I am confused. . .

Archive for February, 2016

Church Memories – February 27, 2016

Just a quick memory for now.  Back in the 60’s my dad and a group of men from his church (St John Presbyterian, Tampa FL) went to Montreat to hear Martin Luther King give a speech.  I have a video one of the men took but you only get to see Marin Luther for a couple of seconds – but still very historic and interesting.   That speech dad talked about how great is was for literally the rest of his life. 

How to Find Good Friends in a World of Fans

This latest blog entry by Ken Davis strikes home with me as I have thought many times of my own plight.   I have known for a long time that I am a very uninteresting, unexciting person and by most standards pretty boring.   Since moving away from home in 1966 I really have not made any real friends;  I have folks I say hello to at church and so forth but that’s about it.  The friends I had when I left home well that was about it for me.  Anyway I digress. . . . here is a blog entry from Ken Davis that I thought was great and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.


As a public speaker and entertainer I love the fans that have followed me faithfully throughout the years. But off the stage, I find my heart longs for more than just fans.

Every man and woman on earth desperately needs a few good friends. And even people who never step on stage often have lots of fans but few friends.

Do you have friends or fans?

No matter what your occupation, this is a question that has a huge impact on your quality of life. In order to answer that question you need to know difference between a fan and a friend. Here are some hints.

Fans see you as networking potential ————— Friends see your potential
Fans love you for your performance ————-  A friend loves you for you.
Fans are fickle ————— Friends are forever.
Fans want to see only your good side  ————–  A friend will protect your backside.
Fans demand that you entertain them —————– Friends just want your company.

Several years ago I came to the sad realization that I had almost no friends. I had thousands of fans, I had a successful career, I had lots of stuff, but I had no real friends. I was a nomad. I didn’t herd goats and pitch tents in the desert, but I walked through a desert of countless audiences, herding a dog and a pony. I never pitched my tent anywhere.

I had people all around me and I was still alone. When I died, I was afraid Diane wouldn’t be able to find six people who were willing to carry the box I was buried in. 
I had nightmares of herpulling the casket down the church steps alone; thump, thump, thump, then dragging it to where “the big black SUV” waited.

I have good news! I am learning to make friends!

So how did I find friends in a desert of fans? I am purposefully changing my lifestyle to make it happen.

Making friends requires an investment of time.
Time sharing meals
Time helping with projects
Time sitting by a hospital bed
Time laughing until the early hours of morning
Time talking until you fall asleep

I can’t make good friends on Delta airlines, in a lonely hotel room or performing in front of 1,000 fans.  I need to make room in my schedule to be a good friend.

Making friends requires taking risks
Trust someone with who you really are
Reveal your heart
Be accountable
Hold someone accountable
Debate issues you feel strongly about

I will never know if someone loves the real me until I let someone know the real me.

Making friends requires that you practice grace
Grace to forgive
Grace to overlook imperfection
Grace to realize you will never find a perfect friend and you will never be a perfect friend.

One must find the faith to accept God’s forgiveness and then extend that forgiveness to others.

The best way to make good friends is to be a good friend.

I don’t have hundreds of close friends, but I have made sure I have at least six that are capable of lifting a box!

Sooo…… do you have friends or fans?  How did you get them?  I look forward to your comments.

Oldies Music

I have listened to the Oldies music radio stations for many many many years now and have enjoyed them for the most part.  BUT I have noticed that they tend to only play the biggest hits and they get recycled over and over it seems.  There is a big part of my fondest memories that I spent listening to and singing the songs that never cracked the top 10.  These songs go into the makeup of memories from my past. 

Was Jesus A Great Man?

From the Naked Christian BLOG. . . . .  interesting but I have to think about this for a while. . .


7 Surprising Reasons Jesus Was Not A Great Man

February 23, 2016

by Philip McClelland

comments 2

Jesus was not a great man

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Jesus was not a great man. Read the Gospels, read what others wrote about Him. He did not want fanboys or screaming teenage girls chasing after him in a concert. If He walked the earth today I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have found Him on the cover of success magazines or celebrity rags showing off on the red carpet his latest $20,000 outfit.

When He lived with us, Jesus did not try to set himself apart from the rest of humanity and rise above the din of the masses. He didn’t focus on self-promotion, tweeting He was the great musician of all time or being successful in any generation’s definition of the term.

