Thinking Out Loud

December 6, 2013

Twitterverse Brings Nelson Mandela Quotes, Tributes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 10:24 am

Nelson Mandela

Within minutes of the announcement Thursday evening of the death of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Twitter was buzzing with quotations from Christian leaders and others that have impacted them.

Quotes

  • “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom. ” (via Nicky Gumbel)
  • “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” (via Nicky Gumbel)
  • “Death is inevitable.When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people & his country, he can rest in peace.” (via Eugene Cho)
  • “As I walked toward my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness behind, I’d still be in prison” (via Brian Doerksen)
  • “In my country we go to prison first and then become President”  (via J. R. Woodward)
  • “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  (via J. R. Woodward)
  • “I always knew that someday I would once again feel the grass under my feet and walk in the sunshine as a free man.”  (via Ship of Fools website Twitter feed)
  • “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”  (via Mark O. Wilson and Kyle Idleman)
  • “One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.” (via Mark O. Wilson)

Tributes

  • All of South Africa is in our hearts. Your Madiba was a gift to the whole world. May his road to freedom lead you on.  (Louis Giglio)
  • To be free is not merely to cast off ones chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.Thanks for your life, Nelson (Shane Claiborne)
  • Nelson Mandela envisioned a third way. Not Nuremburg trials, not national amnesia, but restorative justice. (Brian Zahnd)
  • A great leader who stood for social transformation by non-violent means has died. May our world leaders learn from Nelson Mandela. (Greg Boyd)
  • Mandela, defending himself in court, called no witnesses — a historic moment of integrity. (Scot McKnight)
  • I read everything he wrote, and stood in the prison where he spent 27 years on Robben Island. Nelson Mandela…redefined leadership. (Bill Hybels)
  • In the wake of the loss of Nelson Mandela, I pray that I could live with a fraction of his courage and commitment to love at all costs. (Chris Seay)
  • Mandela kept the country together at a time when it very well could have spun into civil war. (ABC’s Christiane Amanpour via Lorna Dueck)
  • Nelson Mandela: true hero; global inspiration; a model of courage, hope and reconciliation. The world will miss his reassuring presence. (Nicky Gumbel)
  • Growing up on an Afro-Caribbean island I learned more about Nelson Mandela than I did about most US Presidents. May his good work remain.  (Darrell Dow)
  • Nelson Mandela was part Abe Lincoln, part Rosa Parks, part Frederick Douglas, & part Martin Luther King, Jr  (Ed Stetzer)
  • Our lives are borrowed. All we own is our faith; all we leave behind is our love. Thank you Nelson Mandela, for your life. (Bob Goff)
  • Mandela knew his country could never be healed with violence or vengeance – He suffered so his people could be free. (Bill Shorten)
  • Desmond Tutu: “The 27 years were absolutely crucial in his spiritual development. The suffering helped ennoble him”

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November 18, 2010

Sometimes Bigger IS Necessarily Better

I’ve been thinking (not out loud) all day about this one.

Sometimes a church or ministry organization will begin a period of rapid and accelerating growth.   They hire new staff.   They add new programs or services.   They need larger premises in which to conduct their activities.

All this time, there are people critics standing on the sidelines suggesting that they’ve created a monster, and now all their energies need to be spent feeding the beast.

And that’s often the case.

Sometimes growth is a natural product of the effectiveness of a church or parachurch organizations ministry.   If it’s working, if it’s blessing people, if it’s bringing people into the kingdom, we want to see it grow, right?

Now… I know there are people reading this who have an issue with “big.”    They like to give to niche mission organizations and perhaps their weekly worship thing is a smaller congregation or even a home church.   Is that you?   Then trust me, I’m on-side.  I know the intimacy that comes through worship in a smaller group, and I know that your missions giving yields more bang for your buck when the people in the office and the people ministering on the front lines are the same people.

I’m not, across-the-board, in favor of “big.”

But I also realized today that there are some major liabilities that can take place when you have a ministry that is powerful and effective, but somewhere along the line you failed — or were unable — to build an organization.

