I Hope They Don’t Go to Our Church!

by kensneed2 on September 4, 2013

Hope they don’t go to our church!??

iStock_000002637189_ExtraSmallMy wife said it on the drive to church one Sunday morning when I honked at the people in the
car in front of us.

(In fact, she’s said it several times when I’m cruising up Airline Hwy.)

It’s not that there are people who aren’t, as one pastor I worked with said, “Our kind of people.”
She doesn’t look down on anyone, that I know of.

She didn’t say it because she doesn’t like other people going to “our” church.

She said it because I’d honked at them when they didn’t move quickly enough after the light changed to green at one of the intersections. She was afraid of what they might say when we had to face them in the parking lot of the church.

I pointed out that if they did show up there, I’d be more than happy to tell them how they need to pay more attention to their driving.

Not true . . . I would have been embarrassed, too.  And apologetic.

Aren’t we all innocent?

Of course, I’ve never done anything like what they’ve done.  I’m always attentive to my driving at every level . . . right!

Of course, I wasn’t thinking about when I zoned out an entire green light a week earlier.  It didn’t mean I was wrong like the person in front of me. NO-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!!!

The Doctrine of “Um.”

Since then, during moments when I’ve been more rational, I’ve thought about the truth of the statement I heard from a preaching professor: “We all read the Bible being very conscious of how it applies to everyone else, but we don’t see the application for ME.”  He called it the doctrine of, “Um.”

You know. When someone is sitting in the pew thinking, “Give it to Um, preacher!” Or, “Tell um about it!”  Or maybe, “Let Um know about how wrong they are, and step on their toes so they hurt real bad. Don’t let Um off easy!!”

What I need to remember is that those commandments, instructions and encouragements in the Bible were written for me, whether or not they apply to anyone else.  Um’s behavior is not my problem or my business.

My business is ME.

Those drivers. Those “hypocrites that fill the church.” Those people out there. They are not my problem.  My problem is ME!

Make no doubt about it.  Probably the biggest reason Christians are called “hypocrites” is because we get so caught up pointing fingers at everyone else’s mistakes, shortcomings and bad choices, while we don’t spend enough time taking care of ourselves . . . ME.

So . . . whatchagonnado?Steeple

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  –James 5:16

Let’s take a huge step forward as the Body of Christ on earth.  Let’s become a collective support group by dealing with our own shortcoming and not everyone else’s.  Let’s take a chance on being honest about self and not spend our time thinking about, or talking about, what’s wrong with “Um.”

(Ouch!  I think I hurt my own toes!)

What are your thoughts about “Um?”

Leave your comments for our consideration.


My Dog Has Fleas*

by kensneed2 on June 14, 2013

Joey, the dog with no fleas!Not really.

Not this dog. A beautiful, rescued chocolate Lab (as far as we know . . . no AKC registration papers on rescue dogs).

About 25 years ago, we adopted a puppy from a friend’s German Shepherd’s litter.  The sire was a Husky.

A beautiful female pup with blue eyes the color of . . . well, blue.  They were just beautiful!

I took her to the vet for her first checkup after washing her thoroughly with a flea and tick shampoo that cost a lot.

When the vet put her on the exam table, she looked so-o-o-o good and clean.

Then he dug though her fur looking for fleas and ticks.  But he didn’t find any, ‘cause I’d just washed her with expensive flea and tick shampoo.

I was so proud, till he reached for a spray bottle and pumped the spray trigger twice, and about 137 fleas dropped off my pup and fell dead on the exam table!

How embarrassing!!

I’ve learned a lot about dog grooming since then, and still have a long way to go.  In addition, dog grooming chemicals have come even farther and do a much better job than they used to.

Joey had his annual exam and shots yesterday. (Joey is my current dog. It’s short for Joseph. I named him that because his brothers had abandoned him.)

Made me think about Phoebe’s fleas. (She’s the dog from yesteryear with the fleas.)  Again, let me remind you that Joey has no fleas.

Thinking about Joey’s checkup, which led to remembering Phoebe’s fleas, my thoughts wandered to church.  Not that I believe churches have fleas, though I guess that could happen.

