I know it’s not Friday, but I heard a great idea on the radio this morning and I thought I’d pass it on. Even if you don’t want to use it on Thanksgiving – it’s a good idea to begin a Bible study on thankfulness.
The talk show host was saying that as guests and family members arrive at her house for Thanksgiving dinner, they’re given a piece of paper. They’re to write down three things for which they’re thankful – but they aren’t to be the usual family and friends, but are to be more specific. When people are done writing, they put the paper in a bowl (or other container). Before dinner, someone reads the lists and others guess whose thankfulness list is being read.
Snow storms happen on Sunday or on other days when your church has a special event.
On Sundays when there are snow storms – the eighty-year old couple who live twenty miles from church will get there, no problem. The thirty-somethings who live a half mile from the church won’t be able to come “because of the weather.”
We know God has laws – we can repeat many of them, but I’m not talking about laws like “Thou shalt now steal.” I’m talking about laws like the pastor’s laws I was talking about last week and will be talking about this week, too. Those thing you just know are gonna happen.
I think some of God’s “laws” probably go like this:
*People will always test the limits of how far they can go.
*People will make bad choices and then wonder why God allowed the bad results to happen.
*People will say they desire to share Christ with others, but then they spend their time being upset at fellow Christians because of music, what food to serve at the banquet or how hot the church auditorium was last Sunday.
That’s the bad news.
But there is good news, too. In Psalm 33:13 we read From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind. He knows us. He knows our faults. He died for our faults.
And He loves us anyway.
Remember – you need to ask for a crepe maker for Christmas!
They’re great conversation starters – especially when you ask your guests to create their own crepes.
Here’s another good gift for the pastor’s wife – especially for all those potluck dinners you’ll be going to during your life.
You know how everyone’s pan looks the same? Well, this decorative pan keeps you from losing yours – unless there is more than one you in your church!
If a kid gets hurt in Awana or someone falls down the front steps of the church or someone’s car gets scraped in the parking lot – it will NOT be the leader’s kid, the deacon’s mother or the youth pastor’s car. No, it will be that new family that you’ve been gently nurturing, knowing that one false step will guarantee you’ll never see them again.
(Well, there ARE exceptions to every rule – I’m the ONE who fell on the ice in the parking lot and broke my arm in three places.)
The next pastor’s law is this: the person you do the most for will be the first one to leave the church.
Good example. A family left one of our churches because “no one cares about us.” As the board was discussing this, Ken took out his calendar (he kept records of everything) and showed that visits to this family’s house, their unexpected visits to our house and impromptu meetings after church – literally added up to more than 100 for the year. He hadn’t visited some of the board members even once.
Yet, this family said the church was uncaring.
True, they said it wasn’t us (Ken and I), but the other people, but still …
Before Ken became a pastor, my dad gave him lots of advice which maybe we could call the Murphy’s Law of Pastoring – or maybe just realities of being a pastor.
#1 – If someone visits your church and they’re all hyper-excited and afterwards tell you that this is what they’ve been looking for their entire life and they want to get involved and … Well, you’ll probably never see them again.
If someone visits your church and they’re friendly, but not overly talkative or willing to commit – maybe have a couple questions, but not a lot … they’re the ones who are thinking it through and you have a good chance of seeing them again.
(By the way, there are exceptions to every rule – but we found the above to usually be true. Still … I can remember one family showing up at one of our churches and they totally fit the first category perfectly. They bubbled over with “This is what we’ve been looking for,” etc. Later Ken and I were talking and said, “We’ll never see them again.” They’re still attending more than a decade later and are active and valuable members of the church. So don’t count out the enthusiastic bubblers, just beware that next Sunday they’ll probably be enthusiastically bubbling over somewhere else.)