Friday, May 30, 2008

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.
I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Welcome Ministries Series - Part 1 (again)

As I mentioned the other day, I was re-reading one of my posts from last December. As I began to read it again, it reminded me of how much I enjoy Welcome Ministries and what the purpose of that ministry is. I have decided to pick up where I left off and begin sharing my thoughts again from the book I read. As a kick-off I am re-posting (no, not re-gifting) the post I wrote in December, and I will pick up next time from there. Enjoy!

Welcome Ministries Series - Part 1

As I promised in my original post, I wanted to share with you a few things that have affected me personally from reading Mark Waltz's book, First Impressions, Creating Wow Experiences in your Church.

As I began thinking about where I wanted to start I began to get confused. There were so many things in the book and at the conference that got me excited, challenged me, made me think, made me question that I didn't know where to start. So I stopped, sat back and thought. In a big generalized statement what did I walk away with. Lets start there and then narrow in on things.

Here we go...

The biggest nugget for me is this....Welcome Ministries (or First Impressions) is a process.

Ooohhh...deep isn't it! Okay, I told you last time that these were not going to be new revelations, just things that impacted me.

I have learned that we can pick any one spot or area to begin our Welcome Ministry. It doesn't really matter, as it will quickly begin to change as we learn what the culture of our church is and how it is we want to effectively reach our guests. What we think may work today, may not work tomorrow. What we don't think will work, may be the best thing we could do.

It is a process...

As with any process, there is learning curves, trials, reviews and implementation periods. During these times the ministry will be growing and learning, much like a child. We will learn about the people in our church, we will learn about the people visiting our church, and we will learn about ourselves.

It is a process...

As with any process, we will not reach our end goal on day 1. We will have to move in steps. For example, a child must first roll-over before it can crawl. It must crawl before it can walk (in most cases)...and it will walk before it can run. We may find that in a given area of ministry we have identified an end goal. However, moving straight there is not always possible due to resources, people, space, etc. So we will take the first step, then the next and so on.

It is a process...

Now with all that I have said, please do not loose sight of what our primary goal is. As with all ministries, our goal is to "do anything and everything that helps our guest see Christ". Everything else in the process follows that.

Lastly, let me say this. What a relief! What a relief to know that none of us have to have an answer when we start this ministry. I believe that as long as we stay focused on the primary goal I just mentioned and truly seek God, He will begin to direct us where to place our focus, and out of that the process will begin.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Year through the Bible...The Passion of Job

I have been reading Job for the last week. I must admit that at first I wanted to skim through the book of Job. After the first few Chapters, it becomes more like poetry, and is not that exciting to read.

For some reason, I decided to go back and re-read it today. I actually got kind of hooked. I can't say that I got hooked on any specific verse, although there are a lot of good nuggets in there waiting for you.

What I walked away with was the amazing faith and passion that Job had in serving his God. The mere fact that he kept his heart focused on God, even after loosing everything and everyone and being cursed with his soars, is amazing.

I honestly don't know if I would be able to maintain that kind of faith and passion. I pray and hope I can!

Then, if that were not enough, his 3 friends (and advisers) then begin debating with him. They used tactics like "God is just" so Job must have unconfessed sin. They continue to find reason for Job's problems by finding fault in Job. Even through all of these attacks, Job remained focused on God and the fact that God was in control of his life.

Let me point out, Job did not doubt God was in control, but he did question why God is doing what he is doing. In fact, a large portion of the book of Job is Job crying out to God trying to understand why God allowed this to happen.

I have friends that are struggling with diseases like Cancer. We are going through some struggles in our own lives. I have other friends who have lost their jobs. Why? Why does this happen?

I can be one of those annoying Christians who say that "God is in control in all things, and in all things God will receive the Glory"....yeah, and how does that make me feel any better?

As I was working through these thoughts and trying to understand it, God put other words of wisdom in front of me, that I read in this post from Tim Stevens. I like it and appreciate it, and wanted to share it with you, as I see Job being an example of this:
  • Don't be afraid to say to God, "I don't get it...I don't understand."
  • God is not scared of your questions. He doesn't get mad at you for doubting Him.
  • At the end of the day, I have to press through my doubt in order to get to faith. You can't get to faith without doubt.
My prayers this week are 1) God make me more like Job (not the oozing soars part) that I may have faith and passion in you regardless of my trials 2)God I may not always understand or get it, so Lord let me bring my questions to you boldly, so that you may show me the Truth.

