Some new Church Words

I’ve coined a few new Church Words.

(Who knows, some of them may already exist…)

Use them freely!

Catholic church in New York“PEWNY”:  The state or condition of having
fewer people than usual in the pews on Sunday morning.

.

.

corneliaumc_1_1“TRADIGITAL WORSHIP”: Old-time hymns
projected on new-fangled screens.

.

.

159235441_eccumenical-desk-wax-seal-stamp-of-william-temple-“ECCUMANIACAL”:  A community worship service
planned by severely dysfunctional churches/pastors.

.

.

simpsons-in-church_thumb[10]“MARGE”:  Designation for a church too big
to be medium-sized and too small to be large.

.

.

tithe“LITHE”: 1/3 less giving than a regular Tithe.

.

.

Evangelism-oh-no-300x233“EVANGERATISM”:  Spreading the Good News, but only to people you like.

.

.

A free flying white dove isolated on a black background

“LENTECOST”:  When you feel the Holy Spirit before Easter.

.

.

Pasteurized-Milk-Processing-Line-From-Jouyu-Group“PASTORIZED”: When the preacher’s sermon is
good enough to last you a whole week.

.

.

Adam Hamilton Photo and Book 03062014“HAMILTONNE”: The collected weight of all of a church’s
Adam Hamilton books and video series.

.

.

eggs benedict“EGGS BENEDICTION”:  When you want the pastor to hurry up
so you can go get brunch.

.

It took a while to come up with ten!   Vote for your favorites in the comments.

And if you’ve created some of your own church words, add those too!

In the meantime…Have a great week,

(and a non-pewny Sunday)

Mitch

Whoa and Behold.

whoa_tshirt-d235013035076559976a9t5r_325

Schwarzenegger had “I’ll Be Back”

Eastwood had “Make My Day”

But my favorite catchphrase comes from none other than Keanu Reeves, and it goes like this:

“Whoa”.

Can you picture him saying it?

whoa

He’s uttered those fabulous four letters in the Bill and Ted movies, and Speed, and Point Break, and the Devil’s Advocate, and even The Matrix!

So what, exactly, does Keanu mean when he says Whoa?

Certainly he’s not slowing down a horse.

No, I think that little word means something like this:  “I am awe-inspired and/or overwhelmed by what is happening, and I need a moment.”

Sound about right?

Keanu says it a lot.  But how often do you?

Personally, I think he’s on to something.

I think it’s a perfect way to acknowledging the presence of the Holy Spirit!

Remember Paul on the road to Damascus?  Whoa.
Elijah in the cleft of the mountain? Whoa.
Hagar in the desert? Whoa.
Shepherds at the manger? Whoa.
Moses and the burning bush?  Whoa.

And of course, the biggest Woah moment of all:  Pentecost.  WHOA!!!

One doesn’t just jump and go to work when the tongues of fire appear and the mighty wind begins to rush.

No, it doesn’t mention it in scriptures, but I firmly believe

that those disciples gasped in amazement,

a reverent moment of “Whoa”

before the Spirit said “Go”.

And so we must be on the lookout, because the Spirit has not left.

In good times and bad, there is so much to “Whoa and Behold”.

It is the ever-present Power of the Holy Spirit

that reveals the extraordinary around us and in us,

on every Excellent Adventure,

(And every Bogus Journey, too.)

 

Have a great week,

Mitch

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There’s a hole in your bucket list

The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? –John 4:11

* * *

What if I told you there was a hole in your bucket list?

That’s right. All the unfulfilled wishes, hopes and dreams you’ve been carrying in your bucket…they’re slowly dripping out and drying up.

Like water draining out of a bathtub.

Would you panic? Would you rush out into the street to find a Karaoke bar where you could sing “Hey Jude” — because you always wanted to? Would you charter a plane to Nepal so you could climb Mt Everest? Would you get that tattoo of Conan O’Brien on your shoulder?

Or, just possibly, would you feel relieved?

