Passing notes.

What are you afraid will happen?

I write notes to myself all the time. On scraps of paper, on the backs of business cards, on waterproof paper in the shower. Sometimes they are thoughts while I’m listening to people speak. Sometimes they are notes to myself. I’ve been traveling and doing some speaking and thinking recently. Here are some of the notes I’ve made.


“Presence not performance.”

“What’s not working as well as it could?”

“What we call ‘small churches’, God calls ‘church’.”

“There’s a difference between ‘I made it’ and ‘I did it’. One is about squeaking by. One is about doing well.”

“What if illness isn’t punishment, but for some people is their opportunity to come in contact with the loving people of God? Receiving competent care and compassion from people who are working in the name of God. The emphasis has to be on compassion.”

“Not every gathering of people into a church has to do everything that THE CHURCH has to do. A healthy local congregation isn’t measured by whether it is reaching everyone and serving everyone and meeting every need. It’s not measured in comparison to the size or the budget or the building of another church. It’s measured by how we live up to what God has given us.”

“Love God, Love others, and teach them how to obey what God commands. Which is to love God and to love others. But there are no numbers. And the numbers we historically collect, money and attendance, are not measures of loving God and loving others. So what are ways to measure loving God and loving others?”


I discovered “Rite in the Rain” notebooks a few months back. I now keep a page in the shower to capture the thinking that happens there. I get them from RainWriter.

2 thoughts on “Passing notes.

    1. Jon Swanson

      I keep them on the shelf indefinitely. Sometimes, but not often enough, I look back. But I probably should do that more, as a way of seeing how the stories turned out.


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