Dec 282012
 

It was going to be a stressful day, so a good breakfast was in order.

I knew just the place.

She has started her diner in a little strip mall and then taken it to a big, new building on the highway, but what we loved about the place remained the same.

The food was great, but the people were greater.

They loved Trey from from day one and they made him feel like a family member, not a customer.

Because they loved him, I loved them, and it became a place we visited on a regular basis.

Yes, that was the ticket…a good breakfast with folks we loved before tackling the stress of last minute Christmas shopping.

Today though, something was different.

The always ebullient owner was kind and attentive as always, but more than a tad subdued.

I first wrote it off to holiday exhaustion…the restaurant business is always tough, and like most businesses, tougher during the holidays.

Then I started to worry…what if a family member was ill, what if business was down,… the what ifs began to assimilate and I had to ask what was really wrong before the what if’s drowned me before I started shopping.

So, I asked…and this is what my friend told me.

When they moved from the little place to the big place they made some mistakes.

They underestimated the numbers of people they would serve and often were understaffed or were working with undertrained staff and sometimes both.

Some folks had bad experiences when they visited.

She cares deeply about her customers so she would try to make it right by personal apologies and gift certificates and so on.

She worked harder to get it right, if working harder were even possible with the hours she puts in…and she did get right.

That wasn’t enough for some.

They went online and wrote not only about the bad experience, but trashed her person and character.

They not only wanted to write a negative review, they wanted to inflict pain…and they did.

An hour behind a computer can ruin a lifetime of dreams, and for some who have never dreamed that’s a delicious reality.

For a while she couldn’t even bear to come to work in the place she had worked all her life to build.

The wounds are healing, but the pain shows through the eyes that used to sparkle when she greeted you…but now are weary and wary above the smile.

She says she has given them over to God and hopes that He will forgive her because she’s still not quite ready to forgive them.

I rose in righteous indignation…”I can play that game…I will DESTROY them”!

“No…then you will become like them.”

Maybe I already am…

She told Trey again that he was loved and hugged him as we left.

 

Make your own application…

  82 Responses to “TGIF”

  1. A person who actually seems to care about her business and her customers… what a find. If we lived in So Oregon, we would be there.

    Thats what I gleam from this, among other things: Be there for the people with whom you have even a casual relationship with. Notice when they are off in their mood and ASK them about it. Listen to them and be willing to assist.

    But also listen to the Voice with whom we have to do.

    Thanks Michael.

  2. So is this endeavor itself on the application to day?

    Wow…as usual life and death is in the power of WORDs whether on the tongue or the keyboard.

  3. Saying a prayer for her this morning. Praying for peace and for more words of kindness greet her today than words of pain.

    I posted a prayer request on FB the other day for Baby Pearl…she was taken to the hospital just before Christmas and diagnosed with pneumonia. This it the baby from our church that the drs said was incompatible with life outside the womb. She is 5 months old today. Anyway, I had had her big sister in Sunday school and posted a prayer request.

    I was met that night with an email from someone I had not heard from in probably 2 years on FB. He told me that I was trying to comfort myself by offering prayers and that it was nothing more than inhumane voodoo.

    It was a slap because it was unexpected. Nonnie was kind enough to listen to me vent and remind me we don’t have to listen to everyone.

    He hates. He is filled with anger and hate and when he sees an opportunity he lashes out.

    The people who took to the internet regarding your friend are the same way….there is a deep unhappiness and they find joy in bringing pain to others.

    She is right that you do not need to respond. What should be said about us is we find joy in bringing peace and comfort and happiness to others.

    Our flesh wants the fight, though. I’m the same way. I wanted to rip at this person who wrote me. Instead, for the first time ever, I unfriended someone. I let it go and decided that these foolish prayers he holds in such disdain were what I would “fight” him with…he comes to mind often and I intercede fervently.

    Praying for your friend….that grace and peace and joy will fill her restaurant these coming days. Praying for the person who wrote the scathing review….that they will be filled with shame and pursued by the Holy Spirit in conviction.

  4. “It was going to be a stressful day, so a good breakfast was in order.”

    nom, nom, nom…eating some blueberry pancakes, hashbrowns, eggs and rich coffee right now…and I have a stressful day, too. We have something in common! LOL

    I think we all reflect the Sin Nature in a variety of ways. I think you make “a” point with this article, though I think there is a big difference between an unfair restaurant review and corroborated, many-times-over proof and evidence of a Systemic Problem within say a church organization that claims it’s not an organization.

    I think you still get unduly manipulated by some in CC into thinking the Problem isn’t that bad or that there’s nothing that can be done, etc. But, that’s just my opinion.

    You did good by listening to your friend and trying to offer help. She’s right, in that case, that you going after a restaurant reviewer wouldn’t do anything good…but again, Apples and Oranges if you were thinking that what you’ve done in the past regarding Church Abuse is somehow similar.

  5. Again, appealing to Scripture…which is the supposed “standard” to define what is Truth and what isn’t both by decree and example (in the context of the Christian orthodox faith):

    “Rebuke”, “Warn”, “Tell it unto the Church”, “Rebuke them publicly”, Qualifications of Pastors/Elders, Jesus’s strong rebukes of the Pharisees, Paul the Apostles strong rebukes of the Judaizers, Paul’s instruction regarding Church Discipline, etc etc etc.

