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Showing posts from June, 2010

Joy in the Midst of Life

Yesterday I was out running errands with Miles.  "Jeez, it's hot today," I said, expecting the normal, exasperated  Texas response.  No such luck with Miles: "Of course it's hot, Dad.  It's summer."  I wanted to ground him immediately for his lack of compassion, but decided not to.  We all know it's hot, sooner than it should be, and there's little we can do about it.  Overly optimistic weather folk on TV try to make us feel better by throwing in a 10-20% chance of rain, but we know the sad truth: it will be hot nearly every day until around Lord's Acre, mid-October. 

I own three watches: one black, one silver and gold colored, and one brown.  The two latter watches are older than the black one.  A few years ago Christy bought a lifetime battery renewal plan for those two watches, and I guess the watch batteries we get are really, really cheap, because they seem to go out every two months or so.  I was on my way in to the jewelry store rece…
I've been excited all week-- and not just because of VBS!  Today is the day Toy Story 3 will be released.  I have been a HUGE fan of the Toy Story franchise since the first movie was released in 1995.  I still remember the absolute sense of awe at watching a feature-length movie animated on computers.  It did not look animated-- in fact, compared to many other movies released since 1995, Toy Story was, in many ways, the most real.  I'll make it plain for you: for me, Toy Story is right up there with the original Star Wars movies of my childhood.

If you have not seen Toy Story, I have to ask: why not?  It has great characters, inspires laughter and tears, and has a great message about friendship and relationships.  In 1999, Toy Story 2 was released.  As much as I loved Toy Story, I was worried about a sequel; more often than not they are simply made to generate cash, and are void of any of the creativity and spirit of the original.  To my astonishment, Toy Story 2 was not only …
this article appeared in the june 15 edition of the north texas reporter.

I have attended the Festival of Homiletics several times, but circumstances made this year’s conference different.

The event May 17-21 met this year in Nashville, Tenn., still recovering from recent devastating floods. Yet in the midst of challenges and difficult news, the Rev. Frank Lewis, host pastor of First Baptist Church, offered signs of hope: Conference attendees and their churches donated more than $10,000 and 10,000 bottles of water to the Nashville recovery effort.

Our spirits were resoundingly lifted by the opening worship service. Local songwriter and performer Ashley Cleveland passionately sang out to thunderous applause the words of the spiritual: “I was born to preach the gospel—and I sure do love my job!”

Bishop Vashti McKenzie of the AME church inspired us in her sermon, reminding us of Moses’ call of God to speak truth to power—calling on us to remember our own calling to go to the places no on…
A brief conversation that just happened at the parsonage:
James (8): "Hey Mom, are we having a babysitter tonight?"
Mom: "No, why?"
James: "Because you and Dad are cleaning."

Haha!  Funny kid!  Chip off the ol' block!

No, we're not going out tonight, just getting ready to head out of town for a week following worship Sunday.  Yes, following worship.  I know someone will still say to me Sunday, "I thought you weren't going to be here today."  After worship we'll travel to Wichita Falls for the North Texas Annual Conference, returning Tuesday evening.  Wednesday morning we'll take off to Bay City-- the boys going with Mom and my sister, and her three boys, to the beach for four days; Christy and I spending three days and two nights in Houston; and Dad at home alone, not counting two dogs.  I'll leave it to you to guess who will have the best time!
Every year I enjoy Conference more.  In years past, it seemed like all busine…

the only thing we have to fear is...

yesterday was memorial day, a day of remembrance for those killed while serving their country in the military (veterans day is a different holiday).  we often talk about our military preserving our freedoms-- what is the best way to observe memorial day with the solemnity and respect it deserves?  i read lots of "hug a veteran" posts on facebook.  parades and flag waiving are great traditions.  major league baseball games observed a moment of silence.  our sanctuary has a window where a WWI era soldier is greeted by Jesus, coming on a cloud.  how can we best participate in this holiday?

(i don't know the answer to that question, but i would certainly love to hear your thoughts.)

i would think the worst way to remember the sacrifice of others for their country is to persist in living in fear about the present or the future.  we are a fearful people.  deep down, and often not so far down, we are afraid of all kinds of things: terrorism, war, the economy, our job, our mortg…