CHURCH JARGON FOR NEWBIES

It’s Monday … and I need a little humor.  Those who grew up going to church know all the special “church lingo” that goes along with going to church. But can you imagine what it’d be like for a seeker or new Christian to attend a worship service and hear a lot of terms and phrases they don’t understand? Unless someone is there to explain things, it’s got to be really confusing. I can’t help but think about how confusing our “church lingo” is to some people. Maybe they need the following program explaining these terms so they’d feel more at home (for those a little slow this is all tongue and cheek):

  • THE PULPIT MINISTER: Sometimes called other things like the Preacher, Pastor, Reverend or “Hey you!” A minister charged with ensuring the spiritual growth of a congregation or worship group. Often confused for a “Sunday Only” employee. Many ministers also enjoy additional job responsibilities as janitor, maintenance man, and landscape architect for their congregations.
  • THE YOUTH MINISTER: Responsibilities similar to those of pulpit minister, but focused on the student population. Youth ministers are frequently young, healthy men of God, capable of withstanding the extreme physical punishment in their attempts to keep up with their youth group. If you want to know who the youth minister is … look for a man with glazed eyes, a nervous twitch, and thirty teenagers in tow.
  • ELDERS: A group of men who see that salaries are paid, bills are covered and needs are met. Elders also handle other spiritual matters like intercepting letters that are addressed “Dear Heretic” and resolving serious congregational disputes (“I’ve sat right in that same spot for thirty years and now she comes along and thinks she can park herself anywhere she pleases!”).
  • DEACONS: A group of members chosen for their proven character and ability to run quickly enough when asked to serve. Deacons often assist with the things that the pulpit minister and youth minister don’t have time to get to.
  • VOLUNTEERS: Also known by some as a layperson (not to be confused with the people asleep and actually laying in the pews). Volunteers give their time in service to God and His people. Minister’s wives rank among the most consistent and sometimes unwitting volunteers (ie “I’m sure the preacher’s wife would love to lead the clothing drive, I’ve taken the liberty of putting her in charge and putting her phone number on the flyer.”).
  • TITHE: A term once used to denote a tenth of one’s income, especially in reference to charitable contributions or money given as an offering to God. In recent years, common usage and incredibly poor math skills on the part of some parishioners have served to broaden the meaning to encompass amounts ranging from the original 10 percent to whatever happens to be left over at the end of a given pay period. Example: “Hey, Mary, have you paid the cable bill yet, and do you think we’ll have enough left over for a tithe?”
  • GOSSIP: A detestable habit of spreading rumors, partial truths, or sensational talk of a personal or confidential nature. Often preceded by statements such as, “You know I’m not one to gossip, but…,” “Now I really shouldn’t be telling you this…,” and “I’m only mentioning this so that you can pray for him.”
  • SERMON: A twenty-five or thirty minute discourse in which the pulpit minister attempts to overcome a variety of distractions (crying babies, latecomers finding seats, etc) while transferring God’s message to the flock. Ministers regularly hear, “Good sermon, preacher” … unless of course  you’re speaking on stewardship.
  • CHURCH VAN/BUS: A form of transportation occasionally rumored to be in full working order. Church vans and buses, unlike other forms of mass transportation, are not intended so much for moving people as for building faith in the faint of heart. (“Do you trust in Jesus, Harold?” “Yes, Preacher. I do.” “Good, Harold, then get on the church van and hang on.”)
  • GREAT COMMISSION: Not the money some unscrupulous televangelists take home each week, the Great Commission, outlined in Matthew 28:19, instructs us to “go out and make disciples” – sometimes misinterpreted as the Great Suggestion.
Can you think of any other phrases or words that would be considered “church jargon?”
(Thanks G. Darber for the idea)

5 Things I’d Love To Tell Kim Kardashian About Marriage

I’m not a Kim Kardashian expert. I didn’t watch her wedding, I don’t follow her life on television, and I didn’t know much about her until this week. BUT… I did become interested in her when I read that after 72 days she was bailing out on her marriage and filing for divorce. The whole sad story hurts my heart for a lot of reasons. I don’t know what part hurt the most … the fact that she reportedly spent 10 million on her wedding, OR the fact that it only  lasted 72 days.

