My Church Has Cliques And What I Plan To Do About It

A few days ago I called an old friend that I hadn’t seen at church in a while to ask if he was OK. 

He told me that he hadn’t been in a while because he was visiting other churches.  For those that don’t know, “visiting other churches” is Christianese for “You suck!  I’m out of here!”  

Whatever man, I love you too.  People change, their needs change. Lots of things cause a person to decide to leave one church and join another.  It’s not always a bad thing and doesn’t always have to be traumatic.  Sometimes it’s a very good thing.  As long as you’re not walking away from God, joining another church is fine. 

What concerned me most was his parting comment: “You guys need to do something about the cliques at that church or it won’t turn out well for you.” 

Just a member

My first thought was, of course,  “I don’t know what he means by ‘you guys’”.  I’m not in leadership and have never been.  I’ve never been a deacon, or an Elder or one of the pastors so it’s not my problem.  After consideration though, I decided that it WAS my problem.  So, I reached for my faithful Sword of Justice** and went looking for these cliques.  I found them.

Here There Be Cliques

a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.


The Band:  I despise contemporary music but our church loves it… so I looked here first because I’m a sinner too.  These folks work hard all week long to lead us in worship on Sundays and for special events.   I went to some of their practice sessions and listened to them choose songs.  I watched over several months as people auditioned for the band, were accepted, sang and then moved on to other things. Hardly exclusive… I heard the heart behind the work that they’re doing and I listened to them pray for humility and for our church.  The only people they seem to have a problem with is the group of Engineers that sit in the A/V booth.  

The A/V Team:  I’m a geek by trade so infiltrating this nest of vipers was easy.  What I found were people that were passionate about making sure that everything was perfect on Sunday morning because that’s one of the places that the beauty of Christ is shared most openly.  They’re there for band practice and for sound check early on Sundays.  They stay late every Sunday to make sure that media gets uploaded to the various places that it needs to be.  They meet at random times during the week when they have time to work on things.  They love one another and work together closely to make sure that all of the tech is working together.  They will accept help from anyone but it takes work and training to become a part of the team.  The only people they have a problem with are the band. 

(These two groups trade jokes and bible scriptures like lawn darts thrown from the church balcony but, in the end, they love one another… you can even get them to admit it sometimes)

Moms: There’s a group of young moms that get together irregularly around town or at the church.  They are excited to meet other moms but do a terrible job of being inviting.  They try hard but seem to always end up with the same crew.  I suspect that this has something to do with having someone else’s poop on you occasionally or with having to deal with humans that remove all of their clothes and streak through the church.  I mean… busy, right?   It’s more like a support group than a clique; a support group at an insane asylum.  They’d love to have you join them but you have to be aggressive about chasing them down… they’re usually the ones chasing a naked human.

Ministries (GSM, CRO, LOTC, Rhythm):  These folks are constantly posting to Facebook announcing plans and asking for volunteers.  People filter into and out of the groups as interest and time demands but there tends to be a core group that’s always in service somewhere.  These are the people that get it.  They are love.  If you’re thinking that they’re exclusive you’re not paying attention.  Ask them if you can help.  Tell them that you’re going to help.  Show up and actually help.  Keep doing this.  They will appreciate it. 

Men:  I found several instances of men getting together outside of church to have breakfast or a beer after work.  I  went to a few of these events when I heard about them and was welcomed.   They talked about wives and children and ministries.  Occasionally, they realize that a widow’s house needs repair or a benefit golf tournament for a local kid would be useful.   When that happens they work at getting the work done.   Other times these men meet in twos and threes  for serious conversations with someone who is struggling or needing direction.  They talk openly about their own sins and the ways that they work around them.  They talk about Gospel and how to share it with others… they talk about how to LIVE the Gospel.

Others: There are tons of other interest groups and “cliques” around the place.  There’s the Kids team and the Youth team and the Life Groups.  They’d love to have your help.  A lot.  They’re exclusive because what they do is important.  Sometimes you even need a background check.