Thanks God!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wow What a blog!

The other day I read this post that my friend Ron posted. In it he referred to this post. I went to it and read it, and thought to myself, "Wow, that is a pretty good post". It was then that I realized my posts have really degraded over the last year that I have been blogging.

With that, I think I am going to try and take my blogs to the next level. "What is the next level?", you ask. How should I know? I really don't know what level I am on now, so I don't where I need to be.

Therefore, I stand committed that my next 100 posts will be intensified to provide you with quality material worthy of your time to read.

To start the ball rolling, I have included below a thesis on the expository study of the book of Lamentations that I wrote sdfsdfsgf

oohhh...look at the pretty bird!

So anyways, I have this cool video to show you...enjoy!

Judges decisions are final!

After much discussion and review of the many (ok 2) entries that were received, the judges finally returned an answer.

The winner of the 100th post contest is:

(sorry Ron!)

Here are the facts behind the contest:

Correct Answer: Speed Racer!

Determination of winner based on the following:

Kelly's entry was within 1 post of correct post, and had only 8 less views than the correct post. The other contestant posts were further away by date and hits. That was the determining factors for deciding on a winner.

Congratulations to Kelly for winning, and thank you to all two of you for playing!

P.S. I think it was a rigged contest, because the correct answer was posted near the time of the movie release, so I think it received an unexpected high amount of hits from outsiders.

Please expect delivery of prizes in 4-6 weeks.

Friday, May 23, 2008

100th Post Celebration

This is my 100th post since starting my blog. May not seem like much to some of you, but for me I was excited when I past 10 posts, so 100 is something to celebrate.

With that said, I have a "gift" like card for a wonderfully warm beverage for the person who can correctly, ok, closest by date, answer this question:

Which post has been the most viewed (clicked on, read, etc) post of all time?

I will accept answers until Monday, May 26th at 11:59PM. The winner will be announced on Tuesday morning. Comments are time stamped, so first comment received for a post will be counted as the official entry.

Good Luck all!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thank you Volunteers!

New Life Volunteers. Thank you very much for all that you do! It is because of volunteers that New Life is able to do what it does. 700+ people serving the community on a because of volunteers. 80+ kids accepted Christ in Awanas...because of volunteers. Just as numbers matter, so do volunteers.

In honor of all that you do (and since we didn't make a musical of our own), here is a gift to you:

Monday, May 19, 2008

100th Post Party

I will be celebrating my 100th post, most likely, next week. I am wanting to celebrate it big. Maybe a contest, with prizes. Definitely a survey of favorite post, etc. Any ideas? Let me know what you think!

Simple Sunday Thoughts on Monday

I don't tend to be much of an internal reflective thoughts kind of person. I tend to put all my energy in up front and then walk away knowing I gave it my best. I realize that there is a time for internal reflection, it's just not one of my strengths.

However, after service yesterday, and having had a chance to spend last night and today with my oldest son, I had a few random thoughts:

  • NLCC rocks! I am glad I get to be a part of an awesome church.
  • We have an awesome Awana/Children program that is teaching the Love of Christ to my children.
  • Is it me, or does our worship team just get better week after week?
  • Did I mention NLCC rocks?
  • Nothing, I mean nothing, can make up for 1 on 1 quality (and quantity) time with our kids. It is in that quantity time that the quality times happen!
  • We have some awesome Pastors that I consider it a real privilege to serve with them.
  • After Sundays at NLCC it sure makes it hard to go back to work on Monday!
  • Our Welcome Ministries know how to take care of our guests!
  • Have you attended church in Room #201, its like the "Red Carpet" room at the airports!
Oh yeah, and did I mention, NLCC Rocks!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Check it out!

If you haven't seen it or read, then you need to check out this article from the Turlock Journal that came out.

It is definitely worth the read:

5/17/2008 9:34:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article
Photos contributed Over 700 members of New Life Christian Center hit the streets to serve members of the community on May 10. Projects included clearing debris (top), painting fences (above) and interacting with disabled adults.
Attitude of Love
Church members get out and serve

Staff Reporter

Showing love in the community was a big part of New Life Christian Center's first annual community service-wide project.