I’m not here to judge Ms Kardashian, but I would have LOVED to give her some marriage advice. Just a few pointers that I think might have made a difference in her marriage.  If she would have asked, here are a few things I would have liked to have told her….

  1. THE MARRIAGE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE WEDDING.  Succeeding in marriage has NOTHING to do with a fancy wedding and EVERYTHING to do with investing time and energy in the actual marriage. The marriage is a thousand times more important than the wedding, so invest as much time, effort and money in your marriage as you do the wedding. If you’re looking for something fairytale … strive for a fairytale marriage not wedding.
  2. MARRIAGE IS A TOTAL “ALL-IN” COMMITMENT. God never created marriage as a disposable relationship. Instead, God intended marriage for life. Yes, I know that 50% of marriages end in divorce, but that’s not what God actually wanted. His plan for marriage was an all-in total commitment and was never a disposable, “We’ll see if this works out, and if it doesn’t we’ll get a divorce,” relationship. If you made a commitment, keep it. Love is a choice you make, not something you feel.  You may not “feel” in love anymore, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t love your spouse. For more on this point, read this. 
  3. PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING IS NOT AN OPTION, BUT A MUST. Ms Kardashian, if you’re divorcing for irreconcilable differences after only 72 days … then you missed something BIG TIME. As mentioned earlier we should invest as much time in the marriage as the wedding and pre-marital counseling is a HUGE must. You should know WELL the person you are about to marry and engagements and pre-marital counseling help you to do just that. It’s BEFORE you’re married that you work out all the things that are irreconcilable … not wait until after your married.
  4. MARRIAGE IS ABOUT PUTTING THE OTHER PERSON’S NEEDS BEFORE YOUR OWN NEEDS. It’s been said that marriage is 50-50 give and take relationship. I think it works better when couples give 100% to their spouse and in return their spouse gives 100% back. When your focus is on meeting your spouse’s needs, most of the time they’ll want to do the same. Strive to “out do” one another in marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 MSG
  5. DON’T QUIT. If I was a cusser, a screamer, or a yeller, then this is where I’d do it! Because I want you to understand, “WHATEVER YOU DO … DON’T QUIT!  It’s so frustrating to see couples invest years (and children) into their marriage, and the first real hiccup that comes along, they bail out!  STOP IT! Whether you’ve been married 72 days or 17 years … don’t quit. Seek help when you come to an impasse. Look for outside help to get you through a problem, but whatever you do DON’T QUIT!

I’m not here to judge Kim Kardashian, because I have no real clue what happened to her marriage. But my heart goes out to the sanctity of marriage, because weddings that cost 10 million dollars shouldn’t end 72 days later.

“Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting…” ~Ephesians 5:25 MSG

Real Men (and Women) Dote

“Dote” is not a word we use much anymore. In fact … I like the word pursue. But just so you’ll know … to “Dote” means: “to be lavish or excessive in one’s attention, fondness, or affection for.” Doting is pretty much what you did to win your spouse before you were married.

I’m not ashamed to say that I love to dote over my wife. Some men don’t dote. In fact, some men think it’s unmanly to dote. I personally think that real men do dote.

I vividly remember the afternoon. Another guy and I were hanging out when our wives walked in the room. I immediately said, where Lea could hear me (what good is it if she doesn’t hear me), “There’s my absolutely beautiful wife.”  The other guy looked at his wife, turned up his nose up and said with a real tough tone, “And there’s my wife, and she’s not much to brag about.”

