Palm Sunday reminds us of the clash between God’s way and the world’s way. It is a clash of storms.
Jesus was much stronger than most people seemed to think. When Jesus wanted to get your attention and he put that hand on your shoulder, well, you noticed.
I still remember what happened that day. I was just walking and talking with the other disciples when he walked up beside me, put his arm around me and pulled me close.
“Are you up for a special mission today?” he asked, as a smile came over
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
My grandparents collected clocks and their house was filled with the sounds of those ticking clocks. They had all kinds of clocks from wall clocks to a grandfather clock. I spent the night there a few times and it was difficult to adjust to that sound — especially when they would start to chime on the hours.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Seconds turn into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into months, months into years, years into a lifetime. The seconds click off the clock. It doesn’t matter whether you watch the clock or whether you ignore the clock. The seconds are still drifting by.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Continue reading
Joy and thanksgiving are bigger than happiness. It’s even possible to find joy in the toughest of situations.
Have you ever heard of Randy Pausch?
He seemingly had everything that you could ask for. He was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. He was a pioneer in his field and had earned a reputation as someone who was working to open doors for women to pursue careers in computer science.
Then, he received the kind of news that usually does one of two things — brings us closer to God or pushes us further away.
Volunteer: A person who willingly (and without pay) offers to help an organization or individual.
Have you ever wanted to volunteer? For most organizations and churches, your willingness to jump in and “volunteer” is a reason to start the happy dance. Volunteering is a the lifeblood of religious organizations and nonprofits. Honestly, these organizations would be unable to function without those who answer the call to volunteer.
Have you ever strained for something? It requires you to pull forward with everything that you have.
Don’t look over your shoulder.
I heard that rule when I was running track. Don’t get caught looking over your shoulder. When you look back, you lose momentum and you lose sight of your goal. When you look back, you slow down and your opponents catch up to you.
So, don’t look over your shoulder.
There are many times in life when we can get caught looking over our shoulders. We lose sight of the goal — the big picture — and we look back. Maybe, it’s that we carry baggage from something that has happened in our past. We struggle to forgive, to let go and to more forward. So, we keep looking back.
Life on the outside of the church is very different from the perspective of an insider.
It’s taken me awhile to get to this place, to understand it and to embrace it. So, I’ll just write it “aloud.”
I’m an outsider.
It’s the way I’m built and wired. It’s the way that I think. How do you define an “outsider?” Outsiders feel as if they are not part of a particular group. Maybe, you’ve been there as well. I’ve felt that way too many times to count.
I’m an outsider.
I can be the proverbial “square peg” in a round hole. It takes some effort for me to find my place, to feel comfortable and to be myself. I’m cautious. Maybe even cautiously hopeful. Continue reading
Jesus gave his followers a “world-saving” mission. Our call is to continue the mission today.
The world today is in chaos. There are fights and arguments, protests and riots. There are clashes — verbal and physical — between those who supports President Trump and those who supported Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama.
There are clashes over social issues such as illegal immigration, abortion, same-sex marriage. We are challenged by war, conflict and terrorism.
Churches face a struggle in this turbulent world. Denominational membership is dropping as denominations split. Our Christian “unity” is revealed in a recent report that there are now 54,000 denominations in the world.
And the landscape is changing for families. A child growing up in America today is the least likely of any generation thus far to grow up in a church.