We are the Church

 This was a week of many lessons. Perhaps the most important was the reminder that “We are the Church.” During a Kairos weekend, one of the most memorable talks is entitled “We are the Church.” The purpose of the talk is to remind inmates that the church is not a building, organization or denomination, not a pastor or youth director, worship team. We are the church. This is particularly important to the incarcerated who have often  had a bad experience with “church” and have thrown out Christianity with the bad taste they have for a church experience.

It’s also an important lesson when you lose your pastor. Many in a good church have had a bad experience with church somewhere else. One of the new elements of the church in which they found Jesus is the pastor. But it’s just an element. Jesus is the imnportnt part. The pastor is not the church. For some who have equated the Pastor with the Church, this was a harder week than it needed to be. I pray especially for those. 

The rest of us need to remember that lesson, for it is easily forgotten. In the weeks and months ahead we need to remind ourselves, and each other, that We are the Church. We need to act as the Church and as we look for a new Pastor, we need to keep the true nature of the church in mind.

The most important attribute in a pastor is not his preaching ability, organizational skills, or even the love in his heart. A pastor has to convince us that we are the Church and never let us forget that. It’s a tough job, but then, that’s why he gets the big bucks. 

See I’ve kept my sense of humor. Hope you have as well.

Be blessed.



Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Matthew 3:2
Over two thousand years ago, Jesus came to announce the arrival of the Kingdom of God. Sometimes I feel like He got the timing all wrong. Like when I watched the Presidential Debates. Seemed like less than perfect guys who all want to be King. Don’t they know the King has come?

And there lies the problem. Jesus brought good news. One day He will come back and his Kingship will be obvious and undeniable. What a day that will be. I can’t wait. 

But there is more good news. We don’t have to wait. We can make Him King now and begin to reap the benefits of living the in the Kingdom of God now. Admittedly its a bit strange to live in the Kingdom when those around you are still fighting about being King themselves. But there are those who see and those who remain blind. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. Some of us just realize that it’s wise to do it now. It’s not just because we want to be some of the first, but because there are advantages to being kingdom people now. 

Why not live with the man in charge who has all the power, and the knowledge and the love? Why continue to struggle to be King? Why do we think that being in charge we will make it better. I have years of experience which demonstrates it’s not true. We seek to have it all by being King of it all when the answer is in letting Him be Lord.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33. That means we wake up every morning with His business on our minds, his concerns in our hearts, his words in our ears. We know what we are suppose to do, even if it seems odd to those around us, and we do it because it’s the wonderful way to live.

It’s cloudy and gloomy outside. But rejoice, the kingdom of God is here. Just accept it and start living. Spread the joy and know what real joy is all about.

Be blessed.


Quietly Sharing Jesus

 People don’t meet the Lord in the Church. Not usually anyway. They meet Him out in the world. They don’t always know that it’s Him. Sometimes they don’t figure that out until later, perhaps in Church. They meet Him as they struggle through their lives, not finding happiness, joy eluding them.  They live in fear; until they see someone who should be fearful; but lives fearlessly. The temptation becomes too great. Finally, they ask or they just listen closer and discover the reason for the peace, the cause of the absence of fear.

One day last week I  noticed a change in a waitress that serves me often. Before she had seem defeated and gloomy. Suddenly she smiled more. She was friendlier. Then one day, out of the blue, she began talking to me about going to church, something she had just started doing. We had a great conversation about the Lord. At one point she said, “You seem to have peace in your life.”  She had seen something she wanted. Jesus had shown her something in my life without me even knowing it. I don’t always feel peaceful. But there was enough there for her to see Jesus. We walked in her restaurant yesterday, me, Rosemary and Nicky. She said, “This must be the beautiful  wife.” I can’t ever forget.. I have a beautiful wife and a beautiful life.

It’s important that we tell the world about Jesus. It’s more important that we give them a reason to listen. When we realize how evangelism really works, our time spent in Church becomes less important than our time spent living life in the world. 

We are testifying every moment of our lives. We are talking when we are quiet. We are witnessing in every action and reaction. Folks are desperately looking and listening. What’s your life saying?

Be blessed.