I remember wanting to double up my fist and punch him in the mouth, or better yet, I’d hold him and his wife could punch him in the mouth. Instead I shot him a dirty look and told him if he didn’t start praising her and building her up, he’d be calling me someday with advice on how to win her back. His sarcastic response was, “Real men know how to keep their wives in check!” I just shook my head in disgust knowing he was serious and that his wife had heard the whole conversation.

A little over a year later he was sitting in my office seeking help on how to win his wife back because she had just left him. Surprise, surprise! Someone had come in her life that said sweet things to her, treated her nice and made her feel special; and he couldn’t BELIEVE she’d do this to him. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very nice to him that day … and I did say, “I told you so.” 

Real men (and women) dote. In fact … they NEVER stop doting. Try it, your spouse will love it and your marriage will thank you for it!

“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.”  ~Proverbs 18:22

  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  ~ Ephesians 4:29

  “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.”  ~Ephesians 5:25 (Message)

Here is Why I Love Wednesdays

There’s not a Wednesday that goes by that I don’t think of my friends at the dump. This is their day… their day of the week to be fed. Every Wednesday my amazing friend Marc Tindall and a group of Christians make a trip to the Tegucigalpa dump in Honduras to feed hungry people who are there. Sadly, the dump people have spent the last 6 days searching the trash for something to eat, recycle or sell. While we’ve been asking questions like, “When or what are we going to eat?” they’ve been asking questions like, “Will we eat today?”  Thankfully today is Wednesday … so they’ll eat today. That warms my heart.

In a little over a month, on December 7th, we’ll have a “Jesus Banquet” for the people at the dump. They won’t be fed beans and rice from the back of a truck, instead they’ll be served “banquet style” some of the best food you can eat in Honduras.

“When you give a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends and family and relatives and rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return, and you will be paid back. When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.” Luke 12

Someone recently asked, “Why go all out for people living in a dump?” The answer is simple … we offer our best to them because God offered His best to us … His son.


Thank you for your continued support of the Honduras Project…

Taylor … Army Strong

I’ve been doing my best to avoid writing this post. It’s not that I’m scared of it or that I’m ignoring it, it’s just that I didn’t want it to come … at least this quickly.

For those of you that don’t know, our oldest son Taylor, leaves next week for Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He has for a long time wanted to serve his country and is planning to do so through the Army.

Back when Taylor was trying to decide IF he was going to enlist or not, Lea and I found wisdom and comfort from friends like Patrick Mead who also has had a son serving in the military. It’s been great to find love, support and answers from people who understood what we were going through as parents.

When Taylor was trying to decide if he was going to enlist, Lea and I prayed that God would give him wisdom to make the right decision. Now that he has enlisted our prayers have changed to, “Lord bless him that this adventure might be a great blessing in his life and that he might always serve You!”  The crazy thing is … I haven’t even prayed yet, “Lord, keep him safe.”  While Taylor’s safety  is important to us, there are still MUCH more important things.  We want this to be a blessing in Taylor’s life and we want him to continue to serve God … THAT is what we find important.

Taylor is a great young man and he has always made us proud. When we take him to the airport next week to catch a flight for basic training, it’ll be hard … because we know he’s not going to be around as often.  Lea and I will continue to pray for him … and we have no doubt that he will continue to to serve his God AND to make us proud.

We are very proud of you, Taylor.

6 Things That Have Made Me A Better Minister

I’ve been doing ministry for about 25 years now. (Insert “old guy” joke here). In those 25 years, ministry techniques have come and gone. I’ve learned both good and bad ways to minister to people. There are plenty of things in the last 25 years that have and have not worked. Over the last few […]

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Overcoming Sexual Temptation

Here are a few things I found written down in an old journal this week that I’d like to share with you. Let’s start with a quiz. These aren’t trick questions, and they’re not hard. But play along if you will. Who was physically the strongest man in the Bible? (Samson) Who was the wisest […]

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Stupid Things Parents Say

Remember those cliches that came out of your parents’ mouths that made your skin crawl? If you are like most of us, you probably swore to yourself that you would never say “those things” to your kids. I can vividly remember thinking to myself, “I’m NEVER going to use that phrase with my kids,” but […]

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20 Years Ago Today …

I can’t believe that 20 years ago today, in a hospital in Childress, Texas … we had an amazing son named Parker.  Lea and I are blessed to have such an amazing kid. We have loved watching him grow up in physical and spiritual stature. Happy 20th Parker … we’re very proud of you.