This isn’t about the fact that as president of my own company, I occasionally empty the wastebaskets or clean the toilets.   I don’t mind modeling servant leadership.    In fact, there’s nothing I would ask any employee to do that I don’t do or haven’t done myself.     I believe good leadership involves getting your hands dirty.

I’m just realizing that perhaps as a leader, I failed to set my sights on greater possibilities, and am paying the price today for not bringing in more strategic partnerships.

Because I think that sometimes, bigger is better.   Even in church and ministry.

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lower image: AllPosters.com (click link)

November 7, 2010

People Tend to Forget

This morning was the second of two sermons I got to do back to back.   This one had a lot of scripture in it, so taking my cue from Ed Dobson’s sermons at Mars Hill, I got Ruth to read all the scripture.

I wanted to tie in with Communion Sunday, but found out later it was also Remembrance Day (that’s Veteran’s Day for y’all Stateside) Sunday.  So the message was called People Tend to Forget.

We began by asking the question, “Why do we always read those same words from I Cor. before the communion starts.”   One answer we came up with is that the account in Luke 22 makes the disciples look really, really bad!   One minute Jesus is talking about giving His life for them, and the next minute they’re arguing among themselves which one is the greatest.  (v. 24)

That led to a discussion about how some of the Bible’s spiritual high points seem end with a crash a few verses or a chapter later.

Exodus 14 has the Israelites crossing the Red Sea safely while Pharoah’s army is drowned.  Exodus 15 is their worship and celebration service.   Think Pentecostal worship on steroids.

And chapter 16?   They’re complaining about the food and wishing they were back in Egypt.  Yeah.  Back in Egypt.   For real.

Then we looked at Elijah’s defeating the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel.   (Well, actually it was God, but you know what I mean…)   Both of these O. T. stories were things we’d looked at briefly last week, but this time we pressed further.

Now remember, this guy just played a major role in one of the most dramatic spiritual warfare encounters of all time.   Where is he at a chapter later in I Kings 39?

Scared silly over a threat from King Ahab’s wife.   Running off into the desert.   Moping.   Wishing he was dead.   No, really, he says that, ‘I wish I was dead.’  This is either ironic or pathetic, depending on your view.

And then there’s Jonah.

Jonah is sent to tell Nineveh to repent. They do. That’s good news, right? Well, not for Jonah. His message was framed as “Nineveh is about to be destroyed,” and their world doesn’t look too kindly on prophets who get it wrong. So when God changes his mind on the destruction of the city, Jonah’s all out of sorts. Check out Jonah 3: 6-10.

The hero of “Jonah and the Whale” in chapter 1 – sorry, great fish – who is also the hero of “Jonah’s Preaching Converts and Entire City” in chapter 3 becomes the less impressive story of Jonah and the Plant in chapter 4. God can’t help but tell him that he’s put more passion and energy into mourning the death of a worm-eaten shade tree than anything concerning the salvation of the Ninevites.

And that was only the first half of the sermon.

Here’s a key scripture:

Judges 2: 8(NIV) Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the LORD’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the LORD gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.

People really do tend to forget…

Here’s another key scripture:

Isaiah 46: 9(NIV) Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10a I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come…

11b …What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.

The message ended up talking about Communion again.   Some major points:

Our fellowship, our communion is with God through Jesus Christ.

We don’t celebrate communion to remember what was, but we celebrate communion to remember what is.

We celebrate communion because Christ is in us, and because of who we are in Christ.

October 26, 2010

Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder

I’m the kind of person who walks through the supermarket picking things up and then setting them down again in order to pick up something else.   I’m sure I keep stock clerks busy replacing all the stuff I’ve grabbed and then absent-mindedly deposited in the next aisle.   (You’d think they’d offer baskets or carts or something…)

So when Perry Noble posted today on the topic of distraction I knew I had to re-post this one here.    As someone once said… … …okay, I forgot what it was.   See what I mean?



Getting distracted is DANGEROUS!  (I remember taking my eyes off the road for just a few seconds the other day…and when I looked up I was about to take out a row of mailboxes!  I immediately jerked the car back into the road…and if there had been another car coming I would have NAILED them!)

In ministry we can’t allow ourselves to become distracted (which is SO MUCH more of a challenge than it was 10 years ago because of the “advancement” of social media.)