    Edict and example clearly points “simply” to the opposite of what a CC and other denoms practice. There was much scrutiny of the Religious Leadership…while maximum Grace for the regular sinner (Woman at the Well, Tax Collectors, Publicans, Woman Caught in Adultery, Children etc etc).

    But, again, it’s just an appeal to Scripture, and this forum and all of Christendom proves over and over the Relative/Subjective Nature of interpreting Scripture and picking and choosing what to believe, what to hold onto, what to practice and what to dismiss.

    It’s the nature of things and how we roll.

    But, if you think that a restaurant review and your work regarding Church Abuse are the same…well, not much I can do about that misperception.

  6. Now, switching Contexts…Legally speaking (both Civil and Criminal) your comparison is “true”….a restaurant review and church review/sharing your story, your opinions, reporting what you believe to be true…are equivalent and within your Constitutionally Protected rights (and someone’s going to get a very expensive lesson in that very soon).

    Have a good day PhxPeeps. I won’t clog a thread. Gotta go open another store anyways, so I have far less time to waste on blogs LOL.

  7. I’m at work…and no, I’m not drawing absolute parallels between the PhxP and this story. I think Sarah and Papias have captured my application eloquently.

  8. lots of ponders rolling around loose in my brain as i read this morning … started the day pondering from reading Matthew 10 where our Lord instructs the 12 Apostles as He sends them out – wondering about sticking around where you’re not wanted and how that applied to today … how it conflicts with our instructions as a Church or does it?
    reading this dear woman’s ordeal in the world of business, knowing that it’s kind of a “welcome to the big city” thing … wondering how to apply the instruction to be wise and harmless and still survive … thinking about malice observed and experienced over the years – looking for equity and pondering unfairness allowed by an omnipotent God – but also remembering incidents where i saw God bring the hammer down hard and i realize it’s all about His omniscience and grace … pray for your enemies? i think part of the reason is that when that hammer comes down and it will – in this life or the next – it truly is a fearful thing, which, coincidently, is described in the 10th chapter of another NT book

  9. Alex, step aside, i have taken over the lead in blog hog

  10. Bummer….. I am a ‘victim’ of Yelp and one crabby person leaving a nasty review… Yelp has a reputation a “policy” of featuring negative reviews until the business BUYS advertising from them. It’s literal blackmail. If you Google the subject, you will find dozens, hundreds of similar stories and several websites dealing with the issue of ‘fighting’ Yelp…..Furthermore , you can’t close a Yelp account either! Pretty sick.

  11. You must be talking about Debbie’s Diner. How very sad. That place is fantastic! The food is excellent, the waitresses are skilled and incredibly nice, and when you walk thru the door, you step into a bygone era. It’s so bright and whimsical. The first time I was there, I was struck by how much love, time, and effort it took for her to decorate the place according to her vision. A labor of love for sure.

    My daughter is coming down from Portland for a couple days this holiday weekend (as she had to work x-mas), and we already had planned to go there to eat. I’ll let them know how much I appreciate their restaurant. Let me know what sites I can go on and leave them an excellent review, Michael.

  12. How far is Debbie’s Diner from Portland? I might need to stop for some grub!

  13. Michael,
    Next time I can get away for a visit, we’ll eat there….

  14. I hope the lady and her business recover and get on their feet. It is possible that the experiences of others were different and their unhappiness was as valid as the unhappiness of people who blog here has been. Everyone has different experiences and it might be hard for Michael to believe that these people who are so good to him and Trey might be careless with others.

    The real application is the issue of blogging as a remedy to offense. It is a powerful and dangerous weapon. The atmosphere on this blog has certainly modified including my own temperament led in no small part to the modifying of our own blogmeister.

    Going public with offenses is the remedy of the day. Every site has online reviews and the only thing that makes it bearable is the fact that in the cacophony of voices the muting effect is powerful. Some people who love that diner need to go online and give the lady some alternative views.

    Everyone recognizes that some people just b*tch for the sport and we all ignore them after a while. Start a campaign of love for the lady and her fledgling business. It might catch on.

  15. This is the one thing about owning a business, you must be tough skinned. The consumer world is a vicious one and they will eat you alive as a business owner if you let them. The restruant business has more failures than successes. Good that you were one of the understanding customers but these days that is the exception rather than the rule. We as Christians need to be patient when dealing with waiters/waitresses. Those in the world don’t have that world view so sometimes they can be rude and unreasonable in their expectations. I always try to remember that eating out is a priviledge and not something I should take for granted to where I become demanding.

  16. BD, good idea, except that if the site being discussed is Yelp, in which case, they will continue to feature the negative comment and ‘filter’ the positive ones, especially the 5 Star ones…..

  17. Does anybody actually take Yelp seriously? Anybody who knows about Yelp also knows about the issues with its ratings. Plus, it’s not too hard to read the reviews of her restaurant and separate the low rating ones that have merit (slow service, being asked to move to a different table in the middle of the meal, not being comped a meal after their order was forgotten for 40 minutes) vs. the low rating ones that are stupid and b**chy (the food was “boring”, the food was diner food, vague expectations were not met eventhough nothing was really wrong with anything, oh god! they used canned mushrooms!).