What To Do About Them (Tough Love Starts Here)

With all of that said, here’s the action plan:

  1. Decide if you are being excluded or if you are excluding yourself?  I get it, it’s totally easier if it’s someone else’s fault.  Maybe your “clique” is just a group of friends that get together for breakfast occasionally.  It’s not regularly scheduled so it can’t go on the Church calendar.  In fact, it’s not ministry at all.  It’s just people being people.  Maybe you should ask if you can join them rather than wallowing in exclusion.  They’ll say yes.
  2. Are you plugged into the places where people share and organize things?  Whether it’s Facebook or The City or PCO or… whatever.  A group of 300 people probably shouldn’t change the way they work together just to meet your needs.  Don’t use Facebook? Fine (laudable even). Find another way to get updates.   Join a Life Group and ask for help in being involved.   Figure it out, get involved.
  3. Do you think that Life Groups (small groups) are cliques?  They’re not.  They’re a method by which the church organizes itself and disciples people. They’re not “party” groups or “lunch” groups.  A LOT of serious work goes into putting Life Groups together, pruning them and keeping people in touch. If you believe that “if you’re not in a life group you don’t matter” you’re being very selfish.  If you can design a method of training the entire church for discipleship I’m sure that leadership would LOVE to hear about it.  Here’s a tip though – don’t send them something that has failed a dozen times before.
  4. Maybe you have forgotten the times that someone has helped you?  It’s easy to feel jealousy when you think that you need something that is being given to someone else. Really easy.  Take a minute to recall all of the times that people have loved you specifically.  Maybe take the time to try helping someone else.
  5. Maybe your need got missed?  Did you ask for help specifically or just post on Facebook about how hard life is.  If you did that then I probably clicked “Like” on it and posted something encouraging.  Did you post, “The van is broke again Sad smileSad smile Sad smile“ or did you post “The van is broke again and I don’t have the money to fix it!”… Those are two VERY different needs and likely to get very different responses.  But, still, I have like 1200 friends on Facebook. They post more drama than a room full of teenagers (that’s an actual comparison… way more (sorry friends)).  If you call someone and ask for help, especially in my circle of friends, you’re very likely to get it. 
  6. Do you personally have knowledge of a clique or have you only heard that they exist?  Have you tried to join these groups and been excluded? If so, see the next point.  If not, read:  1 Peter 2:1-3,  Romans 1:28-32,  James 4:11, Ephesians 4:28, Ephesians 4:31
  7. Do you, personally, have knowledge of a group that is being purposefully exclusive?  Have you talked to leadership about it?  Have you given them specific names, dates and events? Leadership in the Church has the job of discipling (and disciplining) the flock.  They can’t be expected to do that with nothing but hearsay and gossip to go on.  Heck, they’re supposed to be fighting AGAINST hearsay and gossip, like actively.  Give them the tools to do their job.

I Still Love You

Look, I get it.  Really I do.  Maybe you’re not a social butterfly; many of us aren’t.  It’s hard when you feel excluded and it sucks to feel jealousy.  Especially when you know it’s not totally deserved. I’ve been there.

The people that I’ve seen these last few months have been doing everything they can to get the Gospel of Jesus into the hands of those that need it.  Most have full time jobs.  They have spouses and they have kids.  They have extended families, annoying relatives, a church full of sinners, their neighbors, the homeless and the poor to serve with love.  It is likely the same in your church.

Put bluntly: If the clique that you see is trying to glorify God in their actions (even if they’re failing), then you’re the problem.


To be clear, it’s OK that you’re the problem.  It really is.  I’ve been there too.  I’m happy to talk to you about it.  

Maybe we’ll create our own clique… be warned though, it’s entirely possible that you’ll find yourself 50ft under a house in the middle of the night in January with a propane torch and a smile while thawing a widow’s water pipes.

Cliques are hard work.

** Figuratively speaking.  I don’t have an actual Sword of Justice.  That actually belongs to God alone.  I can use the Sword of Truth though, which the bible says is the Word of God.  It’s unfortunately, not a real sword.  I mean, figuratively speaking and all. 

I forgot to notice.

Our country is facing a terrible time. At least, that’s what they tell me. This obviously worries me so I’ve been noticing things over the last few days.

