Thursday, July 20, 2017

Proud of the Republicans in Congress

I repeat myself when I say that I am no fan of either major political party. To believe that either side is interested in anything other than gaining power, money, influence and being re-elected is simply nonsense. Our present political system is completely dysfunctional. If you think Russia is the greatest threat to American democracy, I would draw your attention to Congress. I have just two words on the subject – term limits.

With all of that said, I will say that lately, I have been rather proud of the Republicans in Congress and the Senate. As has been all over the news, they have been unable to agree on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care). On the one hand, they have had several years to draft that legislation. How many years has the party’s mantra been, “Repeal and Replace”? It’s not like the idea came up last month. But they haven’t disappointed me since for years I have considered most of them to be idiots.

But then, I state in the title that I am proud of them. And I am. I am proud that they have not behaved like the Democrats. The Republicans are disagreeing with each other. They are having differing opinions. They are considering options. They may even be thinking (as hard as it is to believe). Much unlike the Democrats.

When passing legislation, such as Obama Care, the Democrats were in lock-step. No questions asked. No disagreement allowed. Okay, everyone, let’s say in unison – Yes. It was creepy to watch them pass the Affordable Care Act and other favored legislation. They seemed to work like a cult. No disagreement allowed. No differing thoughts allowed. The Democrat lemmings toe the company line or face what? What does the Democrat Party hold over its legislators that cause them to be so “agreeable?” What are they afraid of? Loss of support and not be re-elected? Probably not. No matter what they do the robots back home elect them to office again and again. Loss of party support or money? Probably since money seems to underlie most everything that happens in Washington.

So, even though I think they are nincompoops, I am proud of the Republicans in Congress and the Senate. They may be stupid, but at least they aren’t acting like those Democrats.

Copyright © 2017, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved

Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press.

He can be contacted @ bill45053@gmail.com. Connect with him on Facebook @ William T. McConnell or on Twitter @billmc45053 or visit his Amazon Author Page @ Amazon

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Another Thing To Take Care Of

I just love my sons. And not just because I am supposed to love them. They are great people. Handsome, smart, interesting, funny and just a joy to be around. I could probably write a book about any one of them, but today I want to tell you a bit about David.

Like all my sons, biological or not, he is a very handsome man. When he was a kid, many people described him as beautiful. At a family gathering a few years ago, I overheard a couple of his sisters-in-law talking about him. They were going on and on about how handsome he is. Finally, one of their husbands said, “You know I can hear you, don’t you?”

David was born with a sweet heart and a fun look at life. He was a toddler when we dedicated him at church. I was holding him in one arm and reading out of the dedication book; holding the book in my other hand. That freed him up to place a hand on each side of my face, force my face to center with his and preceded to kiss me right on the mouth. It was the sweetest dedication service I have ever been a part of.

One never knows what will come out of David’s mouth. What he says is rarely mean but often true, clear and funny. My favorite, oft told David story took place when he as around four or five years old. We lived in Stanford, Illinois, in a huge old house the church provided. With its twelve foot ceilings and the huge oak trees surrounding it, the house could be cooled in the summer by just opening the windows. One perfect summer day I was working in my office with the window open. Through that open window I heard a conversation David and his best friend Brian were having out in the yard just under that window.

David and Brian were best friends but they looked like brothers… almost twins. They both often were described as pretty. They had slight builds with light blond hair, beautiful blue eyes, nice complexions that tanned easily, were soft spoken and a joy to be around. They truly looked like brothers from different mothers.

A few years earlier, I had earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Counseling and, I must admit, for a while I was pretty full of myself. In a new pastorate, some people in the community were in the habit of calling me Dr. McConnell. (No one who knew me well.) That fact motivated the conversation I overheard. It went something like this. Brian (in an awed voice) said, “David, I just heard your daddy is a doctor.” To which David replied, “Yeah, but he’s not the kind that can help you.” I laughed till I thought I was going to wet myself. You just gotta love a kid that tells it like it is.

