1 comments Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I have setup a new blog. I have automatic forwards setup and I'm transferring my feedburner feed to the other blog. If you are following me on blogger you will want to subscribe to the rss feed. I am working on making the transition as fluid as possible.

I am making this change because my ideas are spreading well beyond my experience as a youth pastor. I have so many other topics and Wordpress offers a much better system for organizing everything into a logical format.

The new blog is at NickGeek.com


I remember the movie "What about Bob?" If you haven't seen that movie or don't remember it then you might want to watch this clip.

Bob is completely neurotic but is learning to change with "baby steps." Of course he doesn't get it and this leads to some seriously stupid funny.

The thing is, grumbling and complaining doesn't usually start big. I'm betting that they didn't go from "Yeah, God is giving us food from Heaven" to "Manna again!?!?!? I'd rather eat me shoes than eat mana one more time" overnight. No it started small. Someone woke up and said "manna is nice, but I gotta say I'd like some meat to go with it." He said that to himself a few times before he said it to someone else. Now he could have gone to Moses or whoever was setup over him in the system Moses setup but he started talking to someone else. That person was pretty happy to be eating food God setup for him every morning but he politely listened and maybe even tried to offer some words of advice and encouragement. After a few days of hearing the complaints he got tired of it but also started thinking that the manna was starting to taste a bit bland. Suddenly a virus of complaints took over and everyone was infected with dissatisfaction.

That's the problem. We don't see it till it's too late because every step is a baby step. A handful of people are upset that something in the church isn't quite right and a year later there is a church split because they didn't talk to the pastor. They love the pastor and don't want to offend him, or maybe they fear his anger. Whatever they know they can't tell the pastor but they can't keep it in. The grumbling begins to spread until people start to leave. That starts the rip and BAM church split.

Tonight I learned that one of my leaders told someone about something they heard … which has now come back to me. It isn't directly about me, but ultimately it is. Now this apparently had been said a couple times before it got back to me and my problem isn't that this person is wrong. They are right, but why didn't they come to me directly? I've had this happen before with this person and a while back this person complained about the pastor to me. Nothing big but I told them to take it to the pastor.

Jesus and Paul both dealt with this and both said to go to the source first. That is the only way to resolve a situation.

Is there something about your pastor or church you are frustrated about? Have you talked to the people that can make a difference? Have you let idle words infect others? Am I overreacting?

Comments Tuesday, December 1, 2009

black hole of my heartHonestly I don't know that I would choose to write on grief. I try to have fun and keep things light unless I need to vent, but I struggle with depression and feelings of self-doubt. That is one of the reasons I avoid writing on subjects like grief. I did write a post about my deepest grief once. It is also my greatest testimony that I call being taken from the black hole.

This year had brought quite a bit of grief to myself and dear friends and family. My grandmother died on my mother's birthday this year. I don't know if I would survive that. I was asked to speak at the funeral and that was the hardest speaking experience I have ever had.

Grief speaks of loss, but sometimes it is hard to figure out what the loss really is. I grieved my grandma, but I never really knew her. I think I grieved no knowing her and never getting that opportunity more than losing her. I was raised in the military so I might have seen her an average of one week a year. My dad's mother died when he was a boy and my mom's dad died when I was a boy. I met my dad's dad like 3 times in my life for a total of a few hours. He died 3 years ago. When my grandma died I also lost my history. I have friends with great grandparents they knew and spent time with regularly. I felt like my anchor had been pulled up leaving me adrift.

When I think of grief my head spins, because you can't really feel grief unless you are attached. The problem is we tend to be attached by many threads so when those threads are cut the grief is amplified because it comes from too many directions.

I don't like to write about grief because it reminds me of all those severed threads, but it also serves to remind me that when the world is spinning out of control that there is a rock that doesn't move.