Monday, November 30, 2009

Interesting bumper sticker

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ADVENT MEDITATION WEEK 1

FIRST WEEK ADVENT MEDITATION AND PRAYER


 

MEDITATION

Advent is about hope. Hope requires waiting. Hope requires expectant waiting. Waiting with hope means waiting with an attitude of trust. When we hope, we always must wait with the knowledge that our prayers will be answered, but not immediately. We must remember that God is faithful to his promises, but that God's faithfulness does not always fit in our desire for immediate gratification.

When we celebrate advent, we remember the faithful waiting of those who waited for Jesus to come into the world. God had promised a Messiah for centuries, and God's people waited for a Messiah. They had gone hundreds of years without a true prophet from God. In God's timing, and in God's own unique way, Jesus came to earth. He came to a peasant family. To a virgin who was not yet married. We remember the one who was born to pave the way for Jesus named John the Baptist. We remember that his parents

were advanced in years, beyond the age of childbearing. And yet, God provided them with a son in their old age. God used teenagers and seniors, men and women, smooth skinned babies and calloused construction workers to bring his good news into the world. But first, there was waiting.

Today, many of us wait as well. We wait for answered prayer. We wait for God to deliver us from illness and sadness, loneliness and conflict. We look with hope to Jesus, who continues to make all things new. We believe that even now, Jesus can and is doing a new thing in our hearts and the hearts of others. And we wait. We wait expectantly because we hope, and waiting is a part of hoping and believing.


 

PRAYER

Lord, help us to look to you as our one true hope, and our one true deliverer. Let us trust that you are now working out things for the good of those that love you and are called according to your purpose. And help us to not grow weary. Amen


 

The Song of Zechariah

The Song of Zecheriah

Scripture: Luke 1

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,'[
b] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
18 And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years."
19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people."


 

57 Now Elizabeth's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58 When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.59 So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60 His mother answered and said, "No; he shall be called John." 61 But they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name." 62 So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, "His name is John." So they all marveled. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65 Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66 And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, "What kind of child will this be?" And the hand of the Lord was with him.

67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
       68 " Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
      For He has visited and redeemed His people,
       69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
      In the house of His servant David,
       70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
      Who have been since the world began,
       71 That we should be saved from our enemies
      And from the hand of all who hate us,
       72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
      And to remember His holy covenant,
       73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
       74 To grant us that we,
      Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
      Might serve Him without fear,
       75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
       76 " And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
      For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
       77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people
      By the remission of their sins,
       78 Through the tender mercy of our God,
      With which the Dayspring from on high has visited[
e] us;
       79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
      To guide our feet into the way of peace."

80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

SERMON

You will have to excuse my strange attire. I come from a place far away, and a time before you were born. You may have never met me, but many of you may have heard who I am. My name is Zecheriah. Thousands of years ago I was a priest of the Lord Most High. Most of my ministry was spent in the hill country of Judea. But when it was my turn to serve in the Temple I would pack up my things, head to Jerusalem, and work in the Temple of the Lord in the heart of the holy city.

One time I went down to the Temple was especially memorable. That is what I want to share with you about.

Before I get into all of what happened, you need to know a little bit about what my life was like before I was in the temple that day. I married my wife Elizabeth when she was marriageable age when I was a young priest. Those were the days! And man we had dreams. Dreams of a big family with lots of boys and girls! And we prayed for children. Then we prayed again. And we would wait. We would think Elizabeth was pregnant, and she wasn't. We thought we needed to pray longer. It didn't work. We thought we needed to try harder. It soon became clear that would not work either. We listened to every old wives tale to help a woman get pregnant. Nothing worked. Soon months turned into years, and years turned into decades. No child. No matter how often we prayed. It was like God never heard our prayers.

Having no children was even harder on Elizabeth than it was for me. I just poured myself into my work. I taught more. I studied more. I visited the people in my care more. I prayed more. And people respected the work I did. And they talked about what a good father I would be when I worked with the boys teaching them the Bible in the synagogue.