The "servolution" was inspired by a similar series of acts in January called the New Year's Revolution, with the idea of beginning the new year serving people outside of the center's four walls.

"The idea was not to promote our church and any agenda, but just to serve and love people in the community," said David Larson, pastor at New Life Christian Center.

Over 700 parishioners gathered early on the morning of May 10 to begin serving members of the community any way possible, moving some community members to tears.

"Our primary goal was to just let people know that they are worth while and we wanted just to show love," Larson said. "We good a lot of good feedback. We are still evaluating it, but it is something we will definitely do again."

Over 80 projects were tackled including renovating homes, installing new doors and windows, washing windows, caring for the elderly and picking up over 20 tons of debris with the hope to convey a message that God does care through the hands of people.

"We put in sprinkler system in yards, cleaned up yards, and had some people that took pets in, and had groups of students that went into group homes assisting and engaging with developmentally disabled adults," Larson said. "Turlock Scavenger Company was very wonderful to us in giving us bins and letting us dump debris."

According to Larson, the vast majority of people served were in Turlock, with the exception of one convalescent home in Ceres.

New Life Christian Center is located at 2918 W. Tuolumne Road.

To contact Roxana Samano, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Searching for my Blog

Alrighty. I was reading a blog yesterday about the search strings that people enter that ultimately direct them to your site. I thought that the ones I were reading were pretty funny, so I decided to pull up my feedburner and read what people have entered, that ultimately directed them to my site:

  • jason hicks
  • jason hicks blog
  • facing the wrong way in an elevator
  • First Impressions, Mark Waltz
  • poem of a mundane life
  • new rei in stockton
  • thoughts on Facing the Giants

And......drum roll please. The winner of craziest search string that led someone to my site is...

"how do i get my casual relationship partner to let his guard down?"

What? How in the heck? Oh well, I guess I am now the foremost expert on casual relationships. Thought you might want to know.

The internet is pretty crazy. Thank my friend for the great idea on sharing these, it has been kinda fun.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Date Night

Tuesday night is our normal date night. This last Tuesday, Autumn and I got to go out on a date. Which, of course, was wonderful. There is always one problem after a date night. I can't wait for another one. I am always left wanting more time together.

As a parent, I am sure you would agree, having kids has been one of the pivotal moments in our marriage. However, I think if we are going to be the best parent possible, we need to work on 2 key areas:

1. Our relationship with God
2. Our relationship with our spouse.

Our relationship with God, among many other things, gives us the patience, peace, discernment and wisdom necessary to be an effective parent and a caring spouse.

Our relationship with our spouse, among many other things, gives us the strength to parent together, develop a united front so neither of us is going at this alone, and allows us to learn/fail/learn some more together.

That is why I love date night so much. It gives us the time alone to work on "us". To talk about our plans, goals, dreams, thoughts, struggles, etc. It draws us closer to each other, and closer to God, as we hold each other accountable to Him.

How long until date night? I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Picture is worth....

...+/- 652 people sharing the love of Christ!

My Year Through the Bible...Specific Prayer

I am currently reading through the book of Esther. We have heard about Esther recently during our Heroes Series, earlier this year. She is a very amazing person. She was willing to risk her own life for the lives of her fellow Jews.

As a result of her willingness to take a risk, her Cousin Mordecai was saved from a most certain hanging. Here is what stood out for me.

It was how specific her prayer was regarding this. I am sure she probably had some general prayers about saving and protecting her family and her fellow Jews. However, in Chapter 4, vs 15-16, Ester specifically asks Mordecai to gather other Jews and to fast/pray for her as she prepares to face the king, uninvited. In other words, pray that she would not be sentenced to death when she commits a crime, punishable by death.

It made me stop and wonder how detailed I get in my prayer life. Do I give God a chance to answer specific prayers, if I never ask them? If I am asking specific prayers, and I expecting specific answers.

As I mentioned the other day, I have some very specific decisions now in front of me. I could ask for God's guidance in my decisions, or I could specifically ask God about each instance and the answers I need to hear from him. I like the second option, it sure makes it easier on me to discern, when God answers specifically.

NLCC is becoming a church of specific prayer, I think. We are seeing crazy and amazing things happen as a result of people praying specific prayers, and acting on those answers. Servolution is but one example of that.