I noticed a black man in the local hardware store. He was waiting in the same line that I was. We didn’t talk about the anger in our nation or the fact that he feels oppressed or the fact that I feel wrongly accused of hating him. We talked instead about the recent thunderstorms and downed trees and the need to cut our grass. We talked about having to help our neighbors recover from downed trees and we worried about people without power in the heat.

I noticed a black woman walking across a parking lot to go into a restaurant and saw a white man rush to get to the door ahead of her… and then hold it open for her go in first. They exchanged what I assumed to be pleasant greetings and went about their day.

I’ve noticed black folk joining “white” churches and white folk joining “black” churches and have watched them pray together and pray for one another.

I’ve seen stories out of Dallas of cops risking their lives to protect those that were, according to the media, there to protest them. In short, everyone was angry and yelling at the police who stood stoically by watching. When the firing started a protester was hit by a bullet and multiple policemen covered her with their own bodies while continuing to take fire. In her story, they drove her to the hospital in a bullet riddled police car that arrived at the hospital on just the rims.

I’ve seen blacks and whites shopping together, helping one another, smiling and loving one another. You know, just being good neighbors. I suppose that you can blame this all on the small town where I live but I see it in other places too… in larger cities all around the nation. People walk around their neighborhoods and smile at each other and then go home to Facebook and post the latest news stories about who hates whom the most. It’s all a bit tiring honestly.

I’ve seen videos of shootings in which the critical seconds are always missing. Every time the camera turns away, there are shots recorded, and then the camera returns to a picture of a dead man. Those few seconds don’t matter to most folks. The absence of the critical footage only serves to justify one point or the other. It’s frustrating.

I’ve noticed the girl at the cash register in the local grocery who had a very pleasant conversation with me and then noticed, later, that I couldn’t remember her race because I’d forgotten to notice. I decided that, for the moment, I like this way best. Maybe I’ll continue love my neighbors, whoever they are and help them when I can. Maybe I’ll continue to forget to notice. Maybe we all should…. at least, you know… for a while.


(This post written in response to the 2016 riots in Charlotte NC)
I love you.

I forgive you.

I’m sorry.

Watching the news in Charlotte I can forgive the protesters in love. It’s what we teach and what I believe. Even the ones that do the “really bad” things. I’m ready for it and can do it almost without thinking. That’s not to say that I agree with their actions. I don’t. But, it’s not my role to shout them down or to correct them. We have police officers and now, it seems, the National Guard for that and they’re doing a bang up job of putting things to rights. I love them too; the defenders. I have prayed for both sides today and won’t stop.

Dealing with Christians in love though is harder for me. They should know better. I see the posts that have no love and I get frustrated. Most of the posts aren’t hateful; just angry and sad. The worst of them have no understanding, no forgiveness, no love. Anger almost invariably leads to sin and acting upon it doesn’t turn out well for anyone… that includes Facebook posts.

Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

That’s Jesus speaking. He says that anger puts your life in jeopardy and darkens your heart.

Mark 7:14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.

20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Again, these are the words of our Christ. I have seen so many of these the last couple of days: slander, pride, foolishness and anger among others. You’re supposed to be the good guys. You’re supposed to be acting in Christ. You’re supposed to be light unto those in darkness. You’re supposed to understand forgiveness. And love.

It frustrates me and makes me sad.

And… it should not. I should have the same love for you that I have for them. I should do it in the moment and see you as a child of Christ just as I see them. It took me a little longer. I’m sorry for that. I will try harder. Will you forgive me?

Those who love me know that I sometimes end conversations with these words, They have power:

I love you. I forgive you. Do better.



I like making things.  I can sometimes do a pretty fair job of it but it takes a lot of effort and time.  20160611_213715

One of the things that I like to do is woodworking.  When I make something out of wood I have to make each piece.  Every part is cut out and shaped individually.  Every curve and turn is created from something that began its stay with me as square stock. 