So…what are four distractions that we are constantly going to have to resist as leader?

#1 – Pleasure – We are going to have to fight doing what is easy rather than what is right!

#2 – Pride – There WILL come the temptation to begin to think, “Look at all of this great work I have done!”  I can think of two leaders in the Scripture who had simular thoughts…it didn’t go well for them!  (See Daniel 4:28-33 and Acts 12:19-23)

#3 – Procrastination – Many times we KNOW what the right decision that needs to be made…but because it may be tough to do so we delay it, hoping that maybe God either just “work it out” or change His mind!

#4 – People – Someone is always going to not like what you do, who you are and what you stand for…always!  When you get in the people pleasing business you get out of the business of pleasing God!  (See Galatians 1:10)

#5 – Performance – One of the greatest problems with success is that leaders can actually begin to believe that they are the ones that caused success to happen…and in order to keep/maintain it they have to work harder and harder…thus establishing a pace that literally sends them into a wall at 100 mph.

#6 – Problems – We can’t view problems as God’s punishment…but rather we must view them as God’s preparation!  David didn’t see the lion and the bear as a problem…but rather he viewed them as opportunities to prepare him for the greater problems in life he knew that were sure to come.  (See I Samuel 17:33-37)

#7 – Passion – Passion can be a distraction when we use it to run over people rather than lead them!  God did NOT give us the Spirit of timidity…but of power, LOVE and self discipline!  (II Timothy 1:7)  Power without love always leads to legalism and domination.  We MUST be passionate about what God has called us to…but we must also learn how to use that passion to lead others to where they need to be…not drive them there!

~Perry Noble

September 6, 2010

Send This To Your Pastor’s Wife

Filed under: media — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:25 am

And send it right away.

TomorrowTuesday, September 7th, and for five weeks following, there is a special “virtual conference” available for women in ministry and especially the wives of pastors.    No hotel.   No airline ticket.   No major rescheduling.   No charge.

All that’s needed is a computer with enough bandwidth to capture the feed at either one of these times:

  • Tuesdays at NOON (Eastern), 11 AM (Central), 9 AM (Pacific)  OR
  • Tuesdays at 9 PM, (Eastern), 8 PM (Central), 6 PM (Pacific)

and this website:  JustOne Conference.

Speakers and contributors include some names you may not recognize until you look twice at the surnames:   Amy Groeschel, Brandi Wilson, Kay Warren, Holly Furtick, Patty Wyatt, Heather Whitaker; and also some names that will just be new to you; all of whom donated their time to make this possible at no cost.     Eighteen speakers over six weeks!

Did I mention this is free?   Don’t let someone on your e-mail contact miss out on this through not having heard.

(HT: Without Wax)

Here’s the link to add to an e-mail to your pastor/pastor’s wife/woman in leadership; just copy & paste into an e-mail: www.paulwilkinson.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/send-this-to-your-pastors-wife

September 5, 2010

Leader Man vs. Servant Leader

Here’s a re-post from two years ago.   Back in the day, WAY-FM morning radio personality Brant Hansen blogged at Letters from Kamp Krusty which was on everyone’s daily reading list.   He tried to start it up again around Christmas last year, but simply has too many media projects on the go.    This article was one of the best pieces on it.   Reminds me of a thing that Maranatha! Music’s Ministry Resource Center put out years ago, Superstars and Servants,  that talks about how some people serve under covenant, while others will only serve under contract.   I think the author was Carl Cronje.   If anyone has that, it should be posted online for all to read.     But Brant’s piece here is equally good at making the point…

LeaderMan vs. Servant Leader

I’ve had some people say, effectively, “Dude, you critique leadership, but don’t you think you’re leading people, too? Aren’t you worried about that?”

Nah. Not really. Shoot, I’m honored if I’m allowed to lead somebody, if I have an influential role in someone’s life. We need leadership — properly understood, the Jesus-type of “leadership” — like crazy. What we don’t need is the type of leadership I satirize.

We don’t need any more of “LeaderMan”. What we need are servant leaders, men and women who are gifted for leadership, whom people naturally follow, who point those people toward Jesus alone, our Teacher.