  18. We got yelped by a customer who did not tell us of a peanut allergy and claims to have had an adverse reaction to our food, even though we don’t have anything on the menu with peanuts…she ‘yelped’ and we heard of her complaint through the grapevine. Since then we’ve run into her and assured her of our concern and hoped everything was OK, but there is little we can do when the allergy is not identified in advance or the complaint voiced in person. Yelp is what it is, but I we can’t worry about it at this point…only do our best to keep our customers happy and well-served.

  19. OK, so now I have to try fil’s place AND Debbie’s Diner next time I’m in the NW. Does anyone know if the old Ruch Cafe (formerly Lumberjack Cafe) out by Applegate is still in business?

  20. Grrr…why do I have to change my name every time? Mods, please fix my #19. Thanks.

  21. Gotcha covered CK…

  22. Misty,

    I forget sometimes that there are locals reading here. 🙂
    We love that place and I think calling it an obvious labor of love fits perfectly.

  23. Em, thanks for filling in for me while I was away today…someone has to be the blog hog 😆

    I think Yelp is what it is. I look for patterns and repeats of the same claims from several different people. One or two complaints is to be expected over time, no biz is perfect.

    However, patterns, the same or similar complaints about serious issues…over a long period of time…I’m more apt to avoid that sort of place.

    As a small biz owner, I can say with confidence that you’ll never please everybody. Conversely, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There are some biz’s that have a trail of bad reviews b/c they do bad business.

    I also know good people who don’t execute well or consistently in biz and probably deserve the bad reviews.

    “Campaign of love…”

    Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is be honest with folks. I take criticism in my business as an opportunity to improve and be better…when the critique is legit. Even beefs where there is a kernel of truth to it, I try to learn from it and improve.

    I’ve had a negative review from someone who has never set foot in my store and never done business with me. That is grounds for civil litigation, so there are legal protections. If the person does it again, I probably engage. That is one check and balance, though those types of suits are tough to win and Truth is a defense, so it has to be blatant like someone leaving a negative review who you can prove has never set foot in your store and/or never done business with you.

  24. Leaving good reviews is good advice. I have all good reviews except the one bogus one. I didn’t solicit the reviews, they just happen b/c we do do a good job.

    Sometimes bad reviews are left by competitors looking to harm your biz. That’s a big no-no and has potential legal liability if the stuff is untrue or not based on a real experience.

    We all have the right to share our opinion and about our experiences. When I leave reviews, I do so with my honest take. I tend to only leave reviews rarely and only for very good or very bad experiences.

    Yelp is a bit of a scam, IMO. I tend to rely on other reviews like google. Yelp does tend to feature the bad reviews as a means to gain biz, which seems a bit opportunistic, but who am I to judge…it’s a semi-Free Market.

  25. I think it is important to be polite to people who serve us at stores etc.

  26. Funny, when I search for online reviews, if they are all good I don’t believe them. I expect a few negative reviews and weigh them against the positive ones. If the majority are negative I stay away. There are several things a business can do to combat the negative reviews posted on the scam, called yelp, in fact there is a market niche that caters to such. A Google search will show the options available to the small business owner.

    All of that said my heart goes out to this woman who wants to serve her community, who is sincerely trying to offer good service, who has recognized her mistakes and is willing to correct them. As hard as the bad reviews can be, they can also be a tool to better a business. Praying she can work through the opportunity that has been provided.

  27. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57561187/indian-gang-rape-victim-dies-in-hospital/

    She died, I went on a mini rampage, I was holding on to hope that she would survive, that is my sin of which I repent of. She did nothing wrong, nothing, She was gang raped and thrown off a moving bus. I see no glory in that, nope no glory there, no good news. Just a dead girl who was gang raped. An “non believer”quoted this to me

    Judges 19:1-30
    New International Version (NIV)
    A Levite and His Concubine

    19 In those days Israel had no king.

    Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, 3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.

    5 On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.” 6 So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.” 7 And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. 8 On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.

    9 Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.” 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.

    11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”

    12 His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.” 13 He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.” 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin. 15 There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.

    16 That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”

    18 He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord.[a] No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”

    20 “You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.” 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.

    22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

    23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”

    25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

    27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

    29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”

    I understand we all have this and worse coming because of the Sin of Adam and our own sin, both in thought I E every single time we entertain even a passing thought of wrong it is punishable by eternal death and even more. I get the fact God’s wrath is actively acting in the world, His passive grace, not so much and I get that to.

  28. I don’t know if this is a slight towards Alex’s blog. I don’t even know if you about Alex’s blog, but that’s how I found this site. And I like it. I don’t agree with half of what people say on here but for some strange reason, I’m drawn to it. It’s real people sharing real experiences.

    But as for the lady, my heart goes out to her. But if real people are expressing their real opinions about the place, you can’t fault those people. You gotta take the licks (even if the bad service was temporary) and keep going, hopefully learning from them. We all want hugs and kisses but that’s not realistic, especially if those reviews were true. If people are being malicious because of personal reasons, that’s evil, but if people are expressing dissatisfaction because of bad service, those people are not at fault.

