A Tale of Two Churches

A Tale of Two Churches

I work at a big church.

We’re not like… huge, not a megachurch by any means. But for our rural farming community, we’re one of the largest. The perception, at least, is that we’re big.

But I grew up in small churches affiliated with holiness denominations like the Church of the Nazarene and the Wesleyan Church. My father attended Nazarene Bible College, and my grandparents are both Nazarene ministers. None ministered in a church that topped 100, to my knowledge.

And what I’m seeing now, and what I’m sure you might be familiar with, is a rift developing between the two churches. The age of denominational separation has essentially passed (thankfully) but it’s evolved now into a rift between small, usually rural, churches and large, not-rural, churches. I say “not-rural” because while large churches are usually found in metro areas, churches like ours operate in a very small cities of about 10,000 people, but our local economy is based on agriculture and manufacturing. So, we’re… pseudo-rural? Is that a thing? Either way, you get the idea. Big churches and little churches don’t exactly see eye to eye.

Here’s what I’ve gleaned to be some of the main disagreements: Continue reading “A Tale of Two Churches”

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It’s OK to Hurt

It’s OK to Hurt

A friend of mine shared this blog post from Kris Vallotton, Prophetic Word For a New Season: Leaving Pain Behindand it brought some important issues to mind, issues that deal with human suffering and the character of God. Admittedly, I have a lot of personal emotion stored up in both of those topics due to my own season of suffering when my young wife unexpectedly passed away in 2011. But that season led me to some long arguments with God that He eventually won, and, in light of what Vallotton has to say on his blog, I wanted to share them here.  Continue reading “It’s OK to Hurt”

The Thing about Hugh

The Thing about Hugh

I want to first acknowledge that it seems Mr. Hefner was trying to do something good, as this NPR piece aptly noted:

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Hefner’s son Cooper, now the company’s chief creative officer, wrote in the company’s statment. “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand.”

Hefner’s assault on a what he called a “puritan” America was, I believe, well-intentioned. As such, I applaud him for stepping out to try and make America a better place. It’s much more than the twitter-verse has done to stop pretty much anything it decries and more than most bloggers (such as myself) do to bring positive change to the problems we wish we could fix with a laptop and a cable modem. Hefner certainly achieved his goals.

I’m just not sure those goals were good. Continue reading “The Thing about Hugh”

Why I Don’t Want to Be a Millionaire

Why I Don’t Want to Be a Millionaire

I got in a Facebook fight with a friend the other day about this article from Yahoo finance about how any normal person can become a millionaire.

I’ll briefly sum up the fight for you:

  • I think the article isn’t exactly right because most americans, working full-time, don’t make enough to put away the kind of money the article talks about. 
  • My friend’s rebuttal was that, while my point is true, most people can sacrifice some nights and weekends (the ever-coveted “side-hustle”) to save that much money. Think delivering pizzas, working at a gas station, and so on.
  • My answer was… yes, but I have a family. My nights and weekends are my family time. I work full-time in a salaried church position, and while my income is totally fine, it’s not enough to stash the sort of cash the yahoo article prescribes. Most americans are in the same boat.

And then I realized all of our points were moot because I’m not making decisions the way I should be. Continue reading “Why I Don’t Want to Be a Millionaire”

If you need time with God, spend time with your spouse.

If you need time with God, spend time with your spouse.

Or maybe I should say it this way: God will not honor the time you spent with Him if it’s time you took away from your spouse. 

I feel this tension fairly often, usually in the mornings. It’s when I wake up a little bit earlier than usual and think, Man, I should go spend some time in prayer / the word / worship / etc… and then Abigail stirs a little. I hear the sound of her skin on the sheets and then she snuggles in close to my neck. I try to pull away but she pulls me back closer. She’s still full of sleep, so she can usually muster only a few simple words.

No… stay,” she says.

Continue reading “If you need time with God, spend time with your spouse.”