Today our pastor preached about the purpose of going to church. He created an acronym CHURCH that he used to helped the congregation understand. He said the purpose of church was for people to, confess and heal (CH), manifest ultimate reality (UR), and celebrate hope (CH). I've heard a few sermons on the purpose of church and I've read a book on the subject (Purpose Driven Church), but I'm curious what you think. The older I get the more I hear of people who 'do' church for their kids, yet church has no real impact on the rest of their lives. The irony is that the children who are forced to attend church as kids pretty quickly decide that since church doesn't mean much to Dad and Mom it doesn't need to mean much to them either . . . and so they justifiably quite the whole deal. The whole 'go-to-church-because-that's-what-you-probably-should-do' is a pretty dumb idea. I mean, let's be real here, church as a hobby is a pretty lame hobby…
I had a great time pheasant hunting with my neighbor earlier this week. We went out to southwestern MN and didn't see quite as many birds as we hoped, but we had fun nonetheless. One thing we learned is that I am a terrible shot; I fired the most shells but wasn't able to bring one bird down. One funny part of the trip was Tuesday night when we were ready to head to the hotel. We found out that we had failed to book a room ahead of time, and when we started looking for a place in town we learned that everything was full. Thinking that finding a room midweek in small town MN would be easy, we were shocked that everything was booked up. We ended up having to settle for a room at a 'motel no-tell' in a small town 25 miles south of where we were. And to add insult to injury we found out, contrary to what we'd be told over the phone, that the only room available was a smoking room. It was frustrating but funny at the same time. This was my first real hunting trip…
Great reminder from Pastor Perry Noble on not allowing our past to define our future: You have pain, regrets, frustrations and disappointments…and…the problem is that IF we are not careful we will allow our past ministry mistakes and shortcomings to define us rather than propel us to a greater understanding of Christ and the call that He placed on our lives. "Our past only defines us when we lose sight of the future Christ has for us.Reality is this…if He called you into ministry then He has greater plans for you than you could ever imagine…and THE calling on our lives is to NOT GIVE UP (See Galatians 6:9!)
At children's church last night we talked about the importance of serving others. Jesus said that all the commandments can be summed up in 'loving God and loving others.' This is a big task that is only accomplished in small steps. I found this great list on Tuesday night that offers of 365 ideas for community service that kids can partake in. Check it out.
Saturday night was homecoming night in the town where I work. As I was working that evening many of the high schoolers came into my retail store. An observation: I was absolutely shocked at some of the dresses the teenage girls where wearing! A coworker and I were talking about the 'lack of material' used in these dresses and the messages those kinds of outfits send to the boys they are at the dance with. Not to mention - what the HECK are mom's and dad's thinking buying these dresses?!?! DAD's COME ON! You gotta be there setting the standard for what is beautiful and what is acceptable. There is no way my daughter is going to a dance dressed like that, even if I have to out her in the car and drive her to Texas over homecoming weekend.
A person won't simply stop pursuing something without an object replacing the old one because it is too painful. Not only is their love for an object being chosen strong, but so is the feeling of pleasure that comes in the pursuit of it. The most effectual way of withdrawing the mind from one object is not by turning it away upon desolate and unpeopled vacancy, but by presenting to it's regards another object still more alluring. - Thomas Chalmers "The Explosive Power of a New Affection"
A long distance friend of mine, Jason Young, blogged about 11 types of people you see at church conferences. Funny stuff that I have seen first hand. Here's who he listed.... The Nomad (they just walk around, thankful to not be at their church)The Cool Cat (they just want to be seen with popular people)The Seeker (they are broken and desperately looking for help)The Groupie (they just love conferences)The Coach (they bring their team to get pumped up)The Golden Boy (they need the next new trick to save their church and/or job)
I shared a wonderful experience with my son Jacob yesterday. I brought Jacob along with me to a farm outside of Northfield while my neighbor and I did some shooting at clay pigeons. I didn't know exactly how it would go, but Jacob did a fantastic job. He wore his own set of ear plugs and he ran around picking up all the empty shell cartridges, starting his very own 'collection.' Jacob even got to fire a couple shots. The owner of the farm where we were shooting brought out a small .410 and helped Jacob fire a couple shots. Jacob thought that was pretty cool. I taught Jacob a few lessons on gun safety and the importance of being extra careful around guns. He was a great listener and he put is new lessons into action. I was very pleased with his behavior. And when we got home we were able to enjoy some amazing chili that Stephanie had made. It was a great day.