    I know we’re not suppose to expose churches,( i.e. love covers a multitude of sins, Moses model, etc…) but you’ve got to counter those verses with the ones Alex mentioned above. There’s a balance, that’s why it’s so important to read the entire bible. It’s disgusting how CS and CC in general, abuse the Moses model. How quickly they forget that it was one incident in the Bible! God was angry at Miriam and Aaron for doubting Him, and Moses was HUMBLE. He did nothing wrong, yet he was willing to appease them, and it insinuates that their envy was fueling their complaints. The Moses model of leadership was not the only form of leadership throughout the Bible (but I can write an article about how it can be a godly form of leadership, if used correctly). I can go on and on for hours about this topic… but I’ll spare you, maybe I’ll start my own blog on it one day. Alls I can say is CS is NOT Moses and he’s NOT being humble. If anyone thinks that he can read about Alex’s accusations and Grenier’s behavior and NOT be troubled, I ask that you reconsider who you are worshiping.

  29. I know there’s a lot of pastors and career Christians on this site, so I have to tread lightly. I can’t speak as freely because a lot of what I say may be taken as a personal slight or complete ignorance or both. But I don’t say stuff out of maliciousness. I say these out of concern or a deep-seated dissatisfaction. And as painful as it is to read about criticisms toward church or toward ministry, i think it’s useful, it allows you to be a “fly on a wall”. The criticism may be ignorant, or unfounded or both but at least you know what your congregation is thinking.

    That’s the way I approach this site. I don’t agree with half the things people say on here. But I remind myself that I’m just a fly on a wall, I’m listening in to other people’s thoughts and I’m learning that’s what Pastors or “church people” think. It’s not my place to insult them or judge. It’s more my role to listen and learn their thought process and why they think the way they do.

  30. Moses, Jesus or what ever, Fly what gets you the boot is who is highest on the chain. I can assure you it will not be Jesus, He can take the train for the coast. And that would be the merciful route. I envy the career christian, they have clear cut route, don’t get in the way. I get that, and I pray it daily, don’t get in the way, don’t tick people off, move on and get over it, what ever it must be. Offered for what very little it is worth.

  31. “If anyone thinks that he can read about Alex’s accusations and Grenier’s behavior and NOT be troubled, I ask that you reconsider who you are worshiping.” Fly, I don’t know about the worship part, but I agree that it is troubling.

    “It’s disgusting how CS and CC in general, abuse the Moses model.” I understand, but please be careful with the broad brush. Many CC’s, yes…I’ve been there and seen it. CC in general? No…I know several CC pastors that either don’t abuse the model or don’t even adhere to the model.

  32. “If anyone thinks that he can read about Alex’s accusations and Grenier’s behavior and NOT be troubled, I ask that you reconsider who you are worshiping.”

    I have no problem saying that after years of reading Alex and his boorish comments – I am not troubled at all. Many if not most of his commenters are fools and think that THEIR opinion of THEIR experience is important.

    Fly – I can tell that you passed through the Alex lens before arriving here. If i don’t come to your conclusion on the Alex illusion you accuse me of Baal worship?? Please, put down the martini before approaching your keyboard.

  33. Good job not returning evil for evil, Michael. Good reminder for me too as that is often my inclination.

    Best thing you can for your friend is to continue eating her scrumptious breakfasts on a regular basis 😉

  34. Typical stuff from MLD.

    I guess this blog’s host Michael is under a similar “illusion” since he reported my story and says he believes it (as well as the piles of testimonies and documentation from others).

    MLD, do you think Michael is under some sort of “illusion” regarding the BG and CC situation?

    Why is it that the folks over at SCCL and the folks at CC Abuse who are outside your clique who read here, say similar things about what a jerk you are and how you seem to operate pretty loosely with the facts etc? Consensus Principle at work, eh?

    The truth is you think you know everything, you are argumentative and you have taken our run-ins personally which has colored your world for the few remaining years you have left in this existence.

    I posture that I know everything (often to prove a back-handed point, realizing I don’t know everything, I just know how to poke holes in others’ positions in hopes of showing them they don’t know everything…but it’s often lost due to the inability of the other party to see past their nose). I am argumentative and good at it, it was my training…but I have purpose, often, in doing so. You seem to just like to argue…and you’re not very good at it. The only thing you excel at is ad hominem, but you rarely take a Position and defend your assertions consistently and it always ends up in personal attacks b/c you seem to run out of corner to paint yourself in.

    I don’t wish you any ill will. As you’ve stated privately many times (I’ve got the emails) you seemed to be acting most of the time in what you call “Blog Theater”…so I cut you a lot of slack. Then to find out you really do take a lot of the stuff personally and it has bothered you quite a bit, to which, again, I’m sorry for offending you.

    I would ask you to consider the perception and conclusion of many others who read here who are outside your clique. These folks tend to see things a bit more clearly and they tend to see that my story is credible and that you seem to have gone off the rails awhile ago.

    I’ll keep praying for you, though I am less and less believing it actually does anything…very few if any true “miracles” these days it seems.

  35. MLD, you also seem to have a bit of “illusion” regarding your prowess to reason above a woman:

    “Gene xxxxxx
    3/27/10

    to me
    Hi Alex,
    What is this nonsence that you are leaving the PP. No one leaves the PP – for very long anyway. In the past, I was kicked off once and twice I left vowing to never return. But you always come back. Let me give you a bit of advise – don’t tangle with the ladies – don’t even try to reason with them. If you are a real man, you will understand why.
    I stay off the Prayer thread and the City of Refuge thread as I consider those the “girl” threads. When the cat fights break out, don’t get in the middle.

