Today while I was attempting to finish a book entitled Face to Face: Meeting Christ in Friend and Stranger, I read a story that I wanted to share with you.
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Today has been a busy, blessed, morning for me. Between meetings, and reading the story of Jonah to the 3-year-olds, I have scarcely found time to sit and think. I am sure my Apple Watch will show me how many steps around the church I have taken—and again, I feel blessed. . .
Thursday, January 21, 2021
As you may have seen on Facebook, Jennifer and I moved JonMark into his college dorm yesterday. There was, and is, a lot to say about the day’s events. My arms are still tired from carrying his stuff up to his room on the 4th floor. I will save those thoughts for a later date—maybe. Perhaps they are things that only God and I will talk about.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
In this time of transition in our country, I was re-reading a book that I used as part of my doctoral research that spoke to me this afternoon. My doctoral advisor recommended this book because it helped shape a lot of the thinking that he did as a pastor of a thriving church in our area. And while the book is not theological in nature, or written for the church generally, the work of Gillian Tett can be instrumental in helping society, and in our case the church, live faithfully, and care faithfully, in a culture that is in transition and polarized.
Monday, January 18, 2021
I was thinking today about the meaningful conversations that we have had during our Sunday school class. As you might remember, the class and I are reading the book Better Together: Discover the Power of Community. With the events at the capital, and the polarizing community from which we live and work, the conversations have been rich. In the first two weeks of our class we have addressed some hard topics, and I am happy say, we have not solved anything. Instead we have chosen to be comfortable without having to formulate the 'correct’ response to these moments of instances. That is not to say that we have denied them, or chosen to associate them with ’those people.’
As I listen to the members of our class, I can tell that they are engaging the topic at a deep level while still understanding that some issues are too big for a Sunday school class to fix. It has been a blessing to participate and lead these discussions.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
One thing that I have noticed, that is growing in our culture, is not that we do not listen to each other. We might say that we listen; we might have convinced ourselves that we do listen well. But stop and think with me for a moment. . . Be honest. When was the last time you really listened to the other person? Deeply listened? Listened without forming a counter argument or response? Listened because it was what God asked you to do in that moment?
It is too easy to say that if we just listened to one another that things would work out in our culture or that the wounds would heal. I wish that were true, but I suspect it is not. Sadly, not everything can be fixed by having a ‘cup of coffee’ with another person and then returning to our normal lives. There are times when a deep change, a new way of learning, and thinking, is necessary for everyone. No longer can we just affirm words like, ‘can’t we all just get along’ and think that this is enough. Too much has happened, and too much has changed, for that be possible.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Its 1:30 and I finally found some space in my day to reflect, and what I learned was necessary. Let me explain:
Monday, January 11, 2021
After the events of this past weekend at the US Capital, the common refrain that I am hearing is one that affirms the necessity of ‘healing.’ But what does that mean, I wonder?
Thursday, January 7, 2021
As much as I would like to spend the next few minutes reflecting with you on your spiritual practices, and how you are practicing them as a means to grow closer to God, I cannot. For there is only one thing on my mind today—the events at the US Capital yesterday.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Recently I have spent some time thinking about art work and what that says to us. Before Christmas Emma asked to go to the store and purchase some watercolors and paper so she could learn to paint. This was not going to be a Christmas present. She said that it was something that she wanted to try. That seemed reasonable to us. Our daughter is very creative. She can sew. She can bake without a recipe. She makes bread from scratch easily. Her chili recipe won 2nd prize last year at the church’s chili cook-off. She plays the violin so beautifully that it makes me wonder how she does it. Where does she find the creative juice?? And, to add to her ever-growing list of creative endeavors, she is learning how to paint (and she has done that as well).
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
So I am wondering today about how you handle distraction and frustration?
Maybe when we feel ourselves frustrated or distracted, maybe when we feel that we are falling short of a goal that we have set, maybe God is getting ready to do something in you that will help bring you joy back to the surface? I wonder how you would respond to that event, that moment, that instance?
Monday, January 4, 2021
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