I sat there on the couch, surrounded by people that I loved and cared about, but at that moment I would have given anything for an excuse to get up and leave.
The proposition was a simple one. The church needed both a janitor and an associate pastor. Unfortunately, they could only afford to hire one. I could tell that the pastor was trying to sell me on the arrangement, but his efforts were pointless. I had my mind made up before any attempt to convince me was made.
All six of them stood before us, that day, all in a row. We all knew what was coming and it wasn’t good.
I hated these moments and had witnessed them one-too-many times. I never understood why the congregants allowed this archaic practice to take place. Were all of them too fearful to stand up and do something about it?
Recently I've had to face an important element of my faith journey that my religious upbringing and theological studies did not prepare me for.
As I left the building, I saw the transient couple sitting in the beat-up-Yugo that I had seen earlier. Not wanting to engage in conversation, I tried to make a quick break to my car….. but before I got too far, I heard someone call out to me. “Pastor John! Can we talk to you?”
it is every believer’s liturgical nightmare to lose their elements while partaking in this sacred sacrament. Sadly, this is exactly what happened to me, this last Sunday, as my communion wafer slipped out of my hands and rolled across the auditorium
In my failures I always encounter grace. Grace changes my outlook. It causes me to renounce any temptation to assume that I am better than others, and it inspires me to demonstrate grace as well.
The thought that people didn’t care about us was constantly reinforced by the actions of others. My heart became like a broken bone that never set properly. It stopped working correctly and healed around bitterness, instead of forgiveness.
There was a time in my life when I literally hated the sound of my name. Somewhere, in the dark corridors of my mind, I created a story of shame. The story of shame included the sound of my name.
I rushed home, buried my face in my pillow, & began to cry... I felt as if I was losing control. I felt alone. I felt less-than. I felt shame. I wasn’t supposed to feel this way. Why me? I was trapped in a shell of perpetual fear.