Monday, July 11, 2011

Ministry at the Bottom of the Hill

Have you ever walked through the house looking for something and eventually you realize you have walked past what you were looking for at least five times?

This happened to me the other day.

I had been busy about ministry all week. Meetings with congregation members in Westminster (20 minutes), Gettysburg (30 minutes), Frederick (30 minutes). I had taken supplies that our church was collecting to the local food bank. Running here, there, and everywhere looking for ministry opportunities.

Then my phone rang.

An elderly lady at the bottom of the hill is on the other end in a panic. Something is wrong with her water heater, she has called everyone she knows to call and no one can come help her. She wonders if I can come and help.

I WALK down to her house.

I spend some time looking at her water and water heater. Not an emergency. The plumber can fix it when he comes in a few hours. But we spend 45 minutes talking about her life and struggles. She needed someone to talk to.abandonedphoto © 2008 Shirl | more info(via: Wylio)

I wonder how many times we miss the ministry at the bottom of the hill while we run here, there and everywhere looking for ministry?

I then came across this article by Kurt Willems and it brought this thought to my attention again.

What ministry are we missing at the bottom of the hill?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is Worship a Game?

Oh, please tell me this is a joke! You can see the website they have created for this "game" here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Imaginary Dog Eats School Note

Who says, “My dog ate it” when they are asked about something they don’t turn in?

I got an email from Elijah’s teacher today telling me that he had sent a note home on Friday that needed to be signed and turned back in. I had never seen the note and let the teacher know I would talk to Elijah about it when he got home. A little while later I get this email from the teacher.

“When I dug a little deeper as to what he had done with his note that needed to be signed, he said that “my dog ate it”. No joke. I thought you should know.”

Who says that? I asked the teacher to let Elijah know that I knew about the note and that he had said “the dog ate it.” We’ll see how fun this bus ride and walk from the bus to the house is for this young man today.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thought For Soon to Graduate Seminarians

I read this blog post tonight from Seth Godin and thought it would be beneficial to pass along to all of my soon to graduate seminary friends. I've heard so many stories about graduates entering the ministry in bad situations because they "took what they could get" and I am hoping that we can all keep from compromising...easier said than done, right? So enjoy the post and leave a comment about what you think.

Take what you can get (?)

When you're just starting out or when your organization is struggling or when the economy isn't hot, it's very tempting to take what you can get.

You just graduated from law school and you have a lot of debt and the best job you can get is doing collections work. Should you take it?

Your consulting firm is organized around providing high-value work for large corporations, but the only gigs you can get in the consideration set for are small, struggling companies looking to spend a few hundred dollars a day. Should you take them?

The list goes on and on.

There are two things worth remembering here:

  1. Like bending a sapling a hundred years before the tree is fully grown and mature, the gigs you take early will almost certainly impact the way your career looks later on. If you want to build a law practice in the music industry, you'll need to take on musicians as clients, even if the early ones can't pay enough. If you want to do work for Fortune 500 companies, you'll need to do work for Fortune 500 companies, sooner better than later.
  2. The definition of "can get" is essential. Maybe it seems like this gig or that gig is the best you can get because that's all you're exposing yourself to. Almost always, the best gig I could get is shorthand for the easiest gig I could get.
Surviving is succeeding, no doubt about it. Doing the work is better than not doing the work. Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress. But, and it's a huge but, you define yourself by the work you do, and perhaps you need to redefine what you're willing to take and where you're looking for it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Hardy Love For Reading

When I was a boy I love the Hardy Boy novels. I would have one everywhere I went and usually had the covers wrapped around my face until the final page was turned. I hung on every word. Page after page my imagination was engaged by the images painted by the words. (If I read one now I would probably find them quite silly but I am remembering nostalgically.) The content of those books would be long outdated and many kids today wouldn't really "get" the two brothers. But the Hardy Boys influenced me to become a life long reader. I'm an avid reader today because of these two teenage super-sleuths.

Today Elijah went to the library and checked out a book filled with colorful pictures of fancy gadgets, high speed chases, and actions sequences. All of the text is contained in dialog bubbles and imagination is far less necessary. But he has been reading it since he got home from school. And what is this colorful graphic novel you might ask? A reinvention of the famed detectives, Frank and Joe. The Hardy Boys!

I just hope that maybe these books can help Elijah develop a love for reading as much as the old series did for me.

What books do you remember reading as a kid?
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