Repost – Changing Sweettarts

Here is a repost of the number 2 article on life of a pastor blog. It’s still get hits after 6 years.

I am finally coming out with something that has been bothering me for years.  It has to do with candy.  I love candy.  But for the last five years the candy makers have made some changes that I am not happy about.  For some reason they thinking every body likes sour apple flavor.  Sour apple does not belong in a box with other flavored candies.  I am okay with sour apple Jolly Ranchers by themselves, but don’t mess with my box of Sweet Tarts.  I love Sweet Tarts!  This is one of my all-time favorite candies along with Skittles.  Both of these candy makers replaced the traditional beautifully flavored green candy with a sour apple flavor.  I am ticked off because of that.  I don’t want sour apple I want whatever the green flavor was before.  The problem is I love Sweet Tarts so I am not going to stop eating them because they throw in a sour apple.  I will just not eat that one.

There is a good change that Sweet Tarts has made though.  It is the blue sweet tart.  That is my favorite Sweet Tart.  I can over look the sour apple as long as the blue one is in there.  As a matter of fact, the blue ones are the ones that they have the least in the box, but I still like the blue ones.  In Sweet Tarts defense, they made a good decision in making the blue ones, even if I am not happy about the green change.  Some changes are good and some are bad.

To be honest, no body likes change.  I don’t like change…I like the familiar and you are probably the same way.  The truth is things must change.  There are some changes we like, some we don’t but we must overlook the ones we might not like and focus on the ones we do like. 

In the church world, change is a necessary part of preparing for the future.  I am not a proponent of just throwing away anything old.  I believe we can add to what has already been done.  However, there might be things that need to change because they aren’t working.  Even if we cannot see it.  For the future and building a church for the generations, we must allow God to lead us to the changes He feels necessary for our church.  We cannot focus on one thing (the sour apple) but on the whole picture of what God is doing and wants to do.

Thinking of the candy makers.  It wasn’t a conspiracy because they knew I didn’t like sour apple.  The truth is there are probably more people that like sour apple than don’t.  I am just picky with my candy.  I challenge you to evaluate things by the big picture not just the sour apples.

Repost- Saying The Same Things Different Ways

Last week I posted my 1,000th blog post.  It’s hard to believe that Life of a Pastor blog has been around that long.  As I was thinking on these last few years blogging, I looked up my most popular blog posts.  There are three articles that have continued to be viewed even 6 and 7 years later.  Over the next few days I will share these three posts.

This is the number 3 post of all time on this blog.


I was born and bred in Texas.  I speak the Texan language.  I say things the Texas way.  Until six months ago, I had never lived outside of my native homeland and now have been introduced to a culture that says things a different way.  Many things make sense, others do not not.  Now, however, I find myself saying things in the language of others.

In Northwest Arkansas, you cannot say that the people here speak Arkansan language, because they are transplants from North, East, West (I haven’t found many from the South, for whatever reason.)  There are some universal phrases that I have been learning that have taken a little time to figure out.  Being a Southern boy, I have picked up on a few of these and have done my best to interpret what they are saying.

Here goes:

You’ins – pronounced You Ins – This is the northern way of saying Ya’ll.  This was the toughest one for me to figure out.  But to me it is a cool word.

Creeks – pronounced Cricks – these are the small streams of water that run through the mountains and valleys.  We are now trying to re-train Sonya how to say this word.

Hollows – pronounced Hollars – A hollow is a a forest of trees as the mountains descend into the valley and make up a clump of trees.  I figured this one out when we were hiking one day.  They are called hollars because when you get in there you can hollar real loud and hear an echo:)

Weed-whip – AKA Weed Eat – This one makes the most sense to me.  For years us Texans have called it Weed-Eating, when in fact our weed eater doesn’t actually eat the weeds.  It does indeed whip them and knock them down.  Now I am re-programming myself to say Weed-whip.  The only consolation is that there is an actual brand that is called Weed-eater.  That is why we call every brand, weed-eater.  Kind of like the next word.

Coke – Every soda under the sun.  Here up north they call it Soda or Pop.  Down south every brand is known as a Coke.  The question is always asked, “What kind of Coke do you want?”  The answer could be DR. Pepper, Pepsi, Orange Crush etc.  We go to Coke machines down South, up here they are Soda Machines.

The point to all of this is that different people say things different ways and understand things different ways.  When communicating, we must speak how we are comfortable and in our normal language.  It is the same with communicating the gospel.  We must share the gospel in ways that are effective and the way people understand.

We do not have to speak in King James language.  It is not more holy to talk or pray that way.  Rather, we should meet people where they are.  Talk where they can understand and then let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts.  Each person has a way of saying things and understanding things.  As believers, we must speak in a way that the gospel goes out and God does the rest.

Disclaimer: I am not poking fun at the way Northerners talk.  I have a sneaky suspicion that I speak another language:)  We all have interesting ways to say things.

1,000 Blog Post – Book Giveaway

BooksI have been blogging here at lifeofapastor.com since May of 2007.  I started the blog years ago to give people an insight into the life of a pastor; to share what is going on in our lives, ministry and to share from my heart.  So today after nearly 8 years, I am posting my 1,000th blog post.

Many articles have been written, a great deal of change has happened in our lives in these years but looking back helps me to see how God has worked in our lives and our family.  A blog is like an online diary and this morning I have been looking back at some of my old posts and remembering some of the things that we have been through.  God has been good to us.

So, in honor of this 1,000th blog post I am doing a book giveaway.  I am giving away a copy of my new book Sometimes, Church Hurts and my last book, Thoughts for the Journey.

To enter to win a copy of one of these books, please leave a comment below and enter your email address so that I can get a hold of you if you win the drawing.  Also, would you tell how long you have been reading lifeofapastor blog?

The drawing will be held on Wednesday, March 11th.

If you don’t win the drawing and would like to purchase a copy of either of these books you can follow the links below. Both are available in print form and on Amazon Kindle.

Sometimes, Church Hurts

Thoughts for the Journey

Thanks for reading the lifeofapastor blog!

Sobering Scriptures

These Scriptures speak for themselves. It should make us evaluate our lives in light of how we will stand before God.  We rely on His grace for sure but how we live our lives on this earth will be taken into account.  We shall all stand before Christ and give an account for what we did with this life that God gave us in Christ. Let us serve Him to the fullest.

1Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Be Still In A Noisy World

Have you ever tried to find quiet in a noisy world? 

Today’s life is filled with busy activities and things that clutter our minds.  We often feel that the more we have to do on our calendar the better.  After all staying busy, “Keeps us out of trouble”, right?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever,  when is the last time you stopped to smell the roses?  When is the last time that you sat down uninterrupted for 20 to 30 minutes and just meditated on the things of God?

Psalm 46 declares, “Be still and know that I am God.” 

It is often hard to hear God’s voice or even to sense His presence when everything else is calling our name.  We always have another place to go, another thing to do, another call to make.  Remember, however, to take time to be still.  God’s embrace is not very far away.  You just have to stop long enough to embrace Him back.

I challenge you this week to take 30 minutes alone in a place that is free from distraction.  Do not turn on your cell phone, or bring anything with you but your Bible and be still.  That’s right, Be still!  I know it is hard for some people to “sit around” but take the challenge anyway.

Be still and you will find refreshing for your weary soul.