For the first time in a little while, my wife and I got to enjoy dinner alone. My oldest 3 spent time with my mom while the baby spent time with my mother in law. A huge thank you to both! These ladies love their grandchildren (and us too).
I was telling my wife how nice it was to be out with just her. She looked at me and told me how she doesn’t need that time because she is such a people person. I love spending time with people, but I enjoy when she and I can simply enjoy the company of each other without children. I personally need a little bit of alone time, and I communicated that to her verbally. No guess work necessary!
Many marriages struggle because one of both parties are poor communicators. Here are a few suggestions:
- Talk! Talk about your joys, sorrows, irritations, expectations. Verbalize your appreciation for the other. Let it be positive not just negative. If something is on your mind, talk to the other person before you go getting counseling from people who have no business knowing the more intimate details of your life. Ask questions rather than jumping to conclusions. Say what you mean.
- Listen! God gave you two ears and one mouth. Hence, we should listen more than we speak. Listen to what is not being said as much as you are what is being said. Be caring enough about the other person that you know when he or she is struggling. Communication is both verbal and non-verbal.
- Seek counsel if necessary! I recommend someone who is trained in this area. Some pastors will admit that they are not the best in this area. If one or the other is emotionally constipated, there is nothing like a counseling laxative.
- Let God guide the relationship! Many relationships fail because Christ is nowhere near it. The relationship is about what makes one or the other happy. What about honoring God and the other above self? A relationship without Christ as the foundation is a setup for failure.
Alone time is more than just “intimate relations”. Kevin Leman said it well in his book “Sex Begins in the Kitchen”. He explains the way to spice up the bedroom is to have intimacy in other areas of life. Set some time aside sooner rather than later to share your heart with your spouse.
My wife made my evening when she said, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” She knows I’m a visionary, so I said what I Envision. She lives in the moment, but it thrilled me for her to ask. These moments mean more than you think. Make communication a priority.
Over the last week, I have assisting with setting up a website for someone. It is still a little bit of a work in progress, but I encourage you to visit and follow hisexcellentgrace.com. It tells the story of a lady named Anissa and her disability that began at infancy due to a reaction to a medication. This is told from the viewpoint of her mother who is a grounded follower of Christ. If you are a caregiver for anyone who has had seizures and is completely dependent, this story will move you and connect with you.
Back to my original point. In working out some technical issues, some wires got crossed. The bottom line was that people were taking action before they got all the facts. How many of us know the danger that can cause? We tell stories without knowing all the facts (gossip). We jump to conclusions. We blow things out of proportion. Then we have a mess to clean up. This can create more work, sever relationships, and do more damage than if someone knew all the facts rather than having fun glamorizing something they know little to nothing about.
May this be a lesson for us all, especially if we are in leadership. Know all the facts before making a call. Respond rather than react. You’ll be glad you did.
Roast preacher? Maybe you’ve never heard of it. This is one of the easiest dishes you can prepare. You can prepare and consume roast preacher anywhere and at any time. No appliances required. All you need is ill intent, a gossiping tongue, and a voice to project it. You may or may not be surprised that it is a very popular dish. People consume it at home, church, work, and tons of community events. Do you want to find out more?
I first heard the term “roast preacher” used by one of my former pastors. He spoke of some divisive people in his congregation who spoke ill of him. Their son was struggling with a lifestyle that dishonors God. This couple went to another city and church where they belittled the pastor in front of their son, and the pastor had lost credibility with the son due to his parents belittling the pastor’s every move.
Why do church members have “roast preacher”? The biggest thing I see is that people who attend church often have unbiblical expectations of a pastor. What might those unbiblical expectations be?
- The Bible says nothing about a pastor visiting people. Churches demand that so they can justify (in their minds) giving him a paycheck. Read Ephesians 4. It says that pastors equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Makes sense, right? A pastor leaves, so the people continue doing what they have always done (if they are doing what the Bible says). Otherwise, you have a church that depends on a pastor (or what they view as a paid professional) to do what every Christian is supposed to do. When he leaves, they are up in arms because they listen to the Bible but don’t obey it. I’m not against visiting people. In all honesty, I hate the term “visit”. It works great for me as a hospice chaplain, but I would prefer to say I’m just stopping by to hang out. I feel like pastoral visits often make people uncomfortable in their own home. I am just as willing for my family to hang out with your family at a park, go out to eat together, etc. Remove the pretense.
- The Bible gives the same qualifications for the pastor as it does for all believers for the most part. No believer should be exempt from godly character. Don’t expect your pastor to walk on water when you aren’t willing to step into a bathtub.
I have seen so much damage done by people who say they have been changed by the Lord and constantly badmouth other people. We all mess up in this area at times, but there is a serious problem if you can do this without sensing God dealing with you about it.
