Sunday, February 17, 2013

Common Reasons People Do Not Attend Church/Sunday School

Here are a few of the more common reasons that many people cite when asked why they do not attend church or Sunday School.  This is a list from my own experience with others as well as myself.

I know some seem silly, or seem like just an excuse to not have to get off one's butt and actually do something on Sunday.  Nevertheless, these feelings and expressions are very real.

---I don't know what to wear
---Wear something comfortable.   

---I don't like to have to dress up
---I don't either, so I don't

---I am not knowledgeable about the bible and would be embarrassed in front of the group
---Most people either don't know much about the bible or they know a lot less than they think they do.  But don't give it a second thought, for you will not be quizzed.  Relax and enjoy

---If someone asked me to say a prayer in front of a group, I couldn't do it
---No one with any class at all will ask someone else to say a prayer unless it has been agreed upon in advance.  Relax and enjoy

---A church is a business, and I hate being hit up for money all the time
---You don't have to give any money.  But give this one some serious thought.  If the church is providing something to you and the community, shouldn't they receive the means for continuing their good work?  Besides, is your money really yours?

---My spouse doesn't like to go to church, and I don't want to go if he/she isn't going with me
---This can be tough.  But the answer is this:  you really are in this world alone...except for God, who is always with you if you will allow Him to be.  You will find spiritual benefits from church you cannot find anywhere else.  The chances are that your spouse will see your growth and want to experience it as well

---I don't know anybody there
---Don't worry---you will soon, and the people you meet in church can have an incredibly positive impact on your life

---I feel self-conscious to have to sit by myself
---My own experience with this is that sitting alone allows me to be more contemplative and focused on the service and God's Word

---If I visit, people will start calling me at home and pestering me to join
---You almost assuredly will not be pestered.  But remember that the only thing worse than being called at home by someone asking you to be part of their group is not being called and not being wanted.  Ha.

---Even if I do go and decide I would like to join, the church requires new members to stand in front of the congregation to affirm their commitment.  That is too embarrassing for me to do!
---The least you can do for a God who has given you life and talents is to commit to Him publicly.  But many churches allow new members to join in the privacy of the church office.  Personally, I don't approve of this, but it is what it is.

---Preachers always carry on too long.  Why can't the service just last an hour and end promptly so I can get home to take care of domestic business?
---Find a church that has a pastor who is organized to the point where the service ends on time.  I would not go to a church whose service runs past the scheduled time allotted

---I get spooked when the preacher starts talking about hell and satan
---Ha.  So do I.  But the devil does exist and needs to be discussed

---I always feel like the preacher is speaking directly to me when he is talking about sin
---Ha.  Me, too

---I don't understand all those terms they speak about, like Eucharist, Lent, Pentecost, etc, etc, etc..........
---Don't worry about it.  No one knows that you don't know.  A lot of people don't know.  You'll learn

---If someone asked me to read something from the bible, I'm not sure I could pronounce all those words correctly
---Probably no one will ask you to read anything without pre-arranging your approval, but if you can't pronounce something, gloss over it with a chuckle.  Pronunciation is not important

---I don't need to go to church to commune with God
---No, you don't.  But getting together with other Christians generates friendships and accelerated growth in faith

---I work all week and it is too hard to get up on Sunday mornings
---But what is most important in your life?  Think about this long and hard

---I worry about Communion---what is it all about?  What am I supposed to do?  What am I supposed to say?
---You worry too much about appearances.  Communion is one way Christians stay close to Jesus, remembering what He did for us by giving His life for our sins.  You don't have to say anything.  The wine (grape juice) and bread symbolize the body of Christ.  As you eat and drink, remember all that He has done for you and give thanks

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Animal Control? Really?.......

          Cindy took this shot of the marauding but friendly Hog

I was preparing for a quiet day at home on Sunday afternoon, chillin' with my computer, when a blood-curdling scream shot through the house from the throat of my precious Cindy:  "CLINT!!!  COME QUICK!!!  THERE'S A HUGE PIG IN OUR BACK YARD!!!!

Well, the dear lady of the house certainly knows how to get my attention.  Ha.  My blood pressure immediately shot to 210/120 as I bolted from my office to the back deck. 

I got there in less than 5 seconds, but all I saw in our back yard was a teenage girl with a small terrier on a leash.  I gently turned to the Cinderoo and calmly informed her in a reassuring voice, Honey, that is a dog.  (Insert smiley face here)

But the story continues...

I asked the young girl what was going on.  She said she and her friend (who I could see about 50 yards away) were chasing a huge pot-bellied pig that had been on the lam from its owner's back yard pen for two days.  Problem is, she explained, although the porker was tame and would allow humans to approach it and even pet it, the animal knew full well what a leash is for and would not allow anyone with a leash anywhere near him.

Add to that the fact that the swine weighs around 200 pounds and is almost as quick as a deer, and you begin to see the predicament. 

I suggested that we all might benefit if I brought the critter down with my .30-.30.  I love barbeque.  But that notion was shot down (pun intended) very quickly by everyone present.

I was informed that Animal Control had been called the day before but that the 120 pound young woman who was dispatched to solve the problem was unable to do anything with the huge hog.

Animal Control was again summoned.  Within minutes, the white service truck appeared, driven by the same young lady.  In talking with her, she said there did not seem to be anything she could do because the pig was too big, too smart, and too fast a'hoof to allow itself to be caught. 

Simpleton me asked why it could not simply be anesthetised and transported to its owner or to the county Animal Control center.

Oh, no! she said---If the pig were darted, it would just panic and run away and we might never find it.

Well, this got me t' thinkin'.  The questions I asked myself were these:

---Why would Animal Control send a 120 pound young woman out on a job that would require at least three full grown men in prime physical condition to solve?

---Why would Animal Control spend several hours over a two day period spending taxpayer money on a problem they know cannot be remedied without darting the animal?

---If the young control officer actually DID dart the pig, how would she lift it into the control truck?

Anyway, after a few hours of excitement, trailing the hog all over the neighborhoods, the animal control officer left.  Her last words were I'm gonna give a citation to the owner of the pig.

In the meantime, we are now in day four of the crisis.  We have a marauding, albeit friendly, 200 pound porker running hog-wild in north Knoxville.  Some homeowners are reportedly now feeding it.  Sigh.