Posts Tagged ‘church’

There is a stack of cards on my kitchen table currently on addressed. Now, I know Christmas was two days ago and I am late but, in my defense these are holiday cards, so being holiday cards I have a bout a week left before I get these to their intended recipients.

Holiday cards date back to over 100 years ago and every year many seem to prognostic about the future of the cards. If we can learn anything from precedent and history we have learned that, holiday cards are here to stay. Some are asking why?

Why send and receive holiday cards? Because, when you open the card and read the well wishes you feel good and reciprocity is a necessity.Image result for holiday cards



Now, you know about the table in my kitchen, let me tell you about the table in the lobby of the church I attend. The churches table is full of holiday cards from members to other members. One year I was feeling a little bit of the Xmas blues and my oldest son retrieved my stack of holiday cards and my spirits were lifted, ever since then holiday cards have had a special place in my heart.

A popular brand for holiday cards is Hallmark. Hallmarks founder Joyce C Hall got his start as a reseller of postcards. On Jan 11 1915 JC Halls warehouse and entire postcard inventory was destroyed in a fire. JC and his brother William received a loan and bought an engraving press.  This press was the beginning of the Hallmark corporation and really a North American Icon.

J. C. Hall at card displayJ.C. Hall took greeting cards out of drawers in retail stores, and into displays that let shoppers see all their choices, dramatically changing the way cards were merchandised.

I am grateful for; the tough years, the fire and the well wishes from awesome people in my holiday cards.

Happy holidays friends





“No your grammar errors in an blog that you publicize is indicative of the person that you are…  you don’t care about the way people see you and therefore it shows in other areas of your life… If it fits you then that’s ok… no one is judging you for that… that is the key point “judging”…that it a crock that weak people use in order to not have to do anything to fix their problems!  Just food for thought: Exposing sin in my sermon doesn’t make me a judge. However, not preaching on sin for fear of a man’s response makes me a coward. And God can not use a coward.”

That is a quote from a colleague of mine at work. He moonlights as a minster. We had been involved in a philosophical conversation at work and I mentioned that for me it seems that the way to look at or judge or speak to others speaks more about our self than the people we are judging.

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I then proceeded to, foolishly, point out the judgmental clergy and their willingness to use sermons as exposes,  digging up and convincing people of their sins. I told him that I had sort of mentioned this in my blog and sent him this link.  The blog talks about an older man who has only meet three people he didn’t like and I went on to talk about how our experiences with others are a result of probably 80 % us and 20 % them. The words kind reception come to mind for me when I thing about how we should conduct ourselves with every relationship and interaction.

That was when I was treated with the above response. So in response I wanted to answer his response.

Let me start with the grammar police. I realize that my blog posts can be ripe with grammatical errors. Let me say this one of my favorite authors was ee cummings. Despite his grammatical errors I find his context and prose to be incredible. On a religious anecdotal note There was a sermon at a church one speaker was well dressed. The other was dressed in humble and austere clothing. The well dressed man approached the lectern and delivered an articulate message. The crowd was informed but unmoved. The poorly dressed man approached the lectern and spoke in a highly inarticulate manner. The crowd was moved to tears. Grammar and articulate speech can only get you so far at it’s heart content is what matters. Are my blog posts full of deep content ehh I don’t know I enjoy typing and posting and I hope those who read enjoy reading them. Despite my poor grammar.

The second charge in the diatribe Is one of not caring about the way people see me. Ahh yes that is true. And thanks  for that (see the bad grammar with the and?). I hope that my legacy will not be one of “he cared about what people think of him, but more of John always tried to do the right thing.”  I have a few people who I do not want to disappoint but at the top of the list is myself and I am most disappointed with myself when I am faced with right or wrong and I choose wrong.  It happens I have not always done the right thing, but I am learning and I like to think growing more and more each day.

