The One Phrase The Church Needs To Retire This Christmas

394824_10152361249895427_1009312309_nIf a bell rings and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

If a Salvation Army bell ringer stands outside a department store all day and not a single cent drops into the bucket, was it really worth the ringer’s time and effort?

If a church holds a rally and not a single soul gets saved, was it worth the church’s time and effort?

Many of us have been to a church-sponsored camp, revival or other event where we heard a speaker attempt to rouse a reluctant crowd, saying, “If only one person chooses to follow Christ tonight, then all of our work here will have been worth it.”

But what if no one came forward that night? What if no one chose to give their life to Jesus at that rally? Was the work still worth it? Continue reading

Monday Morning Music – Silent Sunlight

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)

Mondays are daunting.

The drive back to the office is dreadful.

The work we’ve been avoiding all weekend has piled up.

Sometimes you need the Monday Morning Music to get you going.

Last week I stumbled across a record for 20 cents at Salvation Army – “Catch Bull At Four” by Cat Stevens. On it was the perfect Monday Morning Music – a song called “Silent Sunlight”.

Today is my first day away from my full-time job in almost five years. Yet this song reminded me the work has only just begun.

You may be out of a job as well this morning. Or you may be stepping into a job you’re not in love with. Or you may be stepping into a project you’ve been putting off.

Whatever Monday you’re stepping into, simply sing a song of love and truth into everything you do. Be strong. Be courageous. Do the work. Rest your eyes. Wake up. Do it again.

Keep pushing through, having faith in what the Lord is bringing you into with each new sunlight.

photo-6I’d love to know – what are you facing down this Monday? How can we support each other as we do the work of a new week?

Thrift Shop Gospel

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Who ever thought the thrift shop would be in style? With his ridiculous ode to secondhand shopping, Macklemore has the hottest song in the country, a horn-heavy homage to the greatness of Goodwill shopping.

Seems secondhand stores are bigger than ever. Besides general thrift stores like the Salvation Army, specialized consignment shops are popping up everywhere paying top dollar for used clothes, DVDs, cds, and books. Even big businesses like Best Buy and Toys R Us are now giving away cash instead of taking it, buying back old video games and Blu Rays.

Just the other day I put together a pile of movies and books cluttering up my shelves and headed to the local thread of thrift stores in Augusta. I rode into parking lots pumping Macklemore’s hit on my speakers, expecting to walk into the store with twenty dollars in my pocket and walk out with a secondhand swagger, or at least with twenty more bucks in my pocket.

I ended up just keeping most everything I brought in as I saw the trade-in value come up on the screen when each item was scanned: 75 cents, 15, cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 1 cent. How could a DVD that cost $15 have a trade-in value of just a penny? The stores didn’t even want some of my movies, rejecting them out right.

And then I remembered this always happens. I build myself up with dreams of easy money from trading in my unwanted things. Instead I walk out feeling cheaper than ever, the collectibles I valued so much now deemed worthless. Continue reading