Wednesday, July 31, 2013


So yesterday was a normal day.  There was nothing unusual about it.  I liked it well enough.  No, I liked it a lot.  The day was full of adventure and wonder; just like our other times called Today.

Oh, there was the call that came in that one of the really good guys in my Small Group that meets on Sunday nights was discovered to have cancer in both hips.  I went to the hospital to check on him; but he was out for more tests.

Oh, and there was the man who walked in off of the street into our offices.  He wanted money for a utility bill on the spot.  When I told him we would need to run it through a budget process which would take a bit of time, he left pretty unhappy with me.

Oh, and there was the email from my Cardinal Camp group regarding Matt's 17 year old son who is suffering from cancer.  The young man is so very ill.  The bone marrow transplant is in the immediate wings. Matt's pain is all over the map regarding watching his loved one suffer.  It brings me joy that we can find a door of ministry opportunity in this scenario.

Oh, and there was an issue communicated to the elders and some of the staff regarding a fairly heavy upset that has deep concern, if not train-wreck, for some.  This one carries missiles of high-level drama which will not be ignored.

Oh, and there were other encounters of challenges for the moments.

Mary asked me last night, You holding up under this stuff okay?

The question caught me off-guard.  Why would she ask that?  I was fine....really.

And then I realized, Jesus walks with us.  He is the one carrying the load.  Yesterday was just a very normal day.  He is so good at what he does with, for, and through us to the certain extent that it had not occurred to me that I might not be okay.  I love what he lets me get to do.  I don't love the pain.  I do love the purpose.

Oh, by the way, my Cardinals also lost a double-header last night....and fell out of first place.  Not to fret. There are tougher things in life than sports reports...don't you think?

What shall we do with all this stress stuff?  Care deeply and believe intentionally in the One who has been through it all....especially when hanging publicly from the Cross.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I will forever be learning to follow Jesus.  At this moment I assume to be decades behind where He would expect me to be.  I am little, weak, and most shallow.

Jesus is a different sort.  He is not the Sunday School flannel-graph Jesus who inserted his teaching amidst cookies and Kool-Aid.  He is not the one who lived as the nicest guy on the block for one doesn't crucify any who set out to just be nice to everyone.

No.  Jesus disrupted that which means so much to so many; their religion.  You can mess with a lot of things in the community; but don't touch a Conservative's religious perspective.  It just wont' fly!

Thomas a Kempis reminds of us of Jesus' backwardness toward humanity.  He says that Jesus has many lovers of the Kingdom, but few  bearers of the Cross.  Many seek his consolation while only a hand full walk the path of tribulation.  The giddy seek his miracles; yet they pale at the pathway of walk of shame.

I tend to want to pay my bills and be liked by all.  That's almost a prerogative of man.  Jesus, however, upsets the glaring self in all of this.  The Kingdom of God is full of treachery and risk filled with a powerful destiny of sheer and harsh rejection.  Many are called.  Few endure.  

Jesus is the one whom we simply must get better at following.  I can't do this well.  Thank you, each of you, who have taken a great amount of time to try to help me.  Maybe together we can get better at this.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


It has long been thought that those who faithfully attend the church assemblies are the strong in the faith.  The three-times-a-weekers were assumed the cream of the crop.  Me being a minister might be put in that safe category of God's delight.

Yet, as we develop in the Spirit of Jesus, we begin to note that pew-sitting can be somewhat like baby-sitting; not really ours but we will be responsible while fulfilling understood assignments.  This has developed a shallow people; leaders, ministers, and followers alike.

Jim Cymbala and Dean Merrill clearly point to a true challenge among us.  In the organized church, too many pastors are interested in attendance alone, which has nothing to do with a church's health.  What matters is not how many people are showing up, but how active and vibrant their faith is in the God they serve.  You can easily pack a building without pleasing God, because crowds do not equal spirituality.

I write this not as an excuse for low attendance.  Memorial Drive's will run between 450 and 500 on our good days attendance-wise.  It is the spirituality of walking, talking, and serving Jesus that is the litmus test.  

Do we know Jesus?  Do we study him?  Do we credit Him?

Sunday Schools are abundant world-wide this morning.  Sermons will reap even a higher number of listeners. The question isn't how good are we doing nor is it how bad we must cease doing other things.  The rock-bottom issue is the Rock; Jesus.  Do we know him?

