"Better to be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt"
That quote that has been attributed to Mark Twain, is the first thought that came to my mind when we discussed my writing a blog for the churches new website. It is not that I don’t love sharing my opinions and thoughts – who doesn’t? It is just the idea of having to put my thoughts into a coherent structure that I struggle with. I am the poster child for ADD and it takes every ounce of trained self-discipline (and much help from the Holy Spirit) each week to be able to keep my focus on my sermons and Bible studies; and now a Blog? I wish I could tell you that each week you will be able to click on this page and gain some great wisdom and insight, or maybe some spiritual nugget, or at least a good quote to put as a facebook status to impress your friends; but I make no promises. What you will get is the jumbled up, random thoughts that I am wrestling with that day, or week – or it might just be something from left field that my ADD mind has grabbed ahold of and won’t let go until it is regurgitated. Can you say regurgitated on a church blog?
As a young minister, many years ago – but not that long ago, I tried to soak up all of the advice I could get from those who came before me. I observed, asked a lot of questions and mostly learned from the kind correction I received after messing something up. One of the things I noticed is that when I came into the ministry in the mid 80’s the perception of those serving as Pastors and Ministers was changing. For several generations, congregations placed their ministers on a pedestal, in lofty regard. There was a sort of disconnect between those serving and the people they served. I am not saying they did not minister and reach out to their congregations with passion and devotion, there was just an invisible barrier constructed. I understood this better when one of my seminary professors encouraged us to never use personal illustrations in our messages or studies. His reasoning was that this could cause the congregation to de-mystify, or humanize the Pastor, and that somehow this would devalue the message. I think it must have been a generational thing. This was one piece of advice I never subscribed to.
I firmly believe in transparency and openness and I love sharing about my mistakes, struggles, questions and concerns with the body of Christ. I struggle as a parent, as a husband, as a son, as a friend and especially as a Pastor. I say all of this to help you understand that if you check back here each week to read this blog; you are going to find the random thoughts and struggles of a fellow traveler. You will find someone trying to live a genuine and real faith in a hurting, messed up world; someone on a journey of discovery. An inner discovery about myself and a deeper discovery of the grace, mercy, forgiveness and salvation, I have been blessed with. The only promises I will make is to be open and honest and to try and not prove Twain’s quote true. Some of these blogs might be short and pithy, some may be longer than you have time to read, but I promise you that all of them will come from my heart. I hope you will join me on this journey!