1. Jesus was not a great man; he was fully a man

Jesus was fully a man, and yet He was the best of us. He was fully a man, in everything that it truly meant and means to be human. Fully involved in the complexities of His world, the duties and responsibilities of being a man to  His Heavenly Father, his family, his friends, his disciples, his community, the government, his region—the world.

Weeping for the lost and the broken, crying out against injustice, speaking truth, loving and caring, doing something about the hurt in the world, even to the point of death, death upon a cross. None of this was below him or not worthy of His time and attention while He was busing trying to be successful and great. He was fully, without reservation, a man, unabashedly involved in everything that it means.

Jesus was not a great man, did not try to be a great man and did not care about being a great man.CLICK TO TWEET

2. Jesus was not a great man; he never sought greatness

Jesus was not a great man, so He calls us to walk away from greatness and walk in His footsteps instead. Because who doesn’t hear the siren call of success? The beckon of the crowds, the allure of the 3 seconds of fame, the desire to be recognized, honored, known. How many likes can we get, followers, tweets, or reblogs? Why do we take so many selfies?

Greatness calls all of us to set ourselves apart from the crowds, distinguish ourselves, set powerful goals that will lift us up from the humdrum of everyone else. To be anything, anything else than simply a man, a woman, a human with all of the duties and responsibilities to our Heavenly Father, family, friends, church, community, government, region—our world that entails.

3. Jesus was not a great man; he did mundane work

But in doing all that it requires to be great, are we not setting ourselves apart, trying to be something more? Who has time for the poor and the needy or with the tasks no one wants to do, like cleaning the toilets or sweeping the floors? I’m too busy trying to be important or noticed.

Who has time day in and day out to sit with the kids, take them to school, pick them up, have dinner with the family, help with homework, actually listen to your spouse, your friends, your family—I’m too busy for all of that.

Or I won’t be content with what I have or the paycheck I have; not that wanting to provide for our families well is a problem, but it becomes an obsession to be more, earn more, show what I can really do, more and more. Who has time to be kind, tender-hearted and understanding when I’m busy being important, if even in my own eyes.

In this pursuit of greatness, of I am better than, or I know better than, are we not making ourselves higher than others, trying to stand out and in doing that be great? Let us not fool ourselves, the allure of greatness is not only on celebrity magazines but in our little corner of the world, community, a circle of friends and even church.

4. Jesus was not a great man; he was a man of faith

We all want to set ourselves apart and be great even in our small ways.That is loftier than others. Which means greater than Jesus. greater than God.

But has not God taken what is great in this world and shown it to be foolishness?

Because what else does all greatness have in common? A pointless and fruitless end. What else is it? It is dust, that returns to earth where it came from and soon forgotten in a heartbeat or a blink of an eye. To be great does not take faith in God, but faith in ourselves. Confidence in ourselves is merely blowing in the wind.

But to live a life that is not great takes faith, not in ourselves, but in God. Faith that God takes the ordinary, mundane, duties and responsibilities of being a man or woman in this time and place done in His name and love and consecrate them. He makes them holy and precious in His sight, and they become part of what lasts forever.

5. Jesus was not a great man; he was humble

From scheduling a meeting to cleaning a toilet, feeding the needy to having a position of responsibility, doing homework with the kids to teaching Sunday School, letting others take the lead to leading with humility, and all that comes around and in-between, that is part of not a great life but a human life, living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities is throwing ourselves completely into the arms of God. (Bonhoeffer)

Jesus was not a great man
A life that takes seriously not what the greatness of the world takes seriously but what God does. A life that stops taking ourselves so seriously and finally actually takes God seriously.

6. Jesus was a Savior and not a great person

In doing this, we find ourselves at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, not a great man but fully a man being exactly what it means to be a human fully. In such a place, God becomes exactly who he is-God. We’ll take seriously the life, hurt and need of this world as we fully live within it and start doing something about it. Even to the point of death on a cross.

This is not greatness, but it is the very salvation of the world that will remain when all fame has turned to dust. That is faith and what it means to be a man, a woman; indeed to be Christian.

7. Jesus relinquished his greatness by becoming human

As we walk into our everyday lives to imitate Jesus Christ, not in His greatness because He was not, but in His humanity, because He was fully all of what that means.

