(A Conversation)

GrouchI don’t know.  I just don’t get it.

Get what?

Why I feel so… I don’t know… alone, I guess.

Alone?  You’re married.

Yeah, she’s stuck with me, I suppose.

You’re a leader in your church.

Well, even there I more on the outside looking in.  It’s like people see me coming and turn away.  One time I smelled my pits to see if I had B.O.

I think I can help you.

Oh yeah?

I think so.

So what?  There’s some big secret that everybody knows but me?

It’s no secret.

Well what is it? [click to continue…]

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It was a new day at Grace Church.  A new pastor was coming, and this would be his first weekend.  People were excited, and they needed to be.  Grace had gone through an ugly split that had left a lot of angry, hurt, and confused people in its wake.  A pretty solid plug of people had started Faith Church down the road and had contacted the outgoing pastor from Grace to help them get started.  Some people had left for other churches.  Some people had quit attending anywhere.

One of the walking wounded was a former associate pastor – Chris Naylor.  Chris had received “the right foot of fellowship” from the previous administration.  Though he had found other opportunities for Kingdom service, Chris was still a member – at least on paper – at Grace.

That’s why I was a little surprised when I asked Chris and his wife Rachael if they were going to hear the new guy that weekend, and both immediately, categorically said, “No.”

Ooh.  Sorry I asked.

“My friends think I’m bitter,” Chris added.

“Are you?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he replied honesty.  “How do you balance the fact that on the one hand I love the church and wish nothing but the best for them, but on the other hand, have absolutely no respect for their system of leadership or the choices they have made?”

“I don’t know.”

Chris was just getting warmed up as Rachael was tearing up. [click to continue…]

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Like Mysteries? Try This One

by Andy Wood on March 21, 2011

in Gamblers, LV Alter-egos

Do you like mysteries?  The kind that lead you through twists and turns, only to score with a surprise ending that makes you say, “Whoa!”?

I have one for you.  It’s all about a man named Ahithophel.



If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of him.  But he’s right there, in high-definition, during the reign of King David in the Bible.  In fact, the Bible says something about this man that I don’t recall ever having read about anyone else, except the Lord Jesus:

Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice (2 Samuel 16:23).

Get this.  Both David and Absalom assumed that if Ahithophel spoke it, it was as if God was doing the talking.  That’s pretty high praise and respect.  I don’t remember hearing that said of Moses,  Jeremiah, or Daniel – as wonderful as those men were.  Ahithophel must have been some kind of man of God.

Now… fast forward exactly one chapter, and you’ll read this: [click to continue…]

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Jason’s Story Could be Yours

by Andy Wood on May 24, 2010

in Turning Points

(A Turning Point Story)

Have you ever met someone who, in a matter of a few minutes, made you so mad you wanted to reach across a Pizza Hut booth and slap some sense into him?  Or lay hands on him… by the throat?  Or baptize him with a pitcher of Pepsi (‘cause he’s not worth wasting a pitcher of real Coke on)? 

If you answered yes to any of those, you may have once been in youth ministry, too.  Or you’re just a little weird when it comes to Pizza Hut.

This is a story with a surprise ending.  This is Jason’s story.  And it could be yours… or the next teenager you meet. [click to continue…]

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Today’s guest post is by Leonard Grimm.  Leonard has been a deacon in three of my churches in the old days (he was stalking me), and is my favorite axe-grinder.  As you can tell, he has a bit of a different idea about forgiveness. Actually, Leonard has a different idea about a lot of things. 

 Leonard has issues.  Lots of ‘em.  But in the interest of equal time and continuing the uh, discussion, here’s Leonard.


Get a bunch of Christians and other religious people like me together, and somebody will eventually start talking about forgiving your neighbor, “seventy times seven,” and all that stuff.  Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s a buncha hooey.  If you’re pouting, shouting, or planning your next attack, hang in there and stay the course.  Here are 10 reasons you should rethink all that forgiveness stuff:

1.  It still hurts.

Just because you send the jerk on his merry way doesn’t mean his offenses don’t hurt anymore.  And if you’re still hurting, why should he get off scott free?  I think you need to remind his sorry soul every time you’re having a bad day.

2.  It sends the message that you approve of what they did.

So the dirtbag comes along and says, “I’m sorry,” and you say, “Oh, it’s okay” with that sugar-sweet churchy voice.  We all know what that means – “It’s really not that bad.  I know you didn’t mean to drive drunk, cheat, steal or lie.  I’ve probably done worse that.”  Puh-leeze!  You just signed his hall pass to do it all over again. [click to continue…]

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LifeVesting is about creating a compelling future and leaving a legacy long after your life here is done.

How do you want to be remembered?  Here are a couple of ways I don’t recommend.  One is pretty funny – the other, painfully sad.

The Man Who Got Shot and Arrested for Robbing a Drug Store with a Caulking Gun

The Midland (Texas) Reporter-Telegram reported on August 15 that a 24-year-old man, John Wilkinson, of Big Spring, walked into a West Texas pharmacy carrying what looked like a gun wrapped in a dark cloth, and demanding Xanax and hydrocodine.

After getting the drugs from the drug store, Wilkinson tried to make his escape, but realized he had locked his keys in his running car in front of the store.  So he took off running on foot.

He was shot by police.

He’s not dead, though.

Just under arrest for suspicion of armed robbery after being treated for the gun shot.

Oh, and John’s weapon of choice?  A caulking gun.

Not sure what he would have done had the druggist challenged him.  I guess he would have waterproof-sealed him to death.

The World’s Most Honest Obit

The following obituary was posted a couple of weeks ago in the Napa/Sonoma Times Herald.  It was confirmed to be real here.  Brace yourself…. [click to continue…]

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The Chumps and the Chase

by Andy Wood on June 9, 2008

in Leadership, Life Currency

Angry PreacherIf there’s one thing I can’t stand (actually there are a few), it’s jealous, insecure, or bitter preachers.  Neurotic crybabies or arrogant kingdom builders, God help them and us when they’re forced to face their own “stuff.”

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I was one.

A few months ago, my son Joel wrote about a former pastor he had met who now owns a smoke shop.  He got burned by a church experience, and I guess he decided to keep the fire going.

I fired off a riff about ministry, and found myself using a compelling phrase to describe our calling – The Relentless Pursuit of the Glory of God.

That term kept resonating in my spirit.

Later the same night, I heard about a new church plant not far away, whose first two Sundays had doubled anything my church plant had done back in the day.


Couldn’t help it.  Well, maybe I could help it, but I didn’t want to.

We were going through a difficult season at the time, and here was some guy (actually a great guy) rocking and rolling on his church’s honeymoon.

As I went to bed, feeling sorry for myself for all our troubles and stresses, that original phrase kept coming back.  The Relentless Pursuit of the Glory of God. The Lord was reminding me of what ministry – and life – is all about.

[click to continue…]

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