There is then the judging claim. Or the no one is judging you claim. Well I think we have a problem with understanding of the definitions of words. Judging or judgement: means to form an opinion and to decide critically and or to infer. If a clergy telling someone who lives a certain way that he is a sinner is not judging well maybe I need a new dictionary? My girlfriend once told me about a psychology class she had taken in the class  the instructor opened on the first day with this gem: “Look to your left and your right. Do you feel like you are being judged. That is because you are. Your peers have judged or are judging you. This is what humans do.” It may not be good, this judgement of others but it happens. To not act on our judgement of others that is what makes someone in my judgement a bigger person. I don’t see that when the clergy preaches out against sin. I see a clergy trying to whip a flock into a frenzy with a common enemy, that enemy is sin and evil. Am I looking for a crutch that would help me avoid a journey to self discovery. I certainly hope not. I have made some serious changes throughout my life so far (especially after my kids were born) I think these changes demonstrate that I am not looking for a crutch just merely indicating my judgement. 🙂

Let me see as far as exposing sin in a sermon., For me a Sunday sermon should not be an expose. Those sitting in a church, temple or a mosque (apologies to any religion I missed) are not there because they need to realize their need for god. Our spiritual leaders when they judge and preach against something are then either describing the waters a man or woman is drowning in or creating a battle cry. I have never been a fan of the mob mentality.

Now I don’t think there is such a thing as a coward or a brave man or woman just people who do brave or cowardice acts. As far as god not using a coward well I would point to, for the Christians reading this post, the religious text in the gospel of Luke

Luke 19:40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”  To say god cannot use a coward (if you believe a man or woman can be such a thing) would be to limit god.

So that is my answer. I apologize for my poor grammar. I hope this does not make my posts less enjoyable.

imagesSo the preacher did it again. He made it onto my blog post. Sunday the Preacher brought forth the message about Palm Sunday. He read from Mark. In the Christian religion our savior was a man and also God he lived on earth and was arrested, impr=isoned and executed by the rulers. After his execution he rose from the dead. Prior to his arrest he rode into the city he was arrested in on a donkey. He rode into the city amidst fanfare as if he was a war heroe. People cheered and threw palm frams on the road in front of the donkey he rode in on. The palm part of the saviors triumphant entrance is where palm Sunday gets its name from.

The text the preacher read from, described in  detail the day before and the day of The triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  Jesus who in Christianity is also part of god, told his followers to go to a mans house in town and take the donkey. If the man asks let him know that the lord needs this. The preacher pointed out that Jesus since he was God could have simply manifested a donkey but he needed man to go get the donkey for him and today he needs man to do much.

I am not sure what religion you are, but I am sure that religion as everything else in life works best when we invest in it. God, family friends country and work need us. What do they need us to do well that all depends on, what is going on. But what remains is the need.

A secret equation exists in the universe one that if learned early in life makes life more enjoyable and it is this: “In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.”  ~Karl Reiland


“I don’t yell I project.” That was what Billy Mays, the incredibly popular and recently deceased spokes man for the wildly successful  cleaning product, Oxy Clean. I never meet Billy Mays I just know the little about him that I do from interviews for magazines and his peers comments after his death. According to his peers the man was a great guy and will be forever missed and according to him he projected well enough to not need a microphone and so did the visiting minister Sunday at our small church.

I am not sure if I mentioned but the regular preacher at our church recently retired and the board of deacons are now in the middle of searching for a replacement preacher as well as substitute preachers until the replacement is found. This Sunday the minister was a local but traveling evangelical minister and he was loud!  I am not and have never been a fan of getting yelled at. I was one of four children growing up and my mom did her share of yelling, mostly  because me and my sisters did our share of mischievous games(nothing sinister mind you).  When I joined the U.S. Army after graduating form high school I experienced my share of yelling then too. So I feel that the last thing I wanted to do on a Sunday afternoon was sit through another person yelling at me, but out of respect for church I did however I will not endorse this individual for the permanent church position simply because of his projection/yelling.

During the sermon my girlfriend leaned over and asked me why he was yelling at us. Being that it was a pretty inane standard mothers day message, which was mostly centered around  a need for a mothers love and her teaching her children the importance of “holy living’, I really couldn’t tell her why. Being the person I am I couldn’t let this question go unanswered. I mulled it over and over and as you can tell from earlier on in this post I am no stranger to yelling so I should definitely know the reason why. 

As far as I can tell yelling comes from two camps one fueled by anger and or frustration. For example the mother of four children who have decided to write the alphabet on the bedroom wall in markers, will definitely have anger as the anger as the fuel for her yelling. Now the other fuel for yelling I like to call the “replacement fuel”. Let me explain. I love sports and I have seen many sports movies and many games, professional as well as amateur, and one thing I noticed is that those who love the game play very well and those who don’t do not play well. I was watching a sports movie about a high school team and of course at half time they were playing poorly the assistant coach looked to head coach for motivation and in the locker room the head coach yelled at the players and kicked over the 20 gallon tub of Gatorade. As the coach walked out he told the assistant coach “we will see how that works.” See because the players lacked a love of the game they were playing in a lackadaisical manner and loosing, the coach yelled at them to replace the love they lacked with a type of need to please the upset and disappointed coach.