    I read Sister Christians’s initial post the exact same way as Michael – but I didn’t say a thing, because I knew this would be the result.

    Take a deep breath and return when you are ready.”

    Dunno MLD, from reviewing our email conversations over the years…I think you’ve got some issues and that you need some time to reflect on your “illusions”.

  36. Alex,
    Your thin skin is showing. My comment wasn’t about you, although I had to bring you into it by Fly’s request – my comment was about Fly’s comment – that if anyone does not agree with HER perception of your story and if all are not “troubled” by it – then we are the equivalent to Baal worshipers.

    Any comments made over at SCCL – “the new religious left fundamentalists” about me are welcomed – it defines them, not me.

  37. MLD, in our public and private conversations, you’ve demonstrated some pretty interesting biases and what I would consider “illusions” about yourself, your prowess etc.

    Even now, it’s hard for me to gauge you b/c I don’t know if you are playing “Blog Theater” or having a real discussion.

    Is “MLD” some sort of Blog Theater persona you play at?

  38. Your continuous “outting” of people and private conversations only point to your lack of integrity, small mindedness and perhaps manhood.

    You prove yourself a liar, going back to the days when you would deny collecting private on each of us to use at a later date – as we just saw.

    The post above was just me trying to help you with your “girl” issues which were deep seated at the time. Obviously I failed.

    Nothing I said in that email, I haven’t said on the blog – I don’t do the prayer or City of Refuge threads because I don’t want to interfere with the more sensitive among us. I for one refuse to be disruptive on every thread that comes out.

  39. It just strikes me as rather ironic that you would call my take an “illusion” when you are the one who has professed several times to playing “Blog Theater”

  40. Actually, I just remember stuff well and I then I go find it. You realize that email programs keep a history, and blogs archive comments, no?

  41. MLD said, “Nothing I said in that email, I haven’t said on the blog”

    Yes, so what’s your beef and “outing” comment for then?

  42. Career Christians here? hmmm, what does that mean exactly?

    i will tell you this from the perspective of a 61 year Christian pilgrim, Alex has a right and even a duty to call his stepfather out, ramping the accusation up from private to public … but 😐 Alex is a man now and IMV his frustrations are in charge of him … God well may be waiting for the day when Alex’s heart breaks as much, perhaps more, for the sullying of God’s creation and for the defrauding of a Holy office meant to serve the Kingdom of our Lord – when Alex’s heart loves the reputation of his Redeemer more than he loves the wounded little boy lingering from his childhood – ‘be angry and sin not’ isn’t easy and it isn’t natural, but it defines the mature man of God and, perhaps, it just defines a self controlled mature man – period

    us women? we have hissy fits 🙂 but nothing is more evil than a grudge bearing woman IMV – and i’ve been working on that one quite a few years now

    stories such as brian posted are in there IMHO to give authenticity and to foster discernment as to our race’s sorry condition – grieve for that

  43. Alex,
    Quick question – do you agree with Fly’s statement?
    ““If anyone thinks that he can read about Alex’s accusations and Grenier’s behavior and NOT be troubled, I ask that you reconsider who you are worshiping.”

    Is Alex and Bob Grenier story the standard upon which we judge the faith of others? A quick yes or no will suffice.

  44. I think the BG story is a microcosm of a larger Problem in the Church and within CC (of course).

    I think that is why it is important. I think the Macro-Issues are important, not the specific persons.

    Child Abuse, Spiritual Abuse, Corruption, Authoritarian Leadership, CC’s (and much of the Evangelical Church’s) lax if not zero oversight of Positions of Trust they create (thought they profess oversight from one side of their mouths, then ‘we’re all independent’ out of the other side), Financial Opacity etc etc.

    I think that when folks don’t care or are un-concerned about these issues, it is not a good thing.

  45. “Many if not most of his commenters are fools and think that THEIR opinion of THEIR experience is important.” Hahahaha…. OMG, this is too funny. I wish I could be mad, instead I find it hilarious.

    MLD: I don’t know much about you except your deep-seated annoyance with anything Alex. I really hope you’re not a pastor, and I say that genuinely say that from the bottom of my heart. If you think your congregation’s opinion or your congregation’s experience is NOT important, than you’re in the wrong business man. Not an insult to your manhood at all, pastoral care is not for everyone.

    It’s funny you bring up martini, because you outed me, I love the occasional drink. But it’s one of those things I keep to myself because I know Pastors love to condemn the fire drink. I read in another Pastor’s blog (not this one) about how he was going to go about explaining the evils of spirits to his congregation. Interesting stuff, I kept my mouth shut. You see MLD, sometimes, it’s just not worth the effort to have everyone see things your way. Lose the battle, win the war…

  46. Em, I’m just doing what I think is the right thing to do.

    I’ve done what you suggest for many years. It did nothing but allow bad stuff to continue. I am no longer a believer in “go your way and pray about it and leave it to the Lord, don’t harm the church, don’t touch God’s anointed”….I think that is often a strategy/tactic to enable bad stuff in the church.