Study goes on.  Signing up and serving goes on.  Prayer is minimal.  Driven by the Spirit is questionable.  Yet, we can get there.  

Attendance doesn't make us spiritual.  The Holy Spirit does that.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I like meaningful church.  I like devoted and active church.  Equally, I have intense sympathy for those who attend only; seemingly to possess some sort of hope that eternal damnation will be escaped.  This is a miserable way to try to connect to church.

This person(s) causes me great sadness for I once sat in similar pews.  Bored to death, I counted the time by segments of worship at our little Presbyterian church.  The choir, then the welcome, then the songs, then the prayer, then the collection plate, t-h-e-n  t-h-e  d-r-e-a-d-e-d  s-e-r-m-o-n (Oh Lord, would it ever end?).

And, then I gladly stood in line at the door to shake the pastor's hand, get counted as "present", and go get my bat and glove!

I had done good roosting in church that I might not get bad roasting in hell.

We continue to have a percentage of those who attend only.  I'm not on their case for not helping us out.  I love them.  Their presence is valuable.  My concern is for their possible boredom and restlessness while believing that sitting in church house somehow affords abundant life.  I speak of the Jesus-less, Spirit-less, and prayer-less individuals who were trained to go to church on Sunday and be a good person.

Good persons don't go to heaven.  Rotten ones do and Jesus became all of our wrongs that we could become all of his rights...II Cor. 5:21.

I'm filled with sympathy for any who received such mistaken training that church attendance keeps God off of our backs.  I speak from first-hand experience.  This is a frustrating way to be church-connected.

Jesus would want us to live robustly!  He would give us abundant life---now and then!  He would interact with us; actually walk with us.  What a person does in kingdom performance is not my concern.  My wish is that all would know Jesus as an authentic presence and not a figment of one's best hopes.

People come alive when we realize we aren't on our own.  Individuals arise in abundant hope when we grow in awareness God is intensely active today. He awaits our relationship with Him.  To be related to Father, Son, and Spirit is anything but safe and boring.  It is risky, outrageous, and life-CHANGING!

Friday, July 26, 2013


So many words in the Bible seem to have slick spots.  I just gloss right over them for the deeper meaning...I tell myself.  Yet, the Word perpetually flourishes with newness.  It is as if this Bible of ours is somehow alive. Hummm....there's an idea.

When Jesus came up out of the baptism waters the Spirit of God descended upon him as a dove.  The power of heaven slipped onto earth as an elegant bird.

I like the way John Piper puts it; The image is very different.  Not a flaming sun of intolerable brightness, but a soft, quiet, vulnerable dove--the kind of animal poor people offered for sacrifices in the temple.  God's pleasure in his Son comes not only from the brightness of his majesty but from the beauty of his meekness.

Jesus was a supreme servant.  He was a targeted escape-artist of the heavenly caliber.  He would be tracked down and executed only to escape out the front door of earth's confining best....a large and heavy boulder.  That's what a humble dove can do.

So it is with you and with me.  We are possessed by the dove-like, quiet, Spirit of the all-powerful God.  May we move about our day without glare; yet with insistent confidence...just like Jesus.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I wouldn't know all of the factors which would count as to being spiritual.  One would surely be a focus upon the Holy Spirit.  Watching the action of Spirit Father has to be a significant clue....if not an enormous revelation.

Yet, there is a move of our physical person which tests our spiritual life; the power to descend.  Self prefers the lime-light, the mountain top, and basic supportive attention.  To lose self is spiritual; it is a spiritual move of the flesh. This would be known as surrender.

Who else but Oswald Chambers would have significant comment?

The test of spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, there is something wrong.  We all have had times on the mount when we have seen things from God's standpoint and we wanted to stay there but if we are disciples of Jesus Christ, He will never allow us to stay there. Spiritual selfishness makes us want to stay on the mount.  We feel so good, as if we could do anything--talk like angels and live like angels, if only we could stay there.  But there must be the power to descend; the mountain is not the place for us to live, we were built for the valleys.  This is one of the hardest things to learn because spiritual selfishness always wants repeated moments on the mount.

Jesus was built for the valley.

In relationships, whether marriage or friend or God, man has failed to respect the need for the valley walk. Jesus, the Groom, came to earth and died of insult and wound in order to experience resurrection power which came not from himself but from the Spirit.  Our appetite for the mountain top experiences with no taste for valley pain has warped our walk with God.

