Too much pain and very little payoff have me investing some thought and time into making positive change.
So…here’s what I’ll start tomorrow.
1.Dedicated prayer time and a prayer journal.
If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time you know I find prayer to be the great mystery of Christianity. It just doesn’t seem to make a difference, but the Bible claims it does. I aim to find out.
2. Intentionally unplugging on a regular basis.
My technology owns me…and it demands all my time and attention. My job this year is to control it and make it my tool and not my taskmaster.
3. Intentionally caring for my physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
The tyranny of the urgent and constant stream of instant news via social media are joy killers…and without joy all health is compromised.
4.Create more time for relationships that matter.
Cyber friends are great…but they’re gone when you turn off the computer. I need to care for and be cared for by the people who are there when it’s off.
1. The beginning of the New Year is welcome around here, if for no other reason than the promise of something better to come than last year. 2012 was difficult, both personally and professionally. Personally, my health issues have overshadowed everything and here on the blog we lost about half of our readership . Dark days, but we move forward in hope.
4. As for the lawsuit itself… “I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?” (1 Corinthians 6:5–7 ESV). This is the result of having no instituitional mechanism to address such things…and the institution being utterly unwilling to adopt one. You would think the name of Christ would mean more to all of us.
5.I’m far more concerned with restoring broken people, than fighting unwinnable battles against church bureaucracies…though sometimes those battles are unavoidable.
6. Our wealth and self sufficiency have caused us to lose both our need for prayer and our fear of the Lord. Losing the fear of the Lord is the root issue behind all the scandals.
7. The fact that the Trinity Broadcast Network exists and Todd Bentley draws crowds speaks volumes about the intelligence and integrity of American Christianity. We far prefer wealthy and popular to holy.
8. This years election didn’t create division, it revealed it.
9. One of my biggest concerns as a pastor and a blogger concerns what happens to those who are abused in church situations. As I survey the growing list of online sites that serve as refuges for these people, it’s obvious their spiritual health is in critical condition. The churches just write them off because there are plenty of folks behind them to fill pews. Because most people don’t embrace the corporate, community nature of the Body of Christ, they leave their brethren behind if their “needs” are being met. We’ve lost any real grasp of the true nature of the church in evangelicalism.
10. I do have plans for the blog in the next year…we’ll see if I have the time and talent to pull them off.
It was going to be a stressful day, so a good breakfast was in order.
I knew just the place.
She has started her diner in a little strip mall and then taken it to a big, new building on the highway, but what we loved about the place remained the same.
The food was great, but the people were greater.
They loved Trey from from day one and they made him feel like a family member, not a customer.
Because they loved him, I loved them, and it became a place we visited on a regular basis.
Yes, that was the ticket…a good breakfast with folks we loved before tackling the stress of last minute Christmas shopping.
Today though, something was different.
The always ebullient owner was kind and attentive as always, but more than a tad subdued.
I first wrote it off to holiday exhaustion…the restaurant business is always tough, and like most businesses, tougher during the holidays.
Then I started to worry…what if a family member was ill, what if business was down,… the what ifs began to assimilate and I had to ask what was really wrong before the what if’s drowned me before I started shopping.
So, I asked…and this is what my friend told me.
When they moved from the little place to the big place they made some mistakes.
They underestimated the numbers of people they would serve and often were understaffed or were working with undertrained staff and sometimes both.
Some folks had bad experiences when they visited.
She cares deeply about her customers so she would try to make it right by personal apologies and gift certificates and so on.
She worked harder to get it right, if working harder were even possible with the hours she puts in…and she did get right.
That wasn’t enough for some.
They went online and wrote not only about the bad experience, but trashed her person and character.
They not only wanted to write a negative review, they wanted to inflict pain…and they did.
An hour behind a computer can ruin a lifetime of dreams, and for some who have never dreamed that’s a delicious reality.
For a while she couldn’t even bear to come to work in the place she had worked all her life to build.
The wounds are healing, but the pain shows through the eyes that used to sparkle when she greeted you…but now are weary and wary above the smile.
She says she has given them over to God and hopes that He will forgive her because she’s still not quite ready to forgive them.
I rose in righteous indignation…”I can play that game…I will DESTROY them”!
“No…then you will become like them.”
Maybe I already am…
She told Trey again that he was loved and hugged him as we left.