    Having said that, I am who I am and I am what I am, I’m not the model of maturity or Christian piety and perfection. I should never (and will never) be a pastor, I am not nearly qualified. I’m good at the things I’m good at and I have a pretty clear picture of who I am, what I am and what little I know to be Absolute…and I have a clear picture of humanity.

  47. Fly,
    I don’t understand your comment “it’s just not worth the effort to have everyone see things your way.”

    You made the comment – that I suspect you wanted people to see things your way – that people are probably not Christians if they don’t agree with Alex.

    For your edification – I am not a pastor and my denomination has no rules about drinking – other than you should, especially when someone says you shouldn’t. 🙂

  48. Career Christians here? hmmm, what does that mean exactly?

    since you asked, I made up the term, it’s for people who intend to make a living off of ministry and let donations (tithes, funds, whatever the word is) their main source of income.

    Career Christians are not bad people at all, but IMHO they have a different mindset (not all, just the general consensus) than the ordinary Joe believer.

    I’m sorry if the term offends anyone. I have spoken way too much. I just enjoy being a fly on the wall here. I’m sure all of you can beat me at Theology Jeopardy and I’m out of my league. I’ve learned so much from this blog, I hate to see people stop responding just because I’m reading.

  49. Fly, I totally get your “Career Christian” thing. Lots of them out there. It’s quite an Industry.

    Fly said, “I’m sure all of you can beat me at Theology Jeopardy and I’m out of my league.” ROTFLOL!!!! 😆

    …that is hilarious!

    …pretty good description of what part of PP is at times.

  50. “Theology Jeopardy”

    It’s kind of like those Professional Coffee-drinkers that order at Starbux:

    “I’d like a fat/sugar free, extra hot, triple shot organic soy latte and please go light on the foam.”

    ^^ Yuck, who would ever order that? LOL. I like the big pumpkin spice lattes…even though they’re about 800 calories, yikes!

  51. MLD said, “A quick yes or no will suffice.”

    How about bite me. See there’s a third option 😉

    Well, gotta run, would love to stick around all day busting MLD’s chops, but I have bigger fish to fry.

    Motions were filed in the BG/CC Lawsuit btw. Judge has to rule on Jan. 15. I hope to be able to publish the suit eventually, it reports the situation pretty concisely with much documentation and names names etc. We’ll see how it shakes out. I’m hopeful we prevail. Regardless, I’ve already won, b/c I’ve done the right thing, shoved my chips all-in and am not afraid of the outcome in any direction.

  52. there’s a difference between being out of one’s league and being contemptuous … the theology that goes on here is wonderful – fertilizer and sunlight – making God’s workmanship grow in Christ

    some folk might want to pick themselves up – stop the ROTF – 🙄

    while the character is by no means a Christian, it is the perfect portrayal of the old school Christian gentlemen of my youth – there were many in the Evangelical movement then … you can see him on Netflix as created by a gifted writer and a gifted actor … Christopher Foyle of “Foyle’s War” … we need men with that kind of quiet, self possessed strength today … perhaps they’re still here, just quiet – as they were then, as they always are … dunno

  53. Alex,
    Just remember – my point wasn’t about you (although you think all things are about you) – it was about Fly

  54. MLD: we all worship gods, even after we’ve accepted Christ, life is a constant battle between choosing God (big G) and little gods.

    What’s a little god? Hmmm… a popular one among Pastors comes in the shape of a little white dove and all the perks that dove brings with it.

    Another little god? the approval and acceptance of men, especially powerful men who have started big Christian movements.

  55. Fly – “we all worship gods” – so why haven’t you stopped worshiping these gods?

  56. MLD: yeah really. I need to look in the mirror, right?

    It’s a battle. Every day. I guess my god is my own bitterness, it’s hard for me to step into a church now and not be judgmental and cynical. Baby steps…

    Thank God my God isn’t keeping a record. Aren’t you the one who wrote, “Salvation is not expensive or cheap. It’s free.” Amen.

  57. “Aren’t you the one who wrote, “Salvation is not expensive or cheap. It’s free.” Amen.”

    Very good – I like someone who pays attention.

    “Grace is not cheap, because that implies that it still costs something. Grace is absolutely free.”

    Take it from one (me) who freely admits that I sin at least 300 times a day.

  58. moderators, i apologize, i know why my #59 is in moderation – just erase it – sorry

    Alex observed, “Em, I’m just doing what I think is the right thing to do.

    I’ve done what you suggest for many years. It did nothing but allow bad stuff to continue. I am no longer a believer in “go your way and pray about it and leave it to the Lord, don’t harm the church, don’t touch God’s anointed”….I think that is often a strategy/tactic to enable bad stuff in the church.”

    someone got a 2×4?

    i wasn’t advocating either ignoring or “leaving it to the Lord,” which may be a good plan sometimes …

    if Alex (& most of us) would examine our hearts we would find that we love our precious selves (& our families, too) far more than we love God – we even gloat quote: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” … when it ought to scare us, i think

    we may confront and think we are doing God’s work in pointing out transgression, but when doing so, i don’t see that we really **grieve** for the sorry behavior of the offender – i suspect this presumptuous, if not self-righteous, stand neutralizes much of our endeavors – we don’t have a heart for God’s heart – ours is self centered motivation – so an insidious disrespecting of God, His office, His grace and His gift of redemption falls on both sides of the fence – we can’t get our minds around His long-suffering love – the mystery is examined in Nehemiah 9 – the O.T. economy still has application to the Church, i think

    at least, i fall short in this – i know that it is God’s grace and forbearance that gives me space to refocus, to work on my own self absorbed shortcomings (also known as sin)
    “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

  59. Em, you couldn’t be more wrong about the grieving and you couldn’t be more wrong about most of the rest of your post,

    My approach is often misunderstood, which is fine, but it is also often understood by many as well. One thing I’ve learned is that you will never please everyone, you’ve got to play to an audience of two: “To thine own self be true” and God interacting with Conscience and God as Judge and Jury.