Things were not that easy for Elizabeth. The women whispered about her behind her back. They did not want to speak against the priest, so they started to speak about how we did not have a child because Elizabeth had committed some great sin. Or somehow God was mad at her. They made fun of her. Or, if they were nice they would simply just shake their heads and say "Poor Elizabeth".

I remember several days where I would walk home for lunch and see her crying. She overheard something, or saw some woman give her a dirty look. We prayed and we prayed. We prayed for a child until that time in Elizabeth's life came where we knew there was no longer a possibility for her to have a child. Then, we gave up.

It is easy to give up on prayer, isn't it? To pray and to pray, and feel like God is not hearing anything or choosing not to answer. And then we wonder. We try to keep hope. We try to keep praying. We try to have faith. But we wonder if God really is listening up there or if he we are just talking to ourselves.

When it became apparent that we might not have children, we started putting that energy we would put toward a family in other places. Elizabeth would watch other people's kids when they needed it. We started having our cousins, nieces and nephews come up for a visit here and there. Elizabeth was especially close to her cousin Mary. Elizabeth would have all sorts of things Mary had done around our small home. A pet rock here. A flower arrangement there. It should have come as no surprise then that John and Jesus would cross paths the way they did….but I am getting ahead of myself.

I began to work harder to support parents in raising their kids. That had mixed results too. Some of them would run off with these renegade military groups hoping to ambush Roman soldiers and end up dead. Others would seek to go to a big city far away and we would just hear rumors about them and shake our heads. Others would try and scratch out a living on our hard dirt up in the hill country. Year after year soldiers would march through. Demanding our food stuffs as tax and provision. Beating one of our men to make them an example. Raping some of our women just for sport.

I began to pray for my people. Lord, I would wonder, when are you going to give us a new word? When are you going to send a deliverer? When are you going to remember us and rescue us? I would take this prayer with me into the synagogue where I worked, and into the Temple when I worked there.

So, like I said before, I was doing my work in the Temple one day, and it became my turn to light the incense inside the holiest part of the Temple. So I purified myself. And I went into to tend the incense. And as I was doing that something miraculous happened.

An angel appeared to me. Now, when I saw the angel,, I was afraid. I thought maybe it was just my time. I was old. Maybe this is what it is like when you die I thought.

Then the angel Gabriel said, "Be not afraid". He went on and said that God had heard my prayer. Wow! Which prayer? The prayer for my people? The prayer for a Messiah?


 


 

He went on to say that my wife was pregnant. That she was going to have a son. And that our son's name would be John. The angel said that he was going to be a prophet. And that he was not only going to be "a" prophet, he was going to be "the" prophet. The one that prepares the way for the deliverance of the Messiah. The one that turns the hearts of the sons back to the father. He would not have any strong drink touch his lips ever. He would be a holy man full of the Holy Spirit.

I said the only thing I could think of. "How will that work?," I asked "my wife is well past her childbearing years!"

Well, Gabriel got mad at me for questioning him and the message he sent. And so I was unable to speak for months. Actually until after the birth of my son John, I was unable to speak.

I guess the other priests were a little bit worried about me. I was in there for quite a long while. They asked me what had happened when I had gotten out of that holiest of places in the Temple, but I could not speak. I tried, but no words came out. My hands just started to fly everywhere. Nobody could understand me. They thought I had gotten a stroke, or gone mad.

Those months went really quickly really, and before long Elizabeth had given birth to a child. We took him to be circumcised on the eighth day, as was the custom of our people. They asked Elizabeth what we would name him. She said his name was John. They thought she was mistaken. They asked me. I found something to write with. I said John as well, after all that is what the angel Gabriel had told me. All of the sudden I could speak. And I spoke. Actually, as the Bible records it, I sang.

I sang a song about how God had answered my prayers. He had answered my prayers for a child. He answered my prayers for a son. He answered my prayers for a deliverer and a Messiah. And he used the conception and birth of my son to pave the way for the son of God. God not only answered my prayers, he answered my prayers in a way that went far beyond what I could have thought or imagined. My prayers for my family. My prayers for my community. My prayers for my nation. My prayers for the world.

