Randy's Ramblings

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

ABCNEWS.com : Smelly Employee Fuels Hygiene Policy
"No employee shall have an odor generally offensive to others when reporting to work. An offensive body odor may result from a lack of good hygiene, from an excessive application of a fragrant aftershave or cologne or from other cause."

Monday, August 25, 2003

Leaders were trying to heal boy who died during prayer, pastor says
A pastor said Saturday that church leaders were trying to heal an autistic 8-year-old boy when he inexplicably stopped breathing and died during a prayer service Friday night.
During the hourlong session, the boy's feet and hands were restrained by his mother and other church members who prayed intensely for his violent tendencies to cease, the pastor's wife said.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

It's Satan, Stupid...
As I look back over some of my posts from the last couple of weeks, I have to admit that I'm disappointed in the way that I rush to judgement when I get frustrated with what I see in the Church. I was reminded today that it's not people that we're battling against, but 'powers and principalities.' It's Satan! Doesn't he just love to see me rant and rave about other people in the church not doing things the way I think that they should be done??
Of course, that doesn't mean that we don't question how things are done and how we can do things better - but remember who's on our team and who's not! Satan wants nothing more than to see us backbiting and infighting in the church. Let's join hands and kick Satan's tail!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Check out my FotoPage!
Always trying something new, I couldn't resist signing up for a FotoPage and putting some pics online. I started out with a tribute to my little munchkin, Leah - and I'm sure that pictures of our vacation to Tahquamenon Falls will be up soon!! Check it out at randybennett.fotopages.com!!

Thursday, August 14, 2003

What have we done to the church?
We have turned church into some huge, lumbering organization - and we've lost sight of why we're here in the first place - to be God's witnesses! As I think about all of the bureacracy, the programs, the committees - all of the stuff that we do, I wonder when real ministry takes place.
Jesus had disciples - his disciples learned from him by living with him. They traveled together, they ate together, they lived together. Jesus' disciples saw him day in and day out in relaxed situations and in very tense situations. They learned about the kingdom of God by spending all of their time with Jesus.
For some reason, we think that we're so much more efficient than Jesus that we can neatly package all of this into a neat program to help people understand the kingdom of God. What were we thinking??!! We need to spend less time programming discipleship and more time living together and learning from each other.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The "Dark Side"
I remarked to a friend this week that one of the things that frustrates me most in my life and in ministry is the 'dark side' of the church. Those of you in ministry know what I'm talking about - and I'm sure some of you who aren't in ministry but know what's going on behind the veneer of Sunday morning also know. It's the politics, the backstabbing, the gossip, the hypocrisy, etc, etc.
I always thought that the church should be the one place where you could be completely transparent - totally honest about your struggles - and be accepted, loved and encouraged. Unfortunately my experience, and the experience of most people I know, is that the church is really the LAST place where you can be this honest and vulnerable.
What are we to do with the current situation in our churches? (I say 'our churches' because I know this is an almost universal problem in America.) I think we will do well to focus on two things. First, realize that people are messed up and when you put ___ (enter the size of your church family here) people together, there WILL be problems. Realize the potential for problems and don't let it surprise you. Second, focus on what we can change. I can't change the attitudes of the people around me, but I can certainly change my own. Lead by example, and don't be afraid to confront when necessary - be a leader in changing your church family to one that is more loving, undersanding and encouraging.
I hope you read this and say, "Wow, I've never experienced the 'dark side' of the church!" For those of us who have, let's "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Phillipians 3:14)

Sunday, August 10, 2003

We're Back!!
Vacation was awesome! It was great to get away for a week and spend some time with the two most beautiful women in the world, my wife Becky and our daughter Leah. We had a great time camping, hiking, canoeing and being out of cell phone range for a week.
The Tahquamenon Falls are incredible and the state park campground at the lower falls is top notch. If you're looking for a great getaway, we'd highly recommend it. There is a great 4 mile hiking trail from the lower falls to the upper falls as well, but that is another story for another day...
It's good to be back.. refreshed and ready to go!