Greetings to the Family and Friends of Trinity,


   Warning! I am in a grumpy mood! Yes, pastors get grumpy too sometimes. I am grumpy because I started to think about all of the situations in which people have promised to help me do something, and have failed to do it.  It is one of those behaviors in people that really annoy me.  Let me give you the “short-list” of ways people have annoyed me; in keeping with the old line from the “Dragnet TV Show”, ‘the names have been changed to protect the innocent” although in these situations, there really aren’t any innocents!!

1). “Tom”, who helps me with yard work and odd jobs promised to cut the shoots that grow up around one of my trees on the boulevard before the Truman Days Parade. They create a visibility problem not only for parade goers but for drivers turning off the side street. He didn’t do it but he did call a couple of days after Truman Days assuring me he would get them cut off yet that week. As of this writing (August 10), they still have not been cut.

2) “Dick”, in lieu of paying some monies due, agreed to paint a garage. I bought the paint in May; in July he started to paint; as of this writing, it is not finished, and he has left town. My only hope is that there is still a ladder next to the garage which might mean he intends to come back.

3)  “Harry” is a lost cause.  When I purchased my house in 1999, I wanted a new basement put under it. I contacted “Harry” a well-known contractor; he came and looked over the property and said he would get me an estimate.

He didn’t; instead he talked to my neighbor about it and my neighbor said, “I don’t know why you are asking me.

I don’t know anything about it’.   I am still waiting for that estimate bid but in the mean time I got the project done.

4).  “Jane” my alternative health care provider was suppose to meet with me 5 weeks ago. I drove 70 miles one way to find out she had cancelled her appointments for the day but would be contacting me about a new appointment date.

I am waiting.

The list goes on, but you get the picture.  However, these little scenarios that annoy me so much make me wonder just how upset God must  get with us when we make promises to Him….which we sometimes don’t keep. 

For example, in baptism parents promise to live with their children among God’s faithful people, bring them to the word of God and the holy supper (both pertain to having them in church and Sunday School), teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and the Ten Commandments, place in their hands the holy scriptures and nurture them in faith and prayer….and the list goes on.  Yet I know, with a sad heart, that many times those children or their parents are seldom or never seen in church again, until it comes time for confirmation, when the confirmands will make similar promises for themselves, and then seldom if ever be seen again, until there is a wedding to celebrate.

    I do not know what Trinity’s giving record is-nor do I need to know, but I do know that while most church membership involves a promise to support the church financially, across the county, church giving is down 50% from 20 years ago.

    In churches that receive pledges, the percentage of pledges actually received in full is sad. Similar promises are often made to serve on boards or committees, and those who promised to serve-don’t; leaving others to carry a double load. In one church I served, a couple had promised to teach VBS-after the first session they informed the director of the program that they had made other plans for the rest of the week and would not be back!

     There was a wonderful line in United Methodist membership “I promise to live a life becoming the gospel”.

An easy promise to make; an often difficult promise to keep.

     In all of life we must be careful about the promises we make to one another; we must be especially careful about the promises we make to God and for His kingdom work.           In Ecclesiastes 5;4-6 we read:  “When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to Him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth make you sin.”

Pastor Penny








Additional information