Author's details

Name: Kim
Date registered: March 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Assumptions — July 31, 2014
  2. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Call To Worship – Psalm 105 — July 30, 2014
  3. connexions: Lamech was a wimp — July 30, 2014
  4. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Belief — July 29, 2014
  5. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Jethro’s Advice — July 28, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. connexions: Millay’s “Conscientious Objector” on International Conscientious Objectors Day — 1 comment
  2. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Remembering Religion but Forgetting God — 1 comment
  3. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Park Benches — 1 comment
  4. connexions: 3 short quotes from Bonhoeffer (b. 4th February, 1906) — 1 comment
  5. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Forming a Line — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Jul 31 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Assumptions

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Last night we had dinner in a local restaurant.  I noticed that the restroom were labeled with W and M.  There is an assumption that people will get what is implied by the letters. I've seen other restaurants with restroom signs that leave some assumptions to the customer.  The image today is of a pair of restroom signs.

As I looked at those signs last night I thought about how we do that in church.  We, the insiders, know what we mean, but would an "outsider?"  At a funeral yesterday, I noticed that the church had the phrase "for God's glory" on the wall of the sanctuary.  Great - except it was in Latin.  Our church order of worship has asterisks next to a parts of the service where the congregation is asked to stand - except the order doesn't say that.  All we have are asterisks, not instructions.

Look around your church with the eyes of a stranger.  Where are these strange, insider codes to be found?  Or, where is your church facility "silent" because "everybody knows" the tradition or the location of a ministry?

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Jul 30 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Call To Worship – Psalm 105

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Leader:  Remember - we come together today to offer gratitude to God; to call on God's name.
When we leave here today, we leave as a church to make known God's work among God's people.

People:  We remember - we sing God's praises here, and we seek to live lives for God in the world.

Leader:   We come together to worship God; to lift our hearts and voices in joy.

People:  We come together today to seek God's strength for the tasks ahead.  We search for God every day.

Leader:  As we seek God, we must remember the wonderful work God has done.

People:  We praise God for sustaining miracles and grace-filled guidance.

Leader:   Alleluia.  Amen.

(Inspired by Psalm 105:1-5)

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Jul 30 2014

connexions: Lamech was a wimp

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At least 1,200 Palestinians and 55 Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on 8 July. Most of the Palestinian deaths have been civilians. Some 53 Israeli soldiers have been killed along with two civilians. – BBC, 30 July That’s a ratio of 22 Palestinian dead for 1 Israeli dead. Let’s ridiculously err on the side of Israeli [...]

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Jul 29 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Belief

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Giving away 6 $100 bills -sermon title - why are we surprised when people believe what we say?  Do we expect them to?

The office where I work is located in a church building.  Last week, the sermon title at this church was "Giving away six $100 bills."  Each week, the sermon title is posted on a board outside the church.  On Thursday evening, while the organist was practicing in the Sanctuary, a man walked in off the street.  "Is the sign true?  Are you giving away $100 bills?"

What would happen if the people around us believed that what we are saying is true?  What if someone walked in and said, "Is it true?  God loves me and you love me?  I am saved?  I am gifted?  I am called to minister to those around me?  Is it true that I am welcome here?  Is it true that I am a part of the church?"

Do we believe it?  Do we expect other people to believe it?  Don't we believe that what God offers is more valuable that $100 bills?  Can we be as convincing as a sign on the street?

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Jul 28 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Jethro’s Advice

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This morning I read Exodus 18.  In this passage, Jethro, the father of Moses' wife, meets Moses as he and the Israelites are traveling through.  Jethro watches Moses' leadership style and then gives him advice regarding how he can delegate the heavy responsibility he is under.
"What you are doing is not good.  You will surely wear yourself out, both you and these people with you.  For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.  Now listen to me.  I will give you counsel, and God be with you!  You should represent the people before God, and you should bring their cases before God; teach them the statues and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do.  You should also look for able men among all the people, men who fear God, are trustworthy and hate dishonest gain; set such men over them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  Let them sit as judges for the people at all times, let them bring every important case to you, but decide every minor case themselves.  So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.  If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their home in peace."
Moses follows Jethro's advice.  I wonder if we follow Jethro's advice; if not, why not.  What might have been Moses' alternative answers?

  • "That sounds great Jethro, but I'm the only one who can do this.  I must keep control of this."
  • "Great, except I don't want to do that.  I like what I'm doing - I find joy in all of this responsibility, and I don't want to give it up."
  • "No, thanks, Jethro.  No one else knows how to do this the right way except me."
  • "I would love to do that, Jethro, except this is a responsibility that God has laid on my shoulders.  It is my duty."
  • "Jethro, great idea, except no one would do it.  They are too busy, and if I asked them, they would say 'no.'"
  • "Jethro, who has time to do that?  I don't have time to recruit volunteers, determine their worthiness, train them correctly.  It's just easier if I do it."

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Jul 24 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Tzedaka

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I was reading a giving article in a magazine this morning.  The author, David Kottler, spoke about "the Hebrew concept of tzedaka.  The word is commonly used to refer to charity, but it's much more.  It also carries a sense of obligation to recognize what we have comes from God and we're merely a conduit for redistributing it."

My understanding of stewardship is much the same as this.  Stewardship isn't fund raising, as so many churches have defined it.  Stewardship is putting what we have learned as a disciple into action.  As a disciple, we learn about how to live our lives - as stewards, we live them.  As a disciple, we learn that the gifts we have come from God; as s steward, we use those gifts.  As a disciple, we learn the calling God has placed on our lives; as a steward, we act on that call, putting all we have been given to work in the mission God has given us.

As a church leader, it is important to remember, I think, that moving people to stewardship isn't about funding a budget.  It's about shepherding people from discipleship to action.

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