope is Jesus-He is in charge, He is working, and people are coming to Him. The little Spanish congregation I attend has doubled in size in the last two years. We have never experienced this kind of growth, and it is a big encouragement, too.

    I wish many things were different, but God is doing something and He will accomplish His purposes. That has been my hope since He entered my life in 1973, and He will continue to be my hope.

  2. Nonnie says:

    Amen to #4! The Church is the bride to no one but Christ. Fidelity to Christ, not a political party.
    Bravo, Beth Moore. Keep speaking!

  3. Michael says:

    Linn,

    I think we’re in a time of transition…I don’t know what God is doing but I trust He does…

  4. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    She is a treasure…

  5. LInn says:

    Michael,

    The church has had many times of transition. I was talking to a friend at church last night who is a descendant of a person burned during the reign of Queen Mary (Bloody Mary) for working on Bible translation from Latin to English. The Reformation was a huge transition for the church. A lot of bad and evil things happened during that time, too. We are going through a huge transition around the world as the church becomes more colorful vs majority white. Lots of things will continue to change, but as upset as I get sometimes, I keep going back to Scripture and God’s promises. I don’t know a better place to go.

  6. filistine says:

    Michael–solid list of thoughts as usual. #1 reminds me of the mindset of in-trouble gamblers who think the big payoff is in the next turn. #2–the most misread demographic or misunderstood group is the younger generation 18-35, who will be the crew that will drive elections for the next three decades. We boomers are a mere echo of our former clout–and much of our “wisdom” is merely wishful thinking. #4 she is a treasure of the Church–perhaps a prophet whose message has been consistently treated as the messages and prophets of old. #10 I pray & trust you’ll find solace and rest.

  7. Josh ex-Baptist says:

    Holiday depression is hitting different this year.

  8. jtk says:

    The first 2 really knock it out of the park for me…

  9. Reuben says:

    10…

    Holiday depression left a few years after I left the Church in Colorado. I was in Virginia at another church by then. Christmas and Thanksgiving were overflowing with panic to produce the best Christmas Eve show the mountain town had ever seen. Practice, multiple times a week, choir, band, and my guitar playing had to be robotic perfection. The choir had to have the choreography down, the choir had to move precisely as one. Recording the concert to send me into the mess of taking 30 some recorded tracks and blending them all together to make the next album. Leaving the years of that whole worship scene was a massive relief. I was chastised for not doing my job for Jesus. Denying my calling, all that nuts crap. Yet it was a massive liberation.

    As a pastors kid, my childhood holidays were all spent for days on end at church. Easter was full days of services, Christmas twice as bad. I guess it was the production and perfection of all the “act” that drove me up a wall. I don’t know. I hated it. But I rest assured this Thanksgiving and Christmas will be days off spent in peace.

  10. The Ex-Baptist says:

    Not having the programs to deal with will absolutely help. Being the first without full access to my kids is what’s killing me.

  11. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I prayed for you and will continue to do so…you have a tough month ahead and my heart breaks for you.

  12. Josh says:

    Thanks friend

  13. Shawn says:

    #1- The ravages of time consume some things quicker than others. Initially I was going to make a snarky tongue in cheek comment to the effect that not enough money was invested to “restore American to righteousness.” Plus I probably would have added that antiquated Christian practices like Evangelism and Discipleship are necessary casualties for it to take place. I don’t know maybe it is truly too somber of a topic for my “holy sarcasm.”

    While writing this a thought, maybe good, maybe not so good, pops into my mind:

    Maybe Evangelism and Discipleship is what has got the church into its current mess. Now understand that I do not mean the practices in and of themselves are the culprits. Rather it is the extra verbiage that many church leaders have attached to them. So many qualifiers, often politically derived, are subtley placed on these two vital concepts that before one knows it the original expression becomes unrecognizable.

    Furthermore, specifically the practice of discipleship itself is often shallow and deprived of the time AND attention it deserves. As I write this about discipleship it occurs to me that the same applies to Evangelism. For years I have marveled at the idiotic fascination in Christian circles with the streamlining and replication of the Holy Spirit’s role in Evangelism and Discipleship and how it permeates into the rest of church practice. That is until you look behind the curtain and find out the Great and Powerful wizard conducting this grift is nothing more than an illusion himself. Evangelism and Discipleship deserve better than to convoluted with such drivel.

    Just some waking thoughts. Thanks for getting the cogs of my mind going in the right direction.

    There are lots of great thoughts in your list. As an early Black Friday special I will spare you my long-winded responses to each and everyone of them. Lol.

    Stay the course brother. Keep on!

  14. Michael says:

    Shawn,

    Your comments are even well said and much appreciated…you always give us something else to think.

    “That is until you look behind the curtain and find out the Great and Powerful wizard conducting this grift is nothing more than an illusion himself. ”

    Amen…

  15. pstrmike says:

    I remember all the extra rehearsals for the Sunday before Christmas service when I was a guitarist and backup vocalist on the worship team. When later I became the worship leader and then pastor, I simplified everything. I didn’t see the need for all the effort that the audience never sees behind the production. The holidays are filled with sensory overloads. I wanted to draw people inward rather than experience an outward presentation. That’s one of the beauties of small churches. I guess I was practicing Advent before I gave much consider to what Advent was about.

    I haven’t had much of the holiday blues the last few years as I used to. But I’m feeling them creep in this year. It might be just the two of us for both Thanksgiving and Christmas—nothing like being put on hold forever—never mind.

    Ex,
    I remember one holiday season without full access to my kids. I spent much of Thanksgiving in a marathon AA meeting and couldn’t bring myself to do that for Christmas. I feel for what you’re going through and will be praying for you.

  16. Reuben says:

    Thinking of you, Josh

    I

  17. Josh says:

    Thanks so much, mike and Reuben.

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