Very often a picture is better than text, so here’s a picture and no text… well almost no text.
Have a great weekend!
Like most of you, I get jokes in my email almost every day. I seldom read them and almost never pass them on, but today is an exception. Partly because the email was from my Mom. In a couple of weeks, my Mom will be… woops! I almost gave away a state secret, let’s just say almost 90… any way, when she sends an email, I know that there will shortly be a follow up phone call, so I need to look at it. And, as it works out the joke was hilarious, at least to my odd sense of humor.
So, I figured “what the heck, let’s have a laugh today” and here it is:
New Assisted Living Plan
Senior Health Care
So if you’re a sick senior citizen and the government says
There is no nursing home available for you, what do you do?
Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and four bullets.
You are allowed to shoot four Congressmen in the but.Of course, this means you will be sent to prison where you
Will get three meals a day, a roof over your head,
Central heating, air conditioning and all
The health care you need!
Need new teeth? No problem.
Need glasses? That’s great.
Need a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs or heart?
They’re all covered.
And, as an added bonus, your kids can come
And visit you as often as they do now.
And who will be paying for all of this?
It’s the same government that just told you that they
Cannot afford for you to go into a nursing home.
Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don’t
Have to pay any income taxes anymore.
Is this a great country or what?
Never be fooled by an innocent little face, this dog is a madman!
…and I must add that cute only goes so far!
Over the past several nights, people in the area have been testing out their fourth of July fireworks, including firecrackers, cherry bombs and M-80′s. They begin in the afternoon and continue throughout the evening, making this crazy mutt go more and more insane.
Oh, and did I fail to mention what happens when the big fireworks show kicks off at around 9:30 or so? Bedlam!
Running around the house, jumping up on people, panting, whining, scratching, ripping things up… Does it ever end?
When things finally wind down sometime after 11, he settles down… and then the neighborhood dudes with firecrackers resume their assault on the night. Bedlam reigns in the house into the wee hours. The dog jumping on your face just about the time you think you might get to sleep some time after 3 am… (isn’t there an ordinance or something about shooting off firecrackers at 3 am?)
In our house, the week of the fourth of July each year is sometimes called “Nights of Rage”
Oh, how much fun this is!
Yes, I know this is not like my usual post, but who can think when they haven’t slept in days? Hopefully the folks in the area will run out of either ammo or money soon…
As you might have seen from my post True Confessions part 2 I am considering full-time ministry. As part of this process, I have done some checking on postings from many sources regarding ministry positions that are currently available and I thought I’d share with you an extra post today to tell you what I’ve seen out there. If you are either in ministry or other church leadership (and I know that many of you are) you might find this interesting… or at least thought-provoking.
My sources for job postings were web sites that specialize in these things as well as job postings from Christian Colleges and Seminaries. I was looking only for Senior Pastor or Senior Minister positions i.e. preaching ministry, and there were way more openings than I ever would have imagined, all over the US and Canada. I very quickly discovered that the churches posting fell into two main categories: Churches over 200 in attendance and churches under 200, most of which were under 100. This second category was by far the largest.
The next thing that I noticed was that the churches with over 200 (some in the thousands) almost exclusively indicated that they feature contemporary worship and small group learning, while the smaller category churches almost exclusively feature traditional worship and class-based learning.
The third thing I noticed was that the larger churches listed fewer requirements while the smaller ones generally had more requirements for Senior Ministers. For the most part, they all required Christian College or Seminary training, but I didn’t notice larger churches requiring things like “must have a minimum of 10 years experience as Senior Pastor, must not smoke or drink and must not have been divorced.” (This was a church of 30 that also required the applicant be self-supporting)
The next thing I noticed was that the smaller churches very frequently want a Pastor to be the “primary focus of growth in the church” or other similar statements as though the Pastor is the one who does the growing by himself. Finally, I noted that the smaller churches have different service schedules than the larger ones. They seem to frequently offer services on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night, while the larger ones usually have services on Sunday morning and sometimes Saturday night with small groups during the week.
The bottom line of all this…
I am interested in the smaller churches, and have been involved in turning one around from a small country church that was slowly shrinking into a church that is growing and as vibrant as any large church I’ve been a part of; yes it really can be done! In the event that I ever decide to go ahead and apply for these kinds of positions, and am formulate enough to have the opportunity to interview, I plan to make a chart of all the job postings on the list from which I found the church I’m going to talk with. It would clearly show what I’ve shared in this post. I’d also make another chart containing the same data from a quick survey of the churches in the area of the one I’m talking to. I’d probably blow my chances, but I’d love to have the opportunity to show churches that can’t seem to grow where they are missing the boat, and of course if a guy is going to be held responsible for growing a church, the leadership needs to know up front where the responsibility really lies.
