Ministry myThoughts


I learned something interesting as I was watching a documentary about Border Patrol last night.  Drug smugglers from Mexico will use people who want to come to America as distractions for the border patrol agents to allow themselves a window to get their illegal imports across the border.  They send people across with a people smuggler and watch from the Mexican side how the patrol officers find them, where they come from, how they catch the illegal aliens, and then use that information to cross undetected.

I thought of a friend of mine, who is a magician (  He uses entertaining stories to distract his audience from whats really going on.  A simple waving of his hand, or making eye contact at just the right moment, delivering a punch line, these are the tools he uses to create the illusion of magic.  Distractions…

Yesterday I got an email from an old high school friend informing me that she was no longer going to accept the new gold dollar because the words “In God We Trust” have been moved to the edge of the coin instead of on the face or the back as in previous versions.  This fact was brought to the attention of many people when the US Treasury mistakenly minted several coins without the inscription on even the edge.  This upset many Christians and has resulted in several angry emails and email chains like the one I got today.  My friend didn’t seem angry, just adamant in Her decision to expressly not use the new dollar. 

Not to pick on my friend, but think about that for a moment.  There are Christians who have decided to ‘take-a-stand’ for God by refusing to use the new dollar coin.  I began to consider how they would make this stand.  Images of gas station clerks standing baffled as some stranger explains to them why they won’t except those ungodly coins as change come to mind.  Are we really so distracted from the great commission that this is what we allow to pass as taking a stand? 

The enemy has sent distractions across our borders and is watching us react, all while moving undetected in the process.  We are watching the left hand, while the right hand is doing that thing we needed to see.  I don’t believe we should ignore the attack on our faith in matters such as the inscription on a coin, or “under God” being removed from our pledge, or the Ten Commandments being removed from our court house walls, anymore than I believe the border patrol should ignore illegal immigrants crossing the border.  But aren’t these things simply symptoms of the problem? Isn’t there a better way to spread this Gospel than refusing to accept a coin?  We are focused on the left hand when our attention should be on the right.  Wouldn’t it be great if we actually showed people how to live the montra “In God we trust” instead of demanding it be printed their coins?

Family Ministry myThoughts

Father’s Day Thoughts

Today we celebrate fathers – I think. I’m not sure I would call it celebrating. On Mother’s Day, the church is full with standing room only in the back. On Mother’s Day, pastors across America talk about treating our mothers with respect, and even give alter calls to unsaved children. On Mother’s Day, we wake Mom up with breakfast in bed, or nicely wrapped presents. On Mother’s Day.

But on Father’s Day – its a different story. Lunch at a BBQ restaurant and a tie are among the highlights. Then there is the church service. This morning at church, we had a guest speaker. His message was from Matthew chapter 5. Actually it was only verse 7 – “Blessed are the merciful…” His point – Fathers need to be merciful. The real kicker for the sermon was the illustration at the end – he told a story about a man that had his only daughter late in life. She was killed by a neighbors dog in a vicious attack right in front of her father. This was not a story that I wanted to hear about on Father’s Day. The point of the story was the mercy this now childless father showed the owner of the dog.

Another preacher I know preached “12 things fathers should do, IF they want their children to be delinquents.” I don’t think we could get away with that on Mother’s Day. Could you imagine a sermon titled, “Why it’s your fault that your children aren’t saved, Mom!” Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure those sermons – as well as the many others like them have value and purpose. I just don’t see them as celebrating Fathers.


How to lose a customer over 10 cents

I think I’m going to begin to ‘Slap it forward’ when I get bad customer service. Something simple – like telling the customer service rep – “Are you aware that after being serviced by you, people lament the death of customer service?” Or “You inspire people — to question what happened to customer service.” I know I sound like a jerk, but think of it like having something stuck in your teeth all day and no one telling you. Maybe these people don’t know that they lack the skills to be in a service position. I know servers that are horrible at their job, but walking home every night without any tips leads them to believe that people are cheap and not that they are incompetent.