God had begun to enter the world in a unique and powerful way. Through sending his son to save us and to forgive us. Christ came to deliver us from our enemies, from our sin, from our despair. To bring light into our dark and lonely world.


 


 

You need to know this. Waiting time is never wasted time. I waited for God to send me a Son, to send our nation a Messiah, to send the world a Savior. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. And just when I began to doubt, when I began to lose hope, it was in that very moment that God began to bring his deliverance. It was in that time that God began to answer my prayers, yet in a way I was yet to imagine.

God is at work answering your prayers as well! You may be discouraged. You may have waited and waited and doubted if God ever heard your prayers. God has heard your prayer, and he is working out a merciful and loving answer in HIS time and HIS WAY. Trust Him! Believe Him! Keep hoping in Him!

The answer to your prayer is just around the corner. If you will keep hoping. Keep trusting. Keep walking.

And don't forget that God is working in a way that is bigger than you imagine. God is working in a way that will make a difference in your family, your community, and our world. If you will have the courage to wait, and the willingness to join God in what he is doing.

Amen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Understanding Church Governance: Thinking through the Issues

CHURCH GOVERNMENT: TOWARD A BIBLICAL STRUCTURE

INTRODUCTION

    Church structure is a hot topic among evangelical pastors, and among Baptists in particular. Each church I have served had a different administrative structure for how their church was governed. Each of these churches believed their government to be both thoroughly Biblical and within the American Baptist tradition. Today, it seems that churches are reinventing their structures to reduce meetings, streamline decision making, and better equip the church to use their gifts to do ministry.

    There is a lot of overlap in the nature of the new structures that churches are looking at. Generally, however, these structures fall into a few categories. First, there is the move toward having a one church board. Instead of giving the people the title "deacon" or "trustee" each member comes on the board and leads different teams of ministry. These ministry teams, led by the board member, carry out the ministry of the church.

    Another model popular among conservative evangelicals is moving to a "plural-elder" model. This has one board responsible for the day to day work of the church (the deacon board), and one board responsible for the spiritual oversight of the congregation (the elder board). The pastor becomes the lead elder in the congregation, but he is surrounded by a tribe of other elders that are responsible for the ministry of word and sacrament with the congregation. The congregation may vote on major financial concerns, as well as the call of a pastor, but the elder board takes a strong lead on most decisions

    The traditional model in Baptist churches is also in use in many churches. In these churches, the pastor is the elder of the church, and the deacons are the "board' of the church. The trustees handle the physical concerns and/or financial management. And the congregation meets either quarterly or monthly and has substantial input on the day to day operations of the church.

    I have served churches that employ a variety of leadership structures. The church I serve currently uses a "pastor/deacon congregational" model of leadership. It is unique in that the deacon board is invested with both the power of the purse as the finance committee, and the power of oversight of the church ministry. In recent years preceding my tenure at First Baptist Church of Fowler, as well as while I have been serving First Baptist, I have been confronted with people who believe that the traditional Baptist structure is not what God has ordained for the New Testament church. Many advocate for a plural-elder model of leadership with deacons having the role of servant-leaders supporting the elders as the only leadership model that is Biblical. Most of these people also believe that only men should be elders of churches.

As I began to discuss church governance with these people, I began to realize that my own theology of church governance is not well thought out or prayerfully considered at all. I need to understand what I believe about how a church should run. I had all sorts of questions. What is the one way a church should be led? Or is there a "one" way? Are the instructions in the Pastoral Epistles prescriptive or descriptive of the leadership of the early church? What are the "rules" of Biblical governance, and what are the principles that I should lead our church toward as we seek to be more faithful to God's word, and his call to minister to our community and world? Are there any changes we should make? What are they? And, what are the practical implications of certain forms of church governance?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hebrews and Psalms: A Biblical Studies Question

Why does the Book of Hebrews, it all of its theological nuance, choose to make the Psalter its theological guide in so many critical arguments? Just curious.

