Friday, June 26, 2009

Homeschool perks: combined lessons in football and spelling

This is from the New York Times: a picture taken from a football field where homeschool families have put together a high school football league. One of the coaches put up some inspirational signs:

Spelling isn't my strongest subject either...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's too powerful for God?

Stuff Christians Like is a great blog, and today's post is beyond awesome. Just the word I needed today...

Pastors, and other scary people...

There's one thing about pastoring that I had almost forgotten about, but I have faced in the last few days. It's the weird reaction that people have when they find out you are a pastor. Typically, they get an odd look on their face, and get really quiet. It's like they think I'm judging them, or waiting for them to do something that I can condemn them for. Or, maybe they are expecting me to hold them down and evangelize them.

I had the over-the-phone equivalent tonight. I called up someone who goes to our group, just to see how he was doing. I hadn't seen him in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to make sure that he and his family were OK.

He was obviously uncomfortable. He was evasive, short, and sounded like he would rather be doing anything but talking to me. And I wasn't being harsh or judgmental. I was just trying to express some concern for my brother. I got the feeling that he felt like I was going to do something to him. (What, I have no idea.)

It's an odd situation for me, because I don't view people through my agenda to grow "my" church. In other words, I don't see the people around me as prospects, or potential Sunday School teachers. They're just people like me. But the title of "Pastor" puts an immediate barrier between me and some other people.

It reminded me that pastors can get lonely in their position. I don't want that to happen to me and my family. I am going to redouble my resolve to be as real, honest, and open as I can be. If being a pastor sets up barriers, I'm going to do everything I can to bust through them...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Introducing, the new owners of General Motors...

In fact, I think these two might be designing the next line of cars:

Actually, Maxine Waters is twice as smart as most Kobe fans...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A long-awaited update...

Well, maybe it's not "long-awaited." Maybe it's just "swallowed by overwhelming apathy." Either way, just wanted to drop in to say "Hi!" (Wow. I have used quotation marks three times since the beginning of this post. "Awesome!")

Anyway, some of you might remember that I was asked to preach for a few Sundays at a local church that was looking for a pastor. They asked me to preach for 4 Sundays, then for a couple more Sundays after that. It must have gone well, because the church voted to ask me to be their pastor!

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know my misgivings about traditional church. But after a lot of prayer and talking, the Mighty Mrs. J and I felt like it was something God had opened up for us. As of about a week ago, I became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bell Gardens.

It's been busy. I still have my business to run, and I'm learning to juggle work and ministry. But I think it's going to be fun. They are a great little group of people, and they've expressed a real desire to minister to hurting people. There is a lot of work to be done, with the facilities and the people. We are looking forward to the challenge.

I think for me the hardest part will be to keep teaching and living grace as a lifestyle, and not to allow anything that cheapens the gospel to creep in. It will be interesting. Pray for us!