We are happy when happy while ignoring the "yes factor" during the sad and discouraging times.  This has left us both boring and impotent.

Paul and Silas were imprisoned.  While being shut up and shut down, they roared in lavish praise of God. We know the rest of the story.  When one insists on mountain top or nothing, the roar vanishes.  The whine and complain arises.  The opportunity to glorify God fades.

Are we spiritual?  To the degree we are willing to endure the valleys may give us our first hint.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


If ever there is a perpetual problem within the framework and system of the church, it would be that we have frozen our theology and His people due to fear; fear of change.

Do you not think it odd that every generation that comes down the pike has a burr under its saddle to do kingdom life a bit differently?  There seems to be a twist of concern which takes concentration to hold congregations together while the young and rambunctious age and the new young and rowdy have ideas.

Could this process be something we should grasp rather than battle?

Could it be that the reason change is necessary is because God is creative, always new, and man is subject to finding his comfort zone and sticking with it?  Did not Jesus warn all disciples in no uncertain terms about tradition?  Yet, every generation goes through similar procedures; young and ready to get on with it, middle-aged and happy the way things are, and then older and irritated at the younger who are making a mess of our comfort.

God gave us the old law and then changed it to the new Spirit.  We read the Old Testament and then the New.  To top it off, He concludes Holy Writ with a final book that we still can't grasp.  In reading the book of Acts there were various means of conversion while we have tried to formulate and prove that each act was in reality identical.  We struggle to let God be young.

In the battle for change, can you think of a time a proposal was made that we no longer believe Jesus is God's Son?  Or, that we no longer accept the Father as father?  Or, that we must now care less about prayer?  No, none of these things fit the change mode and they won't.  When we battle, though, we tend to behave as if these are the ultimate battlegrounds.  Not.

So take a good look at the church terrain.  Show me the old style of doing church that is thriving and I'll show you a hundred that are dead while trying to live; all in the name of Truth.  Take a good look at congregations robust with the young.  New ideas, venues, and concepts bring thrivation to all.

When Memorial Drive basically had no children and we were a dying congregation, Linda Scott was added as a Children's Minister.  This change brought about new life.  Halls once dim with no clatter and chatter began to bounce with the young.  Change.

We are a foolish people if we think the Creative God is not pushing His people to awaken to new; His kind of new.  At my age one would think the feeling could be expected to shift into coast mode within the church.

But not.  We must be wide-eyed and open-hearted to take note of God's walk and talk.

We are not in the preservation business.  Nor are we called to restore what was.  We, the church, are called to live incredibly high-risk lives which dare to break the strong bonds of controversy.

Yes.  We are called to live in resurrection power of the Holy Spirit.

Wasn't it God who said He would do more than we could imagine?  Don't you think that if such is beyond our ask or think ability it would naturally insist "things must and will change"?

Friday, July 19, 2013


Don't you love to hang out with Christians who are on fire?  I'm not speaking of the pseudo-hype nor of the attention-drawing vocal.  Rather, I address those who seem to burn with drive, determination, and destiny.  I want my family to be around such a valuable sort.

Henri Nouwen targets our call to live fully alive.  What needs to be guarded is the life of the Spirit within us.  Especially we who want to witness to the presence of God's Spirit in the world need to tend the fire within with utmost care.  It is not so strange that many ministers have become burnt-out cases, people who say many words and share many experiences, but in whom the fire of God's Spirit has died and from whom not much more comes forth than their own boring, petty ideas and feelings. Sometimes it seems that our many words are more an expression of our doubt than our faith.  It is as if we are not sure that God's Spirit can touch the hearts of people: we have to help him out and, with many words, convince others of his power.  But it is precisely this wordy unbelief that quenches the fire.

A part of the man-following-God issue is whether we are tending the fire.  It truly takes faith eyes to watch patiently for Him to open the doors and provide the power to pull off a good day's work.  Man tends to want to inject his I-can-fix-it-I-think trade.  The trek will be strenuously uphill when working from our own spirit-muscle rather than relaxing in the Holy Spirit trend.

Try not to be sucked into the down-draft of making things work on your own.  Rather, move from the Martha tendency to the Mary accuracy.  Enjoy God.  Sit in His presence.  Allow Him to stoke the fire.

Burn-out comes from using up all of the energy we can muster; and we just can't exert will-power in the big stuff for very long.  Keep learning to lean in upon His heart.