The woodworker almost never works with perfect material and has to consider how each flaw in the stock will add or detract from the final construction.  He must consider the grain patterns of each piece before every cut.  The direction and shape of grain in each part defines the way that your tools are applied and changes the result.  Even for something tiny this is a constant process of evaluation and decision making.  Understanding the flow of the wood and how your touch will affect it.

Often I sit for many minutes just observing the wood before I bring the tool to it.  I run my hands over the wood and feel it’s warmth.  I feel the grain patterns and the shape.  The bumps and ridges that tell me what will happen when I apply a blade.

As I work the wood I think about the place it’s going to fit into the 20160611_213613overall piece.  I figure out which parts will show and which will be hidden.  I think about the person that I’m making the piece for and how they will perceive it. 

I think about how the tool will affect the wood and how the wood will respond to each cut. 

I think about each joint and how it will fit together.  I think about each connector and whether a screw will be visible in the final piece or whether it will be hidden.  I think about how it will interact with the piece and calculate loads and stresses that will affect it. 20160611_213407

As I finish whatever I’m working on I consider how to sand and smooth each part of it.  I think about which tool marks need to be removed and which adds aesthetics to the piece that I want to keep.   Especially when working with traditional tools.

I think about whether a part will be painted or stained and how everything that I do will affect that.

Mostly though, I think about my love for the person that I’m building for.

The piece should reflect that love.


It’s not an easy process but it’s a worthy one. So, when people ask me, “Hey, can you build a box…” the answer is almost always, “no.”

The “One Step” sure-fire method for getting a job…

Step One:
GO get a job. That’s all there is to it. Get up, go get a job.

The World Has Changed Jinksto
Yes, I know, “everyone has online applications now.” That changes nothing. You know this because it hasn’t been working for you or you wouldn’t be reading this page. I’ve been employed every day of my life for the last 20 years except for a 3 month nap in 2007 that was intentional. But, even then, I had a job lined up for the end of that period. I’ve hired people and I’ve talked to hiring managers. I’ve heard every reason in the world for people not to go out and talk to people… most of those reasons come from people without jobs. People who have jobs will tell you that it’s about who you know. If you don’t know them then get to know them. The best way to do that is to walk in and introduce yourself.

The world hasn’t “changed” as much as you would like to believe it has. Jobs are still won by people who go after them. They are won by people who go to the places that are hiring and talk to people. They are won by people who proactively fulfill the requirements for a job.

Talk Your Way In
If the job requires an online application do that. Then go to the place and talk to people. Talk to cashiers, talk to managers, talk to anyone that will talk to you. Be nice, be polite. Say, “yes sir” or “yes ma’am”. When they tell you that all applications are online now say, “Yes ma’am, I’ve already submitted it I just wanted to stop in and see if there was anything else I could do to work here.” When the hiring manager looks at the list of candidates they’ll be 100% more likely to pick a name that they know. They’ll be 100% more likely to pick someone who has proven interest in the job. They’ll be 100% more likely to pick that nice guy that stopped by last week who was so polite.

I have seen both kinds of folks. I saw my brother-in-law get 3 job offers in a week during the worst employment crisis in recent memory because he went every day and talked to people who needed him. I’ve seen folks go without a job for over a year because their “job search” was filling out three online applications every day.

But, what do I say?
Talk to people who need you. Help them understand why they need you. If you can’t explain why they need you then do some research on the company. Do they sell food? What food? Why is it the best? Do they sell services? What services? Why are they better than their competitors. In short, why do you want to work for me? Because, honestly, if it’s just for the money you might as well keep walking. They’ve got a hundred other folks who submitted online applications. People hire people who are interested in them.

Listen Well: Jobs are won by people who want them. Always. Go get one.

Practically Speaking


Several folks have asked me a question lately. Sometimes I ask the question of others when we’re talking about life because, well, it’s important.  Really important.

“How do I show my wife that I love her?”

When asked this, I consider the question giving it the weight that it should enjoy and then answer with the same question that I always ask.