The Father Knows Best

 Last Saturday was my grand daughter Samantha’s birthday. She had gotten a Take A Kid to the Game ticket to the  UL basketball game and asked me to take her. I agreed before I realized that the end of the Saints game and almost all of the Bronco’s game conflicted with the basketball game. With less than100 percent enthusiasm I left my comfortable chair before my television displaying the beginning of the fourth quarter of the game. I put Sammy’s present in the truck and headed out listening to the game on the radio. 

When I arrived at her home Sammie ran out of the house all excited and handed me the above card she had made. It was her birthday and she made me a card. 

As all NFL fans know, the end of the Saints game was tragic as was all of Tebow and the Broncos. The UL basketball game ended up an exciting overtime win. Sammie and I had a blast. 

God is a better event planner than we are. He knows where true joy and excitement can be found. If you find yourself feeling God is dealing you a bad hand. Read my card and remember my story. In lots of things, The Father Knows Best. 

Thank you Jesus and Sammie for a wonderful evening.  

Be blessed. 



Five Reasons for Church Attendance

 Computers are strange things. Yesterday an old note popped up twice on my iPad.  There is no logical reason for it to do so. It is dated September 2010 and is entitled Five Reasons for Church Attendance. Since I just lost my Pastor and I’m  suppose to be in a 21 day period of focused listening to God, I’m going to assume that this note is from God and not just the work of random electrons. I don’t remember why I took these notes and they are very sketchy so I’m going to have to fill in a bit.  I even googled the topic but didn’t come up with anything as good as the five words in my little note. So here they are:

Five reasons for church attendance


Membership, Magnification, Maturity, Ministry, Mission

That’s all there was to the note. Now my thoughts.

Membership. It’s important to belong. We are meant to practice Christianity as part of a body. I like the part of the body I’m in now. Even without the pastor. More importantly, I feel called to be here. Until I get a different call, I ain’t leaving. 

Magnification. The body is suppose to magnify the Lord. Frankly I think the body I am a part of did a good job of that but almost all if it was done by the pastor. A lot of work is going to have to be done to keep that going.  We are all called to be Christ, not just to be in a church where the pastor is doing that. 

Maturity. Church is a place where we are suppose to grow as Christians. I’m not sure any growth I’ve had recently has come from my church. For me frankly it has come mostly from writing this blog and working in Kairos. I think my church could be doing a better job of maturing me. That’s not to say it isn’t maturing others. We are all at different places and growing up is primarily our own responsibility. Maybe all a church can do is provide a place for growing, an atmosphere for growth. 

Ministry. Church is where we should minister. People seem to judge churches by how much they feel fed. But really the important thing is how much we feed. I used to do some teaching at my church, but that hasn’t happened in a long time. I guess I do some feeding in this blog, but I could do that anywhere. I minister in Kairos and I get tremendous support for that from my church. I doubt I would get that support anywhere else. 

Mission. A church should have a mission and each member should be a part of it. I think this is where the modern church is the weakest. I guess ministry is what we do for each other in the church. Mission is what we do to change our world. I see some in our church with missions. They work in nursing homes for example. Again this is a matter of individual responsibility. Our church supports lots of missions and missionaries and that’s great. But I think this category means more than that. We have to learn how to serve and change our world. We could do a much better job at this. 

How are you doing with 

Membership, Magnification, Maturity, Ministry, Mission.   Are you in the best place for living out the five Ms. Are you doing all you can do to live them out. The right fit for a church means both being at the right place and giving 100 percent. It takes both. 

Be blessed. 



Forced Fast from the Familiar

Yesterday we looked at a period of focused listening to God. In place of “fasting” I suggested that we need to identify distractions, things that keep us from focusing on God, and try to remove those from our lives.

Sometimes these distractions are so obvious or so dear to us that God has to remove them. God  may have done that for some of us yesterday when he removed Pastor Terrell and Miss Debbie from our lives.  We have to be so careful to distinguish God and His gifts. Rose and I belong to a dear church many years ago. Through a variety of circumstances the church changed dramatically and many learned that their spiritual life was more dependent on that church than on Jesus. That can never be.

We have a love affair with the familiar. Especially as we grow older. We don’t like change, yet change is a fact of life. It is certainly a fact of the Christian life. God will remove anything that we substitute for him. When he took his children out of Egypt, he led them in circles in the desert until they learned to depend on him. When they become too attached to the land and temple, he led them into exile.

