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Category Archives: Hmmm

DARREN’S BOOK VIDEO IS HERE! (and his new website at darrenschalk.com)

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My official book release is only 2 weeks away, and it’s time to let the cat out of the bag in the form of my fantastically amazing super stupendous ridiculously awesome BOOK VIDEO! (In which I may or may not shamelessly exploit my children to help sell books.) I also wanted to let everyone know I’m moving my website over to www.darrenschalk.com. So check it out while you’re there.  (Also, if you receive my posts in your email, you’ll need to resubscribe on the new site. You can find the subscription box on the right hand side of the home page). Here’s the link, go check out the video and resubscribe! Thanks for reading!

Click Here To Watch Darren’s Book Video

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PLEASE DON’T READ MY BOOK (but check out this sneak preview)

Picture9I had an epiphany recently, and it wasn’t a pleasant one.

I have a horrible habit of crawling up into my head to see what’s there. More often than not I merely notice what’s missing, but that’s another story.

I’m slightly introverted, so I often find myself lost in my thoughts. (Does that phrasing even make sense?)

WARNING: TMI in 3…2…1…

This happens most often while I’m in the shower.

My wife likes to point out that I sometimes take long showers. I do this because I literally forget I’m in the shower. I get utterly lost in my head, like that dude in the movie Hook who couldn’t find his marbles.

On one of my recent head trips (pun) I realized that my head is a place no one should ever visit. It’s filled with ridiculous ponderings about strawberry jelly, Jesus, duck-billed platypuses, time travel, and Teletubbies, although not necessarily in that order. (Unfortunately the Teletubbies are usually first, followed by the time travel, which is usually my attempt to escape the Teletubbies, who are the thing of nightmares.)

And this life-changing epiphany was followed by another, more horrifying epiphany: My book is a literal trip inside the mind of Darren. The previous paragraph shows why this is so horrifying. Read the rest of this entry

How To Have An Awesome Life Even When Life Isn’t So Awesome

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Sometimes life isn’t all that awesome.

I was reminded of this awful truth when I woke up to a house without power this morning in 4 degree temperatures. Oh, and my pipes were frozen, so no heat, no water, and no power.

Normally this would send me into total-Darren-freak-out-panic mode. My wife says I’m a bit of a pessimist when it comes to these types of situations, or any situation for that matter.

My brain tends to see everything that’s not there. I like to see what’s coming, so I analyze every possible scenario before any of them actually play out. I’m always looking past what I see and trying to see what I can’t see.

Wow, just writing that makes me realize why my wife gets so annoyed with this trait. Read the rest of this entry

Are You Ministering or Performing?

Performer Minister

There are ministers and there are performers. And unfortunately, there are some ministers who act more like performers.

I hate unpreparedness. Nothing irks me more than when someone, particularly in a church service, gets up to do something without having prepared. I believe in doing everything with excellence, and when leading, I try not to let anything but the best occur under my watch and supervision. Anything less is inexcusable, although some things inevitably slip through the cracks.

But at the same time, there’s a fine line between excellence and perfection, or between preparedness and performance, particularly in church.

I’ve come to believe that when your goal is perfection, it can easily move from ministry to performance, and those are VERY different things. Read the rest of this entry

Should Your Church Euthanize Small Groups?

NOT small-groups

Someone recently pointed me to a blog post that said churches should “euthanize small groups.” You can read it here. I think it’s fairly old, but new to me. At first I feared the author might be an insane murderer, but as I read, I realized he didn’t mean it literally. When he said we should euthanize small groups, he simply meant the practice of such a thing in church, not the groups themselves (whew).

The author made several arguments, stating that small groups don’t really create disciples but, rather, they tend to create ineffective, half-hearted friendships that don’t truly fulfill the Great Commission.

Okay, I could buy into that to some extent. It’s certainly been true of many of the small groups I’ve tried to be a part of. But it’s not true of all of them. So it’s a highly over-generalized idea. I’ve been a part of some truly close-knit, spiritually effective small groups, as well.

I don’t think we need to kill our small groups. But, there certainly ARE some things we could euthanize Read the rest of this entry

How I Impressed My Toughest Critic

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Several months ago I wrote a post called “What Makes God Laugh?” I came up with that question and really didn’t have a very hard time answering it. I can easily guess a few things that might make God laugh, so the blog was pretty easy to write.

But I’ve since come up with a similar question that’s been FAR harder to answer:

“What makes my wife laugh?”

I’ve found this to be a nearly impossible task. She is by far my toughest critic. Read the rest of this entry

Good Things From Strange Fire

Strange-Fire

John MacArthur recently held a conference called “Strange Fire” to tell as many people as would listen that the Charismatic movement is bad–very, very, very bad (but in a LOT more words than that).

I googled “strange fire” images for this post. Interestingly, I only found images of normal fire. So now the only thing I can ponder is what exactly “strange fire” might look like. Perhaps it looks like little drops of rain? That would certainly be strange. Or maybe it looks like duck-billed platypuses. No, that wouldn’t be strange; that would just be cute. So I’m left all verklempt!

Thanks MacArthur. You’ve ruined my day.

Not only do I think his title is kinda crazy, but I also think his conclusions are significantly flawed. After reading through many of the transcripts from the conference, I completely disagree with MacArthur’s broad, lumping generalizations. They lumped all of us together in sweeping generalizations and demonized the entire Pentecostal and Charismatic movements—literally.

But with that said, in hopes of not adding to the negativity of this whole thing, I pulled a few positive notes from what I’ve read. Here are three observations from MacArthur’s Strange-Fire-whatever-that-looks-like-conference that I think are worthwhile: Read the rest of this entry