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Men, When it Comes to Your Marriage … Don’t Be Bob!

(I have no clue where this came from … but it sure made me laugh …) Bob’s Last Letter: It is important for men to remember that as women grow older it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as they did when they were younger. When men notice this, they […]

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10 Things Women Will NEVER Understand About Men

Men love being men, but sometimes the very things that make us unique are the things that women understand the least.  Come to think of it, there are probably LOTS of things that men do that don’t make sense to women. Things like these things …. Men just can’t stop and ask for directions. Men […]

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11 Things You’ll Find at the Morgan House…

You’ll find two outside cats that are meow-challenged. Yes, neither cat knows how to meow.  The male cat only makes squeaking sounds like a chipmunk or squirrel when he wants something to eat. The only noise I’ve ever heard our female cat make was screeching sounds when I stepped on her once. You’ll find a […]

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22 Years Ago Today…

22 years ago today, God blessed Lea and I with our first born son. That day we named that good-looking kid … Taylor Ross Morgan. Happy 22nd Birthday, Taylor! We are very proud of you.

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How Well Do You Know Your Spouse’s Needs?

There are 2 things that Lea and I repeat over and over in the Strong Marriage workshops that we do … Be proactive in growing your marriage. (Don’t put your marriage on cruise control.) Strive to meet your spouse’s needs. I think every couple will agree that we need to meet our spouses needs, but […]

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10 Years Ago Today …

10 years ago today, God blessed Lea and I with a sweet, kind, tender-hearted little boy. That day I got the honor of giving him his name … Cooper James Morgan. Happy 10th Birthday, Cooper!

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11 Things I Said I Would NEVER Do In Ministry

Many years ago when I started in ministry, there were certain things I said that I would NEVER do. On some I’ve held true, and on others I’ve failed miserably. Here are some of those things I said I’d NEVER do in ministry … I said I would NEVER want to be called anything but […]

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How to Drop the Divorce Rate to 7% in Your Marriage!

I want to be a 5 to 1 husband! Statistics on marriage scare me, but the Studer Group has released a new study on “Compliment to Criticism” ratio. They’ve told us from their studies, that people in general need 3 compliments given for every 1 criticism that is said to them. While that didn’t surprise […]

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Ten Things I’m Learning about Prayer

If you REALLY want to get God’s attention in prayer, it’s not by being eloquent or using big words, but by being honest and shooting straight with Him. The power of praying aloud is ELECTRIC! Prayer is not about poetry or posture, but about engaging the heart. When it comes to the “power of prayer,” […]

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5 Things on my iPod

Music has always been such a big part of my life. I thought I’d share with you a few things on my iPod, and I’m hoping to find some new ideas when you share a few things that you are listening to. So here are my lists … 5 things you will ALWAYS Find on […]

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7 Things Your Children Desperately Need To Hear You Say

This morning as I dropped Cooper off for school, I told him, “Coop, don’t forget that you are by far my most favorite elementary school kid.” From the grin on his face, I could tell I’d said something right. God has blessed me with four incredible boys. As their father I want to be proactive […]

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10 Reasons I Don’t Like People Who Complain

Maybe it’s my personality, maybe it was the way I was raised, BUT I do NOT like constant complainers.  I’m okay with someone occasionally needing to get something off their chest, BUT nothing gets under my skin more than a person who constantly gripes and complains about everything. I’m not talking glass half empty people, who […]

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Influencing a New Gang Member

