Morning After

Well, what a day.  Early morning to church building.  Rushing around getting things whipped into shape. Good crowd. Good song service. Then after worship family lunch, egg hunt, lots of candy and another lunch late in the afternoon.  By evening everyone was tired and grumpy.  Too much sugar. Too much everything.

I sit here Monday morning wondering g how many other preachers are “hungover” today – not from alcohol.  From over work and over stimulus.

This week take a few moments to pray for your minister. If he is worth his salt he has spent himself dry this past weekend and is now facing another week running on empty.  It can really become difficult. It can become discouraging.

EASTER is a great and joyous time for those of faith. It also can be very draining.

PRay that your preacher has a time for refreshing and recovery. .

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!

Give your Pastor a word of encouragement

Ever sit and talk with your pastor about something other than church?

Sadly many don’t really know their pastor, minister, preacher, whatever term you prefer, outside of the church service. pastor_meme

The conversations with the pastor are often limited to vague comments about the sermon after church.  Or very specific critiques about our personal pet peeves at church.

What do you know about the preacher’s likes, dislikes, hobbies, background.   What does he get excited about?  What does he get frustrated by?

Take time to know him/her as a person.  Find out what goes on beyond the pulpit.  Beyond the office.

You might find a great friend…..

It’s not about You

It’s not about you…. In the book Purpose Driven Life from a few years back author Rick Warren sets the tone from the first sentence.

its-not-about-youIf you don’t get anything else from that book get this — it REALLY is not about you.  Your purpose here on Earth is not about you being happy (as happy is usually defined).

You exist because God wants to have a relationship with you.  He wants you to live in relationship with others in the context of this relationship with him.

We get it so wrong so many times.  The graphic says it all.  We tend to think that we can do it all ourselves.  Yes, God wants you “happy” in the context of the satisfaction that comes from being in tune with Him and His purpose for you and your community.

We want to do it ourselves.

Serve ourselves.

Make ourselves happy.

But respecting God enough to allow Him to guide and direct our paths and to serve Him fully makes God happy.  It ultimately makes us happy.

It’s not about you.   It’s about Him and His calling (mission) for you.



Called, Changed & Committed: Mark 4:19

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