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Merry Christmas 2015!!

merry_christmasWe want to wish all our friends a Merry Christmas, and we pray God’s blessings for a great coming year!

In case you are interested, here’s a copy of our Christmas letter for this year.  Check it out here.


Best Church Welcome Ever!!

StClementChristians are often accused of being unfriendly to outsiders.  We often treat church like a ‘club’ that you have to join in order to be accepted.  When we were ‘church shopping’ a number of years ago we based a lot of our church choosing on how welcome we were made to feel.  Sometimes the welcome was good.  Other times, a little ‘off-putting’.

So an Anglican church in England, St Clements Church, Leigh-on-sea, Essex, has a welcome sign that is epic.  It’s the best welcome ANY church could possibly offer and one that we ALL should offer!

The text it it is below.

“We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, confused, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rake or could afford to lose a few pounds. You’re welcome if you are Old Leigh, New Leigh, Not Leigh, or just passing by.

We welcome you if you can sing like Pavarotti or can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’ just woke up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven’t been in church since little Jack’s christening.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like ‘organised religion.’ We’ve been there too!

If you blew all your money on the horses, you’re welcome here. We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, ‘work too hard,’ don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost on the London Road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts… and you!”

ALL our churches should adopt this as their welcome statement!!  Even if you don’t post it somewhere, it should be posted in ALL our hearts!  And posting it WITHOUT it being in our hearts is equally useless.

Think about adopting this for YOUR church/heart!

[In the spirit of fairness, I confess that I first saw the sign when I received the “Wednesday Link List” for July 15, 2015 from the “Thinking Out Loud” blog of a friend, and in it he linked to the blog and the post entitled “Greatest Church Welcome“.  If you go there, you can see a picture of the sign itself.]


All’s Peaceful at Home – Sort of!


This morning I woke up early (well, the normal time actually — about 5:00am) and got up and did some work. Everything was peaceful and quiet. A morning fog lay across the property. It was peaceful…

Blue Jay in the trees

Then out in the backyard there was a huge gaffuffle (is that really . . . → Read More: All’s Peaceful at Home – Sort of!

One Week to Go…


Well, 1 week from today, I will have gained another daughter-in-law!!  My son will have said “I do” and the party will have started.  Are we ready?  Let’s see…


Church and reception hall booked Photographer, limo, and DJ all booked Guests invited Seating arranged Showers are done (last one is today) Dresses are bought. . . . → Read More: One Week to Go…

The Past is the Past. Leave it There!

the past

Unless you’ve been living in a hole, been off the planet, or in a coma for the last little while, I’m sure you’ve heard all the hoopla about Josh Duggar and the story of his sexual abusing years ago as a 14 year old. The story hit me hard. I feel sad. I feel angry. . . . → Read More: The Past is the Past. Leave it There!