Of course my own experience teaches me that you cannot grow an old church numerically until you first grow the people in the church spiritually; beginning with the leadership. It also teaches me that once you have done this, the people will do what it takes for that church to take off, to the glory of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. You see, it would seem that churches get stuck or start to die when tradition takes the place of spiritual growth. Attendance is only the symptom, not the problem.
Yes, I realize that this strategy would blow many interviews, but it only takes one “yes”.
I wonder, are there “church growth consultants?”
Sometimes when you reach a point at a great height you can see the peril of your situation; be careful!
Other times a big fall can come when you least expect it; it kind of sneaks up on you.
Sometimes we find ourselves at the top of a cliff when we make certain little compromises, when maybe we kind of just look the other way a few times… just this once don’t you know…
Jesus didn’t make little compromises, little “concessions to reality” as the politicians call it. Jesus didn’t lower His standards ‘just this once’ like we sometimes do. Jesus was always “on message” Jesus always kept in mind what His purpose was…
Can we do this? Some say yes and some say no, not until Jesus comes back; I can see both arguments. I think that we can all agree on one thing, though… we can do better than we usually do. We can keep in mind what our purpose is; we can remember that others may be watching to see what we do; how we handle things. As Christ’s Ambassadors we can avoid those nasty little compromises, keeping in mind our reward for service well done.
In short, we can bring hope to our lives, and to the lives of others by doing our level best to model the manner of living that Jesus modeled for us.
Today’s post is just for fun… So, why are these guys all smiling?
I have a theory!
It is said that Mr. Nixon was a legendary poker player. When he came home from World War II, he financed a car, a house and his first Congressional campaign with his poker winnings from his days in the Navy. Later, when Mr. Eisenhower was president and Mr. Nixon was vice president, Mr. Eisenhower held a weekly poker game in the White House.
On one occasion, Mr. Nixon was invited to play with Ike and the boys… After the Vice President cleaned them all out, he was not invited to play again.
Notice that Mr. Nixon is playing cards and Ike isn’t?
OK, we know why those two are smiling! Obviously the other guys don’t know the story…
Or… I guess they could all be enjoying Mr. Lincoln’s jokes.
Please feel free to leave your guesses!
Maybe we should have a poll!
Mote on the image: This is my photo of my copy of “Grand Ol’ Gang” by Andy Thomas. For more info check out his site here.
My wish this Christmas is that you and yours will find and secure all of the blessings of our Lord. I hope that you will grow in your walk with Christ in the coming year, that your loved ones will be well, prosper and know Jesus. I hope and pray that this will be the best Christmas that you and your family, friends and associates ever have, and that 2012 will be the best year of your life so far.
A very merry Christmas, and may God bless us, every one!
Basics of the Book
Author: John, the Apostle
Date: 85-95 A.D.
Purpose: “These (things) are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (20:31)
This section introduces Jesus Christ to us in a way that is similar to Hebrews 1:1-4 and 1John 1:1-4 which provides us with a Heavenly view of His nature, position, identity and purpose. Since we are but a week from Christmas, we can rightfully say that this is the view of the coming of Christ from Heaven looking down on the earth. The “Christmas story” is usually told from Luke chapter 2, but in John chapter one you see the theology of that story. Thus we can easily say that Luke, the historian gave us the facts, but John the Apostle of love gave us the behind the scenes background that gives Luke’s account a significance that is the reason this birth is celebrated 2,000 years later.
Points of Interest
1:1-2 Without question “In the beginning…” here differs from the same words in Genesis 1:1. Genesis begins with creation: John begins with God alone. Here we are with the uncreated Creator. It is interesting that John identifies Him as the “Word” (logos). Naturally there are various theories and thoughts on this through the years, but here is what seems reliable and significant to me. First, Jesus is God’s messenger to mankind, as well as being the embodiment of God’s message (Heb. 1:1-4) It was by His Word that the universe came into being, and it is by His blood that we may enter into relationship with Him, as told in His Word. Thus, we may say that the Word is not only God’s person, essence and power, but that it is one and inseparable from the person of Jesus Christ, who is entirely one with God. Verse 2 is set up as transition in the sense that it begins the move from “what” to “whom”; from “the Word” to “he”: Jesus was there.