”Do you tell her?”
”Well Sure! All of the time!”.
”Really?  How often, exactly, is all of the time?”, I ask.
”Well, I uhh… I mean.  I guess a couple of times a week? But she knows!“
”Yeah, I guess, when you put it like that…”

It takes more than, “I love you” but that’s a good start.  A really good start.  Life is about the practical and there’s often not enough time to share everything when I’m talking to others.  Here are some of the practical things that I try to do regularly to show my wife love.  Not necessarily always but often. These little things are just as important as the words.  Sometimes they’re more important because they put proof to the words.

Love, Practical.

I open doors for her. Sometimes the greatest compliment to me is when my wife has become so accustomed to me opening doors for her that she pauses in front of a door to wait for me to open it rather than doing it herself. This is love.

I hold her when she’s sad. This is love.

We don’t have a “date night” because we can go out any time we want.  People who are parents should ABSOLUTELY have a date night.  It should be sacred.  At least one a month. One a week is better. If you need for me to keep the kids let me know.

I hold her when she’s happy. This is love.

When going up stairs I try to let her go first.  When going down stairs I try to go first.  The thought is that if she should fall I’m always where I can catch her because that’s my job. To catch her when she falls.  (That sounds like a platitude, “to catch her when she falls” but it’s not.  A platitude delivered with a hammer and work gloves isn’t really a platitude at all is it?) When I get to the bottom of the stairs I often offer her my hand to help her down.  She doesn’t need it but sometimes she accepts it anyway and that brings me joy. This is love.

Sometimes I take a minute to hug her for no reason at all. This is love.

I kiss her on the forehead.

I kiss her on the lips.

I kiss her on the neck.

I kiss her in the parking lot at the grocery store.

I kiss her in church.

I kiss her and I don’t care who sees it.  I don’t have much of a filter at all when it comes to kissing my wife.  Sometimes I have to remind her, “It’s ok.  We’re married!” This is love.

I post mushy “I love you” notes on her Facebook page for all of her friends to see.  It feels really goofy sometimes but I don’t care and that’s the point isn’t it? This is love.

My phone has a “favorites” list under contacts.  She’s the only one on it. This is love.

I study my Bible regularly.  I apply what I learn from it and teach her those things. This is love.

I learn from her. This is love.

I back her up and encourage her when she loves others.  When she says, “we should buy the cashier a flower to make her day better.” I say, “pick one out.” Everybody smiles.  This is love.

I watch her get undressed.  Even if it’s a really good book. This is self-serving (she’s hot) but it could be love too, I reckon.

When she asks me to do things that I don’t want to do I sometimes do them anyway just for her.
“I need for you to hold the baby so that I can take a picture.”
”No.  They smell funny, they’re noisy and they’re expensive!”
”Don’t be silly!  It’s just one picture!”
”Would it make you happy if I held the baby?”
”Yes.  It would.”








I tickle her.  She pretends that she doesn’t like this but I know that that’s a lie.

I’m clear that having sex with her is a top priority.
”So… do you wanna?”, she’ll ask as I’m buried in something on my computer.
”Yes.  Yes I do wanna.”, I’ll respond emphatically as I drop my keyboard on the floor with a clatter and lead her to the bedroom.
This is love.

I run her a bubble bath and take the time to stir it halfway through so the bubbles don’t all end up at one end.   When I post about this on Facebook, I ignore my friends when they accuse me of writing posts for Pinterest.  This is love.

I take the time to help her shower sometimes.  I am very thorough.  We might need a larger hot water heater. This is love.

I adjust her clothing so that it looks pretty. This is love.

I push her hair back so that I can see her face. This is love.

I wave at her when I see her.  Always.

I write mushy and embarrassing love letters like this one (and this one) and post them on the internet. This is love.

Sometimes, I wash her hair.  I’m good at it. This is love.

I hold her hand when we’re together. This is love.

Sometimes none of this is enough.  That happens.  Sometimes she’ll say, “I need for you to love me”, and I’ll respond, simply and quickly with, “how?”  This too is love.

Sometimes, I cook for her.

I want to spend time with her and I’m clear about that.  Sometimes I ask her to do something with me and she’ll say, “wouldn’t you rather ask Rob or Matt or someone to go?”  When she does this I say, “No.  I wouldn’t. I would rather spend my time with you.” This is love.

