Thursday, May 28, 2009

If I Were Ever On A Pulpit Committee...

And you thought I only did political commentary...

I imagine should I live so long, one day I may be asked to serve on a pastoral search committee, commonly referred to as a pulpit committee, which if you think about it is a rather silly name. Why select a committee to find a pulpit, especially today when so few of us who preach actually use one. Alas, you now understand why the committee has been renamed "pastoral search" committee. In some cases, I think the committee should have just went ahead and purchased a pulpit.

Most people who have served on a pastoral search committee have met prior to interviewing a candidate to discuss the theological questions that should be asked of the candidate, such as:

+What is your view of spiritual gifts
+What is your understanding of baptism - or a you just a dry cleaner?
+Are you a Calvinist or that other position I can never spell correctly (help me Justin)
+Do you believe in eternal security or eternal insecurity?
+How much $ can you get by on to be someone who helps us with eternal matters?
+Do you counsel - or do you need counseling?
+Are you interested in further education or do you know it all now?

If I were a part of a team searching for a person to be the pastor of a church I attended, someone who would teach us and preach, assist us spiritually through the crisis' of life, I don't think I would ask any of the above questions. Probably goes to show why a committee is necessary, rather than just one person huh! I would (and will) ask the following if the time ever comes:

1. Do you pray?
2.Could you tell me roughly how many hours a week you spend communicating with God?
3. Would you share with me a little about your prayer time, I mean, how you break it down?
4. How has your prayer life changed over the last 2 years?
5. What has God been sharing with you through your time of prayer?
6. Does your prayer time involve a quiet time, a time of listening for God to speak to you?
7. Do you and your spouse (if married) pray together? What has God been sharing with the two of you that you feel comfortable sharing with us?
8. If you were to become our pastor would you pray for us?

I am not as interested in how much someone knows or thinks they know about the bible, or how theologically in tune with me they may or may not be, or if they have the right (if there is one) view of the Millennium, Daniel, or if they are a 6 - 24 hour creationist or go for a longer creation period of time (I will pause giving you time to pick yourself up from the floor) as I am about whether they know the Lord they are going to share with me for the next several years. [BTW, I hope you were not hurt to bad from the fall]

You don't have to agree with me - this is just Life From My Point of View

What would you ask the candidate?
Hey, how's your prayer life?
Do you know Jesus or have you just spent time reading His Word and somehow missed out on getting to know Him?



Sunday, May 24, 2009

General Powell....I'm Disappointed

General Powell,

Life from my point of view allows every person a right to their point of view. On Memorial Day weekend we honor the men and women who have given the most incredible sacrifice, all they had, their life, so that we would have the right to say and believe what we feel strongly about.

General, you have the right to suggest the Democrats go after Vice President Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and even to close Gitmo, however, I also have the right to disagree with you, which I do.

When we first met, oh, not person to person, but when you were in Desert Storm 1 - and then on to be "W"'s Sec of State, I was incredibly impressed with you as a war hero, statesman, a black American, and even as a Republican. When you chose not to run for President against Bill Clinton, I was disappointed but understood your motivation. General, you have crossed the line from "my point of view".

The late great President, Ronald Reagan had what was called an 11th commandment, do you remember, it was "Never speak badly of another Republican". My goodness General, you certainly have not lived recently by this mantra. For me to write this is not breaking RR's commandment at all, you see, I do not feel you have the values and goals of my fellow Republicans.

For you to come out openly for then Democratic Nominee, Obama, over McCain was so racist of you. For you to be critical of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin, was shocking. Now for you to go after our former VP, your boss as Sec of Def under Bush #1 shows me your true color - you are not a Republican, you are not the man I thought you were.

I thank God in America you can openly do what you are doing without fear of reprisal, just as I can be critical of your choice in this blog. I wish, you had simply remained a General or retired quietly and stayed out of the political arena. My great fear is that you Sir, perhaps with good intention, are not making the great Country safer and more secure.

In your effort to support the closing of Gitmo, I as just one American citizen, do not feel safer than I did under Bush/Cheney.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You Can Learn A Lot About Yourself Through Conflict

That's right, you can learn perhaps even more than you ever wanted to know about yourself and others when you are engaged in a conflict. The truth is, conflicts are bound to be a part of all of our lives regardless of how old or how young we are. From struggling over a favorite toy in pre-school, to quarreling with a service manager about a product you want to return and they don't want back.

Conflicts can and do happen within the body of Christ which we refer to as the Church. Some would argue this should never happen, but debate it as long as you want, over as many cups of coffee as you choose, conflict does occur far more often than we would like to admit.

Conflict does show me a lot about myself.

a. How angry I can become
b. How loud I can be.
c. How quickly I am willing to share my conflict with someone else who is not involved.
d. What my motive is for "c." will come to surface
e. If I am willing to try to resolve this for the glory of God or if I want to just hang on to the bitterness, allowing it to take in root in my life so I can relive the conflict over and over again.
f. It also shows me if I am learning anything from all the prayers I've prayer, chapters of the bible I've read, all the sermons I've heard (and preached) and all the lessons on "dealing with conflict" that I've particiapted in.
g. It also shows if I am prone to forgive or hold a grudge, and blame the other party for all the conflict.

Conflicts are just never fun. I know, I've been in more than my share. Some of my own making, others a result of being a Pastor, and still others because, well, people are people, God help us, and we are all victims of the Fall.

Conflicts, in retrospect, just may be the tool God will use to allow me to see myself in the mirror he is holding for me.

Hmmm, wonder what you think?