Leaders Who Last Book Review



I recently finished reading the book Leaders who Last by Margaret Marcuson. Marcuson is an ordained minsiter, a church consultant, and a pastor. As one might be able to tell from the title, this book is a guide for pastors on how to surive ministry over the long haul.

Margeret, when you meet her, is the kind of person that inspires a sense of peace and comfort. Her books does the same for pastors. It also encourages church leaders to do the same for their constituents.

Part of me found much of her writing to reminiscent of Peter Stienke's work on church health. Margaret is adept, however, at communicating this kind of information as though she were in a series of mentoring meetings instead of in a stuffy classroom. The book has a healthy mix of the systems theory that guides her thinking, and down to earth application of how her beliefs on leadership work in a day to day fashion.

Marcuson is thorough. Her encouragement to know your history and your familiy history is always helpful. The book covers relational triangles and how to navigate them as well. Where she excels is talking about how knowing your history, and navigating triangles applies in the mundane business of church life. Her encouragement to explore your relationship and your families relationship to money, and how you view a budget process in the church I thought was very helpful. As was how to integrate a personal and institutional need for purpose as a way of dealing with anxiety in leadership.

Perhaps most challenging for me was knowing who some of the people are that were mentioned as resources in the book. Ms. Marcuson and I belong to the same denomination and some of the same church circles. The persons she would view as models at times I would not. At times this was distracting, But, if I were to write a book, I am sure the roles would be reversed.

Overall, I recommend this book as a good read for anyone looking at doing ministry over the long haul.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Book Review: The Same Kind of Different As Me



Today I both started and finished a book called The Same Kind of Different As Me. It was an excellent book written by two men. One man was a homeless ex-con who had been living life as a homeless man. His name was Denver Moore The other was a man who grew up in a lower-working class family, and worked his way up to be an international art dealer. His name was Ron Hall. Through the inspiration of Debbie Hall, who was both Ron's wife and a tireless servant at the mission Denver was served by while he was homeless.

Certainly, a love for Debbie Hall bonded these two men together. I believe, however, that the most powerful part of this book is the friendship these two men awkwardly forge, and how their friendship with one another sustains them through difficult times.

What starts for Ron, it seems, as kind of a social experiment and a favor to his wife, ends up being a friendship that supports him, helps him to grow and learn, and transforms him into being a leader and influencer in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex's ministry to the homeless.

The friendship between the two men really breaks down walls that the two men had been putting up with others for years. They learn to listen to one another, trust one another, and to make a commitment to being friends with one another over the long haul.

So often, I think, it is difficult for men to find friendships like this. It can be easy for many men (including myself) to think that we are strong enough on our own that we don't need friends, that we are strong enough to stand alone, and that deep, emotionally connected, vulnerable friendships among men are simply unnecessary. Yet,I started to think as I read this book that most men, at some point, hope and long for the deep, trusting, committed kind of friendship that Denver and Ron have.
It is the development of that unlikely and moving friendship that makes this book worth reading, and thoughtfully considering in the future.

Book Review: The Same Kind of Different as Me

I just finished the book

Friday, November 13, 2009

My top 8 Christian albums ever

8. What the Light is All About--Alathea
7. Lovin' the Day--Out of Eden
6. God's Property from Kirk Franklin's NU Nation
5. Can Youe Hear Us?--David Crowder Band
4. The Ultimate Collection--Michael Card
3. Lay It Down--Jennifer Knapp
2. A Legacy, A Liturgy, and A Song--Rich Mullins
1. Jesus Freak--DC Talk

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Pro-Life Rant on the pro-abortion lobby



This Saturday, the house passed its version of health care reform. Included for it to pass was the Stupak amendment, which guarantees that no money set aside for a national health care program will fund any abortions. I woke up on Sunday morning thankful that the pro-life democrats took a stand that produced the biggest victory in pre-born advocacy in the last 20 years.

Immediately after the passage of this bill, the left-wing of the democratic party began to position themselves for action. They immediately began to overstate the loss. In doing so, they stated that women are being "robbed of their reproductive rights". Specifically, the plan prohibits any privately owned plan subsidized by the federal healthcare bill from providing abortions as part of their coverage. The "women's rights" lobby (who really probably does not even represent a plurality of women) shares they will make sure the health care bill does not pass unless the Stupak amendement is not modified or repealed.