Having a bucket list brings some pressure with it. All those years of “I never” gathered up and carried around. It gets heavy, you know, sloshing that bucket around everywhere. Or maybe it would be sad to see those “I wish-es” go down the drain. Maybe you’d be able to rescue a couple dear ones, as the others evaporate.

Would you be mad? Take a couple deep breaths before you answer, because I have this theory…

I think God put the hole in your bucket.

Scandalous as it sounds, I think God is doing us a real favor, making our buckets leaky.

See, dreams can turn stale and even brackish when they sit in one place for too long. They become baggage. Heavy and unmanageable.  Hopes and wishes are meant to be acted upon, to be lived out, not to be collected and harbored.

I’m convinced God knows the limitations of buckets, when it comes to our aspirations.  Buckets are for storing water — or dreams — and God wants to see our water/dreams flowing freely.

That’s why, one day at a well, Jesus offered a woman something called Living Water. It was the kind of water that has no need of a bucket. It was the kind that flows through the heart and soul. This Living Water is the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit is ever-flowing. Active, adventurous, passionate, transforming. It is the perfect companion for you and I as we pursue our dreams. It is not about stagnation. When we match our dreams with God’s power, love, and energy, we can accomplish a whole list of amazing things in God’s name.

The moral of this story?  If you have a bucket list, you might want to feel a sense of urgency about it. Live the dream now. Don’t store your hopes away. Live as if today is a fresh start for your dreams…

the ones that are ready to pour out of you.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

The Doublity?

This coming Sunday is Pentecost.  The celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Who cares?

You’ve got God up in heaven, who created everything.   You’ve got Jesus on earth, who died for our sins.   Isn’t that enough?

Some people think it is.  Hmm, maybe we don’t need the Holy Spirit.  Maybe we should get rid of the Trinity and call it the… Twinity?  The Twoity?  Personally I think the Doublity has a nice ring to it.   Then we could just call it the  “Father and Son”.   Sounds like a furniture store.

It’s true, sometimes the third person of the Trinity gets the short end of the stick (triangle?).   After all the miracles of the Bible, all the concepts Christians are asked to believe, for some reason it’s the idea of the Holy Spirit that can trip some people up.  Is it an actual Ghost that floats around whispering in people’s ears?  Is it some ethereal mist that helps inspire people? Does it breathe tongues of fire?  Does it convey the ability to speak in other languages?  A student told me they were taught that the Holy Spirit looked like Jiminy Cricket, sitting on your shoulder.   That’s a new one.

I 0nce wrote a paper describing the Trinity this way:

  1. God the Father(Parent) is LOVE, the source of all Love, the creative power of Love.
  2. God the Son(Jesus) is the LOVER–God’s expression of Love, come to Earth to love us, even to the point of His death.
  3. And God the Holy Spirit is LOVING–the divine power of Love, present in us and around us, helping us to put love into practice.

What do you think?  My professor didn’t seem terribly impressed, but when I think about the Trinity this way, I’m reminded that it’s a package deal.   Each way of talking about love is connected to the other.  All are ways we experience God.    God is our LOVE LOVER LOVING.

If you think about it this way, what would the world be without LOVING?   Sure, we’d be created in LOVE, and we’d be saved by the LOVER, but what would join your soul to mine?  What would inspire us to cherish and serve each other.   What would lead us down the right paths?  Without LOVING, I believe we’d be lost.

The truth is, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, and never left.   The third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit, is literally the glue that holds us together.   And the energy that sends us out.   The Holy Spirit is so much a part of your life, and mine, that if we aren’t mindful we can take its presence for granted.  Let’s not do that.

This Sunday, how about wearing red to church?   Red is the color of the Pentecost and the color we assign to the Holy Spirit.

And how about practicing some LOVING while you’re at it?   Celebrate God with you!  Pass out hugs like they’re going out of style.  Sing like you’re in the shower.   Put a smile on the face of a stranger.   Pray for world peace, and believe it can happen!

In other words, put some Spirit…

In your Holy.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch