Bad Experiences

From the perrynoble blog; H/T Mike Estes for the link!

My Wife Had a Bad Experience at Chick-Fil-A

I love Chick-Fil-A!  (AND love Tim Hawkins song about it…you should watch it here!)

We eat there at least two or three times a week (not kidding…we’ve actually pushed that number up to 6-7 a few times.)

The food is ALWAYS good, they get the order right nearly every time and their customer service is second to none.  It is always clean and no matter how long the line seems to be people are always served as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So, imagine my surprise when my wife came home the other day and, as we were catching each other up on the things that had taken place while we had been apart all morning and afternoon she told me about a bad experience she had at Chick-Fil-A.

I was immediately frustrated!  (Any husband would be!)  AND…before I knew it I had literally told myself in my mind, “Well, if that’s the way things are going to be then I guess we just won’t be going to Chick-Fil-A anymore, they’ve lost my business.”

TIME OUT!!!  How stupid was THAT thought?  Seriously, let’s review…

  • #1 – They ALWAYS deliver great food!
  • #2 – They ALWAYS have friendly people!
  • #3 – They ALWAYS have a clean environment!
  • #4 – What my wife had experienced was not in line with what normally happens.

(AND…I want to be completely fair to Lucretia, she was NOT saying she would not go back, nor was she angry…she was just telling me about her day and I am the one who became irrational!)  🙂

I lost my mind!  I was literally going to allow one bad experience with one employee ruin a reputation of excellence that had been consistent for years!  (AND…no one knows what was going on in that employees life…she could have had one of the worst days of her life and was trying her best to just hold it together until she could clock out!)

Before you agree with me too quickly…I think there are people who have done the same thing to the church!

It has become quite popular, even in some “Christian” circles, to bash the church for all of the dumb things that she has done.

I have met people since being in ministry for over 20 years that have the same attitude with the church that I almost had with Chick-Fil-A!  They will attend, serve, be devoted to a local church for months or even years…and then, all of a sudden…

  • Someone didn’t call them when they were out for two weeks.
  • Someone said something hurtful to or about them.
  • They didn’t like what the preacher said.
  • They didn’t like what the youth group was doing.

I could go on and on…but you get the point.  There are times when people will allow one thing in the church to trump the decades of ministry and impact that have taken place through that body of believers, and that’s a bit insane.

  • Yes, if you stay in a church long enough I promise you that you will see hypocrisy.
  • Someone will say something to you or about you that will hurt you.
  • Decisions will be made that you do not like.
  • There are going to be sermons that make you mad.

When that happens the enemy is going to try his best to convince you to just walk away…because he knows that the first step away from God is usually getting people to step away from the people of God.

Yes, the church, EVERY church, has made some unwise decisions and, in the process have hurt or disappointed people along the way…but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater…

  • She’s STILL being built by Jesus—that makes her important!
  • She’s STILL reaching out to the broken, the forgotten and the poor.
  • She’s STILL making a difference that’s going to be seen for eternity.
  • She’s STILL GOD’S PLAN for reaching the world.
  • She’s STILL necessary for believers!  (If church is not necessary then why did Jesus say He would build it, died for it, will one day redeem it and spends so much time in the NT talking to it and about it?”

No, the church is NOT perfect…but neither are you (or me!)  So, when we’re tempted to walk away because of the one thing that seems to hurt us or trip us up we should simply ask, “is this consistant with this churches character?”

Stay in a church long enough and you will have a bad experience…but let that push you closer to Jesus as you recognize that HE uses imperfect people in His plan, which means sometimes they get it wrong, and then beg the Lord to teach both them and yourself how to best deal with the situation…because, she’s STILL the church and STILL His bride.

Now…anyone want to go to Chick-Fil-A with me?  🙂

Life Interrupted: Cleaning Out A Dead Man’s Desk

A Birthday Remembrance

…written by my daughter, Lesley Wolfgang Jackson, on her birthday 14 years ago – memorializing her maternal grandfather, who had passed away two months earlier.  She composed it while graduate student at the University of Kentucky.  Her birthday was yesterday, and I intended to post this earlier, but celebrations and other activities intervened. I found a copy yesterday while discarding boxes of old memories, preparing our house to lease.

The grandfather she remembers was William C. Ashworth, Sr., (1919-2000) who served his country in World War 2 and the Korean War (piloting B-17 Flying Fortresses and P-47 Thunderbolts); his community, serving as Postmaster at Franklin, TN, from Eisenhower to Ford; and his Lord, preaching the gospel for nearly half a century (1950-2000).  It is an eloquent tribute which captures the essence of both subject and author.


Today I am running the arboretum trail.  I am running, and I am thinking of my grandfather.  I am remembering running ahead of him as he walked.  I am remembering him over my shoulder, a tiny action figure, twisting stiffly from the waist, baseball cap sitting high top his head, allowing his toupee to ride untouched.  I always circle back to him.  He has slathered himself with SPF 40 sunscreen, solemn and methodical as morning mass, always forgetting a dab sliding along the ridge of his ear.

I am driving him to the mall: Safe walking, out of the rain. I concentrate to match my pace to his. We talk about my running, my pace, about my latest race time.  We talk of baseball, of my cousin’s pitching arm, insured at age nine.  I see my favorite running shoe, discontinued, on sale in a store window. He wants to buy them for me. Do they fit? Are they comfortable? What kind of shoe should he wear? He buys what is comfortable, a new pair every few months.  My grandmother doesn’t understand.

I am visiting him in the hospital. We watch a baseball game on the high television while my parents take my grandmother for something to eat.  I will not run my long run on this Saturday; I will not run at all. My grandfather wants a glass of water: Don’t get up, Sugar.  He is shuffling across the floor to the sink, tied to the IV, gaunt in his striped pajamas, bald and unshaven.

I won’t run with him again, won’t circle back for him when he becomes a small dot on the horizon.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I will miss his annual account, over chocolate cake, of racing his Corvair to the hospital a state away, his wrong turn on Peachtree Street, to greet me, his first grandchild.  I will remember him telling me I would never know how much he loved me, his dry kiss on my cheek after I blow out the candles.  I probably won’t, but I imagine.  Tomorrow I will run.  I will run for him and I will remember.  I will breathe the dark and the morning air, I will breathe it for us, and I will try not to be sad.

Derby Day Is For Kentuckians

Derby Day Is For Kentuckians

From “Pinstripe Pulpit” by Alan Cornett

SW: We lived in Louisville for 5 years, about a mile south of Churchill Downs.  I remember clear spring mornings when we would put the kiddoes in their seats on the back of our bikes and ride up Southern Parkway and over to the Downs to watch the horses work.  Some of God’s most magnificent creatures!

I’ve never been to the Kentucky Derby. I hope to go someday, but if I never do Derby Day will still be a special day. Someone stated that Derby Day is like St. Patrick’s Day for Kentuckians. I think this is right. It’s especially true for those of us in the Kentucky diaspora. Derby Day is Kentucky Day.

Derby Pie