Showing posts from January, 2010

Missions Innovations

The other day I read an article about declining trends in American culture-- things we are more and more doing away with, such as buying music CDs, having a dedicated phone line at home, and renting movies from a store (Blockbuster, for example, is closing lots of stores this year). Many of the items on the list were cutting edge ideas at one time, but technology has moved forward, or people's interests have changed. Adapting to changing needs is often frustrating, unpredictable, and frustrating. But there is also a tremendous upside when a new idea-- even an idea about an outdated or forgotten thing-- hits the mainstream.

Churches find themselves in a similar situation. The culture changes, but too often we react too slowly or not at all. Sometimes we offer services or opportunities that match our current membership ("current" in churches can be 50 years ago!), and we lose sight of what is happening outside of our walls. The common cliche here is to think "ou…
Now be honest: You love this weather.  Maybe not to the extent that I do-- few love cold weather more than me-- but have you not sensed the excitement building all week?  Ever since I first heard of this possibility more than a week ago I have barely been able to sit still.  And I have not been disappointed!  I know our students and teachers were also overjoyed to have yesterday home from school, but shouldn't we all join in the celebration?  How often do we wake to 15 degree temps?  Is summer really so much better-- when we experience 100 days or more of the same thing over and over?  Can I get an amen?

Normal is so... normal.  When I send this message I will leave the office to go: not somewhere I've never been before, nowhere where there is any excitement, but to the store.  To buy groceries for Sunday's Epiphany Party.  Think how exciting that is!  Something I do over and over again, seemingly every day, because even though I always have a list something is forgotten, i…

Christmas Traditions: Older and Newer Each Year!

Tree: recycled.

Manger scene: boxed.

Ornaments: packed (those that survived two tree falls!).

Lights: wrapped.

Various other decorations: garaged.

It always amazes me how quickly the Christmas decorations are put away, when I compare to how labor-intensive they are to set up.At the church, I am always thankful for those who volunteer their time to help in this effort, particularly the putting away—there’s no anticipated excitement in putting away, since it’s way too early to start thinking about Christmas 2010 (although thanks to a recent Twilight Zone episode I have a head start on my Christmas Eve sermon!).At home, my duties are limited to putting the lights on the tree.One of our family traditions, inherited from my father, is the annual Dad complaining about Christmas tree lighting.It’s a joy-filled time for all, particularly Christy.After a couple of hours and lots of moaning, the tree is lighted, and I get to supervise the boys and Christy hanging ornaments.My job is to point out “ho…