And he still has a great take on life and tells it like it is. For example, we were chatting on the phone earlier this week when he mentioned that he and his girlfriend had broken up. David also shared that she had ended it because he wasn’t spending enough time with her. I asked him how he was feeling about it. He said, in typical David fashion, “I am sad to see it end. But I am also relieved.” When I questioned him about being relieved, he replied, “She was a great person, but my life is full, with work and spending time with my children. (Let me say, at this point, David is the father I wish I had been.) So she ended up being just another thing I had to take care of.”

That may sound harsh to you. But it was David. He is sweet, kind, thoughtful and honest. Unfortunately, in our basically dishonest culture, honesty often sounds harsh when it is just being real and true. We are so used to being inundated with BS that, as was so famously said by Jack Nicholson in the movie, “A Few Good Men”, we can’t handle the truth.

Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Unfortunately, we reject the truth, cling to the lies and remain in bondage. How sad.

Copyright © 2017, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved

Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press.

He can be contacted @ bill45053@gmail.com. Connect with him on Facebook @ William T. McConnell or on Twitter @billmc45053 or visit his Amazon Author Page @ Amazon

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Name Game

Everyone has a name. Most of us have little to say about what name we are tagged with. Parents choose names for children for a variety of reasons. Some names seem to fit the person and some don’t. Some of us like our names, some don"t.

Many of us change our names. Sometimes just a little and sometimes a lot. A college friend went from being Leonard Smalley to being Leonard Moredock, (Or vice-versa. It was a long time ago.) without getting married. Some of my siblings changed their names in many ways.

My oldest sister is Mae Katherine McConnell. We call her Kayce. Her name change came during high school when she went to work at a summer job at the insurance company where our father was a Vice President. She didn’t want special treatment so she kept the relationship undercover by telling everyone there that her name was Casey Jones. The Casey stuck as Kayce.

My next sister, Linda Lee, stuck with what our parents named her and is still called Linda. My older brother, Robert Redding McConnell, took the plain old nickname, Bob. Bob is who he was and Bob is who he will always be. Nothing much changed with Bob.

I was named for my father and paternal grandfather: William Thomas McConnell, III. A name filled with history and expectations and one I wish were shorter, especially on days like the day I filled out mortgage papers. It is a name designed to cause writer’s cramp. No one has called me William Thomas except my mother when she was especially exasperated with me. Since my father was called Bill, there was a need to find a new name for me. Up until I left for college, most family and friends called me Bill Tom. Post college friends call me Bill. If I hear someone call me Bill Tom I know it is a voice from the past. My parents could have called me Trey, but we lived in the south, the home of two named people, (Billy Bob, Tommy Joe, Bubba Roy) and Trey sounded just a bit too Yankee. The inner family often called me 3 I’s.

And then there is my younger sister; Elizabeth Sherfy McConnell. This poor kid took forever to finally land on a name. First the family called her Betty Sherfy. (Remember we lived in the south.) We called her BS for short – pun intended. She lobbied hard for a name change and the family started calling her Betty. Next, she left for college and she name shifted to Liz. That one stuck for several years and is what I still call her.

In her middle years, she morphed into Sherfy. That has stuck as she has journeyed into old age. Well, almost. Sherfy was quickly shortened to Sherf. Sherf has proven to be an unusual and interesting name. HER NAME HAS GIVEN ME ONE OF MY FAVORITE TRUE STORIES.

Many years ago, Sherf and her husband John relocated to Southport, North Carolina. I remember the name of the town because she repeated asked that I come visit them in Northport, South Carolina. Anyway, they began attending a small, friendly, informal church that they loved. One of the features of the worship services was a time for church members to testify to how God had blessed their lives. One young lady stood to tell her story. It went something like this. “I just want to thank God for Sherf. I was so depressed I couldn’t even get out of bed. Sherf came over, got my kids ready for school, fed them breakfast and got them on the bus. Then Sherf laid down in my bed with me and just held me while I cried.” The story was a touching testimony to my sister’s kindness and compassion.

The best part of the story unfolded after the worship service had ended. It was an unusual happening, but there were visitors in the morning worship. After church had ended, the pastor greeted the visitors and invited them out to lunch. In the course of dinner conversation, the pastor asked if the visitors had questions about the service or the church. Obviously, the visitors had had a conversation in the car on the way over. Their question went something like this. “We found the testimony interesting and were wondering: Just who is the Sherriff in this town?”

That is funny. Period.

Copyright © 2017, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved

Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press.

He can be contacted @ bill45053@gmail.com. Connect with him on Facebook @ William T. McConnell or on Twitter @billmc45053 or visit his Amazon Author Page @ Amazon

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Note from the Techer

In my opinion, it takes a rare breed to be a teacher. I know I couldn’t do it. Give me a kid one-on-one and I have a blast. I love kids… one at a time. Give me a room full of kids and I am a lost ball in the high weeds. The only way I could control that crowd would be with a net and a taser. I would just as soon try to herd cats. Tutor – yes. Mentor – yes. Classroom teacher – absolutely not.

I have several educators in my family and they are excellent at their work. I deeply admire them. My older sister, Kayce, worked in more than one school system. Kae is one of those people who could make friends with a post. So, she had (and has) several teacher type friends. Each year for several years, she would host a Christmas party for the teachers in her school at my mother’s house. Even though I wasn’t invited, I made it a point to attend. I just liked to watch the show.

To help the conversation flow, Kayce would set up card tables so the guests could sit in groups of four. Mother provided an amazingly delicious meal. Once served, I just sat back in the corner and watched the show. It was, from my perspective, hilarious. After just a few minutes, the conversations at every table started sounding eerily similar.

Everyone was talking at once. Everyone was “in charge” of the conversation. And they were all grading each other. By that, I mean, they were telling each other what the other should do to… be a better teacher; lose weight; eat more healthily; spend their money wisely; deal with their spouse; get their hair cut; where to go grocery shopping; address health issues, and on it went. Now I am not saying teachers are bossy, but…

I have been thinking about teachers because, last week, for the first time in over five decades, I received a note from the teacher. I am sure my experience is not unusual in that getting a note from the teacher was rarely a pleasant, positive experience. This one was.

One of the members of the church I serve who is very regular in attendance announced to me that she would be missing worship for a couple of weeks. I, jokingly, told her that I would require a note to excuse her absence. Two weeks later she shows up with a note. A note from her daughter who is a teacher. It said: “Dear Dr. McConnell, please excuse Janet Helterbridle from attending all church related activities for the past 2 weeks. She was performing, multiple, very important, voluntary duties throughout the Crystal Lake Community. (i.e. her daughter’s house and place of employment.) We are sad to see her hard working skills go but know she is excited to resume her commitments at Norwood Christian Church. Please take good care of her (We almost didn’t allow her to return)! Love, Mrs. Olson (Janet’s daughter)”

First, I smiled. Then I chuckled. I just love teachers.

Copyright © 2016, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved

Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press. He can be contacted @ bill45053@gmail.com. Connect with him on Facebook @ William T. McConnell or on Twitter @billmc45053 or visit his Amazon Author Page @ Amazon

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Old and Slow

Getting old sucks. The “Golden Years” are more like the Lead Years.

I have people tell me that getting old beats the alternative. Really? How do they know? They haven’t experienced the alternative. For those having trouble keeping up; the alternative is death. If what I believe is true then the alternative beats the hell out of getting old. As a friend says, “It is better being seen than being viewed.” He may be wrong. In fact, I’m counting on it.

Life would surely be easier/simpler if we didn't have to learn so many things by experience. Most of our "book learning" is second hand; not by personal experience. I have more than my share of formal education. I have just enough groupings of letters behind my name to not be impressed with degrees and education. In my experience, the most important things seem to be learned at the "School of Hard Knocks". I don't think it happens that way because we are hard headed or unwilling to take someone else's word for it. There just seems to be no other way to learn certain things – lessons of life.
Maybe it is because I am getting some age on me, but I would prefer learning a few more things second hand. Bumps and bruises, whether physical or emotional, seem to hurt more and take longer to heal. Supposedly, with age comes wisdom. I am not sure that is true in my case.

There are several things that can’t be learned in theory only. Like relationships. We not only learn only from experience but we, sadly, rarely learn even from experience. We seem doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again. It is like they are programmed deep within our psyches and, like a computer virus, are virtually impossible to ferret out. I can’t count the times I have watched a couple divorce and then turn around and marry one just like the first one.

Could it be that some people never see a healthy relationship close up, so they wouldn't know healthy if it bit them on the butt? There are mighty few good relationships around to observe. Most people seem to be just hanging on, or trying to patch what they have or are bouncing around from one bad one to the next. Some of the ones that look good on the surface don't stand up to close scrutiny. I find the same things to be true of churches. So few of us have experienced a healthy church that we wouldn’t know one if we saw it.

People try to explain things to us but nothing much seems to sink in. Like this thing of growing old. Books are written about it. Our elders willingly spend untold hours telling the younger generation, in minute detail, everything (and more than) we ever wanted to know about getting old. I listened. I even watched their lips move. The words entered my head, bounced around awhile and, finding nowhere to lodge, drifted out the other ear to that great word graveyard in the sky. All the talk was interesting but meaningless.
That is until I found myself staring at the backside of 40. Now, 40 is not old in the world of today. We have some professional athletes performing well that are past 40. But 40 sure isn't 20. At 40 I could still do the same things I did at age 20, it just took longer to do and longer to recover from and I usually required some assistance. And I couldn't do it quite as long as I used to. Now that I have reached 70, all bets are off.

I am not lamenting the passing of my youth. Youth wasn't all that it is cracked up to be, anyway. I hear people say they want to be young again and I think they have forgotten what hell high school, dating, seeking popularity, keeping a low profile to avoid conflict and adolescence in general were. Would I go back? Only if I knew then all I know now.

Now that I’m old my main regret is I wish I had made better preparation for aging. As a T-shirt I gave my mother several years ago said, "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself". I also would have taken the time and trouble to learn from my mistakes. I would have learned an instrument and been in the band. I would have been on the golf team instead of playing football. Instead of practicing smoking in the men's room while in high school, I would have spent more time in the library. It's hard being the life of the party playing old favorite songs on the football. And it is difficult to get up a football game with the over 40 gang. (Don't play with the younger group; they will hurt you if you don't hurt yourself first.) Golf games come easier and are more survivable.

Do I have any regrets? Of course, I do. Do I look stupid or something? (Don't answer that question. See, I do learn from my mistakes.) Would I do some things differently if I had them to do over again? Absolutely. But the sad thing is, I might not make the same mistakes again, but I would probably make a whole new set of mistakes.

I've made some mistakes and have some regrets, but I must be doing some things right. You see, I am getting old. I am not dead yet. There is no telling how many more years I may be tripping and slipping and bouncing and bashing around in this old world. Hopefully before it is all over I will have learned from my experiences and quit making the same old mistakes. By then I may have broken in a whole new set of them.

Copyright © 2017, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved

Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press.

He can be contacted @ bill45053@gmail.com. Connect with him on Facebook @ William T. McConnell or on Twitter @billmc45053 or visit his Amazon Author Page @ Amazon

Friday, May 26, 2017

Where Are the Instructions

One of my staff had ordered a television cart that needed to be assembled. When it arrived, the package looked like it had airmailed and dropped from about 1000 feet. There was not a square inch of packaging that we not either ripped or dented. It was the most pitiful package I had ever seen.

Being the boss and treating all employees as if they are brain damaged, I instructed him to check everything over for damage. He gave me the look that I deserved and went back to work. In a few minutes he reported that everything seemed okay except for one thing – there were no instructions. No instructions? Really? A guy noticed there weren’t any instructions? What is that all about? Everyone knows real men don’t read instructions. We don’t NEED instructions. We don’t TAKE instructions.

I’m not saying that is a good thing – a positive. It is just a fact. We men don’t ask for directions, either. Directions just get in the way and slow things down. I don’t want to stop and think; I want to get to work and get things done. As Larry the Cable Guy says, we like to “Get ‘er done.” Instructions and directions are for the weak… the slow… the confused and most of the time the more intelligent.