Granted, as always, I may not know what I’m talking about. But below are some off-the-top-of-the-head attempts at distinguishing one from the other.


———–

Servant Leader: Has something to say

LeaderMan: Wants a platform on which to say something

———–

LeaderMan: You almost feel you know his family, because he’s your Leader

Servant Leader: You allow him to influence you, because you know his family

———–

LeaderMan: Wants you to know he’s a Leader

Servant Leader: You’re not sure he knows he’s a leader

———–

LeaderMan: Loves the idea of the Gospel, and the idea of The Church

Servant Leader: Loves God and the actual individual people God brings across his path

———–

LeaderMan: A great speaker, but self-described as, “Not really a people person.”

Servant Leader: Makes himself a people person

———–

LeaderMan: Helps you find where God is leading you in his organization

Servant Leader: Helps you find where God is leading you

———–

LeaderMan: Gets together with you to talk about his vision

Servant Leader: Just gets together with you

———–

LeaderMan: Resents “sheep stealing”

Servant Leader: Doesn’t get the “stealing” part, since he doesn’t own anyone to begin with

———–

LeaderMan: Wants the right people on the bus

Servant Leader: Wants to find the right bus for you, and sit next to you on it

———–

Servant Leader: Shows you his whole heart

LeaderMan: Shows you a flow chart

———–

LeaderMan: A visionary who knows what the future looks like

Servant Leader: Knows what your kitchen looks like

———–

LeaderMan: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing with excellence

Servant Leader: Not exactly sure how to even calculate “worth doing”

———–

LeaderMan: Talks about confronting one another in love

Servant Leader: Actually confronts you in love

———–

LeaderMan: Impressed by success and successful people

Servant Leader: Impressed by faithfulness

———–

LeaderMan: Invests time in you, if you are “key people”

Servant Leader: Wastes time with you

———–

LeaderMan: Reveals sins of his past

Servant Leader: Reveals sins of his present

———-

LeaderMan: Gives you things to do

Servant Leader: Gives you freedom

———–

LeaderMan: Leads because of official position

Servant Leader: Leads in spite of position

———–

LeaderMan: Deep down, threatened by other Leaders

Servant Leader: Has nothing to lose

May 19, 2010

Wednesday Link List

For your consideration…

  • Top Trend of the Week On Christian Blogs (and Everywhere Else) — Quitting Facebook.   This one isn’t a faith blogger, but it makes the point well.
  • C. Michael Patton may call his post Why I Am Not Charismatic, but he’s more Charismatic-friendly than most.   Besides, I have a thing for charts:

  • Speakers, worship leaders, pastors:  If your church has an audio system, act as though The Mic Is Always On.   (Actually it’s a good rule for life, too.)
  • This British TV commercial — a long one, at 1:30 — for the John Lewis department stores is our YouTube clip of the week, as it could easily be one of those media clips your church uses on Sunday morning.
  • Donald Miller thinks the next time you’re at a party, instead of asking someone, “What do you do?” you might try asking, “What is your story?”  Everybody has one.
  • Even the little ethnic churches in major cities are prone to sex scandals.   This one took place in Toronto and you probably didn’t hear about it, but South Korea’s two largest TV networks were all over it.
  • This post on theological systems isn’t very long, but makes a good point, and besides, like I said, I’ve got a thing for charts.   Go to Matt Stone’s blog and double click the image there for a clearer vision.

  • Here’s a longer post I wrote on the weekend over at Christianity 201 which includes a long re-post of something serious by Jon Acuff.  Check out Where Sin Abounds.
  • Tired of getting all your blog input from 20-somethings and 30-somethings?   Donald M. Bastian is no spring chicken, but if you appreciate the wisdom of older mentors — especially if you’re in ministry — check out Just Call Me Pastor.   (And the page which explains the blog’s name.)
  • I need you to check this apologetics blog out — pretend you’re a skeptic for a few minutes — and tell me what you think of Proof That God Exists.
  • Joel Taylor discovers that your local hospital may not be able to call that little room a chapel anymore, because that word is too sectarian.
  • Will Mancini says that when you break down Jesus’ spoken word content, his influence boils down to the use of metaphors.   As a matter of fact, this blog post even has a chart:

  • Book Trailer of the Week:  David W. Pierce describes his 2009 Waterbrook story of mountain climbing with his daughter, Don’t Let Me Go.
  • Devotional Blog Discovery of the Week:  Smoodock’s Blog.   The writer is actually named Eddie, and his “about” page tells you what a Smoodock is.  (You already know, you just didn’t know it had a name.)  Short devos posted every other day or so.  Reminds me a bit of Rick Apperson‘s blog.
  • In our Saving-The-Best-For-Last department, Matt Stone scores another Wednesday link with this post — you so gotta do this — asking you to compare two worship songs.
  • This actually isn’t part of the Wednesday Link List — It was in my image file and I truly have no idea where I got this — but like I said, I have thing for charts:

  • Instead of actual cartoons this week, we have some panels from Sacred Sandwich:

March 5, 2010

Lost Voice 1 – Rick

More than three years ago when this blog was an e-newsletter, I announced something I was working on called The Lost Voice Project. Today, I thought I’d give you a sample chapter, and I’ll post others here from time to time.   After all, why have one unpublished book when you can have two?

You don’t notice it at first when you visit Rick and Emmy’s house, but after a minute or two you are somehow conscious of it:   The house is totally wired; totally high-tech.

Rick’s ability in electronics includes a specialty in the interconnecting of various devices, a specialty that pre-dates the modern computer age.   One of my personal favorites is subtle:  It’s a reading lamp next to a big chair near the television.    It’s wired into a master system that controls all the household lighting, making changes while the family is on holidays; but it’s also sensitive to someone walking into the room; it’s also voice activated; and just to make it interesting Rick added a fourth parameter, you can clap it on or off.   He admits that one is a bit over-the-top.

You’d notice more if you went to his large workshop on the north end of the house.   All kinds of things in process, some for himself, some things he puts together for friends.    Leaving church the other day, he dialed a code on his cell phone that warmed up the food in the stove for lunch.   That’s rather commonplace today, but Rick’s device was installed in 1995, when he had to use a land line to activate the thing.

By day, Rick works at something similar.  Though he’s hoping to take an early retirement in about six years, he’s kept up with all the latest technology and is one of the top guys at his office.   Mostly, he goes out on assignment to other companies; of the three portfolios he currently carries, the one that takes the majority of his days is with the State Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

In every casino, there’s an office somewhere staffed with people keeping minute-by-minute tabs on what each and every slot machine is up to.   Constant updates are now linked to video cameras.   Some can open an audio channel and listen to conversations taking place at the machines.   Rick is the guy who makes all that inter-connectivity possible.

Twice, they’ve offered Rick the same job working directly for them.    Right now his company keeps a very fat portion of the consulting fee.   Rick’s take home pay — already nicer than most peoples’ — would instantly double, but Rick’s not sure about the idea of a Christian working for the Lottery Corporation; this way he feels he’s at least one-step removed, and he can always ask to be assigned to another project.

But for Rick’s church, the decision has already been made.   He’s been pigeon-holed, typecast and labeled.   His association with the casino — which by implication is an association with gambling — simply makes him, in their view, a risk for any ministry role in the church, and because, as I said, his work for them pre-dates computer technology, that means he’s been doing projects for the lottery people on and off for most of the 23 years he’s attended Forest Ridge Church.

In practical terms this means he’s:

  • never been asked to be on the leadership board, even though he’d normally be prime candidate and make a major contribution
  • never been asked to lead a small group, even though he’s both knowledgeable and conversant about various Bible subjects
  • never been called on to read a scripture, open in prayer, or even make an announcement

Rick is one of the lost voices in the church; marginalized for what the leadership at Forest Ridge considers good reasons, but set aside nonetheless.

Rick and Emmy are faithful in attendance, though there are times in the summer when they opt to go for a drive in the country instead of attending a service; their aching to be involved more deeply is hard to bear.   And Rick is using his gifts; he’s on the board of two small parachurch ministries in the city, and at least once every six months writes a letter to the editor of the local paper that truly speaks to an issue on behalf of the Christian community.

But somewhere along the line, Rick’s name was crossed off the list of the board nominating committee, he was passed over for consideration for small group leadership, and mostly Rick does not have a ministry role or leadership role in the church because he’s never had a ministry role or leadership role in the church.

Too much time has passed, and a new generation of leaders have written Rick off.   Rick is one of the lost voices in the modern church, and it’s a shame, because he has so much to contribute.

June 5, 2009

Only it Wasn’t ‘Once Upon a Time’

Filed under: Christianity, Church — Tags: , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:32 pm

Once upon a time,  or maybe some of it happened just a few weeks ago,  there was a very personable, very charming guy who we’ll call Grant.   Grant lived in a place very much like the place that I lived in when I was much younger and not too far away, so as happens when people share common interests and live in similar locations,  I actually got to know Grant, even though he’s a ‘once upon a time’ character in this story.    People often tended to get to know him quite well at first, and then later on it would be at more of a distance.  But he did make a great first impression.

Grant always had a project cooking.    He was your typical “Type A” person, except that we didn’t use the term “Type A” back then.

One day,  Grant convinced a number of people to join him in a really big adventure, but the adventure didn’t work out the way it was supposed to — not even close — and he found himself in debt to a very large number of people and decided that he would be happier living in a place that was very different and actually quite far away, and where they didn’t know about the adventure and wouldn’t be asking for their money back.

So he moved to a place that rhymes with ‘blessed toast.’

This suited the very large number of people to whom he was indebted quite fine, since they were rather upset with him, and for a few of those, this wasn’t exactly the first time.

For nearly thirty years, Grant was completely off their radar, until a more recent time, when there were rumors that he had moved back closer to his original location.   (This of course, leaving some wondering if he had run up some debts there and now had a new set of people rather upset with him.)

When he returned, the idea may have been to make a fresh start, but the problem with that logic is, we tend to take ourselves with us every time we move.   Unless God really does a work in our hearts, and unless he is shaping and us into his character, and conforming us into the image of Jesus, our actions tend to resemble someone who is caught in a loop, running the same sequence over and over and over, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.     So if somebody you haven’t seen in decades meets you and says, “Wow, you haven’t changed a bit;” …well, if you’re a Christ-follower, that’s actually a bit of an insult.

Because Grant was a bit of a schemer, it wasn’t long before he started telling people stories about some magic beans, and people were giving him money to get the magic beans, and the way the scheme worked, some people did think they saw a hint of magic.

Then, he sold some beans to his neighbours, Jim and Jack.   Jim and Jack were the co-pastors of a very large church.   They had a very big congregation.     People trusted them to be wise.   But buying the magic beans wasn’t the wisest thing you could do.   Jim and Jack felt very bad when the beanstalk didn’t materialize and so did their board of directors.    So they decided to take some time off church to reflect.

The problem was,  for a few Sundays, everybody came to church and said, “Where’s Jim and Jack?”   Good question.   People started making up stories involving Jim and his secretary and rumors that Jack had a drinking problem.    That’s what happens when you don’t tell people things.   It would have been better just to tell everybody about the magic beans.    But sometimes a magic beans story is so stupid that you figure it’s better to let people go with the secretary and the drinking stories.   Or you don’t know what to think.

Furthermore, there were already people looking for a different church, because in the 21st Century, church attendance tends to be somewhat personality driven.    The problem was, this church needed people to stay, because summer was coming, and we all know what the air-conditioning bill is like in a large church in the summer.

Meanwhile, Grant was told to stop selling the beans.    It turns out he sold a lot of them, maybe as many as 14.1 million  (and those are U.S. beans which translate into about 16.7 Canadian beans).    But his bean scheme could bring down Jim and Jack’s big church, which, even if you don’t like big churches, would still be rather sad for the people who enjoyed going.

The good news is, that up to a certain point, very few people know anything about the bean story.   The scribes figured Grant would be more interesting if he’d sold a few hundred million beans, and they didn’t think Jim and Jack’s bean buy was all that significant, because in their Kingdom, churches weren’t all that significant, period.   Newspaper revenue from advertising was down, and there wasn’t enough black ink to devote to a little bean bungle.

The bad news is, that sooner or later, if you’re a public figure, or especially if you’re two public figures,  you gotta come clean with everybody.

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