Remembering my comment at interview that I am a rabid reader, let me share what I’ve read in the last 2 weeks. This does not mean that I am studious, only that my family has eaten more cereal than normal.

Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly- read from my man’s Kindle and a page turner from the get-go. Of course reading it as if the dialogue is voiced over by Matthew McConaughey kept a grin on my face throughout.

Rock Solid Volunteers by Larry Fowler – corner foldover and underlined with a star beside it . . .”Drive past a church in America that has an unkept lawn, and what do you think? Here’s what I think, because I am a product of middle-class American culture: ‘That church is tired and visionless, and probably not much spiritual is happening there.’ In our American thinking, an unkept lawn can tarnish God’s reputation…We need to be familiar enough with the culture in which we are living and ministering to recognize the aspects of our lives, churches and ministries that damage God’s reputation in the eyes of those around us.'” Thus asking myself, do I have a passion to be culturally excellent so as to protect God’s reputation?

Energizing Children’s Ministry in the Smaller Church by Rick Chromey – My second read-through as it’s the children’s council’s summer read, “God loves to use the small, insignificant, unappreciated, disenfranchised, impoverished, quirky, and dysfunctional to do some of His best work’   (whew, I’m still in this.) “Children want to feel and taste and smell, not just hear and see.” “Children need as much as 4 times the space of an adult.” “Budget $50-$100 per child annually.”

The Twelve Sacred Traditions of Magnificent Mothers-in-Law by Haywood Smith (and published by Belle Books of Smyrna, Georgia) – is a very Southern mother-in-law’s humorous advice to mothers-in-law everywhere, including tried and tested tips on how to bite your tongue and mind your own business. Tradition One: Magnificent MILs Cut the Apron Strings. (this was a referral by the Right Reverend Pat with more than few chuckles.)

Priscilla Shirer’s “Life Interrupted: Navigating the Unexpected Interruptions aka A Study on the Life of Jonah” – although only 81% finished according to my Kindle, these 3 items were of special note . . .

1. Repentence is four-wheel drive

2. God sees relationship with us and obedience from us, not just a religious reaction. He would prefer that we get right with Him rather than just behave for Him. (deciding to go back to church is not the point, but go back and remember what He asked you to do when you jumped off the track in the first place and just do it)

3. William Fay, a Southern Baptist evangelist, cites statistics in his book, “The Sin of Silence,” from his own denomination that in a recent year 1/3 of churches welcomed NO new believers into their fellowship, 1/3 baptized less than 6 people, and the estimated percentage of Christians who will go to their graves without ONCE telling another person how they can be saved through Christ Jesus is 97.4%. That’s almost everybody!

And THAT is why we dedicate the month of June as kingdom-building month in our house. Vacation Bible School begins on Sunday at my home church and will run throughout the month at churches all over the country. Want a guaranteed opportunity to speak “good-news-ease?” Stop by a VBS, lend a hand and a cheerful witness. It’s not about what you say, it’s about telling the next generation that you and God are WILD about them!

I don’t care who you are, how old you are, or what you already have planned . . . there is a spot for you at your church’s VBS and don’t wait to be invited or asked, Matthew 28 is your 24/7 invitation.

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