To imitate those who have and continue in faith to imitate Christ in their everyday lives. To follow their example and learn from them as they learned from Jesus. In that struggle, not the futile struggle to be great but the real struggle to relinquish all of our greatness and in doing be like Jesus.  When asked what we want to do with our lives, what our goals are, how will we make our mark in this world? For us to learn to say, I am a man, a woman, a Christian.

There is nothing great about that but there is nothing worth more.

Pastor Duke, Feb 17 2016

In a series of Facebook posts Pastor Duke post “Ministry Memory” and they are worth reading a couple times.

Ministry memory. One summer night only weeks after we arrived in NY I was knocking doors in a mobile home park. I met a grease monkey sort of guy working on his car. He was a wise guy..my favorite kind. I boldly gave him the Gospel. He said “I ain’t ready for that but when I am you’ll see me again”. A year later he showed up in our bank hall and said he was ready. Soon he and his wife and mother in law all came to Christ and were baptized. He asked prayer for his boss who owned a garbage company. The garbage boss soon showed up and said “I came to find out what happened to Doug Miller. I want what he’s got”. The garbage mogul turned out to be Pastor Larry DiNovo our second church planter. JoEllen and I introduced Larry to Marianne,a girl from my home church in Ohio. Larry married her and today my only son is married to their daughter. Thank you Doug for sharing your faith. God is always up to something but most of the time we are not seeing it till a little later down the road. He is the I AM not the I was.

Blog Post from The River Walk

What Is Your Tent?

by Beejai

What Is Your tent

The Lord has filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. (Exodus 35:31)

Read: Exodus 35:10-36:38, Matthew 27:32-66, Psalm 34:1-10, Proverbs 9:7-8

Relate: Sometimes I get a little bit jealous. I was raised in a family that is fully loaded with with people in a more “traditional” ministry. My dad was a pastor. So was his brother in law. My sister is a children’s pastor, my cousin who is one of my best friends is a pastor. So are multiple other cousins and uncles around the world. Even more, I have a heart for church planting. I have two cousins who have, or are doing it right now. (Including Rebecca, who wrote here on the River Walk yesterday) The church I am a part of back in the states, although not quite three years old, is already popping out another baby. Part of me wishes I could be back home to be a part of that. Again, my dad planted a church back in Rochester when I was in high school. As much as my heart pushes in that direction, it isn’t even close to what I see God doing through me in the near, or even more distant future. I love to preach and I would like to think I am pretty good at it. But I haven’t found myself behind a pulpit once in the past ten months. Nope. I’m stuck teaching English to Turkish elementary school kids and writing as I can find the time.

I wonder is Bezalel ever felt a bit jealous? Look at who he gets to compare himself to. First there’s Moses. He went up a mountain and came down with the ten commandments. He is leading a group of two million out from slavery and into the promised land. Then there’s Aaron. Yes he has to try and live in his little brother’s shadow. But then again, Aaron is the first and founding high priest creating a dynasty of mediators between God and Israel for the next thousand years. Of course, there’s also Joshua. He is Moses’ handpicked successor. He gets to train and lead the army and will be the one leading the people into the promised land. Bezalel? He gets to make a tent… fun.

React: Moses and Aaron and Joshua are the ones from that generation that we remember. They are the ones who join the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph as greats of the Hebrew faith and the subject of Sunday School lessons world over. Bezalel… who is that? Bezalel was an artist. Oh, yah, one of those types. before we dismiss him, however, let’s not forget one very big but often overlooked fact. Bezalel was the first one in the Bible and the only one on this list said to be filled with the Spirit of God.

Maybe what we are doing isn’t as “big” or as “braggable” in the world’s eyes as that which others around us might be doing. Maybe we might feel that we need to squint a little harder or look a little closer to see how God is using us to change the world. Maybe we are just as obscure as Bezalel standing in the shadows of all the Moses and Aaron and Joshuas all around us. If that is so, let’s throw our very being into making those tents. I will strive to be the best English teacher this world has ever seen so that the world can see the Spirit of God shining brightly through me? You… what’s your tent?

Respond:

Dear God,
Help me to compare myself to nothing else except the best “me” You have called me to be. Until the Goliaths come my way, help me to be faithful in fighting the lions and bears. Help me to strive to do the best and be the most diligent I can possibly be with whatever tasks are set before me. You have filled me with Your Spirit. Help me to make a tent that houses Your presence for all the world to see.

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