Ralph doesn’t want to be a bad guy!

My latest favorite movie is Wreck-It-Ralph. I have to admit up front, this is just the latest in a long line of movie favorites.

Picture of a brick wallRalph is the “bad guy” in a thirty year old arcade game. Each night, after a hard day of wrecking, he goes home to his pile of bricks – alone. On the other hand, Felix, the “good guy,” gets a medal each night and is praised by everyone in the building where he has fixed everything Ralph had wrecked during the day.

Ralph hears in passing that a medal is given out in another game, and he sets out to see if he can get that medal. To do so he has to game-jump – not a good thing, because if you game-jump and die outside your game, you don’t get regenerated when it is reset. Game over for you. But the lure of the medal is to great for Ralph, and he sets out on his adventure to get a medal in another game.

When Ralph focuses on being passed over, his feelings lead him to a very dangerous place. Now in a dark and hostile environment, but still bent on getting a medal for himself, he unwittingly unleashes forces that endanger those in his own game and the people in the other games as well. Feelings have a nasty way of turning on us.

Have you ever felt like everybody around you gets all the praise and the medals, and you get none? What do you do when life and opportunities pass you by? How do you deal with it? You don’t want to go Turbo and game-jump.

What could your church do to connect with people who feel they’ve been passed over in life and may be thinking of game-jumping? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

Listen to Lightning Storm by David Dunn

Adam Names Everything Under His Care

Genesis 2:20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

Jesus Prays For Everyone Under His Care

John 17:24 Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Paper or Plastic?

iPad and Note Pad Together

iPad and a Note Pad

Connectivity has never been so easy! Whether sitting in a meeting or separated by great distances, we can connect almost instantaneously with one another. Even hard copies of documents can arrive within hours, or at least overnight. Today, I just sent our kids pictures from our oldest son’s wedding seven years ago. I got a Facebook invite from a family whose house I helped build over 35 years ago. Yesterday, I read that a school district in Los Angeles will need 640 thousand iPads for the new school year. Last night I watched an ad geared toward kids as they get ready for the upcoming school year. The company was still in the business of selling paper, writing books, back packs, calculators, pens and pencils.

I recently changed from paper sermon notes to using my iPad. For the first few weeks, I would go into the pulpit with both the iPad and my notes printed out, just in case. Now that I’ve made the switch, I don’t see myself going back to paper. There’s still a mix of paper and plastic in the hands of the people I’m talking to, but change is in the air.

What could your church begin to offer the person who brings their iPad/Tablet with them on Sunday? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

1. If you are still looking at people within the church as they once were – crippled and broken by sin – your heart is crippled and needs to be transformed

2. If you are seeing people within the church as they now are in Christ – your heart, once crippled by sin, is beginning to be transformed and changed to a heart of praise and wonder

And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:10

The web is changing faster than we have time to digest, and people are surfing it faster than ever before. Flip book shows how fast people are scanning the news. Are you Old School? You know that If a book doesn’t grab your attention in the first few sentences, it’s too late. The church website is no different. You only have a few seconds to show that you are relevant. Here is a Test: Go to your church website and see if you have any events older than last Sunday listed.

Wake Up and LiveThe same is true of visual communication. Speed. Add to that “ease of delivery” and you have YouTube. “Over four billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. Seventy-two hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute” Source: youtube.com/yt/press/statistics

To put this in perspective. This means that every minute of the day represents 90,000+ hours of video being watched by people across the globe. People are watching short videos on their phones, tablets, and computers.

Getting people to spend more than a few seconds on your church website is not something that just happens; it takes work. What would you do to help your church website get noticed? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

Heaven is filled with once-crippled sinners who were unable to praise God; but our brother came and demonstrated His love for broken and crippled people.  in doing so, he rescued our hearts and restored us to the Father, enabling us to praise Him for healing us.

Celebrating can be peaceful or boisterous, private or shared; but it leaves a lasting impression. The gathering place for our family celebrations when I was a child was in my grandparents’ cottage on the coast of Northern Ireland. My grandparents had a “good room” which was kept for special occasions. The fire would be kindled, and the room would be full of family and friends.

Enjoying the viewMy aunt Sally would keep us children entertained by a game called “Hiding the Thimble.” One of the kids would hide the thimble while the others were out of the room. When they came back in, it was a mad dash to be the one to find the thimble. If you have ever played this kind of game, you know the secret: never look in the direction of the hiding place if you know where it is. When the thimble was found, everyone in the  room shared in the celebration.  O how we children would look forward to any excuse to get into the “good room.”

After a family visit to Ireland one year, our children couldn’t wait to play “Hide the Thimble” when we got home. Why? It was because they had experienced the “good room” and Aunt Sally, who just loved to get all the kids around the fire and then show them the thimble.

Having a time when the church can gather and celebrate can build great memories for all involved. It’s true that this should be part of every worship service, but another way a church can have “good room” moments like this is when they have set goals and have been anticipating seeing God wonderfully meet their needs. The day comes, and the celebrating begins. The tambourines and the trumpets come out (maybe even literally!), and everyone can have a great time together. A church that sets goals together can celebrate together. What are some goals your church celebrates? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

Ask God to take the fear of the king of this world that would hold sway over your life and replace that fear with the LOVE of the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

I grew up in Northern Ireland where eighty per cent of the people attending the little church I attended every Sunday fought for fifty per cent of the pews. Well, they did not fight, but everyone knew their seat, and they were all in the back half of the long narrow church.

Dunseverick Parish Church

The Church I attended growing up in Northern Ireland

The pastor’s wife sat about three rows from the front, and then there was another lady about half way back. Then there were the rest of us. Our row in those days was one row from the back on the right side as you came in. We sat one row in front of my grandfather, who by now had the right of passage to sit on the back row. Every now and again I was able to sit with him on the BACK ROW. Now that was a good Sunday at church!

The pews were wooden, and the cast iron heating pipes for the church ran along the wall. On a cold winter morning, the prize seat was the one against the wall. One would suffer through the service cold rather than move to a wall seat more than half way up the church. We kids would just try to be the first one into the pew on a cold Sunday morning!

Maybe this is where my interest in analyzing church seating was born – from sitting at the back of the church on those damp auld North Antrim coast days by the Giant’s Causeway. What is your church seating practice? Let’s talk! Share the Love…

What edge has God brought you to that seems like there is no hope for deliverance?

  • Is it with a family member?
  • Is it with a co-worker?
  • Is it with finances?
  • Is it with a spouse?

Weary people are encouraged to rest in God’s provision. Reliance on one’s own strength is a sure recipe for destruction.

By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. Hebrews 11:29