I am excited to see where God takes us, as we become more specific and deliberate about our prayers, and then ACT on them as God directs us.

Thanks God!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Book Titles

I met with a friend today. One of the topics we talked about was the concept of writing a book. I would love to write a book some day. However, the only topic that I am truly an expert at is "my life" and I can even screw that up sometimes. One of the thoughts I had was, if I were to write a book about my life what would the title of the book be?


"I was once screwed up, and now I am still screwed up"


"Look what God did with me, when I moved out of the way"



and my favorite...

"God, can you just text me?"

Those are just a few thoughts....I have many more, some I am not ready to share with you yet. I am curious, if you were going to write a book about your life, what would your title be?

Comment with your book title, and the best title will win a prize!

I look forward to hearing your titles!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spy Cam Love Letter

Today is Mother's Day. Gentlemen...if you are NOT spoiling your wife and the mother of your children, then you are going to blow it. (Don't worry, I will probably screw something up, too!)

This is the one day a year we have a chance to REALLY show our wives the "over-the-top" appreciation we have for what she does for us and our children. We need to spoil her, show our appreciation, AND make sure she goes to bed knowing how important she is to your family.

I know that sounds wonderful. I hope I can live up to my own challenge.

As a starter, I am giving you a small peak into the start of Mother's Day at our house. Here is a "copy"of the short love letter I will be leaving for Autumn before I leave for church Sunday morning.

My Dearest Autumn-

Thank you for giving me the joy of being a parent. I am so blessed to have you as the mother of our children. You are Godly, loving, handy, smart & have a lot of patience, when it comes to raising our children (and me).

Thank you for setting the bar high for me as an example of a loving Godly parent. I pray that we will have children that know God & Love Him with all their heart. The best way for them to learn this is by seeing it in us. You are clearly leading by example.

I Love You very Much!


I will rarely open up and share the intimate parts of our marriage and what is going on, but I wanted to do it this time for a specific reason. I want to challenge you men to go crazy and over-the-top for your wives today! Leave them love letters all day. Have your kids leave letters every where for them today. Make sure your wife feels like a Queen today!

So, men...let me know what you did for your wife. This is the one time, I give you permission to brag. We are slow, so we can all learn from one share what your successful Mother's Day looked like.

Thanks God!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Today is Servolution!

What are you doing home reading blogs? What am I doing blogging? I wrote it yesterday and scheduled it for posting today.

I want to send out a quick note to encourage everyone o share the Love of Christ today. Also, I would love to hear from everyone as to what their servolution experience was like.

I would love to hear what you did, what happened, what kind of response was received, if any, from the people you assisted.

Continue to Pray all day today for the God's Love to be shared with All!

Thanks God!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Pray like crazy.

I would describe my prayer life as fluctuating between fair and good. I have been on a fairly steady prayer schedule lately, but the prayers have been about the usually things in life. Nothing so crazy that I am expecting an answer from God on a life-changing request...until recently.

It seems just when we get comfortable and settled in our routine, God comes along and reminds us that we should never be comfortable in our walk, but always striving for more!

In just the last week, God has placed in front of me two major life-changing decisions. The good part about it, is that I have a long time before I must make a decision (many months); nonetheless, a decision still has to be made.

God also did something else amazing. He placed in front of me, my readings for this week in the Bible. I have just finished reading through Ezra and Nehemiah. One of the "take aways" that I had was been reminded at just how successful we can be in our decision making when we turn to God with prayer. God makes it clear verse after verse that if we take our requests to him in prayer, we will receive our answer.

John 16:24
Matthew 7:7-8
Jeremiah 33:3
1 John 5:14-15

These are just a few examples of how God encourages us to go to Him first and foremost. If we do, He insures us that He will answer and guide our needs in life.

After being reminded of this, it takes a great deal of pressure off of me in these upcoming life-changing decisions. I will continue to pray to God and allow Him to give me the answers I need.

Now I hope I can just be patient enough!

Thanks God!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Today I go Home!

I have been gone for 7 days. Today, I am flying home from Salt Lake City. I can't wait to get home. I can't wait to hug Autumn and the kids and spend the afternoon with them. I also took Friday off, so that I can spend the day just hanging with the family, getting caught up on life.

I think that sometimes I can take my family for granted. Not in the bad way...but I mean in the little things. The kids are doing things we don't like them to do. They aren't listening, or behaving well. Autumn and I are bickering.