Hear it beat.  Relax.  Enjoy.

Let God be the one who runs this spectacular show!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Life in the church is to be more than where we attend.  Living in Jesus' order is 24/7; not three times a week.

What is the difference between those who stay in the church and those who leave?  God addresses this in the parable of the sower; those who stay and those who are temporary.  The temporary leave due to shallowness and shallowness is present when difficulties are side-stepped.

And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away (Mt. 13:20-21).

This shallow-rooted one experiences what we often hear of some; they were blown away.  Of course they were blown away because they developed no root system to find anchor under chaos.

Therefore, I ask elders, teachers, and preachers to direct our sheep to concentrate on their roots.  Bible stories reveal historical information intended to inspire toward living abundantly.  However, some scan scriptures simply for meaningful information without awareness of biblical direction.

God is to be praised for those in the kingdom who bent with the high winds; but did not break.  Instead they are productive.  Shallow don't produce.  They leave.

Move from the shallow end for the deep.  You may struggle; but you will never quit.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


During last night's MLB All-Star game, I noticed the Baltimore players had an orange patch with the 4 on it. I assumed someone had died; but couldn't recall who might have been #4 on his uniform.  I googled #4 patch on Orioles' uniforms.  

It is in memory of long-time Orioles' manager Earl Weaver.

What micro-mini secretary lives inside of my iPhone 5 that can check on this data to come up with incredible information?  And, does God know all of these details?

Ah, that's what excites me.  I am just fascinated with Google's intelligence bank.  It is more than I will ever explore.  Yet, it is God who created the creators of the Google concept.  Both are beyond me.  If the created can be so spectacular, how about the Creator?

The response should be obvious.

Yet, I ask this question.  Is this wow-ful One the dynamic God presented at your place?  Does your congregation have a sense of Beyondness and Wowedness and How Can This Be-ness?  The very definition of
g-o-s-p-e-l is not good news; but in reality is too good of news to be true.  

Churchers, we have some work to do.  At times we may have communicated a God weaker than iPhone 5.  At times we may have implied we have a dull religion with a yawn and a roll of the eyes.

Yes, iPhone 5 really impress me for I just converted from the slider.  Yet, this joy has been surpassed for a long time because I deal with over-joy in getting to co-labor with One who know EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Is anybody out there touchy like me?  I flunked Basic Critique.  I so steered clear of it I feel certain I mistook gestures and comments toward me as a negative rather than valuable.  I find in the church we do many things; but overall we don't do criticism.

Oddly, it is this venue that is most necessary.  II Cor. 12:5-11 is the masterpiece of revelation declaring each disciple must have in front of him or her a strong critic(s) to decifer who it is that is really running this show.  It is God; not us.  It is our weakness borne in frustration that fits perfectly into the power of Christ.

Weird huh?  It turns out we shut off the faucet of power because one thing we certainly will not tolerate is insult and persectution.  No sir!  People ought to be grateful we are one of the good guys.  We could be hoodlums, you know.

Philip Yancey's point is poignant.  How would telling people to be nice to one another get a man crucified?  What government would execute Mister Rogers or Captain Kangaroo? 

We aren't called to be nice.  We are called to be hurt.  We are drawn into a life of woundedness for the sake of our enemies.

We are called to be reps for the Kingdom of God and this isn't going to go over well.  The tendency to save our own necks has thrown kingdom impact to the wind.  This is so serious that it isn't a matter to the masses that we are liked; we just don't want to be disliked.  We hate that last part.

Yet, criticism is the Miracle-Grow of life in Jesus.  It helps us to be centered upon the trelles of the cross that we may ideally bloom where we are planted.

Monday, July 15, 2013


It is just the strangest thing to be a co-laborer with God.  And...with age it seems to get stranger.

Today is my 36th anniversary of getting to be at Memorial Drive!!!!

It is a miracle!

I had no concept of what it would feel like to be in ministry at one place this long.