My problem with yelling in church, I mean besides just not liking the yelling thing, is that anger has no place on Sunday morning in church and that the word of god was powerful enough to start and maintain all existence so it lacks nothing.

I am still not sure why the visiting preacher yelled at us but I am sure of one thing. Finding a replacement for the recently retired preacher is not going to be an easy feat.



Mystical Love

Posted: April 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Sunday almost came and went without anything odd or different. Almost….

It seems (and this is in no way a complaint) that Sunday at the small country baptist church I attened will never be mundane, this is a good thing. Yesterday’s service started as all others have, after receiving a bulletien from one of the dutiful ushers I made my way to the seat at the back of the church.  The seat usually occupied by me and my brood was taken. Small change, no big deal. We adjust accordingly and occupy the row behind another brood who are new to service. Adjustment made I glance at the buletein and notice that there is a different entry.  After the service part of the anouncement there are the words printed in the caligraphy font, specail anouncement. I felt as though I was at a movie theater, where they tell you to “stay tuned all the way till the end, you know after the credits”. We follow the orders of the bulletien and boy am I glad we did.

It’s a wedding. The reason we where politely pushed farther back was because of the wedding party. Bill and Glenda are great folks who have dated forever. Real salt of the earth people and it seems they wanted to tie the knot, yesterday and they did! Right after the service the preacher made the anouncement about the wedding. Glenda’s son made his way to the altar qwhite guitar in hand played music while his mom and fiance marched down the aisle. At the altar the couple took the plunge. The preacher spoke eloquently about love, so eloquenty that this is where I stole my post title from.

He mentioned, and I know I will get this wrong, that “marriage is a mirror of the mystical love Christ has for his church”. Now I am not sure where you fall in the religion department however the baptist religion (and well theology class here christianity is the religion baptist is the denomination, I just flashed back to middle school catechism classes ohh spooky ) anyways the Christian religion pictures the savior as a groom and the body of believers as a bride. The groom demonstrates through sacrifice and various miracles love which cannot be understood, however I believe as the preacher mentioned at the spontaneous, impromptu nuptial. That this love is mirrored and we catch a glimpse of it in weddings, the birth of our children a charitable gift to a cause. My wish for this week is to exercise more of this love so that we can catch more glimpses of it. I think the world needs it. What do you think?






Ok confession time. Are you ready? I stole this post’s title. Unfortunately it gets worse… I stole the title from a preacher. O that’s not the least of it. I didn’t even attend the service.

I was given a play-by-play of the service from a matriarch of the church who was no doubt trying to convey the preachers message in an attempt to spare me from eternal damnation, which is definitely a good thing. The message was one dealing with the fragile nature of men and women on the earth and the preacher mentioned to the church mom who was now mentioning to me that out lives are very short. He compared them to the blip on the headstone at most cemeteries throughout the country. We have our name two dates and a blip or line or dash between the dates and the sermon went on to explain how we are reduced to that little blip.

First apologies for being so deep on a Monday morning and second Really?? Is that all we are a little blip on a tombstone. I mean it really doesn’t matter I won’t be here but wow!! I would like to be a star or an asterisk with a mention under the date saying John lived and everyone he meet while alive was better for it because he was awesome.

I can count on my hand the people I know who have passed away (I think that is one of the benefits of youth), and I have been lucky enough to have been better for knowing them.  When I think of death I think of funerals and when I think of funerals I think of Dr. Seuss.

Crazy right? Let me explain,  Theodor Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss or perhaps you know him by his less know moniker Theo lesieg, who besides being a fan of pen names and palindromes was an insanely popular children’s author. His books have been and are still read by children all over the world.  So why in the world would I imagine Dr. Seuss when I think of funerals. While the reason is when Dr. Seuss died in 1991 the news showed a parade and celebration of life that his wife put on at his request and I thought “That’s something specail there she most have really dug him.” Now since I started dark I guess I should end dark… sorry in advance for this

but if we where to “check out now” would the parade be for us because we died or because we lived and everyone we meet along the way is better for it?



ps I am going to try not to get so deep anymore this week… I mean my head is all hurting and stuff