Monday, July 30, 2007


For those that don't know, I've been away for two weeks. The first in NYC doing missions work, for pics and stories about that visit the youth website (pictures and discussion pages). Although everyone had a great experience, very few were lucky enough to be up to their knees in poop. Ah, memories...

The next week I was far away from the internet on a lake where it is nice and peaceful. Lorie and I went fishing. She caught "Bob" (so she named him). I caught mosquito bites. But I did get to play way too much golf.

I'll be back in the routine of writing on here soon. I'm just trying to play catch-up for all the stuff I missed. FYI newsletters will be out tomorrow :)


Monday, July 09, 2007

When People Let You Down

An honest confession, my heart has been really heavy today. I didn't have a bad day, although I wasn't that productive. I didn't do anything really bad or wrong today, no more than usual, which is too much but that's another story. Instead, I talked to someone I haven't seen in years.

Now, that's a good thing. I'm glad to talk to this person, it's great. Love them, miss them, they were fun to be with. But they told me something today. Something that pained me and really made me think.

They used to go to church where we had a mutual friend. This person, great. I didn't know them all that well but they did visit my town and my church every once in a while. They seemed called to minister to God's people, actually, I take that back. They were called to minister to God's people. But then they messed up. For reasons I won't go into, this person is now serving their sentence in jail.

And it pained me. First for this person, someone who was in ministry. Someone who I had led worship for, someone who had joked with me about being single (I had no prospects for dating let alone marriage at this point) and had said if I ever got married they would play guitar at my wedding. Someone who had talked to me about things in my past to try and help me get through them. I keep thinking, "What happened?" "How could someone screw up like that?" and many other things I won't write here. But it just hurts. All I can think is how and why.

Then this friend who told me. I think how much they must have been hurt by this person going to the church where it happened. All the people in the congregation that felt the effects of this. All the people that were hurt, were taken advantage of, whose trust was totally violated. How their view of Jesus is now warped or worse because of one tiny, insignificant person on all of planet earth.

This led me to think of all the hurt Christians all over the place (yeah, I've been thinking a lot today). People that put their trust in someone who said they represent Christ only to have that trust destroyed. Who have looked at someone and said, "That's what Jesus is like? No Thanks!" I have so many friends, family even who will never, ever enter a church again because of what one, maybe two people have done to them, all in the name of Jesus. It just hurts.

But then it hurts more. I think about me. I make no false pretenses, I am a faulty version of Jesus. I am a cracked vessel. I am a royal screw-up that has no idea what God wants me in a church telling people about Him. I feel completely unworthy and wonder how many people I've hurt like that. How many I will. Wonder if that person I knew could fall that fast and that hard, what's saving me? What if I do something so horrific that it hurts my wife, my family, my church, people I don't even know turning them off of Jesus and His love forever because instead of seeing His love they see how I warped it.

One more (I know this is long, sorry). Last night we had our "Vicis Per Deus" or prayer night at Drink Deep (our Sunday night student activity). We had all these prayer stations. One had a video playing, up on the screens were verses. There were two that keep replaying over and over in my head. At the video there was one section where Jesus writes in the sand, convincing the religious people of the day not to stone a prostitute, showing her love and helping her up (you can read about it in John 8). The other is a verse that was up on the screen from Ps. 51. To give you background, David was a king of Judah who is described as "A Man after God's own heart". Then he committed adultery, had the woman's husband killed and married her to try and keep it secret. When the truth came out, he wrote Ps. 51, one of my favorite Psalms even though it's so hard to read. God' loves us and wants to help us up, to restore us. I just wish we never had to fall, and we never had to take anyone else down with us...

Ps. 145:14 ~ The Lord helps the fallen, and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

(sorry it was so long).


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Most Popular Sign

Do you know why Churches have steeples? It started hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Basically, the church steeple was the highest point in any town, the cross above all other buildings so that any traveller (or person who lived there) would be able to find the church easily. By simply looking up, they knew that the cross meant Christ.

Now fast forward to today. As of a recent world study, the cross is not the most recognized symbol in the world anymore. There are people who do not know the cross means Jesus. But, they know the Golden Arches means hamburgers. So that means one of two things. Either we've taken the cross out of our message of Jesus, or we're more willing to share where to find a good greasy meal over where to find eternal love and salvation.

How did two all beef patties become more important than Christ?