Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Saying goodbye to a good and Godly man

This week we will lay to rest Rev. Gerald Walworth, a pastor for more than 50 years, and a good man.  Jerry was my friend, my mentor, my congregant all wrapped up in one joke-telling, people-loving, and church-loving bundle

As a first-time solo pastor, one could view having your predecessor still in your congregation to be a challenge.  Jerry and Jean never made it an issue.  He had retired after serving the Hobart congregation for 37 years, and he was retired.  He was also battling the disease that ultimately claimed his life.

In the 2 years I knew him, I was able to laugh, cry, tell jokes, and run ideas past him.  I valued his counsel on things in the church and in the town.  I also appreciated having someone to talk to about ministry.  Being a solo pastor is hard because you have to work to find people with whom you can share some of your ideas, fears, burdens and frustration.  Jerry had already been there, done that and had a couple of T-shirts to prove it.

Jerry, you fought the good fight and made a difference in the lives of many.  Well done good and faithful servant.  I will miss you.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pat Robertson has done it again

Pat Robertson and Joe Biden suffer from the same disease - terminal foot in mouth - because more often than not they end up regretting opening their mouths to speak in public.

This one just makes me cringe and shake my head at the same time.

So dating a woman who has adopted children internationally is akin to taking on the United Nations?  Will someone at CBN please tell the emperor that he has no clothes?  And then take his microphone away?

As Kenny Rogers said, you have "know when to walk away..."

Friday, August 03, 2012

Political Chicken

This week has been interesting to say the least with the Chick-Fil-A controversy.  I know the Hobart location was crazy busy all day long, and it was almost a rally atmosphere.  People would cheer in line, cars would honk in support, which elicited more cheers.  Then the rhythmic clapping started and it reminded me of waiting in line to ride the Beast at midnight at Kings Island near Cincinnati.

What I find interesting about all of this is the way certain folks reacted to a private citizen saying the same thing that President Clinton said when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s.  President Obama also espoused the same view when he was campaigning in 2008.

It is interesting that Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Boston, and Chicago aldermen did not attack candidate Obama they way they have attacked Dan Cathy for espousing his views on marriage.

In my opinion, this is a battle that is going to go on for a long time, just like abortion has.  It will raise millions of dollars on both sides, and little will be done to resolve the issue in the political arena.  What needs to be done is for the church focus on teaching what the Bible says in a POSITIVE manner and not engage in Westboro Baptist tactics that do not show the love of Christ in any way.

If we are going to change the culture, we are going to have to be the shining city on the hill that calls people to seek forgiveness and grace as they repent of behaviors that are sinful.  That is what the First Century church did, and it changed the very corrupt and highly-sexualized Roman culture over time.  The church needs to be the church and remain a voice that can speak to all parties in politics.  It's hard to watch your country go down some of the paths it has chosen, but God is not an American, and not all Americans recognize God's authority.  That is an unfortunate reality.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Heaven and Earth

This article really sums up nicely the idea that heaven isn't our focus of the Christian life.  Doing the will of God and living in communion with Him is our focus.  As you read it remember that a new heaven and a new earth are coming (Revelation 21).  I suspect that we will be living with God there, and I look forward to what that work entails

Jesus and me, Jerry Sandusky and (Un) Happy Valley

If we ever needed another reminder that our sin affects more than just us, just look at Penn State University. The sins of a few men in leadership have injured many who had nothing to do with the actions there, and had no idea it was happening.

Some of those injured include:

The players who cannot play in bowls through no fault of their own

The victims of Mr. Sandusky

The people who idolized Paterno and PSU

The non-revenue sports at PSU who may see a reduction in funding given the reduction in $$ from the football program

And the list goes on and on.

 It is a good moment for us to remember that our sin can potentially affect many around us. And that is why God's grace is there to help us overcome the power of sin and death. We are called to live in community, not as Lone Rangers. Our actions, however big or small, affect others whether we want to admit it or not.
Lord make it so.