All of the things of life that tend to consume us when we let it. Yet, being away from them for 7 days has been so good for me. God has helped me to remember just how blessed I am.

I have a wonderful wife who loves me and works VERY hard to keep a wonderful home. She loves God and her family and takes care of us VERY well. I have 2 wonderful boys who love their parents (for now) and know who God is. They are in a place that make me so proud of them. We have a beautiful teenager in our life who is starting to grow up and realize what life is really all about. She is realizing the importance of a relationship with God and that she is the only one that can be accountable for her life.

I can't wait until I get home today. I love my family!

Thanks God!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I miss good coffee!

Things I have learned about travelling:

  • Hotel coffee stinks.
  • Hotel coffee is better than convention hall coffee.
  • I miss Starbucks!
  • I miss our coffee at home!
  • I drink WAY to much coffee.
  • Coffee is my friend.
I think I need to go home soon!

My Year Through The Bible...Servolution

Servolution is just 3 days away. I want to tell you that I am excited and I can't wait...but the reality is I don't carry the enthusiasm that I did a few weeks ago. The reason, is that I have been out of church for 3 weeks due to vacations, work travel, etc.

Don't get me wrong, God is doing crazy things at New Life, and I am excited with what he is doing. However, my excitement has dwindled a bit for Servolution...simply because I have been gone.

God realized this, and so he placed the book of Nehemiah in my path this week as part of my year through the Bible. When is the last time you have read the book of Nehemiah? If it has been awhile, then stop right now and go read the first 7 chapters of Nehemiah.

In case you don't have time, or don't want to right now let me share a bit about it. Nehemiah goes back to Jerusalem and rebuilds the destroyed wall of Jerusalem. The amazing thing about it is that Nehemiah does it in 52 days with great opposition. The opposition was so great that they had to have constant guards, and even carried their swords while working.

"How did he do it?", you ask. He had each family build the section of wall located in front of their houses.

That is what Servolution is all about. God has put before us a HUGE task of reaching our community. We are rebuilding our wall. How are we doing it? Each group is doing something great in the community. If you add all of those things together....we are going to be doing something HUGE!

New Life is going to be doing something this Saturday that is unprecedented in size, has never been done before, and has received great opposition that we won't be able to make it happen.

Yet, like Nehemiah who build a wall around a city in a mere 52 days, we have something that our opposition doesn't realize. This is God's project not ours.

Pastor Dave continues to encourage each and everyone of us to pray and fast for this weekend. You see, Nehemiah, was a man of God and every time there was an attack or strife, he would turn to God. Throughout the book you will see: "But I prayed..." We must be doing the same!

I am now excited! I cannot wait to see the sea of yellow Saturday flood this community and share love with those in need. One family at a time, we will share a piece of Christ's love...we WILL rebuild our wall! Together as a team!

Man, I love being a New Lifer! NEW LIFE ROCKS!

Thanks God...I needed that.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Elevator Non-conformist!

Over the last 3 weeks, I have spent a lot of time going up and down in elevators. Now, this is not the first time I have had elevator experience. In fact, some might say I am an elevator specialist...I'm not sure who, but some might.

Since I have been in and out of the elevator so much in this past few weeks, the ride has become rather boring. Especially this week, as I am staying on the 17Th floor. I have had a lot of time to reflect about my elevator experience, and I had a few observations:
  • Elevator music is never good.
  • Bad Elevator music is better than listening to the cables and gears creak.
  • Elevators do not have bathrooms.
  • When you are at the top, all the elevators are at the bottom.
  • When you are at the bottom, all the elevators are at the top.
  • Apparently, pushing an elevator call button after it is already lite, does not speed up the response time.
  • Only real elevator riders know that you must turn and face the door to ride properly.
  • If the elevator has a front AND back door, people get confused really easy.
I started thinking about the last two over the last couple of days. It has become rather humorous to watch people. They always step in, to the side and turn to face the door. If there is no room, then they will stand in the middle of the elevator. If someone tries to squeeze in the last space near the door, they always seem to turn around, with their rear to the door. During the ride when they are facing everyone, they always appear uneasy and awkward because they are not conforming to the proper ride techniques.

