Odds & Ends/Bits & Pieces

October 6, 2021

Leadership Notes


{The following are either my own thoughts, or somebody else's that I find interesting. Whether I agree or disagree with them is not the point…the important thing is do they invite us to consider different perspectives on shared life?}


We opened worship last Sunday with this observation by Burk Parsons:


"The local church is the only place on earth where children, the

elderly, families, singles, widows, and adopted orphans of

different ancestries, colors, and socio-economic backgrounds

come together to sing songs of victory, share one supper, one

baptism, and confess one faith."


For my money, "The Great British Baking Show" on Netflix is the most uplifting, kindhearted, funny, entertaining, and endearing programs on television, across all viewing platforms.


Love this from Mr. T, "Let me say right now, right here, I can't wait and don't want to wait until Thanksgiving Day! Because I am thankful and grateful every single day! 'Give us this day our daily bread.' Thank you God! Amen. Matthew 6:11."


I've always felt that fear is one of the most powerful drugs there is. Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” There has not been a generation of believers for whom that has not been a profound calling. People have always lived through difficult, challenging, and often life-threatening times. And the advice from God's Word is always the same - Fear Not. Then there's Matthew 10:28-31, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."


Beware of authoritarians who use fear to ensure compliance. History has been marked by the tyranny of control in the guise of safety. Hold firm to the promises of God's Word.


No matter where you land on the young earth/old earth conversation, there's no way the earth is not 6,000 years old.


Did you hear that in order to get kids interested in the vaccine, President Biden held a photo op with teen pop sensation Hanson?


Speaking of a pandemic transitioning to an endemic, keen observers will be tracking worship attendance changes. Using a definition of worship attendance as 1-3 Sundays per month, most churches have experienced a drop of 50+% in in-person worship. While online worship was an interim answer to health concerns over gathering in large crowds, we know in the long-term, online worship {with exceptions for temporary or unique circumstances} is not optimal for the church or the worshiper. That being said, church sociologists/consultants estimate that 20-30% of those who worshiped regularly before the pandemic will not return to worship. While these are preliminary theories, one has to wonder about the impact Covid-19 had on church practices.


Surveys consistently show that roughly 33% of Americans believe astrology is very or somewhat scientific. Only half of Americans believe astrology is "not at all" scientific. Makes you wonder.


About 25 years ago, a woman in a church I was pastor of told me she believed in reincarnation. It made me question the effectiveness of my preaching ministry!


I love it that people mine the Bible for interesting tidbits. There are only 12 chapters in the New Testament that don't have a reference to the Old Testament. Unhitch that factoid, Andy Stanley!


Recently, I thought about getting rid of all electronic devices and go live in the woods. But my wife told me I can't just Thoreau my life away.


Here's this by C.S. Lewis:


"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its

victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live

under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies."


"Omnipotent Moral Busybodies" might be my new favorite phrase.


This is almost worthy of framing - THE CHRISTIAN MOTTO SHOULD NOT BE "LET GO AND LET GOD" BUT "TRUST GOD AND GET GOING." {J.I. Packer}


Before your Moment of Spurgeon, here's this from 1 Thessalonians 2:4: "Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts."


And now, your Spurgeon Moment:


“Avoid a sugared gospel as you would shun sugar of lead. Seek

that gospel which rips up and tears and cuts and wounds and

hacks and even kills, for that is the gospel that makes alive again.

And when you have found it, give good heed to it. Let it enter into

your inmost being. As the rain soaks into the ground, so pray the

Lord to let his gospel soak into your soul.”


With Much Love and Affection,


Richard

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