Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I have been struggling since Monday evening with Vertigo and all that is associated with it. If you don’t know what that is I’ll spare you but is has something to do with meeting up close and personal a porcelain object kept in a small room in the house. Anyway, I did it to myself. I had purchased a new de-humidifier for the basement and of course that was some assembly required as I wanted it to drain to the sump. Hooking up the drain hose I had to bend over and look in an opening to attach the hose. Bending over and looking up at the drain attachment “thing-a-ma-jiggly” I gave myself a good case of vertigo. I’ve had this ability (I’m not so sure it is an ability as it is a curse) to make myself sick by bending over and looking up at something. Sometimes just laying on my back and looking up will do it. But it is an experience I can definitely live without.

As soon as I bend over and cocked my head to look under the de-humidifier I realized I had made a serious mistake. The room began to spin and I immediately got sick and it is hard to run to the bathroom when the whole place is spinning like a top. Anyway, to make a long story shorter, after a trip to the doctor and getting 3 prescriptions I am doing better today. I can walk reasonably straight and the world is staying in place instead of spinning.

Now I knew that the room, house, yard etc was not really spinning. This has happened to me on several occasions. But my perception was that nothing I saw was staying in it place. And believe me, for the past three days that perception was reality.

I began to think about the old marketing slogan that I learned so many years ago, “Perception is reality”. You can have the greatest product ever made by human hands, but if the customers perception of it is that it is really junk, you’ll have a hard time marketing the product until you change the mind of the customer.

We all have perceptions that come into play every day. Why do you buy the cola you buy? Perception! One is better than all the others. And by the way, I know which one that is. Why do you favor one brand of auto over another? Or the color of shirt you buy? Or the restaurant you frequent? Lot of the answer is our perception over what is better, what is more reliable, what makes me look better or whatever.

Have you ever given any thought to the perception the unchurched people living in your area have about your church? About the people who attend there? About the pastor? I can almost guarantee you that some of their perception about your church is wrong. And you could tell them over and over how good, friendly, and compassionate that you are but if their perception is different chances are you’ll never win them.

Now, of course we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to convince people of their sin and when He does that the perception of convinced people becomes different, it changes. So, let me ask you, who specifically lives in your primary ministry area that has a skewed perception of who you are? And what do you need to begin doing to change that perception if it is indeed incorrect? To struggle with the answers is to force one to think missionally.

Another saying from communications is, “The Audience Is Sovereign”. That is the audience can decide what message they will listen and respond to and which ones they won’t. We are bombarded with thousands of messages every day, how can we as a church get through the clutter of information overload to gain the audiences attention. Especially those who are not believers.

Well that is what I was thinking about as the room was spinning. After you read this your perception may be that I’m still dizzy.

Well, anyway, have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year! And remember, “Where God is taking us is always better than where we’ve been.”

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