Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Shop Supplies"

So I takes my car to the garage to fix the windshield washers. They're not working. If you live in or near Picksburgh you know how mucho importante it is to have such a luxury on a vehicle. Well the first time I take it in, they "fix" it by heating the nozzles with a hair dryer to thaw them. And they charge me like $88 dollars. Thanks, but coulda done it without you. So a few days later I take it back and have them replace the pump and motor like I told them in the first place. Then they charge me like $123.

Now that's not the issue. It's that little part of the bill that says "shop supplies" and they tack on $5 or $10 to it. I don't have an issue with them having to buy supplies for the shop, JUST INCREASE YOUR HOURLY LABOR RATE!!!!!! Why charge me $65 per hour for the "labor rate" and then what essentially amounts to another $5 per hour "shop supplies"? I have an idea. Just charge me $70 per hour.

It's like the lawn mowing service a previous church I was at contracted with. They charged a certain amount to "mow the lawn" and then an additional "gas surcharge." I'm sorry, but that just gives me gas. Just charge me more to "mow the lawn," enough to cover your "gas" expenses. OK? will certainly make my life more pleasant and, well, I'll just think you're more honest!

Monday, January 26, 2009

While You Were Sleeping...

To be honest, I felt like our congregation was asleep yesterday. I've been feeling like the church has been in a general state of malaise and unsure what to do about it. So I've been listening to this song by Casting Crowns called "While You Were Sleeping." It draws the parallels around how Bethlehem was asleep when Jesus was born, Jerusalem was asleep when Jesus was crucified, and we're asleep for His return. In Romans 12:11, God implores us to never lack in our spiritual zeal but develop our fervor for Him through patience, joyful faith, prayer, and service to Him. In this week while Pittsburgh prepares to celebrate its 6th Super Bowl victory, zeal and fervor are not in scarce commodity. So how is it that our spiritual fervor is? Anyone care to weigh in? How can we shed this and come alive in Jesus?!?!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"A Little Good News"

You know I always have at least one song stuck in my head. Lately, it's been Anne Murray's "A Little Good News." You prolly know the song about how she is sick and tired of bad news and stuff. Anywho, I love the song and the message. Last week, America found a new, true hero. The pilot of the "Miracle on the Hudson" is truly a hero. Your average American Joe just doing his job and not looking for glory or cash does a great thing. That rocks. This is the kind of person we need to be holding up to our nation's young people! Thanks Sulley for bringing this nation a little good news for a change. And yes, Mr. News Media, you can keep talking about it all you want...I promise I'll never get tired of that story!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who Cares?

So I'm mostly on facebook now which is why I don't post here much. But I am finding it to be somewhat annoying that people use their facebook status to garner sympathy. Saying things like "my life sucks" and putting it all out there for the world to see is questionable. And I began thinking about why we do this.

I have come to the conclusion that it is because people really don't care much about anything or anybody other than themselves. So we resort to almost psychotic methods to gather attention or to coerce people into "caring" about us. I had a phone conversation not too long ago where somebody called "to see how I was doing" but it became apparent during the conversation that they really did not care. They were calling out of obligation perhaps, or guilt. I'm not sure. But when I began to open up about myself and my life, there was a clear shutting down on the other end. When these things happen, we resort to saying "why me" on our facebook status.

Well, God cares. I know He does. And He has called us to care. So I'm praying for the strength to take a greater interest in those God has put into my life and less worried about my self. Because I know He is!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


So I was having lunch yesterday with a few friends who are in ministry in their own right, albeit not pastoral ministry. We were talking about the frustrations of not seeing results. I've said this before, but it is foundational to who I am: I love to work with my hands. I believe the reason is because I love to see results. I like to be able to step back and see what I've accomplished. Now in ministry, that is not always very tangible or attainable, and it can be very frustrating. It is not that I don't see results from my life's calling, it is just that those results are not as obvious as if I clean up the garage!

Now maybe the problem here is that I've relegated ministry to things that are too far removed from direct, life-transforming activities with people. Maybe this whole idea of "the church" leads to a false sense of godliness when in reality God desires not a "church" but people who are radically changed. I'm pretty sure that Jesus was able to put His head on the pillow (read: stone!) at night and tangibly enumerate His results for the day.

What say you?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

May 2009 be filled with more of Him and less of us!