Sunday, March 29, 2009

Let the Whining Begin!!!

Yippee!!! It's Spring. This is one of my four favorite seasons of the year. This is the season where we stop whining about the cold and the snow, and we begin to whine about the rain and wind! And, oh boy, what comes next? The season where we get to whine about how hot it is and break out the favorite expression of the masses: "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." I can't wait...but for now, I'll just whine about the rain and the wind (and maybe even a little about all the mud while I'm at it!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I am the church, I am the church, I am the church together!

Maybe you've heard that annoying song "I Am the Church." I'll bet you're singing it right now and wishing you weren't..."I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together!" Cheesy? Annoying? YES! True? I'm afraid it should be but it is not.
The mentality seems to be, at least in America, that I am all the church needs. And when the church doesn't conform to me, then I go elsewhere. If I don't like something, then I must hit the road because I am the church.
Since when? It sure doesn't sound to me when I read Scripture that this is God's plan for us. I foolishly thought that Jesus really wanted us to be together through thick and thin, in comfort and discomfort, in strife and in peace, in tribulation and in celebration. I guess I just misunderstood what He prayed for us.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Since When Did This Become "The American Way"

We have become a nation of whiners!!! When did it become American to complain about everything and do nothing to change it? Let me offer a few observations:

1. The NEW Facebook. OMG, the complaints about that. The "I Hate the New Facebook" groups and the "Bring Back the Old Facebook" groups...Pa-Lease! You don't like it? I see a few options: 1.) shut up. 2.) don't use it. 3.) launch your own version of social networking.

2. The government. Here we go again...can't seem to find anybody that voted for Obama. The "stimulus" package is less than stimulating. Whaddya expect?! I see a few options: 1.) shut up. 2.) vote the bums out. 3.) move, like to a "better" country.

3. The church. (ruh-roh, is this where I offend?!) We grumble about the church...does too much of this and not enough of that. The messages are too long or too deep or too shallow or too boring. We don't do enough outreach or we don't take care of those who are already here. We don't do enough of this and that or when you do this and that, it doesn't fit my schedule. Hey, we're not in a perfect world! I see a few options: 1.) shut up. 2.) work to change it and do your part. 3.) start your own "perfect" church.

This concludes my whining for the day. Thanks for listening!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dear Contact First Name,

So I gets this email today that starts out: "Dear contact first name..." How personal! I know I want to respond to this right away!

Which reminds me of the message series we're in at Cornerstone called "Where Everybody Knows Your Name." That's the kind of church we want to be. I believe that the days of the megachurch are over and that the next generation is going to be earnestly seeking to belong in a true sense of community. And that is our vision for Cornerstone.

But we live in a world where this isn't always the case. I went to a small college, worked for a small manufacturing company, prefer pastoring a "smaller" church, have a small amount of hair and even a smaller brain. I guess I just value small. It is in the smaller more communal settings where I never have to be addressed as "contact first name..."

Oh yeah, and if you're wondering. That picture has nothing to do with my blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


OK...guilty as charged. I talk. I like to talk. I talk a lot! But I think I know why...because that is how I think! I can't think by myself. My brain has this thingy in it that disconnects it unless my mouth is moving and I'm listening to somebody and I'm doing something all at the same time.

So you may say I'm weird. Go ahead, I'll wait.

But the point isn't how we think, but THAT we think. My hope is that with a great wife, some great friends, a great staff, some great leadership, and an awesome God, that I'm able to do some awesome thinking. And I hope and trust that there is fruit from those thoughts!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just When I Needed You Most...

I love that song. Makes me cry every time, and I love to cry! I'm a lachrymaniac! Anywho, I got a call this morning from an old friend. I haven't talked to her in a long time...maybe a year or two. She's in trouble. She has just spiraled in the last while...drinking, arrests, got fired from her jobs...she has hit bottom.

Why she called me, I'm not sure. But she said that she basically has nobody left. All of her recent friends are a bad influence and she needs to end those relationships. All of her old friendships, her Christian ones, are gone. Now she is alone.

So I shared with her one of my favorite stories from the Bible...Mark 2:1-6. The bottom line is that she is paralyzed. She knows she needs to get to Jesus, but is too paralyzed to get there. She needs friends on the corners of her mat to carry her any cost. I want to be one of those friends...

Christians brothers and sisters, Jesus never, ever leaves us. Never. For any reason. He never gives up. So why do we sometimes give up on people just when they need us most? Not that they really need us, but they may need us to carry them to Jesus feet...

Friday, March 06, 2009

I'm SO busy!

OK...reality check. If you're blogging about how busy you are, you're not that busy. If you're updating your facebook status to say that you have SO much to do or whatever, you obviously don't.

A wise man (namely me!) once said if you're truly busy, you're too busy to update your facebook status about how busy you are.

Now I gotta go because I have SO much to do...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

To tell you the truth...

Why do we use that expression? It's almost as if we are admitting that we don't tell the truth, which probably isn't far from the truth. I am just astounded at how much we (and by we, I unfortunately mean "Christians") lie. I was at a conference last week where the presenter was giving illustrations to make his point. He was talking about one of the churches he had served early in his career, before he had become a famous author. My friend had his book and was comparing the "facts" given in the book to the "facts" he was sharing in the story. Um, not even close.

And it isn't just at some conference in some far away land, it hits home right here at Cornerstone. Lies and untruths abound in our casual conversations, let alone when we're under stress. I have really been convicted of just how much this is a problem in our lives.

Tonight, the people called Cornerstone will gather for a time of prayer. I'm claiming the words of Psalm 139:23-24...that God would search our hearts and remove the unclean from us...especially the lies and deceit. I'm praying that He replaces is with truth, His truth, truth who has a name, Jesus.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

"After Me"

So I'm driving back from the gym this morning and I come to this four way stop sign. Some dude in a luxury car seems to think that he got there first even though I was the clear winner in the race. As I pulled out in front of him, I said loudly "after me, bub."

And then it know, conviction? God says "Brett, since when is it about you?" I find myself using and I and me statements a lot, and yet God said that the greatest of all shall be the servant. I should have let the guy go, my turn or not. I should be placing the needs of others above my own, but I don't always. Lord, thank you for your forgiveness and thanks for your conviction. May I use it for your glory!!!