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GETTING OFF OUR BUTS

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I pastored rural United Methodist Churches in Virginia for eight years before beginning what is now more than thirty-five years as a professional hunger fighter. Although I felt called to the pastorate, and I loved being a pastor, I always felt a deep sense of frustration at my inability to help my congregations move off dead center in regard to mission outreach.

All my congregations wanted to make a real difference in the world. All of them wanted to reach out in the name of Christ to be involved in significant mission projects. But none of those congregations were able to make the impact they truly desired. And I lacked the leadership skills necessary to help them.

I wish I knew then what I know now.

Those are the opening words from the Preface of GETTING OFF OUR BUTS: Making Mission Happen, my new book that will be published by Snake Mountain Press this summer. The book is a biblical blueprint for getting congregations and other organizations totally engaged in mission work that can change the world.

There is no reason for any person, group or church not to be actively engaged in making a difference in our broken world. GETTING OFF OUR BUTS is a manual that guides congregations through every step of successful mission work. The book is a easy-to-follow guide to help congregations take the necessary steps to become real leaders in reaching out to those most in need, both in their local communities and around the world.

I will share more excerpts from the book in the coming months.

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“Bones Will Not Suffice”

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Here is the title poem from my first collection published in 1997 by Black Lion Press.

BONES WILL NOT SUFFICE

A backdoor beggar,
the brindled bitch
is more than another stray mongrel
scavenging breakfast
at the butcher shop
door. Bones
will not suffice
to fill her hollow hurt.
She is not the first knocked-up love
to be knocked about,
kicked out and left to fend for herself.
Her whines are not self pity,
just a plea for touch.
Ask her.
Nights bring their own hunger
when you’re on your own.

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