To those who are called to pastor, you may want to find out about a church before you consider being their pastor. They may be premiere chefs at roast preacher prep. All I can hear are the lyrics, “Oh here she comes. Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up. Oh here she comes. She’s a man eater.” Don’t fall prey to a preacher-eating church unless you know for a fact God has called you there. As for me, I prefer not to be a cannibal.
As I was praying about 2018, God gave me a sense in my spirit that this would be a year where I would see some things rise to a new level. I am seeing that in areas: work and church.
We ended last year with a little bit of a shift at work. Some people moved to different positions. As the new year has kicked off, it has been awesome to see some things put into place that have been long awaited. Considering that the company was very small and still laying its foundation when I started with it, I am thrilled to see some areas develop. I am specifically being stretched in my role as Volunteer Coordinator. We are orienting 8 volunteers at the moment. It’s an exciting time. My co-workers are so key in assisting me in this area. When I am out seeing patients, they assist the volunteers in whatever ways that are necessary. We have an administrative assistant that has been a trooper although she is very close to having a baby. Other staff members have had some hiccups in the beginning of this year, but at the end of the day we try to encourage each other through it. Despite our personality differences, we have a great team.
The developments of Overcomers Church have blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. We are having great attendance to be in a rented facility. Our people work hard each week to make things come together. They are stepping up in new ways, and I have to brag on them just like I do my coworkers. The awesome part is that God is sending additional people with musical ability, and we are able to go to a new level there. It isn’t happening like it is happening in every other church, but I’m glad for that. I want God to do a new thing. I don’t want to mimic the “cool” church in town. I want Overcomers to be a unique thing that God does and something for which I can take no credit.
Don’t give up on your dreams! Don’t settle for less than God’s best! He is ready to move you to another level. Are you ready?
What Are church games? Monopoly? Parcheesi? Rummy? PlayStations and X-boxes in the youth room? I wish it were that innocent. The types of games I see played in church can potentially send some people to hell.
What do people have to accomplish with church games? Who are we impressing? The preacher? Deacons? Small group leaders? They probably see right through you. Do you think you’re impressing God? He definitely sees right through it! You can’t pull the wool over God’s eyes.
Are you tired of playing church games or watching them being played? Then you might like this song.
This morning, I preached about those who have religion but lack a relationship with Christ. These are the ones who go to church to impress with their suits, big Bibles, fancy prayers, and “Christianese” (a language foreign to only “true believers”). These are the ones who have to go to fancy buildings and follow rigid structures. They are the first to rise up and speak against anything that doesn’t fit their way of doing things. They hate kids being kids. They don’t want others who aren’t “their kind of people” to be bussed in or drive themselves to their pristine facility. God forbid you have a past. If you do, it might be best to try to hide it lest someone approach you about it or use you as a prayer request in their gossip circles.
With this introduction, do you understand why people are still choosing a relationship with Christ over the institutional church. Some say you cannot have it. Because the traditional church almost burned me, I asked God to raise up a safe place for people to be real and be loved. A place where the recovering addict will be loved even during a relapse. A place where we don’t put our stamp of approval on sin while loving people to a place of restoration and victory.
The bottom line is that people want real love. Not a fake “love you”. Religion leaves you empty. Christ satisfies. I think this song by Blanca says it better than I can.
I know that God took on a human body in Jesus Christ, but some people have made God a bit too cozy. He is not my beer buddy nor is He someone with whom I go cow-tipping. He is high and lifted up. His thoughts and ways are higher than mine. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, so why would I want God on my pathetic, powerless level? Maybe it’s because I would want to be comfortable in my sin or I have a blatant disregard for Scripture. Maybe I view the Bible loosely rather than literally. This is not my view. I’m just trying to think like a liberal.
I know a religious group voted today to remove any gender-related descriptive of God. I understand that John 4:24 says that God is Spirit. However I have no qualms about God being personified as a father or the male Jesus. Evidently some do. What is wrong with gender differences? God made me physiologically different from my wife. For that, I am very grateful.
Bottom line: a denomination has no right to force its preferences upon God’s Word. I want to worship the One true God who is worthy of all my praise rather than some watered down version that man has created to accommodate self.
Today, Overcomers Church launched its student ministry. We have an awesome group of middle and high schoolers, and they made me proud today. We have 9 who regularly attend, and 2 of those couldn’t be present. They invited others, and we were supposed to have more than we did. For a small church, we had 15 students present. One of our members opened her home for it. I loved the atmosphere. They were tight-knit and interacted with what was taught. The lady who hosted it taught. I was very happy with how well it turned out. The icing on the cake is that most of them will be present in worship tomorrow.
I feel like we had a taste today at what the early church looked like. They met in homes. They ate together. They laughed together. They were real together. While many despise home groups, what I have seen thus far has been a more authentic expression of faith than I have seen between stained glass windows underneath a steeple. I love it, and I cannot wait to see what happens with these students. Maybe the next pastor of Overcomers or a pastor who plants a church out of Overcomers will arise from this group. Please be in prayer for them. The sky is the limit. They are not the church of tomorrow. They are the church NOW!