Taz is a young man who blew into our community about a year ago. His past is a rough one and he openly confesses … “I’ve probably done more harm to people than good.” Thankfully, some kind folks I do church with, saw value in Taz and reached out to him not long after he […]

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Come to Honduras With Me This December

Want to step out in your faith and do something that will challenge you in every way?  Want to go experience an amazing opportunity to serve? Want to go love on some beautiful people? I will be going back to Honduras this December, and I’d like to invite you to come with me. Here’s the […]

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3 Things I Learned This Past Week

“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding…”~Proverbs 3:13 Life is about learning. Learning from mistakes, victories and others makes me a wiser and stronger person.  I’m always trying to learn things from everyday events. Little lessons hidden among daily events and activities. Some of the things I learn are beneficial […]

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31 Stupid Ways to Kill your Marriage

There are probably hundreds of dumb things to do in your marriage, but here are 31 that will destroy your marriage… Believe that your marriage will be great without having to invest time or effort into it. NEVER compliment or praise your spouse. Stop pursuing your spouse like you did before marriage. Be critical all […]

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I’m Finding it Hard to Squeeze God into My Daily Schedule

“I’m finding it hard to squeeze some quiet time with God into my daily schedule.”  Grrr, if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say the previous statement, I’d put all that money in a bag and whack them over the head with it. Let me just simply say that if you […]

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Lea Is Still the Girl for Me

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The music went from loud to soft, the lights were dimmed and the disco ball in the middle of the room made little colored lights dance on the skating-rink floor. It was then that the DJ said, “Alright it’s couple skate time, and girls, it’s your choice.” […]

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It’s Funny How Men & Women Are So Different

My Mom sent the following that I found very funny … but also very realistic when it comes to the way men and women think. Here you go: A husband & wife’s journal from the same day … HER JOURNAL: Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at […]

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Be a Christian … But Don’t Be a Jerk

Christians SHOULD be setting the bar high as the most loving, gracious and generous people on this earth. The problem is … we don’t always do a good job looking like the Jesus we claim to follow. Often times we have treated others unkind in the name of religion. We talk out of both sides […]

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10 Ways to Turn On a Woman

Every time I see an Old Spice commercial (like this one), an Axe hair-gel commercial or a TAG body-spray commercial, I just shake my head.  According to the commercials, if you just use these products, women will be uncontrollably attracted to you sexually.  Now men, I’ll be the first to admit, it is important to […]

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Want to Grow in Your Marriage? Try a “Strong Marriages” Workshop

Thought I might tell you today about two of our  ”Strong Marriages” workshop coming up that Lea and I will be doing. Childress, Texas on September 17th from 9:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Main Event in downtown Childress. Henrietta, Texas at the Church of Christ on October 1st.  For more information call them […]

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11 Facebook Rules for Married Couples

Since so many have been doing the Facebook Marriage Challenge, I thought it’d be a good time to talk about some Facebook Rules for Married Couples. Facebook has become hugely popular in the past few years. Lea and I both love being able to catch up with old friends and family on Facebook. But with […]

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The 7 Day Facebook Marriage Challenge

About a month ago I wrote a post about how important it is that you praise your spouse … everyday. Part of my post included these words, “I mentioned while teaching a marriage class recently, if there was one thing that could make an immediate positive impact on your marriage, it would be praising your […]

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Just How Rich Am I?

Want some very challenging reading today? I’d love to challenge your thinking for just a moment on how wealthy you and I are.   I’m not here to make you feel guilty, but you may … because I did. We, as Americans don’t always understand what real poverty is.  A new study by the US […]

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Wearing Pink Flip-Flops for Jesus

I’d like you to meet Canon. He and his family went with us to Honduras. Canon just turned 12-years-old and was a “go getter” in Honduras. The picture fits him perfectly … everywhere he went he had his backpack FULL of things to give away to others. He brought stuff from home like baseball caps, […]

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About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
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Husband, father and cancer survivor ... who moonlights as the senior minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage & randomness.
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