Category Archives: Streetwise

How Spiritually Balanced Are You?

Balance is crucial.

Without balance we drift into being too serious, or silly.

Life is serious. Mental escapism, denial, and blaming others are easy roads to go down when we are overcome by the seriousness of life.

The other end of this teeter totter-is called ‘lighten up’. Being lite is so important when surrounded by all kinds of serious needs. Yet we can be so lite about life that we are unable to enter into the serious hurts of another.

Either extreme is not good.

“Spiritual – physical balance is found in learning how to love like Jesus Christ: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails (I Cor. 13:4-8).”  This awesome definition is best found in a continuous personal love relationship with Jesus Christ!  In Jesus we see the seriousness and the lite in balance.  Follow Him.

Wednesday night fellowship is tonight 6-7m-food and fellowship, followed by music practice.

Pastor John



How Do You Rate Your ‘Street Smarts?’

imagesJesus understood people.  Jesus today has ‘street smarts’.  How do you rate your ‘street smarts?’

What are ‘street smarts?’: it’s an inner ability to understand that people aren’t just what they say; it’s a connection between your head and soul telling you there’s more to a situation than just what you see or hear.  It’s an ability within the soul to see what is out of place; it’s an ability to anticipate future actions by people that don’t presently show themselves.

As a twenty year old I left the ivory tower world of the university classroom and spent a year ministering on the streets of Seattle. I learned more from kids on the street about the good, bad, and ugliness of people than all of my previous book learning. Those ‘street smart’ life lessons have blessed me big time as I have gotten older.

Example of street smarts: Proverbs 27:6-:”Wounds from a friendimages can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” In other words the no holds barred truth from a friend is always better than a wishy washy someone supporter who wants to harm you.

So be street smart-like Christ!

your servant for Christ! John-Maureen


Toby Understands Wine Skins!

imagesRecently with 10,000 others at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, I took in Toby Mac’s Deep Tour.

Mac’s  music is gumbo: a mix of hip-hop, R&B, southern gospel, rock-roll, funk, rap and Reggae.

What does his music have to do with you?  It has to with creativity. Creativity isn’t about  your age as much as it is having a curious mind and an open heart to God’s living presence. Music is like life-it’s always changing but staying the same. The outer wrapper of music changes but the way music touches our souls remains the same.

imagesCreativity and music are like wine skins: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins–and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins (Mark 2:22).” The Gospel of Jesus Christ is unchanging like wine; yet how it is served can take new forms.

Like Toby Mac be ever open to the new forms, or changes by which God wants to communicate His unchanging love to you.

Have a great weekend. Enjoy the surprise of this Sunday’s worship.  Pastor John and Maureen.


Easy to Catch: A Cold or Being Disillusioned ?

imagesHere we are transitioning from summer to fall. What comes with weather changes? It’s the possibility of catching a virus like a cold, or the flu, or even ebola!

What about the weather inside of you? As easy as it is to catch a cold-it’s easy to catch the virus called being disillusioned. Disillusioned means-disappointment resulting from the discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be (American Heritage Dictionary).

It results from putting your trust in other people or things instead of first Jesus Christ. Maybe its putting faith in a person running for political office, or in a football team or a stock on wall street, children, or relatives-only to be disappointed time after time!  As catching a cold messes up your health-so being disillusioned damages your spirit. What’s the answer?

Paul,  says: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have imageslearned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want (Philippians 4:12). Realize life’s purpose is not to  make  you happy every moment!  You weren’t born just for superficial happiness based on outward circumstances that change every few moments.  You are created by Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) to be much more than just happy. You’re created to be content. To realize a contentment that comes from a walking and talking relationship with Jesus Christ, no matter what you are facing.

See you in worship!-  Pastor John-Maureen Hunsberger.

Good News-“Lift Up Christ to Continue!”

Welcome back to post 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church thoughts and feelings. It’s great to be back in the pacific northwest and with the believers of Ritzville Trinity who mean everything to me.

Now that General Conference is over I am waiting for the final Daily Christian Advocate papers about General Conference. The Daily Christian Advocate (DCA) is the official record of General Conference minutes and doings. I do want to put together a summary of my reflections about GC but I need the DCA to help with my prep. I will be offering a presentation to The Trinity United Methodist in Ritzville on Sunday May 20th.

I do want to announce that the response to this blog both positive and negative has really been humbling. As a result I believe the Holy Spirit is directing me to continue on with “Lift Up Christ.”

As important as General Conferences are, even more important is getting back to the streets with Jesus!  Jesus began calling people to Him, where?  On the streets. I especially think of Matthew being called by Christ to “Follow Me.” This reminds me of what happened last  Wednesday on my way to the Tampa Convention Center and General Conference. Here is this street preacher, following Jesus’ example.

Oh friends, General Conferences are important but the future of the United Methodist Church here in the USA so depends on sharing the love of Jesus in deed and word with people where they are on the streets of life.

One of my favorite Christian musical groups is the Rock n’ Roll Christian band of past years known as Petra. One of their awesome songs entitled “Back to the Street” goes:

“It’s so easy to lose the burden, take our eyes off the fields, settle into apathy, forget what the harvest yields.  It’s so easy to think we’re finished , with our labor for a while , kick up and let somebody else go the extra mile.  Jesus said, “go into all the world make disciples of all men ( meaning all people). We gotta go to the highways and  invite them to come in. 

  As long as there’s a tearful eye, that cries alone at night, as long as there’s a weary soul ready to win the fight. As long as there’s a willing heart that still has strength to be, we gotta take  this message back to the streets, back to the street. We gotta take this message back to the street.

It’s so easy to stay entangled with everyone else’s life, don’t get involved with strangers, don’t get involved with strife. It’s so easy to save your own life, resting on what you’ve done; but Jesus would leave the ninety nine and try to save the one. Jesus said, “go into all the world make disciples of all men.” We gotta go to the highways and compel them to come in.  We gotta to the highways and invite them to come in.

 As long as there’s a tearful eye, that cries alone at night, as long as there’s a weary soul ready to win the fight. As long as there’s a willing heart that still has strength to be, we gotta take  this message back to the streets, back to the street. We gotta take this message back to the street.”

So in months and years ahead we all will be hearing more about The effects of 2012 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. Yet, what will really determine the future of the UMC, is not in some convention hall, as much as it is you and I showing Jesus to people on the streets of everyday life.  Stay tuned!

This “Lift Up Christ” blog will continue with reports about seeing and knowing Jesus Christ in everyday life.