Sometimes she says, “I really don’t want to cook”, and I reply with, “well, I really want to eat so I guess I’m buying you dinner.”  Even if we’re broke. This is love.

If I’m with her and I post a status update on Facebook I tag her.


I consider my words before I tell her that I love her.  I think about what the words mean.  I prepare my heart to share them.  I stop what I’m doing and look her in the eyes and say, “I Love You.”

Sometimes I catch myself doing it wrongly.  Sometimes I toss out, “love you” as we’re going different ways in a parking lot.  As I walk away I consider that I really do love her and that the passing comment just wasn’t enough so I turn back and shout, “HEY!”

When she looks around to see what I’ve forgotten I’ll say it again:

“I Love you.”

Sometimes I even reassure her by shouting across 30 yards of confused mall walkers:


She smiles, a little embarrassed, and walks away knowing that I do. This is love.



The same works both ways I should note.  She loves me by pretending not to like it when I tickle her.  She’s really good at it too! Gotta give her credit for that one.


This boat is stolen. If you see it online, in person or on the lake email with the details or call Gaston County Police

We can all agree that stealing other peoples stuff is pretty wrong. Some might even call it EVIL! Reporting evil doers is COOL! It makes people like you. It will also make you my newest bestest friend! Which is really nice (I’m a good friend!) and all but if you’re not into the whole morally superior thing, this:


Also, if the boat is recovered it will make the thieves sad and (maybe) keep them from doing it again. Probably not though… recidivism among vehicle thieves runs at about 78%. So, they’ll probably do it again… but you’ll still be COOL in my book!

* Everything that you see in the pictures was on the boat when it was stolen. If you see any of it let me know.

(Except the dude in the hat. That’s me. If I had been on the boat when it was stolen I would have found it by now… right?)

2010 Palm Beach 2425 Sport Cruise Pontoon
140 HP Johnson Outboard

P.S. If you stole my boat and feel bad about it and want to bring it back… that’s cool, we can work it out. And, umm, sorry for calling you EVIL.. I was angry. You understand.

P.S.S If you bring it back, just put it where it was when you took it and, if you don’t mind, could you lock it up for me? People around here steal things… you know how it is.

stolen boat
Help me Find my stuff

Earth Day 2014 (Catawba Lands Conservancy)


Me, I’m not an ecoterrorist, or a tree hugging hippie.  I’m about as right wing as they come.  Heck, I’ve even written blog posts rants about the timber industry and the “think before you print” email footers.   I think that wood, in our society, is a good thing and I think that if you’re going to use it you should be growing it for use.  Farming it.  Central Louisiana where I’m from is chock full of “Tree Farms”.  Paper mills and log mills make up a huge part of the local economy.  I’m ok with that.

What I’m against, as a rule, is fraud.  Or, at least, the appearance of fraud.  What I am, is a frustrated neighbor.  You see, when we first moved here we were excited that our home bordered on a Land Conservancy administered by the Catawba Lands Conservancy.  How awesome is that?  “A land trust dedicated to saving land and connecting live to nature in North Carolina’s Southern Piedmont,” according to the Facebook page, and right in my own back yard.

Over the last few years they’ve put up posted signs on the land adjacent to us which didn’t really bother me much.  I mean, who knows what kind of delicate flora they’re working to preserve over beyond the pine trees. 

I was a little frustrated when I discovered that the posted signs were there to protect land that they had leased to hunters who were there to shoot the deer that I was feeding in my front yard.  I’m a hunter and ethical hunting doesn’t bother me.  If the Catawba Lands Conservancy needs to manage deer populations with hunting I can support that.  I don’t think they need it based on the populations on my land but, whatever.  I do wish they weren’t sitting in a tree stand 200 yards from my house but I suppose it must be nice to be able to watch cartoons through my office window on Saturday mornings.

This week, though, they’ve started clear cutting the land that they’re sworn to protect.  I’m sure that they have legal protection for this.  I’m sure that they can even justify it as some sort of strange “management practice.”  Maybe the “pre-grant” land owners have some rights to the land that allows this to happen or, maybe, the Lands Conservancy sacrificed this property for gain.  I honestly don’t know. 

