Underused Resources

This past weekend we joined some friends to see the new movie War Room. How many times I have heard, “There’s nothing we can do but pray”?  Like it’s better than nothing. War Room reminds viewers that prayer is not the last resort but the foundation, the ultimate resource, for dealing with any challenge, unsolvable problem or stubborn issue. We left the theater thinking of difficult decisions or situations in our lives, among friends or family. 
I’m a fixer by nature.  My daughters tell me I am resourceful. I love a challenge.   I enjoy envisioning multiple ways to approach a problem. But could my fixer nature be a hindrance?  Yes, it could be. One of life’s joys is that God invites us to be involved in what he is doing in the world. But do our strategies slight our most fundamental way to be involved?  War Room spotlights prayer as a consequential weapon in whatever we face. I needed to hear that again. Perhaps you do too.  
For a $10 movie ticket you will be summoned to a new perspective on whatever weighs you down, or backs you into a corner of discouragement. What are you doing this Friday or Saturday night?  Do something that could change your life. See War Room!

The Adventure of Being a Church Guest

We’ve been looking for a church; a peculiar journey for a pastor of 42 years. It’s been an eye opening experience moving from pastor perspective to guest perspective. 
A friend, a heavily invested layman, told me recently after a similar search, “Churches are not friendly.” It seems odd.  We visited one church out of town with a great reputation. Worship was engaging. The message was biblical, on target, well presented.  But no one spoke to us. Well, one did.  A greeter at the door, with head down, mumbled a good morning. People were friendly to each other. Young families were busy taking children to the rest room, going where they knew to go. Meanwhile we searched for rest rooms for my elderly mother who was with us. When the service ended, someone immediately began picking up chairs and stacking them, basically blocking the aisle. Had I not gone to the Welcome Center, introduced myself and visited with a hospitable attendant, we would have left unimpressed and uninformed. Walking to the parking lot, I said to my wife, “If we decide to come here I will volunteer to teach a class on how to make people feel welcome.”  I inquired about small groups and Bible studies. Now, a few weeks before those activities begin, we received a helpful email detailing those opportunities. We were impressed.  
No one intended to be unfriendly. I’m sure of that. They were just busy, taking care of business – their own.  It was a rare opportunity for me to see the other side. We liked so many things about that church. It just didn’t feel good to be ignored.  We’re now more determined to do what we can to see that others are not ignored.