  1. We do get younger day by day.
  2. We never gain momentum in the Kingdom for the more we learn through study and experience the bigger He becomes and the smaller we get.
  3. We feel less at home.  I feel more awkward stepping up to the pulpit and more temporary in my role.  Both are good things.
  4. We live in perpetual awe.  Church life is neither routine nor dull.  It is full of God-elements and God-productivity.
  5. We cannot begin things nor fix things.  Our role is to note what God is doing and get on board.
  6. I assume we learn newer things by being at one place 36 years and than being at 9 places 4 years each.  New rough terrain shows up.  And, new blessings appear.  It is weird to baptize or marry children whose parents I baptized or married.  How fun is that?
On the list goes.  I'm the luckiest man I ever met.  Life gets tougher; not smoother.  Too, it becomes more meaningful; not duller.  I can't believe what God has called me to; yet, I always wished I could grow up to like who I am and where I am.

I am the most nobody of all nobodies and it just feels pretty awesome.  He is the True God and the only Somebody.

How fun is this?

Friday, July 12, 2013


We have believing to do; effective, fruitful believing.

There seems to be a nebulosity about us.  While we feel committed to God and church, there seems to be a huge, gaping, vague pocket as to what we are to be to who it is we really are.  It is within this context that I offer a targeted hope that will give definition to our Christian walk.

The defining moment for true believers is found at the foot of the cross.  I speak not from churchiness; but from fulfilling purpose.  It appears that even vigorous church action, if it is a trek away from the cross and yet in assumed meaningful ministry, will offer eventual empty and unsatisfying distractions compared to the reality of carrying a personal cross.

Christianity has the most unique role upon earth.  No other entity equals it.  Yet, we who wear that brand have a tendency to basically neuter its purpose.  As a result we in general have become an anemic sort who are devoted to Bible study, spiritual development, and extensive servitude; yet without the one thing that both separates us from man-made religions and thrusts us into the soaring glory of the living God.

I speak of genuinely and authentically carrying our Cross daily as we follow him.  One cannot experience daily resurrection power (II Cor. 13:4) without daily death to ourselves (Lk. 9:23-24).  The cross gives us meaning and the resurrection gives us hope.  When you put real meaning with anticipatory hope you have a person who lives pumped about life.

Christianity is not a social organization as the Red Cross.  Neither is it a religious hoop like Buddhism.  It possesses a singularly unique element.  Its followers believe that they are to die for their enemies that both the enemies and themselves will come out of it alive!

We are wasting good boys and girls who become even better men and women by grooming them to serve where they prefer and give what they can coupled with respectable church attendance.  Our young are dull as well as bored because, while they may not realize it, they have been created for something far more than living.  They/we have been called by the Living God for dying.

Why Christianity?  It is the only system on earth which packages life via the tunnel of death.  If a baby refused to leave the womb it would live a most sheltered un-life while living...for awhile...and then it would die from refusal to risk exiting.  We must leave the womb of the safe and keep-us-happy church.

Why Christianity?  It is the road to True Life.  Only God would come up with a living scheme that insists one can only find something by losing it first.

Thursday, July 11, 2013



No, really?

It seems that from my very earliest days of conversion to the Church of Christ I heard it said, We only go by the Bible.  We only believe what the Bible says.  The Bible said it.  I believe it.  If God didn't say it, we don't believe it.

Are you familiar with any of the above?

Going by the Bible is noble and right.  Claiming we operate by it and only it is dishonest, if not dark.

From experience I submit to you that the vast majority in the church do not go by the Bible.  Rather, they go by that faith the one whom they admire and respect most possesses.  Some are of Paul and others of Apollos.  Some are of Max and others of Batsell.  Others are of Truitt while others of Terry.

No, we have long left the regions of Bible speaking to us.  The church has cast her confidence in men and women rather than knowing Scripture.

I'm not saying that we have no one studying, applying, and effectively following the Word.  We surely have many bright men and women; young and old.  I am stating it seems to be fact that the majority of our members could not conduct a healthy Bible study with a neighbor nor could they find the book of Amos.

We go by the Bible is the wish of a church on cruise control; but not responsibly accurate.

Why do I believe this?  One reason is to watch our actions.  We are anemic.  I put my name at the head of the list.  How many Christians do you know who read their Bibles simply to let God speak to them? Several, but not the majority?

How many faithful followers do you know who fast and pray once every ten years?  Two?

What's the point?

I wish to join in on the curbing of smug statements we make which are both untrue and offensive to public ears.  When we make such brash statements we are sounding big to one another while the community around us has gone completely deaf to His message.

We do not go by the Bible.  Rather we have greater tendency to go by what those whom we treasure telling us what we are to believe the Bible says.  Do we not criticize this same approach in the Mormons and the Catholics?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


The Christian Chronicle gave recent coverage to the topic of church vs. sports. Polar opinions were expressed; all in good conscience.  When I had three teens, I lived in such questioning moments.