    I don’t want “vengeance”…I want justice, accountability, confession, repentance and reconciliation. Big difference.

    But, you are entitled to your opinions and have to be true to yourself and what you think is right.

  60. No, Alex, i’m not wrong – perhaps, i didn’t present my case well … “if Alex (& most of us) would examine our hearts we would find that we love our precious selves (& our families, too) far more than we love God.” that is a conclusion that i’ll stand by

    on the other hand, i must conclude that allowing for me to be true to myself and doing what i think is right (in my own eyes?) doesn’t seem like very sound advice – sadly it is how most of us, myself included, do function – falling short of the mind of Christ far more than we’ll know this side of Eternity 🙂

  61. Em says in her post #59, in responding to Alex (of course): “Someone got a 2×4”?

    Seriously, that statement is disturbing on several levels.

    I’ll leave it that…

    Alex

  62. I did’nt mean to add your name at the end of my post Alex, t’was a mistake.

  63. How ironic. After being for so many years a one-man living negative Yelp review against so many ministries, and abetting the efforts of others to do the same here, Internet ministry leader discovers that negative Yelp reviews can hurt.

    Wasn’t that the whole idea?

    Maybe you should send a copy of this column to Skip and Rick and all the other imperfect human beings you have publicly trashed over the years.

    Maybe they are not con artists and megalomaniacal abusers. Maybe they are good people, trying to do good, who at times find themselves in situations that they are not able to handle perfectly.

    Just like your friend with the restaurant. Just like you.

  64. Wow. Nasty post pp vet.

    These are the reasons I don’t care to engage here.

    I’m off to enjoy a long weekend.

  65. Thanks! (For the compliment, not for leaving.)

  66. i am truly sorry for disturbing Misty … i had a M-I-L with no ability to grasp a quip such as the 2×4 one … we got along quite well as we both loved the Lord (despite our denominational differences) 🙂

  67. 2×4’s can be quite useful.

  68. Captain Kevin said, “2×4′s can be quite useful.”

    Yes, amen, they sure are useful. Glad you seem to agree with the approach. At times, the 2×4 is the option when confronting Abuse and Corruption in the Church.

    With dealing with women and children at your Church…the 2×4 thing is abuse and wrong.

    Jesus and Paul the Apostle exampled the 2×4 approach with hypocritical religious leaders and leaders in error (Pharisees and Judaizers and Ananias and Saphira etc i.e. Abuse and Corruption)…yet Jesus and Paul exampled the opposite with children, women, those in a weaker position than Religious Leaders, etc.

    Often times I think we miss the “example” and the different ways and different contexts in which Jesus acted. He whipped and beat the Money Changers…yet He was so gracious and loving and patient with Children and Women etc.

    I think sometimes we miss the doctrinal forest from the trees and don’t rely enough on example of approach and behavior toward certain Groups.

    Was Jesus ever “turn the other cheek” and forgiving to the Religious Leaders? Nope. Did Jesus bring the 2×4 all the time with them? Yep. Nicodemus is the lone example where Jesus seemed to extend some Grace with a Religious Leader, but that was in the context of Nicodemus’s soft heart toward the Gospel and wanting to do right.

    Can’t get past Matthew 23 and so many other portions of Scripture…that is “if” Scripture is the Standard or “a” Standard for Truth.

  69. Em said, “No, Alex, i’m not wrong – perhaps, i didn’t present my case well … “if Alex (& most of us) would examine our hearts we would find that we love our precious selves (& our families, too) far more than we love God.” that is a conclusion that i’ll stand by

    on the other hand, i must conclude that allowing for me to be true to myself and doing what i think is right (in my own eyes?) doesn’t seem like very sound advice – sadly it is how most of us, myself included, do function – falling short of the mind of Christ far more than we’ll know this side of Eternity”

    LOL. I love you Em, you are a kind soul, yet you are tough inside as well. Don’t ever let anyone push you around and I hope I’m not doing that.

    I think you express your take well and you might be right, I just disagree that that is the case here. I don’t think one can love his family too much. I think loving your family “is” loving God.

    When I say, “To thine own self be true”…it is in the context and through the lens of Scripture…which teaches us to “work out your own Salvation in fear and trembling” and speaks to your individual “conscience” in determining “right and wrong” on many issues and speaks to the rather individual nature in “listening” to the Holy Spirit and seeking to do what is right.