I’m not as bad about not reading instructions as some of my male friends. Gary Lawrence was the most in a hurry guy I ever met. I called him “Mr. Do-It-Yesterday.” Though I don’t care to dawdle, I can’t hold a candle to him. Gary did many things without reading the instructions. Like gutting an old house and rebuilding it: including the wiring, plumbing, insulation, interior walls, windows, roof and siding. I helped him build a fireplace sans instructions. We installed car radios. Things like the great piano move were not a daily occurrence but they were pretty common.

Ah, the Great Piano Move. We owned an old upright piano that we didn’t use. The whole family took turns talking about taking piano lessons, but none of us ever did. I almost forced my children to take lessons but then I remembered what a debacle my childhood piano lessons were. I took them from a retired music teacher. As hard as this might be to believe, I was not a stellar student. I can’t remember ever practicing, thus I made little progress. In fact, after just one year of lessons my teacher moved away. Reflecting on that move, as an adult, I realized she probably moved just to get out of teaching me another year. The poor woman was retired, settled in her home, comfortable and now I had forced her to move away from all that was familiar. How sad. I couldn’t do that to another sweet old lady.

Thus, our old, dusty, stained, unused piano was up for grabs. Susan, Gary’s wife, decided she could put it to use. Gary showed up at my house with a borrowed pickup truck, we recruited Tom Bowden (A short, muscular stump of a man.) and loaded up that old piano. I suggested that we tie the piano down since it was on rollers. Gary reckoned that, since it was a relatively short trip to his house and since he was in a hurry (As usual, thus the nickname Mr. Doityesterday.) we would just load it up and have Tom ride in the back and he could hold it in place. Tom didn’t say anything but it was obvious from the look on his face that he was not enthused with the idea. But since it was Gary’s truck and it was now his piano we followed Gary’s plan.

Off we went. Because I had my doubts about the wisdom of the plan, I kept an eye on Tom and the piano in the rear view mirror. Things went surprisingly well – until. Until we made the turn onto the road Gary’s house was on. And then things went surprisingly badly. Being Gary, he took the turn a little too fast. The piano began to roll. Tom made a quick decision. He decided that his life was more important than the Lawrence’s getting a new used piano. Instead of holding on to the piano, Tom started dodging the rolling 700-pound weapon of death. The piano rolled to the rear of the truck, struck the right rear panel and became airborne. In slow motion, it flew out of the truck, flipped twice in the air and landed solidly on one side and bounced about five feet into the air. The next impact was on a corner of the top. Upon impact the piano exploded. I don’t mean it broke; I mean it exploded. It was amazing. Piano parts scattered over the road. I had no idea there were so many parts to a piano.

Watching Tom, who was supposed to be holding the piano in place, run for his life, was worth the trip. The piano went one way and he went the other. The piano shifted direction and Tom dove the other way. He was wide and wild-eyed as he worked at not being crushed by the piano. He was weak-kneed and more than I little miffed when he dismounted the truck.

As Gary and I crawled out of the truck and surveyed the damage, the first thing out of Gary’s mouth was, “You have to tell Susan.” I didn’t fault him for being afraid to tell Susan. Me too. But I was a friend and much less likely to have incurred her wrath. After a quick trip to the dump, we arrived at the Lawrence residence. I walked in alone carrying a chunk of the piano, found Susan in the kitchen, laid the wooden piece on the kitchen and announced, “Here is your piano.” She was neither pleased nor amused. I is my understanding that Gary suffered through a very difficult week.
All of the men involved in the Great Piano Move learned several lessons. But one we failed to learn was to read the directions first. Real men don’t read directions or learn new lessons quickly.

Copyright © 2017, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved

Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press.

He can be contacted @ bill45053@gmail.com. Connect with him on Facebook @ William T. McConnell or on Twitter @billmc45053 or visit his Amazon Author Page @ Amazon

Monday, May 8, 2017

Comfy Cozy

My thanks to Chaplain Doug Mitchell of the Christ Hospital. His thoughts, shared with his volunteers, motivated the writing of this blog.