As is typical church, we tend to offer typical answers.  Never skip church.  This causes doubt.  Etc.

Of course I would have an additional slant.

I wish our parents would train their children to see these as honest and prime times to be good examples by professing their faith.  I'm not merely talking about good behavior. I mean intentionally playing the game to develop relationships; to connect with those families who have no God nor church nor faith.

Missing church isn't the main issue as much as missing the opportunity is.  Since and when our kids/families are in such gatherings, please intentionally use these times to sow seed for the kingdom.  With a Bible tucked under your arm and a verse prepared to quote?  No.

With invitations to go out to eat?  With invitations to church next Sunday...or some Sunday?  Of course.

Jerry and Sherian Myers were members of Memorial for years?  Their son Mitch played sports with my kids.  Sherian was baptized.  Mitch was baptized.  It all began because our kids were at ballgames and we were there, too.  What was my approach?  Would you like to know the secret?

We intentionally sat by them.

That's all.

Each of the comments in the Christian Chronicle carried weight in some area.  Joshua Tucker's, though, had a power too easily missed by the church in general.  Sports and other activities can be a great way to be the light of Christ, but many Christians seem to just approach it as general family time or extreme competition time.  Church attendance isn't the biggest deal to me personally, but if people are already pretty unfocused spiritually, regularly missing the assembly sure doesn't help.

Should kids play sports?  Should moms get their hair done?  Should men go to Lowes?  I say yes to all three.  And as we go, we should watch for those holy moments to sense when planting the seed of the Kingdom might just be a very good and needed and productive move.


For those who are filled with church ambition, I thank you. For others who are also brimmed with excitement for great things of God, you bless me. For many of us who have Kingdom awareness; yet feel we may just be going through the motions, I am most sympathetic. One of the things that I grow in at a very slow pace is prayer. I excused myself from prayer for many years. Even at this point in my life, I am no poster-child for prayer. But...I am discovering that I look toward it increasingly and differently. I believe much of ministry is a fluid movement of itself without the support of the Divine for we are "imaginers" and "fixers" without the time spent in dialog with God.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Some church members find it easy to reach to relatives and neighbors. However, most find it to be painfully uncomfortable. I once nervously and guiltily (is that a word?) looked the other way for I did not know how to reach. Today is new! I know how. I don't know all of the ways; nor do I know the best ways. I just know how! One way that works for me is to enter during casual talk about how wrong I got ministry; that I was rigid and mean and critical. It is just weird how many times the question comes back, "Well what changed you?" When I tell them that I quit preaching church and began to preach Jesus, then he changed me, deeper inquiries follow. It has been assumed we need to know answers before we could reach out. Not so. We need to know Jesus, admit our weaknesses, and watch doors open in favor of learning about God.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Has the church moved up in social rank over the years?  Have we purchased prime locale, modernized our buildings, become a two-car, chicken-in-every-pot sort who now feel respect should and can be given us?  Have we stepped up in our own image?
A sort of body rash breaks out when reminded of the not of this world position.  How we forget.  If we don't forget, we at least tend to go deaf and blind until the reminder passes.  We've worked so hard to be respected that we may have shot ourselves in the go-into-all-the-world foot.  We have possibly forgotten that to believe in God has the edgy appearance of being insane.
Our decent and in order recital became abusive to the point that sterility of church movement became the norm.  Wild and vigorous energy for God was reserved for the eccentric few nut cases of any congregation.
Faith in God is not only not average; it isn't normal.  Normal wouldn't approach a swollen river even if God did want to part it.  Normal wouldn't thank God for His ability to dismantle a prison cell.  Normal wouldn't think that giving would find life's provisions. 
This is all nuts to the unbeliever.  This is nuts to the fearful believer.  This is nuts!
Yet, God's people marched on dry ground as tall waters gave the nation a standing ovation.  God's Son breezed through the tomb as if death is whiny.  And the apostles witnessed stark moves of faith that the weak would whisper, That's nuts.
We offer a well-planned array of adventure and interest to our church kids.  Mine surely enjoyed it.  In addition, may we parents walk a terrain of risk, extreme, and impossibility that the Living God could have windows to flex His divine muscle.
Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.
For some who choose not to believe God, there appears to be an insanity among those who do.