    That is the context in which I present “Be true to yourself”…it is you being “true” to your Conscience in synergy with the Holy Spirit. That’s entirely Scriptural and one of many of the 30,000 plus individual differences of “interpretation” of the same Bible and illustrates just how individual and “true to self/conscience/Holy Spirit” things are in reality.

    Even your statement is you processing our discussion, appealing to Scripture, believing the Holy Spirit is giving you insight and then forming a strong opinion about this situation.

    You are, in fact, being “true to yourself” in your example above. You might be right, you might be wrong…but you are being true to yourself (it appears, doubtful you are intentionally lying and presenting a stance that you don’t really believe in this case).

  70. I end up posting a lot and posting long posts trying to explain stuff further…b/c I often get misunderstood and the conclusion I’ve drawn is the vast majority don’t process information and issues in the context of Scripture at the level I do and simply don’t see the stuff…ergo long posts with more detailed explanation of my Position and rationale, etc. Often, however, folks see it right away, some see it over time after following the stuff for awhile and a few don’t see it (i.e. MLD and some others) but I think some of them it’s more personal bias due to confrontations than it is intellectually honest disagreement (read their pride got tweaked). At the end of the day, some agree, some dont’…and the only thing I (and anyone) can really do at the end of the day is be “True to self” in the context of Conscience, Scripture, Holy Spirit…until one is convinced otherwise.

    That’s just the way things are folks. You can poke at it from all directions (I have) and there really isn’t another option in tension with Scripture.

  71. “…the conclusion I’ve drawn is the vast majority don’t process information and issues in the context of Scripture at the level I do and simply don’t see the stuff.”

    Glad to see you took your humble pills this morning.

  72. CK, LOL. Ya, you’re right, I’m a prideful jerk. I’m qualified for hell, I hope God has mercy on me.

  73. I am glad to see that it is not just me that draws out Alex’s dark side. He is now arguing with senior citizen ladies and the genteel teacher from AZ.

    Alex may be correct on his issue, but is wrong 100% of the time on the defense of his issue. His comment that no one can process information like he does is laughable – who would want to?

  74. “…the conclusion I’ve drawn is the vast majority don’t process information and issues in the context of Scripture at the level I do …” well, you got that right 🙂

    Alex seems to have drawn a picture of who and what i am … most people who deal with the general public on the level he does get pretty good at doing that with some general accuracies … but i’m not in his shop to hock a watch, buy a gun or pass out tracts … or rob the store 😎

    i make observations here (most of them off the cuff, as it were) from my spiritual frame of reference; some folk groan and ignore me, some patronize me, some hope to convert me and many are like him in not understanding my comments, although kinder in their conclusions

    i presumptuously pontificate on Michael’s blog with the hope of goading our spirits into personal One on one searching deeper for the mind of God – i am not here to lead or teach theology

    but, from a human viewpoint perspective, perhaps i am not so kind as it is my take that God’s deepest grief is for the spiritual condition of the step-father …

    God keep

  75. MLD said, “no one can process information like he does is laughable”

    “no one” does not equal “vast majority”…unless we are redefining terms again.

    What I actually stated above, “the vast majority don’t process…” implying that many don’t, but a few do, which is consistent with my IQ, standardized test scores etc. It is what it is.

    I’m not “arguing” with Em, we’re having a pretty polite discussion. Folks don’t agree sometimes.

    CK’s comments were fine, I laughed. He’s partly right, IMO.

    MLD, you just don’t like me and can’t get over not being able to get-over on me.

    I love your use of Absolute “100% of the time”…so ironic for a Lutheran, especially one as all-over-the-board as you are in your discussions. You argue with yourself most of the time, you contradict yourself so much LOL. The only thing you seem to demonstrate some consistency with is very defined, memorizable doctrinal/theological positions. As far as critical thinking and being consistent on issues and discussions, you often state one thing, then contradict yourself, then claim you didn’t, then I show you in your own words you did, then you resort to ad hominem and cry foul etc etc. Sometimes a man has to know his limitations…but if you insist on continuing on, no problem, I’m happy to indulge you 😉

  76. i like MLD, and i can disrespect him without having his followers jump on me 😆 plus, sometimes he says something very pithy that i agree with

    just sayin – now i’m gone

  77. Well, since I showed you a couple of weeks ago that you could not properly define a contradiction let alone recognize one, I think you comment falls a bit short.

    If someone says something in different contexts that are opposing statements, that is not a contradiction.

    So, when I tell my son, when you come over – just walk right in.
    But when I tell you “when you come over, please first ring the door bell and i will let you in.”

    You take that as a contradiction – and run around claiming “MLD contradicts himself – first he says come wright in and out of the other side of his mouth he says ring the bell and wait.”

    You critical thinking is “almost” non existent.

  78. We covered that ground already and you’re wrong, do you want to rehash it all again? I can pull it up and re-post it…LOL.

    You seem to enjoy doubling and tripling down on your fallacious impudence.

  79. Alex, I imagine you very well might be the most intelligent person that posts here. If you were able to have wisdom anywhere near your intelligence you would be much more respected.

  80. @51
    I hope you prevail too.

    @64
    and maybe not.

  81. Erunner, That is one of the most insightful, and gracious statements I’ve read in a long time. You are a man of wisdom and grace. Blessings to all.

    And Alex, please know that many of us continue to pray for truth and healing for your entire family.

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