I remembered being awed when a new family started worshiping at my childhood church. They were lifetime missionaries in Africa, and they had come home in order to get nursing degrees. The degrees were part of a strategy to be better prepared to serve the African people they loved. Continue reading Playing Church
The little town of Laguna, New Mexico sits on the north side of I-40, midway between Albuquerque and the Arizona line. A church sits at the top of a hillock, surrounded by adobe houses all resembling the red dirt on which they sit.
If you blink or look too long at your dashboard you’ll miss this wisp of a town. More like a village, there’s no polluting industry or neon lights to blind the stars. It’s monochrome, except for the white church sitting at its summit. On this day Pepsi trucks lined the lined the tight little streets. They were there to film a new soft drink commercial and looked totally out-of-place. Continue reading Pottery Sold Here
In the 80’s a little white frame church building used to sit on the road between Lubbock and Lamesa (long e), Texas. It was a very small building that could have seated 50 at the most. On Sunday mornings you’d probably find just a handful of congregants, all silver-haired.
The absence of change either of its size, color, or location was ironic given how the world all around was and is changing. New businesses, new people moving into the community, new political elections, and a thousand other changes in communication, medical care, and education. The world flies by the little church building at warp speed.
Necessity required that I give up my bookshelf-lined office and half of my library in order to move to a new town as a church planter. A church “planter” does just that – plants or begins a new church. Church planting requires a change of context, new skills, and a new “audience.”
It also requires a new place to “office.” My new office happens to be coffee shops. One business writer calls this “going bedouin” as in moving from one place to another.
She breezed by my table on her way to sit with a 70-ish friend for coffee. She didn’t fit-in with the 20-somethings all around her.
Acting like she had spotted an almost extinct bird species, she stopped at my table and motioned toward my open Bible. “You must be religious.” Then she touched the “National Pastors’ Convention” patch on my shirt. She muttered “pastor” as she turned toward the table where she was sitting. Continue reading I am not religious.
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.
2. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.
4. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith, something one believes in and follows devotedly.
It’s a universal law of conversation; you can’t talk about politics or religion. Too inflammatory. Conversation about either erupts into argumentation and worse. Continue reading What’s so bad about religion?
Curt Cloninger is a one-man show, and he travels all over the U.S. performing shows about faith, God, and Jesus.
On Sunday, April 17 Curt will be visiting in Merced at LifeSpring Church. Rather than having our usual sermon on that day, Curt will be our “sermon” as he performs his Red Letter Edition. This particular show is based on the words of Jesus in the Gospels. Curt puts them in contemporary language and makes his audiences think.
For more information about Curt, you may go to his website at this link. Take a look at some of the video clips, and you will get a good idea about the quality and content of his work. The public is cordially invited to attend.
Worship starts at 10:00 at Playhouse Merced. Parking and entrance are from the 16th Street side of the theatre.
In the 1830’s Alexis de Tocqueville wrote this about the United States. “Individualism is a word recently coined to express a new idea…Individualism is a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his taste, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself.” Continue reading The Importance of Community
Saturday morning Bev and I went to a friend’s house to help her move. We got to her new digs about 9:30 AM where we met her to help unpack the first truck load. That went pretty quickly.
After lunch we went to a storage shed to empty it, and we picked up a few additional items at her old house. The second truck load was just as full as the first—front to back. There were just 5 of us to do the work. And there were several feet between the truck ramp and the front door of the two-story house. Lot’s of walking.
Our Chamber sponsors a monthly “connector” for our members. These connectors are held at various City businesses which provide refreshments and a great opportunities for networking and visiting with business friends.
Today’s connector was held at our local Servicemaster. A few months ago, Servicemaster moved to a new and much larger location, so this connector gave them an opportunity to showcase their new digs.