1:3-4 Now it becomes clear and unambiguous that this “he” is the one through who all things have been made. This is stated positively “all things” and negatively “without him nothing…”. Within him was life reminds of God breathing life into Adam. (Gen. 2:7) “He” contained life, was its very source, and this essence will be the light of the world. Life and light are two themes that carry throughout the entire gospel of John, and will become more and more clear as we go on. For now, suffice it to say that His very essence is “Truth” and that will illuminate a dark world that carries on without either Truth or God’s presence, since fellowship with God had ceased after the entry of rebellion into the world.
1:5 Verse five begins a section relating to the manifestation of the Word in the world that continues through verse 13. Here we see that this “light” shines in this world. Notice that we have made a progression now from word, to God to light. These terms are being used interchangeably to describe aspects or attributes of God Himself, but all the while they are One. That the darkness hasn’t understood the light refers to the fact that they have not comprehended the message which is in the words and person of Jesus Christ.
1:6-9 These verses speak directly of John the Baptist who was sent by God as a messenger to inform the people that the light “Messiah” was about to burst upon the scene. John (the Apostle) makes it quite clear that John (the Baptist) was not the light himself but only a messenger of the light, as foretold by the prophets.
1:10-11 Here we resume talking about “him” (yet to be named) who was in the world that he had caused to exist, and yet that very world did not recognize him for who he really was (and is). John goes on to point out that “he” came to that which was his own, and that they didn’t ‘receive’ him. This is a reference to the fact that Jesus not only came into this world, but that He came to His own people, the Jews, to whom the very Word of God had been entrusted. They who had been warned of His coming, they who most of all should have easily recognized Him and received Him with joy and thanksgiving; they did neither for the most part.
1:12-13 While the Jews as a whole did not receive “him” there were some individuals who did believe in “his” name and to those who did, “he” gave the right to become children of God. Notice that John switched from “receive him” to “believed in his name.” The people as a whole rejected him outright, while a few believed. As for “in his name” we must realized that His name is inseparable with His essence just as the Word is. Thus to believe in His Name is to believe Him. They would become God’s children not by a natural biological birth as the “children of Abraham” but by the addition of God’s life within through the process we refer to as being “born again”. It is a spiritual rebirth, not a matter of human biology.
1:14 This is the critical point where John identifies “him”. The Word becomes a man and dwells with “us”. This of course is Jesus. John goes on to point out that not only is he the Word made flesh, but that He is also God Himself in the flesh.
1:15-16 Now we briefly return to John the Baptist, here shown as giving testimony (in v. 15) that Jesus is the One he has been declaring to the people. Then, in verse 16 our author moves on to his own testimony about the blessings that Jesus has brought.
1:17-18 In these last two verses, John makes an amazing comparison between the Old and New Covenants: the Law was given… grace and truth came. The first was handed down from the top, while the second came in person to reveal all that God had in store for us. Even though no one has personally seen God the Father, He made Himself known to us by becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ. There is a conclusion we can draw from this: If you want to know God, get to know Jesus.
If you want to know Jesus, know the Word!
Special note: about Sunday Bible Study
I would like to thank my friend Freddy from Media 4 Life Ministries for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I appreciate this very much, and must confess to being a bit surprised. Freddy has a very fine Christian Blog, and I would definitely recommend it to all of my friends and readers who love Jesus Christ. http://media4lifeministries.com/.
Requirements for this elaborate award are: Bring to light the person who nominates you by thanking them for all to see. Post on your site the wonderful Liebster Award stamp. Find 5 of your blogging friends to nominate who have less than 200 followers but deserve to be recognized with Praise! List them so others will find their blogs and read them. Oh and don’t forget to let them know they have been nominated.
Please check out my nominations, visit their blogs and say hello.
While it is always fun to get an award or receive recognition, it’s a much greater pleasure to offer it to others, and the five that I would like to nominate are below. Please give them a visit and a pat on the back!
1. http://pieterstok.com/introduction-travels-from-ur/ Welcome to my eclectic web pages on family, faith, recollections and aspirations. In this jumble of ideas, I invite family and friends to add their thoughts, recollections, ideas and other insights. Just go to the chapters or sub chapters listed above that you may be interested in.
2. http://cathyrocks.wordpress.com/ Cathy Rocks is a charming blog about a Christian woman’s journey through life, family and faith.
3. http://crustybreadblog.com/ A very well written blog full of insight and wisdom for Christian living.
4. http://keltonburgpreacher.wordpress.com/ Another blog that is full of real-life wisdom for Christian living.
5. http://sofarfromheaven.com/about/ This blog is the reflections of a man late in life carrying a brain that’s travelled a seemingly impossible, certainly unlikely, and admittedly sometimes banal journey beginning during WWII and threading through the social experiment that was the last 69 years.
Thanks to all of you for being a blessing to all of your readers, keep up the good work!