I Am a Church Member – ThomRainer.com

I Am a Church Member – ThomRainer.com.

Love this article! What does it mean to be a church member? Is church membership important? Ranier nailed it. I am going to keep this.  HBC may see this again.

The Vow: A True Story of Enduring Love and Commitment

Imagine that within the first blissful months of marriage, the person you love most in the wo rld Imagemiraculously survives a near-fatal car crash,… and awakes with no memory of you at all. In “The Vow,” Kim and Krickitt Carpenter recount this incredible experience. Here’s an excerpt.

via ‘The Vow’: A true story of love and enduring commitment – books – TODAY.com.

Oh, man! I guess I am going to have to see this movie now.  I am not a chick-flik fan but this is based on a true story. This couple has written a book. The link contains an excerpt of their book as well as an interview on the Today Show.  The interview is powerful! The Carpenters have a strong Christian faith that is central to their story.

UPDATE:  My wife and I went to see this movie last night.  Unfortunately, it did not deliver as I had hoped.  I wondered how Hollywood, a major studio, would deal with the Christian themes of this story.  The answer is that they ignored them.  Crystie is soon to read the book. I’ll be interested in her take on the book versus the movie.

The NBA’s Tebow?

“Linsanity” is sweeping New York City, the NBA, and much of the sports-world.  Even the talking heads at ESPN seem to be climbing on board.

Jeremy Lin is an undrafted point guard from Harvard, released by two NBA teams, who is now playing for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association.  A week ago he was sitting on the end of the bench, not playing, and in danger of being released yet again.  He had a ten-day contract with the Knicks and slept on his brother’s couch.

But what a difference a week makes. Forced into the line-up by injuries and the tragic death of a teammate’s brother, Lin has had one of the greatest NBA debuts ever. He has 89 points in his 3 starts. That’s the most by a Knicks player in his first 3 starts with the team since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77. Last night, against the Los Angeles Lakers, he scored more points in a single game than any Knicks player this season.  And the NY Knicks have guaranteed his contract through the rest of this season.

What most people do not know, but many are starting to realize, is that Jeremy Lin is a man of strong Christian faith.  That is news to those of us just hearing of him but not to those who are aware of his college career. In fact, he gave an interview back then about his faith. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 on patheos.com.

ESPN reports that comparisons are being drawn between Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin, for their ability to help get the best out of their teammates and speaking of their faith when the camera is on.  After beating one of the NBA’s premier teams last night, the attention of Lin is only going to grow.

It will be interesting to watch how Lin’s story develops.  He burst onto the scene only a week ago but is likely to remain in the starting line-up for the rest of the season.  With Tebow’s notoriety in the past NFL season and now Lin’s NBA attention, I find myself wondering what God is up to.  It is interesting to have two examples — two spotlight players with strong Christian faith. Lin does not have to be Tebow.  He just has to be himself.  How his story and his career develop will be fun to watch.

Seasons of Life

From Pete Scazzero’s blog…quoting Gordon MacDonald.  I read it and think, “This is me.”  Perhaps another season of ministry life.  I started ministry as a young man and became so accustomed to telling myself “Let no one look down on your youth.”  It is startling to wake up one day and realize that is no longer the case.

“You can anticipate when younger people begin asking you questions they ask a mother or father. If you are over 50, the needle of your ministry life will move from programs to people.  Focus your life on being a spiritual mother/father to younger people.”

via Google Reader (1000+).

10 Secrets of Many Senior Pastors | Ron Edmondson

10 Secrets of Many Senior Pastors | Ron Edmondson.


I’ve been a senior pastor for almost 25 years.  One thing I have realized is that people often have difficulty seeing past the office/position to the person.  I share this on my blog because it is good… really good.  All of these things do not fit me but enough do that I thought I would share it, hoping that it will help you get to know me better.

Here are a few highlights from the list:

“People tell the senior pastor all kinds of things about what is happening in their life or in the lives of others…many we would rather not know sometimes…and sometimes the weight of others’ problems we carry is enormous.”  I do not think pastors mind being counsellors and confidantes.  Just know that when we walk with you through your crisis — and  yours is resolved — we then will walk with someone else through their crisis.  There is rarely a reprieve from this cycle.

“We seldom know who we can trust, which is why we become guarded and appear hard to get to know.  Most senior pastors have been burned by someone they once trusted.”  I shared this list with my staff here at HBC, and one of them asked me why pastors have more trust issues than other professions. I do not know that we do.  Nor do I believe that senior pastors have it harder than anyone else. But I do wonder if pastors are more inclined to think the best of people.  We do not always pick up on warning signals.  Perhaps we have occupational naiveté… which only years of experience can cure.  Unfortunately, I am cured.

“Our spouse is sometimes the loneliest person in the church.”  Most people are shocked by this.  She knows everyone. She is outgoing.  She seems to have lots of friends.  So, why does she so often sit by herself while her husband is preaching?  I’ve always wished for, but do not know how to ask for, some ladies to make it their “mission” on Sunday morning not to let my wife sit alone.

I love being a pastor.  I am blessed to serve a great church, a healthy church, with the greatest people. These things do not reflect on a church…they are just occupational hazards.

So, submitted for your consideration.  Shared for the sake of… vulnerability.  Thanks, Ron, for a great article.

Random Thoughts

A few random thoughts…

I’m a huge football fan.  My resume includes a couple of years as a high school coach. I am the son of a coach.  Played one year of college ball.  So, I’m a big fan.  And I do not care who wins the Super Bowl on Sunday.  I will still probably watch the game.

I am really excited about our church mission trip this summer.  We announced last Sunday that HBC will take a team to Salmon Frenzy in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska at the end of July.  I’ve never been to Alaska and always wanted to go.  And it sounds like a great opportunity to serve people and share Jesus.

Blake Griffin’s dunk was astounding. Lucky he didn’t kill somebody. So was LeBron’s when he jumped over a guy  (even if the defender was only 5′ 11″).

HBC has a fantastic, hard-working staff.  Encourage them every chance you get.  And if you are not a member of HBC, encourage your church staff. They need it.

I love my wife!

Read any good books lately?  Leave a comment and let me know.  I am looking for fiction. I love a great story… especially if I cannot guess the ending. (I’ve made the switch to e-reader and love it.  Mine is an iPad with Kindle app.)