Open heart; open hand


I grew up in a family that existed at or near the Evangelical Poverty Line (EPL). The EPL (my construct) is an imaginary line of acceptable wealth where a family can exist without raising suspicion of having too much, especially if the family is a part of the funded leadership of the church. My father was the choir director so we qualified. I grew up thinking that we were being at all times scrutinized by the rest of the congregation. We probably were. At any rate, we couldn’t look too good, my dad could own nothing better than a Ford, and my mother’s dresses had to come from GEMCO.

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Reckless giving


I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. — C.S. Lewis.

There is a precedent in the Bible for giving recklessly. It’s about giving and living with a sense of abandon. Go overboard. Give until it hurts. Give beyond what we can account for. Adventurous giving gets us out beyond where faith has to play a role. It’s just not all calculated. It shouldn’t all make sense.

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When preachers get loud


I’ve made it tough on myself lately. I’ve been choosing to write about topics I know I struggle to understand and act on — things I hoped to change through the transparency of writing. So far, I’ve found out it isn’t that easy. Last week it was empathy, and I took some heat from my wife and a friend of the Catch, Robert from Seattle, who thought that my anticipated new personal embrace of empathy over the week never happened. Ouch! He was right. Oh, I wrote some great thoughts about empathy, for sure, but I didn’t necessarily become a noticeably more empathetic person from the experience, like I thought I would.

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Better to give than to get


Life is always shallow until you finally see

That living for yourself will never make you free

                     from the song “Look All Around You” by John Fischer

You don’t give to get. You give to give. Period. There are trends in some Christian circles about giving for what you will get back. That is not this. That is trying to manipulate God, which, of course, you can’t do. This is as far from getting as you can get. It’s not about getting. It’s about giving.

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Live large


Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

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In Marti Fischer’s shoes



We’ve discovered that empathy is walking a mile in someone else’s shoes — to see the world as they see it. And if this person is important to you, then the things they see will be important to you as well.

So in this final look at empathy, let’s climb into Marti Fischer’s shoes and find out what’s important to her.

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Coming together versus pulling apart


It was humanly impossible to hear this scream and not feel pain. This was not play-acting. There was something wrong, and someone was in trouble.

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Moved with compassion


When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14)

Empathy is not just a feeling; it’s a feeling that compels us to do something.

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Posted in Johnny's Cafe | Tagged , | 5 Comments