Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Church & U2: She Moves In Mysterious Ways

Sermon Snip-It:

"The Spirit moves in mysterious ways that we can't always predict or understand, but we can rest assured that the Spirit of Power is at work and moving in our lives...."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Grouchy Smurf

I'm just now getting over my back pain flaring up again. This was the worst it has been, and it took a while to get over it this time.

Unfortunately, the pain is severe enough to really get to me. It makes me uncomfortable (obviously), unable to sleep, stresses me out, and over time wears me out.

All of this leads to grouchiness. Extreme grouchiness. I tend to go quiet until the grouchy-meter hits the point of blowing, and in those moments I snap...often at the kids, whose yelling, screaming, and willful defiance test me on good days.

I couldn't help but think of myself as Grouchy Smurf the last two weeks. I knew I was grouchy, there was little I could do about it.

God bless my beautiful wife for putting up with me, loving me, and being there even when I wasn't the most fun person to be around.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sermon Snip-It

From this Sunday there are some words I would like to share from my sermon...

Scripture Reading: Acts 1:1-11 (The Ascension of Christ)
Sermon: "Why Are You Standing Around?"

We aren't to be looking upward...We're to be looking forward. To be looking at the world around us, at the mission God has given us!

We have not been called to be followers of Jesus in order to stand around, sing songs, put on fancy clothes, or even to be nice. No, we have been bought with a price, redeemed, and called into the mission of God, bringing new life through Christ to all the world around us: Yes, in these walls, but also in our homes, at work, in our neighborhoods, at school, with our friends, with our family.

The Ascension reminds us that Jesus isn't here: BUT WE ARE!!! WE ARE!!!

Brothers and Sisters, we are called to be Jesus to a hurting a broken world. We are called to love with our words, our actions, and all that we have. The Body of Christ was not meant to stand around. It was meant to get busy.

Here we are. Here we remain. And, here, we are are called. Amen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We just finished confirmation classes. There were three girls who survived the classes, and they did a great job. While it's about learning, it's also about relationship building...that they would feel included and accepted as practicing members of their church. I loved it because it's the only confirmation class I've led where students invited their friends to come. Fun!

So, on Sunday, the ladies reaffirmed their baptism, took their confirmation vows, and I awarded them some "presents" to remind them of who they are in Christ.

Princess Tiaras for the daughters of the King.

Scepters and Rings symbolizing that all authority has been given to Christ, and as his ambassadors and followers, we too have authority. But with great authority comes great responsibility. Everywhere...at church, home, school, work, etc.

Fruity candies to encourage them to bear much fruit.

Symphony Chocolate bars to remind them that last week we talked about God giving us a lifesong...but as members of THE Church, our life fits into something better than ourselves!

It was fun, and I hope it was a day that they won't forget for in ceremony is a truth: We all must accept Christ as Lord, renounce this world, and seek to live in love with God and neighbor. Today, publicly, they said this is what they wanted.

Ladies, may God grant you the courage, strength, and grace to live out those desires.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Uncle John

My Uncle John is one of the most interesting men I've ever met.

It's important to know that my mom was an "accident" (of which I'm especially grateful of) born to her mother at 40. Her siblings were the same age as my dad's parents, so that will help you connect timelines...

Uncle John fought in World War II. He was in the 2nd wave of the invasion of Iwo Jima. What he saw and experienced there has been recalled as some of the worst fighting American troops have experienced. He never talked about it much, but I remember he spoke of being on sentry duty one night after the island was taken. An asian man began walking toward the line he was guarding. In Japanese and English he yelled out, "Stop or I'll fire!" The man's response was to start running toward him. In the moment of saying this Uncle John's eyes betrayed that he wasn't in Indiana anymore; rather, he was far away...as he continued, "So I shot him." And the story ended with a long quiet. He is one of our veterans who defended the world, and though he did his duty, he was reluctant to be the warrior.

On the GI bill, Uncle John studied Aeronautics and Aerospace Engineering. He went on to work for NASA. He was responsible for solving a major fuel mixing issue with the Gemini project. He also helped design some of the electronics of the shuttle. His last big project was helping with the Hubble telescope. I always remember him bringing pictures and talking about NASA (because I'd always ask). I loved when he'd send patches to me. I still have a couple of them. He oozed intelligence, American ingenuity, and a proud Builder sense of accomplishment.

I write this in honor of Uncle John, who today is suffering from Alzheimer's. A once proud intellectual has trouble doing the simplest of tasks. A responsible man is now dependent upon his wife to take care of him in every aspect of life. Here's to you, Uncle John. Thank you for the inspiration to love learning, to love exploration and space, and to believe in the power of the "can-do" attitude.

My God grant you release.