There is “fun” in dysfunctional

Reposting:   Hope you find it encouraging….  C.Hahlen   10/2016

A while back I interviewed a young man concerning the work we are doing just outside the inner city.

This isn’t a criticism of him – but since he came from a very upper end suburban church and had only very successful mid to large size churches on his resume I was skeptical about his ability to work in our settimg.

Average family income in the low 30 k range

Most kids in school on public assistance.

Multi-generational families.

Mixed race marriages.

Mostly blended families.

Almost non existent church budget.
He could learn to work here.  I know – it was a learning curve for me.

However he asked a telling question during the interview.   “Why would anyone want to work there or live there? ”


Same reason a Samaritan stopped to help and injured Jew.

Same reason Paul went to Corinth and Rome.

Same reason God.emptied himself and came to live in our neighborhood.

Those cool churches do a lot of cool things I would love to do.  But we cannot.

We can however hug a 2 year old who constantly calls me Papa (I am a PaPa just not his).

We can however offer free lunches for kids and have spiritual conversations with their Dad.

We can offer the parking lot as a safe place to learn how to ride a bike.

I didn’t hire him.  I wanted to.   Mainly since he needed to learn the fun side of dysfunctional communities.

Maybe he will see these people with God’s eyes as he matures.

I pray he does.

Time Out — Need Some Fun

Reposting from a few weeks back:   Hope you are having some good times and opportunities to laugh….

C. Hahlen 10/2016


I need a good laugh.

I don’t want to say that I am complaining.  It is just that things seem to be crumbling.  Not falling apart — just a few crumbs around the edges.

merry heartThings aren’t going well in several areas — not terribly — just a bit frustrating and depressing.

I know Jesus laughed.  Anyone who has spent time with a group of men for more than a day knows that things get funny very quickly.

Jesus and the disciples must have laughed.

So today I have decided to do something extremely spiritual.  I am watching YouTube videos from several Christian comedians.  I need to get some study done.

I need to do some church administration stuff.

My “To Do” list is huge.

But I need a laugh.   I need some fun.

So today — for a while — we are laughing and enjoying ourselves.


Wherever you are and whatever you are doing — take some time to laugh.  Have some fun.




Deep Man! Deep…

Re Posting this from a while back.   Recently had a conversation similar to the one related in the post. 

Enjoy!!!        C. Hahlen  10/10/16


Recently I had a conversation with a musician.  Not that unusual, in a way, but this guy was a bit out of the norm for Preacher Conversations.

Long Hair, pony tail.  Tattoo sleeves, Sunglasses in the darkened room.  Chain smoking.  Shall we say “salty” language?

The description is not intended to be a judgement– simply an image that helps you see the moment.  Most church members would be reluctant to sit with — yet along talk with — someone who appears like this.

Even he was a bit baffled by the situation.  He was wondering what a preacher was doing in this place — talking with someone like

I explained to him that I simply try to live as Jesus did.  That means being willing to move in circles that otherwise might be outside my comfort zone.  Living like Jesus means being involved the community — all of the community.

We talked about how Jesus didn’t come to judge everyone.  He came to show everyone what the Father was like.  He came to be a living example of how God expects us to live.  He desperately tried to make it clear that having a moral and Godly foundation for life means you will have life and have it more abundantly — a fulfilled life.

We cannot do it alone.  Living life in the context of Jesus’s teaching in a community of fellow Jesus-followers (church) is so much easier and fulfilling that trying to “make it” based on our own efforts.

When I told the young man that my willingness to talk and share with him was simply me following the example of Jesus to be involved in my community his response was…..

Deep Man!  Deep….

Basic theology.   Go where Jesus went.  Do what Jesus did.  Live a Christ-like life.

Deep Man!