–Pretty big jump, huh??

Not really.  My consideration of churches after thinking about fleas is because of all those hypocrites in churches that keep people from becoming involved with God’s people. Just like fleas tend to cause people to avoid dogs.

“I won’t go to church because it’s full of hypocrites!”

You know, I can’t think of a better place for them to be than in church. And it seems to imply that those involved in church tend to actually be Christians.  So is this a good excuse for non-beleivers or wounded Christians to avoid church?

Don’t you think it’s a general rule that the world is full of hypocrites?

If the definition of a hypocrite is a person who acts one way on one day and in a contradictory way on the next day, isn’t that pretty Lake Ave Church, Los Angelesmuch human? It may not even be in an attempt to deceive others, it’s just human nature.  Not good . . . just human.  Isn’t that why Jesus walked the earth?  So he could connect in a better way with regular humans and demonstrate God’s love by giving himself for us?

So the church is infected with hypocrites . . . people.  What a wonderful place to find how to be less of a flea, er, hypocrite, and live more genuine consistent lives.

Got “fleas” in your church? 

(Figuratively speaking, of course.)

Pray for them. Take them out to lunch.  Help them if there is something you can do for them.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. . . . ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. . . . ’ ”  (Romans 12: 18 & 20)

Easy?  Not at all. But it’s what helps us keep from being “fleas” in the Church.

Whatcha think?  Leave a comment if you want about the church’s fleas that you’ve had to deal with.

* The phrase, “My Dog Has Fleas”, at one time had something to do with tuning a ukulele before electronic tuners were invented and ukuleles were still in use somewhere in the world.


“Christian Blogs Are Depressing!”

June 3, 2013

That’s what the minister I was talking to said when I asked if he’d done any research into what other churches were doing to reach out in their communities. Not An Unusual Observation He wasn’t the only one to make this observation, and most I hear from with similar comments are ministers.  Some agree that […]

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I want to talk you out of becoming a minister!

November 7, 2012

WHY would I want to do that!? Let me ask you this: Why would anyone want to become a minister? If you are a minister, how many times have you thought to yourself, “If I’d known that being a minister included this kind of stuff, I wouldn’t have wasted my time!”? IT CAN ACTUALLY BE […]

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Accessibility: One of Church Leader’s most Valuable Qualities

September 4, 2012

I once worked with a pastor who had a problem with one to one meetings. If a young couple talked to him about wedding plans, if it inconvenienced him in the least, the bride was often in tears when they left his office. He could preach like a machine in the pulpit, but his people […]

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Church Leadership — More Than Just Being Busy

August 6, 2012

Pastor Skip was new to the church and community. He was everywhere in town. He’d joined the local Rotary Club. He was at all of the high school sporting events. He had lunch with important people in the congregation and the community in a variety of restaurants around town almost every day. He finagled being […]

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New to Church Leadership or a New Place of Service?

July 2, 2012

It can be a difficult beginning My first place of leadership was as a youth minister.  That was while I was in seminary. I’d never been in an “organized” youth program before. Now I was in charge of one. Everybody assumed I knew what I was doing.  And I was almost a “youth” myself! The […]

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Has, “You’re Fired!” Replaced Staff Ministry?

June 19, 2012

It’s a bad day . . . . It’s a sad day, but Pastor Chuck has said, “You’re fired,” to his music minister. It was done with more tactful words, but it meant the same thing.  He’s been on Chuck’s staff for almost 3 years, but the music program isn’t up to Chuck’s standards. Chuck’s […]

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When You’re Not the Lead Sled Dog . . . And You’re the Pastor!!

June 4, 2012

A Case of Frustration He’d been pastor there for a few months beyond 2 years, and he still wasn’t in charge. He’d always assumed that church leadership meant being the lead sled dog and being out front to guide the rest of the pack. Coming to the church from a parallel pastorate with no change […]

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Church Leadership — Fear of Admitting You Don’t Know What to Do

May 25, 2012

Not what I expected in being a minister I found myself sitting in my office, with my books on my book shelves, with my door closed, wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my time, and my energy and my wonderful education. . . . I didn’t feel like a church leader. I […]

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