The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees several rights, including the pursuit of happiness. It seems an obvious observation that all are seeking happiness but few are finding it. Perhaps it is the smart ones among us who have given up the chase.

There also seems to be a common pursuit of comfort. We all want to be comfortable… we expect to be comfortable and are somewhat offended when we are not. Untold times over my years of ministry I have been approached by people announcing to me, in an accusing voice, that it is too hot or cold in the sanctuary. It would seem to be a most grievous mistake that must be immediately corrected and the culprit at fault must be punished. How dare anyone cause the offended party any discomfort? Like the pursuit of happiness, comfort has become a right.

I will admit that I am a huge fan of comfort. I like a comfortable chair; a comfortable car; a comfortable house; and, having grown up without it, I love air conditioning and forced air heat. This week I am driving a nice, new rental car while mine is in the shop and I hate it because the seat is not comfortable. I read many posts by friends on Facebook that he or she is comfy cozy on the couch watching television with a warm drink and a warm body (cat, dog, spouse or friend) under the blanket with them. Sounds good to me.

Here is my question: Is comfort what we should be pursuing? Should our personal comfort be a, if not the, central issue of our lives? Is comfort what God desires for us? I think not. If you have listened to me or read much of my writing you know it is my belief that God is not only NOT interested in your comfort, if you are comfortable you are probably outside of the will of God.

I believe Scripture is clear that God’s basic purpose for our lives is not that we be rich and comfortable, but that (My apologies to Joel Olsteen.) we are conformed to the image of Christ… for us to become more Christ-like. For that to happen we, you and me, are naturally going to experience much discomfort. The changes in our lives will be difficult, frightening, challenging and certainly uncomfortable. It is no wonder that Facebook, where we “share” our lives, is filled with hateful, selfish, meaningless garbage. It is no wonder that our politicians are only interested in getting reelected and we, the voters, are motivated in our allegiance by the motto, “What can you do for me?”  Our collective lack of maturity is having devastating effects on our society. Perhaps it is time for us to move beyond comfortable to the discomfort of growth and maturity.

Comfort sounds and seems so… comfortable… so desirable. But is it? Perhaps comfort and our pursuit of it is in fact dangerous. C. S. Lewis gave this insight: “If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth… only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.” Just as pursuing happiness rarely, if ever, leads one to happiness, pursuing comfort is counterproductive.

Pope John Paul II said this about the danger of comfort: “The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” I have seen and experienced this to be true. Comfort also leads us to conclusion that we are self-sufficient and not in the need of God. While sitting in the perceived comfort and safety of our warm, dry, locked homes we come to believe we have no need of God. There is nothing like a healthy natural disaster to scour that confusion out of our minds.

The very thoughtful writer, Khalil Gibran, gives a short and pointed warning. “The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house as a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master.” Again quoting, this time Chaplain Doug Mitchell, “Comfort itself is not bad, but trying to get a hold of it can lead, as has already been said, to a misleading proposition. Unfortunately, too many people believe they deserve to be comfortable (They have a right to it.) – to the degree that this entitlement drives just about every choice we make.”

Please know that I am not saying that God wants us to miserable. But if the pursuit of comfort is a major quest in our lives; something that informs and guides most of our decisions, we are about guaranteed to miss God’s will for our lives. Growing up is uncomfortable. Working to become stronger is uncomfortable. Learning how to do something new takes practice and is uncomfortable. Being honest with ourselves about ourselves is uncomfortable. 

Following God and doing His will is uncomfortable. But it is so worth it. Oh, so very much worth it.

Copyright © 2017, William T. McConnell, All Rights Reserved

Bill McConnell is the Interim Minister at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a Church Transformation consultant and a Christian Leadership Coach. He is a frequent speaker at Church Transformation events. His latest book on church transformation is DEVELOPING A SIGNIFICANT CHURCH and is available at Westbow Press.

He can be contacted @ bill45053@gmail.com. Connect with him on Facebook @ William T. McConnell or on Twitter @billmc45053 or visit his Amazon Author Page @ Amazon