What I do know is that the story that they tell on their Website ( and on their Facebook page ( doesn’t involve logging operations.

Are they “breaking the law”?  I don’t know.   Probably not. 

Are they being disingenuous in advertising themselves as a long term trust that “saves land”.  I don’t know.  Probably. 

If I were thinking of donating my land (or money) to them for management would I ask them a lot of questions?  Yes.  I might even do a quick Google search and hope to find a page like this one.  Hopefully that’s why you’re here.

Would some of those questions involve the words “logging” and “clearcut”?  Yup.

I’d probably also ask them to define, “Nature Preserve” and “permanently protected” for me.  In detail…


photo 5


Logging equipment.

photo 4


This used to be a solid wall of trees.  Now you can clearly see the clearcut behind it. Sad.

photo 3


I think they’re required by law (I don’t know) to leave this thin swath of trees along the roadway.  It doesn’t do much to cover up the desolation behind it though.

photo 2photo 1

Time to love…

It’s been awhile since I posted on the blog but we’ve… well, no excuses, sorry.

Mrs. Jinksto and I like to help folks and we don’t make a secret about why that is. We love Jesus, He loves people, we love them. It’s really, really simple to us. Race, age, social status, none of those things enter into it. It’s just love. The pure, sweet kind. We don’t expect anything from it. We don’t believe that “good works” will “save” us. The Bible is pretty clear on this one… we’re saved, we’re grateful, we love. Sometimes when we help people they say, “Thank God!” and we say, “Yes, please!”

People sometimes tell us that they wish they could find people to help like we do. They tell us that they wish they had the time to help others like we do. They tell us that they wish they had the money that we do to share with others. We tell them that we wish the very same things for them and invite them to our trailer house (sorry, *cough* modular home) for dinner. That’s not a terribly charitable answer… I’m trying desperately to find a better one. The simple truth is that it doesn’t take a lot. Sometimes all the time that’s required is the time it takes to smile at a frustrated waitress and tell her, “it’s fine… I like my eggs this way.” Sometimes all the money that you need is $5.00 to donate to a fund to help a sick child find the treatment that he needs. Sometimes all it takes to find someone in need is to not roll up your car window and look the other way. That’s all it takes. Just take the time to love the people you meet. It’s not a great expense. It’s not a huge time sink. It’s just not. If it were, it would be harder for us. I’m lazy and cheap, ask my friends. Jesus loves me still.

Sometimes people thank us for the work that we do for them, for those that they love, for others. They’ll pull us aside and whisper thanks or embarrass us in front of a large group. When they do we say, “It’s not about us” and they’ll reply, “I know, but thank you anyway.” I am grateful that those people see something good in me but I remember me from not so long ago. Heck, you can go through my old blog posts (though I’ve deleted the worst of them) or Facebook timeline and see that guy for yourself. Or you can just trust me in this; We don’t deserve thanks and we don’t deserve the Grace provided by our God.

Occasionally, while loving people we wish desperately that we could help them more. We, like those who thank us, wish we had more time, more money, more love for those that need it most. When we find those people we ask others for help. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t.

I’ve posted this link on Facebook a few times. They’re still $600.00 short. I know this little dude personally. I know his mother and his terribly beautiful and sweet little sister. I go to church with his dad. If you think that the work that the Mrs. and I do is good I promise you this; you’ve seen nothing. I’ve seen this child’s mother crying… not for him and not for herself but for a homeless girl that she barely knew. I’ve seen her use her money and her time to help someone in dire need. I’ve seen her actually save a life with her hands while loving her very sick child with all of her heart. We are humbled. You should be too.

If you wish you could find someone to help… it’s this guy. If you think you can’t afford to help others let me promise you… $5.00 makes a difference. If you think you don’t have time to help… what are you doing for the next 10 minutes?

Click the picture to help; if the goal is met, feel free to exceed it. If it’s not met, God will provide a way, He always does.

Click to help!

If you want to keep up with Camden on Facebook, like his page: