Tuesday, November 30, 2010

my 15 milliseconds of fame

Yeah I'm in a movie. That's right. I know what you are thinking. How are you so lucky to read the blog of a movie star? I don't know really. I guess you're lucky. That's right. My movie premiered last night on....*cough* Lifetime *cough* ...ok so yeah, I was in a Lifetime movie. Not even a real part either. I was an extra.

You know you are a closet Garth Brooks Fan.
Lifetime was filming a movie called Unanswered Prayers that was based on a Garth Brooks song. So I have two strikes against me. It's on the Lifetime network and it's based on a Garth Brooks song. My mother-in-law suggested we go check it out. So we went.

It was cool. Lots of cameras. Guys yelling things at people. And repetition. Lots of repetition.We were filming a football scene. 5 plays took 7 hours to film.  But it was still exciting to be a part of something bigger than my everyday life. During filming my mother-in-law and I were even moved down to the field to be filmed next to the action. We were definitely going to be on camera. In fact one of the production assistants came to move us a couple of feet to the side because we were blocking the person who was to be in the shot. WE ARE DEFINITELY going to be on screen. Get ready Hollywood, here we come!

Last night my big premiere was on tv. My big scene was in the first 3 minutes. They started showing the first clip that we filmed. It was the one where we were on the sideline. The one where we were sure to be on screen. It was the BIG GAME.

Turns out it wasn't as big as we thought. In fact in the real movie, the football game was being played on a TV making that much more difficult to see us. The whole scene lasted 15 seconds. The part where I could have been on TV: 15 milliseconds.  The truth was that I wasn't there at all. In fact I think that I was a couple of feet to the side of the shot. The exact distance the production assistant moved me.

So I didn't make it to TV. But I was still there and I still contributed. I took part and it was exciting and fun. I even got Bojangles out of it. It was worth it.

Life is a lot like that.  We have the opportunity to take part in what God is doing on earth. Really. God wants us to take part in His purposes here. Does that seem weird to you? The creator of the universe can do anything. He can speak the universe into existence yet He still wants us to be a part of it. That's crazy.

I sometimes dream of what it would be like to make it big. To be well known. To have people almost pee their pants when they meet me. (I should tell you about the time I met Francis Chan) But it's likely that I won't be super rich and famous. There's a chance that in the history of the world I won't even have 15 milliseconds of fame.

And I'm ok with that. 

You see the cool thing about following God is that even doing little, uneventful, non-famous things can make a huge difference in eternity. Following God is so ridiculously fulfilling that I don't need fame or money. Sometimes wish I had better words to explain it to people. Serving God is fulfilling in a way that can't be described.

Jesus said that following Him will make our joy complete.

I will gladly trade my 15 milliseconds of fame on earth for an eternity with God. At least in heaven there won't be Lifetime movies or theologically shady Garth Brooks songs.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

A New Hope

*This is the advent devotion that I wrote for our church's devotional book. If you want to see the entire book (written by members and staff of our church) you can visit our church website www.hrbcrichmond.org/advent. You can download it or have it sent to your email daily. To be honest I was really tired when I wrote this so please forgive the lack of style in the writing!*

Acts 2:37-39

A while back I told God that I was stubborn and couldn’t see Him in everyday life. I told him, “God, I just don’t see you in my life. I wish I could, but I can’t” It’s funny how God responds when you are direct and honest with Him. Since that time almost everything I see somehow reminds me of His goodness and grace or in contrast our sin and suffering. It’s been really cool to see God in so many different ways.
              Honestly, the first time that I thought about writing about hope, I thought about the movie Star Wars. Yes, Star Wars. The original Star Wars movie was released in 1977 with the official title being, “Star Wars: A New Hope”

The plot goes something like this. The Universe is being overtaken by the Dark Side. The bad guy of the movie, Darth Vadar is bent on controlling everything. His ship is known as the “Death Star”. I think that says enough about how bad he was.
Out of no where comes an unlikely savior. His name is Luke Skywalker. No one really thought that Luke would end up doing something big until the end of the movie. Luke and a group of others decide that they are going to attack the “Death Star”.  If they could defeat it then there would be hope. Luke and the others attack the “Death Star” hoping to break through its impenetrable defenses. In the end it was only Luke who successfully overcame the “Death Star”.
You might be thinking that this is the most random advent devotional you’ve ever read. Bear with me for a minute.
 A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, sin entered into the world. It has caused trouble and evil ever since. As a result of sin and evil the punishment was death. Many people tried to overcome sin on their own and failed. There seemed to be no hope.
 Then one day in a little known town a child was born. For most of his young life, people thought that this child was rather ordinary. It wasn’t until late in his life that people began to follow him. But there was something different about this man. This man knew how to beat evil and sin. He knew that if he gave up his perfect life as a sacrifice then man could be close to God. That man’s name was Jesus. Three days after he was crucified, Jesus rose from the grave.  In his death and resurrection, he offered mankind a New Hope.
 Using the comparison of Christ and Star Wars isn’t perfect. My hope in this devotion is to help you start seeing that the story of God can be seen in the world around you.

Sin. Death. Redemption. Hope.
 Where do you see these in your life?

Jon Greenhill

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dear Pilgrims, we're sorry. (an open letter)

Dear Pilgrims,
     We're sorry. For what, you might ask? For the fact that we have completely abandoned your holiday. Yes back in 1621 in Plymouth, MA you sat down with some Indian Native American friends for a nice meal. They helped you cultivate the land in order to avoid starvation. You helped them contract smallpox.

This meal would become a tradition. In fact just a mere 320 years after your meal, the president would go on to make this a national holiday. People around the country (yes, we became our own country, but that's another story) looked forward to sitting down with their friends and families and enjoying a bountiful meal just like you did.

Then something happened. Christmas. What's that you say? You celebrated Christmas too? I'm sure you did. But you celebrated Christmas at the end of December. Now we start celebrating Christmas at the end of August. To be honest, you guys don't even get any recognition any more.

We don't wear large black hats and for most of us, buckles on shoes are tacky. To be honest, your holiday gets a cursory nod as something that happens between Halloween and Christmas....oh....I probably shouldn't have said that. Even Halloween (that holiday preferred by witches all and things evil) is more popular than Thanksgiving.

You might be wondering how people can even think about Christmas before Thanksgiving. It's called Black Friday. You see, at midnight on Thanksgiving Day, millions of people line up outside of stores and marketplaces in order to get the best deal on sub-standard quality merchandise.

In the span of 12 hours we go from being thankful for family, to being thankful that we could get a $3 blender before an old lady scoots in on a motorized cart. It's sad, really. Black Friday has caused people to spend all day of Thanksgiving getting ready for the day AFTER Thanksgiving. It doesn't make a lot of sense but here we are.

We also need to apologize for the Detroit Lions. They play football every single Thanksgiving. The only people thankful for that is whatever team gets to beat them. It's horrible and almost not worth watching.

But most of all I need to apologize for the Thanksgiving Day parade. I know that you are probably overjoyed that your holiday now has an official parade. Now millions of people will see an entire parade devoted to being thankful. Right? Well...no. In fact the most exciting part of the parade is when Santa comes through on his sleigh. That's right. The best part of the Thanksgiving parade is the mention that we can't wait until Christmas.

I don't want to make it sound like we're all not thankful. Some of us are. People who own fitness centers love Thanksgiving because in just over a month their memberships are going skyrocket (then fall off in March). Turkey farms make a killing (pun intended). And college students get fed well for the first time this semester.

But as a whole, we need to apologize. We have hijacked your holiday and turned it into a glorified buffet. I don't know, maybe you and the Native Americans left your meal and went to the local market and waited in line to buy cheap butter churners. But I don't think you did.

We're sorry. We'll try to do better next year.

Jon (and the rest of America)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Growing Through Pain - part 2 - UPDATED

Emily at Christmas 2009
This is a littler girl in a hospital room in Durham, NC. Her name is Emily and she is 8 years old.  I know this  because this little girl  is my niece.

Emily was riding her bike yesterday when she got going a little too fast and ended up having an accident. I'm not sure on the details but later that night she wasn't feeling right and so her parents took her to the hospital.

As it turns out Emily has a laceration on her liver and and some damage to her kidney. I don't have a lot of information right now but they are doing some more test today which should shed some light on how serious things are.

I bring this up for two reasons.

1. I would like you to pray for Emily and her family. She is the 2nd daughter of my older sister.

2.  About 2 and a half weeks ago I wrote a post about Growing Through Pain.  I just went back and read it again to be reminded of how pain can help us.

But writing about dealing with pain on a random Tuesday is one thing. Being stuck in another state while your family hangs out at a hospital with your 8 year old niece is another.  It's one thing to write about certain things. It's completely different to experience it.  When I hit a tough time in life there is a song that I like to listen to. It randomly came on in my office today.

it's called "Shadows" by the David Crowder Band. Check it out here.

The line, "When Shadows fall on us, we will not fear, we will remember. When darkness falls on us, we will not fear, we will remember. When all seems lost. When we're thrown and we're tossed. We'll remember the cost. We're resting in the Shadow of the Cross."

Those are great words to remember when going through pain.

When Shadows fall on us, we will not fear. We will remember.
When Darkness falls on us, we will not fear. We will remember.

If you have a few minutes, take some time to say a prayer for my family. It would be most appreciated.

Thanks to all of you.

UPDATE 11/25 - Emily is back home and on bed rest. The doctor's think that she is healing well but they are still keeping an eye on her and her fever. My family wants to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.


Friday, November 19, 2010

There's Nothing Wrong With Being Old

So this week is a Retreat Week for me. Our group has a retreat that starts this evening and goes through Sunday.  I've been overwhelmed with logistics, emails, phone, calls, and more. It's been a pretty crazy week.  So instead of writing a new blog for today, I've got some oldies or goodies.

Some people would have the audacity to claim that this is just "filler" material. They'd be right. But they've probably never had to run a retreat! Here ya go!!

1. Why Naps Are Amazing - Being a parent of two, I now understand the term "sleep deprived". This is a good reminder from 2 years ago. Naps are amazing. I should fit one in this afternoon before the retreat...I wish!

2. Waiting on God Part 1 and Part 2 - This is a before and after of a time where I had to wait on God. It seemed like a rough time back then but looking at it now I see where God was taking me.

3. The One Canada and Chicken Restaurants - This is a story about how I thought I could effectively speak in a language that I hadn't spoken in 5 years. Yeah, you can guess how that turned out.

4. The One About Rain - A story about prayer and a drought where I live in Richmond, Va. This was written originally written in 2007, re-posted in 2008, and now re-posted again for you guys.

5. My Little Secret - This was my first post on this blog way back 2 and a half years ago. A look at just letting go when you worship.

I hope that these will give you something to look at and think about until next week. I'm sure to have something crazy from the retreat this weekend!!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I saw God during a Football Game

I gotta be honest. When I typed the title I felt like that kid from The 6th Sense. It was cool and creepy at the same time. That has nothing to do with the post but it's fun none the less.

This past weekend my family and I got to visit what we call Heaven on Earth. We met up with some friends in Boone, Nc which is home of the Appalachian State Mountaineers. We know it as our Alma Mater. You probably know it as the team that beat Michigan in 2005.

On Saturday, my brother in law Daniel (a current Mountaineer), my friend Brian, and I headed to a football game between # 3 Appstate and #4 Wofford. This was going to be a big game. If we won, we got at least a share of the conference title....FOR THE 6th STRAIGHT YEAR. If we lost, then we got nothing. It was all or nothing.

The stadium was PACKED.  The environment was ELECTRIC.  It was INTENSE! 

And then the game started. First App drive = Touchdown.

The crowd went wild. Everyone was jumping and screaming and cheering. It was a first blow to our opponents. Nerves settled back in as Wofford took the ball. Would this be a defensive struggle? Would we go back and forth? Would we be able to hold on to our lead??

The first quarter ended with the score App 7 - Wofford 0

Then the second and third quarters happened. I'll summarize it to save some time.

Quarter 2:
FG - APP   10-0
TD - APP  17-0
TD - APP   24-0

Quarter 3:
TD - APP 31-0
TD - APP 38-0

App went on to win the game 43-13 over a team that was essentially ranked the same as us. It was dominating.

But where did I see God?

When we scored our second touchdown in the 3rd touchdown we jumped, we screamed, we laughed. We gave high fives. We hugged people we didn't know. We were overjoyed!! 

and I thought. "This is heaven."

If you are a sports fan you know that feeling. That feeling of euphoria when your team prevails. That feeling you get where you could almost jump out of your skin because it's so amazing.  

You might have a particular game in mind. (Duke vs Kentucky 1992 Eastern Regional Final comes to my mind)

That feeling is overwhelming. 

And then I thought more about my previous though. "This is heaven"

Really? Heaven?  I mean, I'm just watching a silly game that means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. Yeah there is the conference championship. Sure there is the guaranteed play-off spot.  But to compare it to heaven?? 

Then it hit me. If this is how excited I get watching a silly little football game?  How excited am I going to be to spend eternity with my God in the REAL HEAVEN?  If this feeling of victory is overwhelming, how much more overwhelming will it be when God overcomes and defeats evil forever. 

How much will I cheer to see the end of  DEATH?  PAIN?  HURT?

How awesome is it going to be to experience that feeling FOREVER??

Think back to the game that came to your mind earlier. How much more awesome will heaven be than that game?

Share which game came to mind in the comments section below!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Could Be a Huge Failure

This could be a Huge Failure.

Mollie and I have each gotten into blogging this year. You can read hers here. Lately we've been looking into taking blogging to the next level. We've been working with each other and trying to figure out where to go next. We each have some big changes in store for our blogs in the near future.

As we start on this road to try something new I'm realizing something.

This could be a HUGE failure.  We could invest time and money in all of this and it all fall flat. We could put our heart and soul in it and be shot down by lack of interest.

That's kind of humbling. But truth is that you can never succeed if you never try. Sure you might fail, but I think would rather try and fail then live with regret for never trying. Some of the most successful people in history were failures. Check out this video.

Mollie and I got to talk and plan for each of our blogs yesterday afternoon and really lay out what we wanted to do with them. It came down to this. We want our writings to help other people.  If something that we write helps just one other person, hopefully we'll see that it was not a failure at all.  There's a song I like by a guy named John Reuben. It has possibly one of my favorite lines in any song ever. It says:

"It's just not that simple. I'm not trying to save it all. I just want to create a ripple. And even if one individual is affected, it's monumental with an unusual perspective that's beautiful in essence. Traditional thinking won't suggest this. Is life really that precious, well yes it is. "

I hope to live that verse out through this blog. I just need some helps. I need ideas. What would you like me to write about? It could be serious. It could be funny. It could be something that's absurd. It might be somewhere that you saw God.

Let me know. Drop me a comment!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The One Thing You Should Never Pray For

As a pastor people often ask me how they should pray or what they should pray for. We talk about it and I toss some ideas out to them and they go on their way.

But there is one thing that I tell people to never pray for.


Why would I tell someone not to pray for patience? I mean patience seems like a good thing right?  I mean it's a fruit of the spirit after all. That's true. But Patience is the avocado of the fruit of the spirit. (yes it is a fruit) You look at it and think, this might be good but I'm not sure if I really want to try it to find out.

The problem with praying for patience is that it's the one prayer that God never says no to. Seriously, I've never seen God say no to a prayer for more patience. But God doesn't just give out patience like King Sized Snickers on Halloween. God teaches you patience. That's right, patience is a LEARNING thing.

Let me give you an example.

1. Pray for patience in a car?  You'll get construction. Then you'll have to merge into one lane and if that doesn't test your patience I don't know what will.

2. Pray for patience at work? You'll be assigned a project with the most annoying person in your office. You know the one who laughs like a hyena and smacks her gum while talking about all of the sub plots to Desperate Housewives.

3. Pray for patience while out to lunch? Oh yeah, you'll be right behind the slow person.

4. Pray for patience at school?  2 words: "Wuthering Heights" (the worst book ever)

5. Pray for patience before church?  2 hour sermon with special music from the pastor's wife. (OH THE HUMANITY!)

The road to patience is a tough one but once you get there it really comes in handy. It allows you to keep a calm head in the heat of the moment. It helps you avoid rash decisions (like buying tickets to the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert).  It allows you to follow God even when you're not sure where you are going. Patience helps live a balanced life.  You know, I could go for a more balanced life.

So perhaps praying for patience isn't such a bad thing.  Patience is actually a good thing to have in your life!
I'll say this though, if you pray for patience, buckle up, because life is about to get interesting!

Have you ever had to learn patience?


Road Rage

I'm a pretty peaceful person. I try to steer clear of getting overly angry at people. But sometimes there are things that set me off. You can ask my wife, she'll agree. (followed by an eye roll and a head shake) Yesterday something set me off.

My oil light came on.  But that's not what set me off.  Some people might say that once the oil light comes on it's already too late. That's why the first place I went yesterday was too get my oil changed. I was on a short time limit because I had a meeting at which I had to be So I tried to bust it over to the oil change place.

Of course there were two things going against me.

1. My car was smoking and quickly becoming the smelliest car on the road.

2. I was in a hurry.

You can probably guess what happened next.....Construction. Why is it that when you are in a hurry there is ALWAYS construction?

This construction was taking place in the middle of the road so it forced us to merge into the right lane. Now anyone who has ever driven knows what I'm talking about. The merge causes you to do this awkward dance with other cars in order to get in line.

When merging there are a few types of people. They are:

The Quick Merger - This motorist is logical. They see a line of cars and think, "hmm there must be something happening ahead, I better get over now to save trouble later." The Quick Merger changes lane when it's first available. He usually has ample space because everyone is still ok with the situation. The Quick Merger is going to get taken advantage of.

The Non-Observant Merger - This is the person who isn't really paying attention enough to realize that there is no one in his lane but 140 cars in the lane next to him. When he realizes it he slows down and tries to get over as soon as possible, hoping that someone will let him in. This guy frustrates the quick merger. I mean really, he should have been paying attention. Instead he was texting/picking his nose/singing Abba and missed the fact that he was the only car moving. The N-O Merger elevates your blood pressure slightly.

The Last Second Merger- a.k.a - JERKFACE....The LSM is known as Jerkface because that's what he's called whenever he shows up. Honestly he's called much worse but this is a PG blog so we'll settle with jerkface. This is the driver who intentionally drives as far as possible before merging. He flies by all of the other smart mergers in an attempt to get to the front. If it were elementary school, he'd be the kid who jumps in the lunch line. I hated that kid. Everyone else hates the LSM. All of the other drivers try to
hug the bumper of the car in front of them so that the LSM can't get in. Instead this person goes to the front of a line and forces his car in front of someone else.  The LSM causes Road Rage.

The Shoulder Driver - This is a rarity but it's enough to cause you to get out of your car and shake your fist in defiance. This person, seeing that traffic has stopped, pulls onto the shoulder of the road and bypasses everyone. The Shoulder driver makes the LSM say things that would embarrass his mother. Usually when I see a Shoulder Driver, I pray that there is a police officer around the corner that will pull him. Oddly enough it's actually happened twice. I'm guessing that's not the worst thing you can pray for.

Yesterday I saw the first three and luckily I held in my Road Rage.

My question to you is:

Which type are you?  Drop a comment below!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Growing Through Pain

The good thing about having kids that are a year apart is that you can time all of their doctor's checkups at the same time. This saves my wife an extra trip to the doctor's office and little bit of sanity. This morning was that day. We took my daughter Kate for her 18 month checkup and my son Drew for his 6 month checkup.

The greatest part of a doctor office visit is the fish tank. Obviously. I think that when they are planning to open a new practice the first thing that they debate is how big of a fish tank that they will have. I'm not 100% on this but I'm pretty sure if you don't have a fish tank in your doctor's office then they might not be licensed.

The worst part of a doctor's visit with two children under 2 is....well everything after the fish tank. The part that I particularly hate is the time when they get their shots. I can't even look for fear of passing out. The doctor comes in with her tray of needles. I know that you're cringing right now. I can sense it.

The hardest part is that you have to sit there and restrain your child while they are receiving pain. I fight every bit of me to not push the doctor away and pick up my crying little girl and cradle her. I want so desperately to do it but in the end I don't. Why not?

Because I know that this pain is a good thing. 

I know that there are diseases in this world and that they could easily take the life of me and my kids. I wish it wasn't that way. I didn't make it that way.  But the truth is that there are sicknesses. I know that by giving my kids these shots I'll reduce their chances of contracting those diseases. In a sense, because of the pain, they are able to grow. 

One of the questions that I get a lot is, "If God is good, why do bad things happen?"  I often answer that bad things happen for a number of reasons and then I go back and retrace where pain entered into the world.

God didn't create the world with diseases, pain, or even death. Adam and Eve could have lived forever if they had steered clear of the one thing that God told them to steer clear of! But it happened. They ate from the tree and introduced sin into the world. After that, you have sin, pain, even death. 

Ok that's where pain came from, but can it really be a good thing?

Paul writes this in Romans 5;

3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,..."

Rejoice? In suffering? In Pain? 

When I think back to the things that have caused my pain in my life I think that they have helped me grow. Like the verse says, my pain has increased my endurance. I'm able to endure more in this life then I could have a long time ago. Hopefully my endurance has helped me build my character. and my character has built.


One word that means so much. You see when I experience pain it's a reminder to me that this is not how it's supposed to be. God didn't make it this way. God wanted more for mankind. God has promised us more. He has promised that one day Christ will come back and we will live forever in a pain free heaven. 

Pain reminds me of the promise of Heaven and eternity with God. 

Pain reminds me to have Hope for something better.

Pain reminds me to have hope. 

I pray that the pain in your life will remind you of God's promises. 

I pray that the pain in your life will help you grow. 

I pray that the pain in your life will give you hope.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Number 740.

So what is significant about the number 740?

If you live in Southeastern or Central Ohio, this is your area code.
If you live in LA it's an night club.
If you live in Cincinnati, it's your local Catholic radio station

Why are these important? Well they aren't. I just googled the number 740 and that's what came up. It's for facts like this that you read this blog.

 The number 740 is the number of page-views of this blog in the month of October. In the grand scheme of things, 740 is not that many page views. I mean very successful blogs can run 90,000 page views a month. That's over 90 times more views in one month. When you think about that, 740 is nothing.

But what strikes me is that my September count was 250. In one month, the number of page views tripled.  August was 165. This means that this blog is growing. Sure it helped that I wrote more than twice as many posts as any month this year, but none the less, more people are coming here to read stuff. That's exciting for me because I like doing it.

When you look at the graph of my blog's visitors,it looks like the first half of Mount Everest. I mean it goes straight up. That's exciting!!! Then something happened. November started and my monthly count dropped back down to 0. The graph now looks like a full picture of Everest. Straight up on one side and straight down on the other. I want to take care of that. I want to keep growing this blog.

Here's the deal. I enjoy writing and I hope that what I write might impact your lives. To do that I need your help doing a few things:

1. Subscribe - If you click the Subscribe button at the top right, you'll have a chance to follow my blog with a reader or through email. Anytime that I write a blog it will send it to your blog reader or email inbox. I follow roughly 37 blogs so I use Google reader. It makes life easy! Subscribe now!

2. Comment Often - I'm also using this blog to learn how to write. When you comment you help me know what's working and what isn't. If you see something that you like, or hate, or are relatively unaffected by, drop a comment in the comment box. It'll make your day brighter. I promise.

3. Spread the Word - If you like what you read here, tell a friend about it. Send them a link. Tell your crazy Uncle Larry and have him send the link to all his friends (most of whom are imaginary but that's ok). Post something on Facebook or Tweet about it. I've included buttons at the bottom of each post that will do this for you.

4. Look For Changes- I'm looking to update the look of this blog and perhaps even change the name. If you have any suggestions about the look, feel, or content of the blog let me know.

I like the number 740. But this month I want to aim higher. I want to go bigger. I want to get to at least...741. I want to change the world one page view at a time and I'd love for you to be a part of that.


I got Called Out. (an honest admission)

When you are in ministry you are going to upset people. It's usually unintentional but it happens. Usually it's a result of a difference in vision or execution of ministry. A lot of those times revolve around the fact that people think things should be run different ways. It's one of those things that comes with the territory.

But there are times that you have legitimately wronged someone. That's where I found myself last week. I had someone come to me and ask for a meeting. Let's go ahead and set something straight. If someone asks for a meeting, it's bad news. If it were happy news they would just tell you. Instead they want to set up a meeting.

This person set up a meeting with me to discuss some things that had come up. When we meet the person lays it out straight. They told me that they cared for me and because of that they needed to call me out on some things.

Early on in my time at my current church I told people that I wanted ideas from everyone. I wanted it to be a community of ideas, not just me. This person let me know that lately it had become more my way or the highway. Parents had mentioned it. Students had mentioned it.

This person went on to say that a couple of parents had also mentioned that when I'm talking to them I tend to zone out. My wife can confirm this often! My interaction with these parents (or lack of interaction) had caused them to feel unimportant.


It was incredibly tough to hear those things. It still kind of stings when I think about it.

But it's something that I desperately needed to hear

The meeting was great. Painful but great. How can that be?

In Psalm 25:5-6, the psalmist says:

 5 Better is open rebuke
   than hidden love.

 6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
   but an enemy multiplies kisses. 

Essentially, if someone truly loves you, they'll call you out when you are being an idiot. They'll do it out of love and not just to get you in trouble. They'll come to you instead of talking about you behind your back. They'll confront you in your sin instead of sucking up to you only to stab you later.

I'm truly grateful for the people who contributed to help call me out. Hopefully they won't have reason to do it again anytime soon.

I want to encourage you in this post. If you need to call someone out. Take a few minutes to think and pray about it. Go to that person in love. Remember, wounds from a friend can be trusted.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below!