Aphorism 2018-03-19T15:19:33+00:00

“Hey Fletch” Sunday is for Aphorisms

From around the globe, people tune in on Fletch’s warm and sound advice. He’s a friend and “church doctor,” bringing an objective perspective, broad knowledge and vast experience. Your question will get a personal reply from Fletch.

‘Aphorism’ from the Greek φορισμός—a delimitation, distinction, definition. A terse saying, laconic and in memorable form, expressing a general truth or principle; an astute observation.

Set Event Horizon at Six Months, Minimum

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Set Event Horizon at Six Months, Minimum

DRF—Church leaders need to have a grasp of the day-to-day. More vital is that leaders plan and strategize for the future. How will today’s unemployment figures help or hinder hiring in six months? Will there be a glut or dearth of people who are looking for a job? What are the major activities that are planned or need to be planned for the next six months, one year and two years? Those need massive planning of human and financial resources. Church leaders need to set an event horizon at six months, minimum.

Digital Film Is Expensive

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Digital Film Is Expensive

DRF—I learned about photography when film was expensive. I shot with a camera that used 120 film and you only got 12 exposures on a roll. I carefully weighed every photo opportunity and only took pictures that had significance.

Now with digital “film,” we can take hundreds of “free” photos. Wired magazine reports that the world upload 1.8 million photos each day. The article says: “The mobile revolution that Steve Jobs started put a camera in every pocket, along with the tools to edit them and, later, platforms like Facebook and Instagram on which to publish them. Anyone with a smartphone could capture a moment and share it in real time. Here I am at the party. Here I am at the concert. Here I am at the beach.” 

The aphorism is irony. Digital film is “free” to use, but costly in time to review all those images.

The Check Is in the Mail

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Check Is in the Mail

DRF—Your church is about to receive a $100 million dollar donation from a prince via email. Your uncle is giving you his Ferrari. Your church wants to give you a 50% raise. Oops, it is April Fool’s day—just a week late (I could’t do an April Fool’s joke on Easter!) All of those get the same response, “the check is in the mail.” It just isn’t going to happen. 

I can’t claim ownership to this adage but love to use it. By the way, all the questions for “Hey Fletch” come from real life. The Quote Investigator found that “in 1897 Mark Twain released a travel book titled ‘Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World,’ and the fifteenth chapter presented the following epigraph. Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

The Resurrection Changed Everything

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Resurrection Changed Everything

DRF—I can’t claim ownership of this adage. Somewhere in the depths of church history, someone first said this. For us mortals, death is still the great divide. It is a deep river to be crossed. Yet, we don’t look for a ferry man to cross the river Styx as the Greeks did. Jesus was resurrected. While the waters of death may be deep and troubled for our physical bodies, our minds and spirits know the truth. We will be welcomed on the other side!

Parenting is Simple—Any Child Can Operate One

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Parenting is Simple—Any Child Can Operate One

DRF—To get a driver’s license, you pass the state test. To get a High School or College degree, you attend four years of classes. However, to become a parent, just wait nine months. Often the only exams that are used are pregnancy and ultra-sound.

Kids sense this lack of skilled preparation. They are born with skills to get their parents to do what they want. Kids innately possess abilities that range from tears to coy smiles, tantrums to angelic playtimes. Kids can “operate a parent” with amazing ease. 

And now, I’m a grandparent. I’m “out of the pan and into the fire.” My granddaughter soon will be asking for my Amex card …

Humor, Trace

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Humor, Trace

DRF—I’m guilty of having dry humor, sometimes arcane or zany. I can’t tell a canned joke to save my life. Spontaneous humor, puns, play on words, situational comedy … these are my bread and butter. Problems arise with newcomers in my life. They don’t know that I have shifted gears, going from the serious to verbally playful. 

Without a verbal clue, people think that my outlandish stretching of a story is really the truth. So emerged the helpful line at the end of story, pun or joke: “humor, trace.”

And for those more literal minded people, it let’s them know to laugh. Humor, trace.

Laugh Today Because It Is Today

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Laugh Today Because It Is Today

DRF—We all have plenty of reasons for angst in today’s society. The tension that we feel is like that of the early church … we live in a violent society. The Apostle Paul said it so well in Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” Net Bible ®.

So as you can, laugh and enjoy what God is doing today. Tomorrow has enough of its own problems. Celebrate today and laugh. See the good things that God is doing and the humor in today’s events. Laughter is great medicine for the soul.

The Apple Watch Won’t Make You Exercise

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Apple Watch Won’t Make You Exercise

DRF—There are two types of people in the world, those that love Apple products and those that hate them. A major news story criticized the Apple Watch because it did not make people exercise. This is confusing a tool with an action. If I buy a hammer, I shouldn’t carp, ‘that hammer didn’t build my new house.’ Tools only work when they are put into action. The journalist forgot that the Apple Watch is a tool.

A tool is just a tool and will sit idly by until put into use. Human agents use tools with creative energy and sweat-producing intensity. When we confuse a tool and an action, we create excuses for our inactivity. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to relax, and your poverty will come like a robber, and your need like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:10-11 NET Bible®

We Failed with Excellence

Sunday, February 25, 2018

We failed with excellence

DRF—Many individuals and churches have the value of “excellence.” It seems that we often ‘fail with excellence.’ In Austin one year, I just didn’t fall off my bicycle, but I broke nine bones doing it. That is ‘failing with excellence.’ Accidents, mistakes and defeat are going to happen. Some fail because of valuing the wrong objectives. Some pseudo-wins are ‘pyrrhic victories.’ These victories cost so much that they are tantamount to failure.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:44-45: “But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Failure is going to rain down at some point in our lives. A good response to ‘failing with excellence’ is to see that God works in all things—to honor him on the sunny and rainy days.

Criticizing Others is a Reflection of My Insecurities

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Criticizing others is a reflection of my insecurities

DRF—Nick Carraway, the narrator of ‘The Great Gatsby’ quoted his father: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” God has given us all so many gifts. Why carp about others?

We are insecure and hope to feel better by belittling them. My sharp criticism says more about me than about their actions. A better way is to deeply enjoy the security that Jesus offers.

“Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.” Matthew 11:29-30 NET Bible®.

The Church Moves at Glacial Speed

Sunday, February 11

The church moves at glacial speed

DRF—This is so unfair to glaciers! Churches can move slower than sheets of ice. This is especially true when hiring staff or implementing changes. Weeks and months can pass and nothing happens. Then, like a glacier calving an iceberg, there is a flurry of action. With an announcing ‘boom,’ everything seems to happen at once. A better way is to set an orderly process of casting vision, planning, communication and process-implementation.

Sunday is for Aphorisms

‘Aphorism’ from the Greek ἀφορισμός—a delimitation, distinction, definition. A terse saying, laconic and in memorable form, expressing a general truth or principle; an astute observation.