Things Don’t Make Sense? – Do This

The start of this week was terrible, unthinkable, unbearable.  So much loss of life…senseless loss of life in Las Vegas.  How is it possible that human life was so disregarded?  Children, husbands and wives, their lives obliterated.  I could write about many aspects of the tragedy, and so many have done such a great job writing about what to do about this evil that happened.  (You can read what one of my mentors wrote here.)  But I live so far away from Vegas, and need to impact and make a difference in my local neighborhood and community.  What should I do?  There are some tangible things each of us can do.  If we all do these things, hope will abound.

“…Peace I leave with you my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  
John 14:27 
So, what can I do today in order to bring the undeniable power of peace and hope to those I come in contact with.  Jesus commands us to bring peace to situations. The concept is simple really, but it will take some relational courage.  Don’t wait on these things, the need is too desperate.


5 Things You Should Never Wait On…

1. Saying ‘I Love You’ – Do they know?  I mean do they really know?  Have you looked them in the eye and told them how you feel about them.  They need to hear it today.  I’m not sure who, but there has to be someone in your life who needs to know.  Don’t wait any longer, Tell them.  How could you change someone’s life with those three simple words?

2. Helping Someone Around You – Simply open your eyes and the needs will appear.  So many are so desperate, and if you will take the time and put your thoughts into actions, you will transform someone’s life.  But, you have to be willing.  A teen, your lonely classmate, your co-worker, someone going through a divorce, someone who no one else talks to.  Help someone.

3. Getting Help For Yourself – This is why I do what I do.  I wish more people would just take initiative and ask for help.  It will be ok and you need to know that more people care than you think.  Maybe every break has went against you and you feel hopeless.  Isn’t it time? Maybe you are addicted.  Maybe you have contemplated suicide.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life and my prayer is that you get help.

4. Making a Change You Know Needs To Happen – Has there been something you have been putting off for a very long time that you just know needs to take place?  Today is the day.  I know it’s hard, I know you may feel alone, but you need to do it.  Things won’t be right until you do, so make it happen.

5. Invite Someone to Walk With You – Relationships are everything.  Maybe you feel like things are going well for you and you have made progress in your life.  Your greatest impact will come from your deepest wound and if you have achieved a measure of victory, you have to share it.  It is what you were created to do.

Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ.  Visit for more information, or watch a weekend message here 

Mandelay Bay Image by Ed Bierman is licensed under CC by 2.0

Finish Strong

A guest blog by Pastor Dan Gay
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A Tribute to My Dad. (Nov 4, 1937- March 25, 2015)


Eight weeks ago, I got “the call.” You had battled lung cancer courageously for 2.5 yrs but had finally passed and were now with Jesus. We knew you were in the final stages but you’re the toughest man I know; hey you had already beaten cancer two different times, one of which was pancreatic (a 5 year survival rate of just 6%).  So we thought maybe lung cancer was just another hurdle. There were times we all thought you had taken a turn for the worse only to see you rebound time and again. You are no quitter and true to that, you fought until the very end. But it became clear to all of us kids (Dad raised 9) that it was time. Even then, you went on your terms making sure that you encouraged and blessed Diana and Donna (my sisters) who had cared for you so well.

It’s a little easier for me now, Dad. More and more when I think of you, I remember the joy that you shared not the pain you endured – and I smile. Two days before, AnneMarie, DJ and Bob (my cousins) were there to visit, to say hello and… to say goodbye. But this would be no somber affair as you perked up, telling stories, making them laugh and, when your voice started to fail making it difficult to breathe with the chest tube, you rolled up a piece of paper into a megaphone so you could be heard. After all the show must go on!

You were a man that loved to laugh, loved to make people laugh and loved to make others’ difficult times easier. You were a supreme optimist. In your world things were better than they used to be and you were convinced they would continue to get better. Every setback was just a pothole to drive over while you kept moving forward.

Thank you for sharing your world, your encouragement and your laughter with us! We’re proud to be part of your legacy. We love you and we miss you here.

Your Son,


I am my fathers son and when I think about all my Dad taught me, these 3 standout along with lessons I have learned from them.

Passion – Psalm 73:26

My Dad was a man fueled by passion. He taught me that without passion, life is just a routine. Passion towards your goals/dreams turns a routine day into an adventure so never let go of it. I have learned over the years that passion can drive me to accomplish things where others fail or give up.

Life Lesson: Find where God has given you passion and you will begin to find your ministry.

Perseverance – Galatians 6:9

My Dad was a man forged by perseverance. He taught me to never give up, to not be afraid to work hard, and to be a “whatever it takes” guy that people can depend on. There is no “can’t” because there is always a way. The best dreams are ones you have to fight for.

Life Lesson: God doesn’t call us to do anything part of the way, He asks if we are willing to go all-in.

Purpose – 1 Peter 2:9

My Dad was a man driven by purpose. He taught me to not be afraid to ask why. Things done without purpose are just tasks. There is always a reason and you can’t improve what you don’t understand. One of my favorite books is, “The Purpose Driven Life” which speaks about how purpose is key to any endeavor. One of my passions as a pastor is to help churches and people persevere with a purpose.

Life Lesson: God calls you FOR a Purpose, ON Purpose BUT its is for HIS Purpose, so hold it all loosely.

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.-Philippians 3:13-14

Here is what I said at my Dad’s memorial service:

“That in the last 20 years of my Dad’s life…”

  • He Grew in Humility where there once was Pride
  • He Grew in Dependence where there once was Self- Sufficiency
  • He Grew in Hope where there once was Guilt

And he did all of this because he grew in FAITH!

My Dad came to realize believing in Jesus was not just a theology. For his faith to be real, it had to be a way of life. It had to be the center of his life and then everything else was small stuff by comparison… and he lived it.

That is what I call finishing strong!

Thank you Wallace Richard Gay, Sr. for finishing strong and setting the example for those who knew you, that it IS ALL ABOUT JESUS.