This week, I started being an elevator non-conformist. I started facing backwards or standing in the middle or near the door, regardless of how many people are in the elevator, just to see the reaction of people. There were those, of course, who could care less. However, the majority of people would kinda give funny looks out of the corner of their eye. The more full the elevator, the odder the looks. I kept waiting for someone to make a comment, but I could never get anyone to say something.

Don't we do that sometimes? Anytime someone does something outside of what we call "normal", we either give funny looks and draw our own conclusions, or we feel obligated to "help that person out with their problems."

It is especially bad, in my opinion, within the church. The first thing we want to do is criticize other Christians, and tell them what they are doing wrong. "You can act that way, you might offend someone." "If you do that, people might think you are an extremist or something." We even do this towards other churches. If they are worshiping God in a different way then us, we want to quickly point out their mistakes, or draw our conclusions about their salvation.

I have been guilty of doing this myself. The worst part about it, is when someone tries to help me "to be a better Christian" it drives me nuts...but then I will feel obligated to do it myself. I think sometimes we may not realize we are doing it. I attended another church this past Sunday here in Utah. The first thing I wanted to do when I sat in the service, is point out all the things they are doing wrong. The reality is, I had no idea who they were trying to reach, or what their model for church was. After speaking with the Pastor and his wife for awhile, I came to realize they actual have a very exciting service, and I truly believe they are reaching their core people.

As I mentioned yesterday, we need to leave the criticism at home and love others where they are at. It is my heart that if someone wants to worship God in a way that is different then me, then I need to respect that. If someone has a personality that clashes with mine, I need to step aside and realize God can love us both...and does!

How about you?

Monday, May 5, 2008

WOW Experience

I wanted to share with you briefly something I thought was a pretty cool "WOW" for a city to do. As I toured Salt Lake City this week, I noticed that because of their light rail and hotels the city has a lot of mid-block crosswalks. At each of these cross walks I noticed a group of orange flags in holders on both sides of the street.

My initial thought was that these flags were so drivers could see where the crosswalk was located. However, what I found out was that these flags were for the pedestrians to use. As you cross the street, you can grab a flag and walk across with the flag, waving it as you go. In this way you are allowing on-coming drivers to see you easier as you cross the street.

Wow, that was a pretty neat idea! What a way to meet the needs of the pedestrian traffic and the driving traffic at the same time.


Caution: If you have a weak may not want to read this blog.
On the other hand, there is a great point in the end, so it may be worth trying.

The other day I was flying out of San Francisco for a business trip. I was in the waiting area at my gate, and I sat down on a group of chairs to wait. At the other end of this group of chairs (about 5) was an Asian businessman. This gentleman appeared to me to be a very smart, professional, executive level businessman. He was very well dressed, expensive business suit, a nice laptop (PC not Apple, that's how I knew he was really smart), and he appeared to not be an American businessman, but rather a foreigner. The reason I think this is the two times he was speaking was primarily in a foreign language, and the few comments in English had an extremely strong accent. Now before you start commenting, I realize this is my opinion and it is only based on a few outward observations, so don't go beating me up...but I need to explain my observations for this post to work, so hang in there.

As I was waiting, I was reading and after a little while, I began to hear what sounded like someone blowing their nose. As I glanced over, I noticed this gentleman blowing his nose into his hand, and then licking it off his hand. He did this 3 or 4 times until he was finished.

Of course might first thought was to gag, then my next thought was to offer a tissue, then my next thought was to just tell him how gross that was and that this is an unacceptable behavior in "my" country. After reviewing all my thoughts, I decided to do nothing.

Here is where it gets spiritual...

I don't know this gentleman and I certainly do not know his culture, his upbringing, life-style, etc. I have only drawn a few outward opinions based on some observations. Perhaps, in his culture or upbringing this is an acceptable practice. I don't really know.

Yet, how often do we in the church do that to our visitors. We make some brief outward observations, and then draw our opinion of people. Then when they do things in church that don't "fit" our culture we cast them out, point out their failures or help them to "see the light" in how we do things.

Instead, we should be trying to understand them, right where they are at. Their culture, upbringing, life-style choices, mistakes, successes and all of the other things in life that have made them who they are at this moment. Then love the heck out of them, and let God be the one to "fix" what He thinks needs to be fixed!

Maybe next time, I can offer to help the gentleman with his nose blowing.....nah, I think I will let that one go!