Beginning today we need to forget everything else and focus on Jesus. He is our rock and our source. It is sin to substitute any man or any organization. It can happen so subtly. Has it happened to you?
Focus. Listen to his voice. Be blessed.


Fifteen Days of Focused Listening to God

 Today at Amana we are starting a fifteen day period of focused listening to God. Some are calling it prayer and fasting; but that’s too confusing. Most people think that means going on a diet and praying God will get you through it. The success of this 15 days won’t be measured by how much weight you lose, how toned up you get, or how much you tell God you need. All that is way too self focused. This is about focusing on God.

Why now? 15 days into the year is a good time to do this. You probably have gotten all those self focused resolutions broken. You know the ones: lose weight, exercise more, read my bible more, be nicer to Nick.  We know all those are broken and lying by the way side. Time  to get focused.


Why fifteen days? Because it will probably take that long for most of us to just shut up. We think about prayer and we start talking and asking and thinking about everything we think we need. The problem is we don’t know what we need. That’s why we have a period of listening to God. So He can show us that what we need is Him. So just shut up and listen. 

Why fasting? Fasting isn’t a good word for it. We don’t need to fast we need to focus. Some of us are way too focused on food, so we need to watch that. I guess you could call that fasting. Or we are too focused on TV, so we need to stop watching that. The point is to identify the distractions in our lives and set them aside so we can hear from God.

How do we do this focused listening? I suggest we model our efforts on the Kairos Motto: Listen, Listen, Love, Love. Spend some time in a quiet place of minimal distraction, just listening. When that gets hard, try loving God. Just think about all He’s done and all He is. That should take you into Thanksgiving, and Praise and worship and back to listening.

Don’t judge the next 15 days on any physical changes. Base success on what you hear and how you are eternally changed.

Forget what you know about “prayer” and “fasting” just focus and listen and be blessed.




Big Day

 What a big day. I am sitting in Waffle House wearing a Drew Brees jersey. This morning I will spend finding a birthday present for Samantha followed by lunch with my wife. At 2:30 I will be in front of my television watching the Saints. I very much hope that they win. As soon as the game is over I will pick up Nick and Samantha and head over to the Cajundome to watch the Cajuns play basketball. It’s “Bring a Kid to the Game” night so I’m bringing two.

I will be a bit distracted. I will be listening on the radio and maybe even watching on the ipad to Tim Tebow. It would be really great if the Broncos win; but I’m more concerned about Tim. I want him to have a great day. I want him to handle all the pressure of being an overt Christian in a world that’s watching his every move; many hoping to catch him in a fall. 

I very much admire both Brees and Tebow. They both work very hard at what they do. They seem to be genuinely nice guys. I’m pretty sure Brees is a Christian and I know Tebow is. And that’s the difference. Are we called to be nice guys who are probably Christians or are we called to be in-your-face Christians, who are nice guys. 

I think the answer is obvious once you ask the question. I need to ask myself some hard questions. Do folks see me first as a Christian and then as a lawyer, blogger, husband, grand paw…etc. Or is it the other way around. Tebow has chosen the harder route. When you wear your faith on your sleeve or under your eyes, you put yourself out there. Win or lose the world has expectations. The world is not likely to understand. If the Broncos lose today, which every odds maker believes they will. Folks will scoff and snear at Tebow, “Where’s your God?”  What a stupid question.

Is it fear of that scorn that keeps us as “closet Christians?” We are not afraid people will think we are too good, but that they will realize that we are not good enough. But isn’t that really the gospel? That no matter how weak or fragile we are, He is enough. It doesn’t matter if we don’t have the classic quarterback throwing form. We do our best and trust Him for the rest.

For Drew football will be over one day. He’ll be a commentator or a coach. He’ll have a good and productive life. That’s the kind of guy he is. I admire that.

For Tim, football isn’t the main thing. Jesus is the main thing.  That will never change.

I wonder if they sell Tebow jerseys at Academy?

Tebow and Brees in the Superbowl…wouldn’t that be cool. The Saints versus a saint. It’s a good thing to have heros.

Go Drew. Go Tim.

Be blessed.