Let us imagine for moment that the Stupak amendment stays in the health care bill, and the house health care bill becomes the law of the land. What would happen? Careful reflection shows that the pro-abortion lobby has overstated the direness of the situation in their worst case scenario. This is how:

1. The average abortion, according to my research, costs between $350-650 dollars. Since the poorest of the poor would already be on government sponsored healthcare, this means that the most vulnerable of affected women would be making between $25000-$40000 a year. While a doctor bill of $400 is no picnic, it is not something that is going to put a middle-class couple into bankrupcy. Furthermore, having to pay for such a service might be an effective stimulus for women to either use birth control or practice abstinence. A 12 month finance plan of $50/month would be appropriate for many. Shouldn't getting knocked up unexpededly at least have the consequences of speeding?

2. Within days after the passage of this bill, some insurance would provide a low-cost insurance rider in partnership with Planned Parenthood that would cost members about $10/month that would cover controversial reproductive procedures. This would be separate from their insurance coverage.

3. Most pro-abortion organizations could spend a lot of their money to further subsidize the abortions that they believe are important to offer at select clinics.

So what is the pro-abortion lobby yelling at? The loss of women's rights? No, abortions are still legal in all 50 states. They are angry because they have a sense of entitlement. An entitlement that I am hoping they soon have to live without.

Sunday Lunch Bunch

Most Sundays, Jennifer and I grab lunch with the ladies at Phat Willie's after church. This last Sunday, Jennifer had a baby shower, so I went alone. I thought I would introduce you to some of the lunch bunch crowd.



This first picture is of Gracie Eddy and Helen Bouldin. Gracie turned 80 this last October, and Helen will be ninety this summer. Gracie is a spitfire, and still on top of everything that happens in Fowler. Helen's hearing is very poor these days, but still enjoys lunch with the after church crowd.

The next picture is of Wilma Gager and Velma Leggott. Wilma hates having her picture taken, but I snuck this one in when she was least expecting it. Velma and Wilma both grew up in Fowler, and were in the same class throughout their childhood together. They are both 85. Wilma is our church clerk, and plays the piano for us at First Baptist. Wilma's family has been in this area for seven generations. Wilma and her brother, Charlie Buck, ran the community newspaper for decades. And their parents before them....you get the picture. They sold the paper to a corperation and retired a few years ago.
Velma is a sweet lady. She always prays for Jennifer and I when we have times of prayer. She is also a woman who is very strong in her conservative Christian values, and is not afraid to speak her mind.


Sunday was Doc's birthday. He was 90. His wife Inez will be 80 this year. They have lived in Fowler for about 10 years. Before that they lived other places in Southeast Colorado, including Manzinola and Pueblo, which are nearby. They spent a lot of time in the SE Colorado, SW Kansas, Oklahoma Panhandle area. Being as Doc is 90, he lived through the dustbowl in that area as a child/teenager. (I have a fascination with dustbowl history these days). Doc lived in Ulysses at one point, which a number of my friends from college and blogland have spent some time in. Doc was even the mayor of Vilas, CO for about 4 years. He insisted he was elected without his knowlege. Kind of a fun story.
Doc and Inez also love music. Doc plays the fiddle, and Inez accompanies him on the piano. When I go over for a visit, they often insist on playing. It is delightful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thought this was a good eulogy today...strong yet compassionate

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Interesting news from Fowler today...

Sierra Club is honoring our city's effort to utilize safe, clean energy, namely solar.

Specifically, we are being named one of the country's "coolest" cities.

Those of us that live here know that Fowler is pretty "cool" already.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Quotes for the day

The Jesus I learned about as a child was sweet and inoffensive, the kind of person whose lap you’d want to climb on. Mister Rogers with a beard. Indeed, Jesus did have qualities of gentleness and compassion that attracted little children. Mister Rogers, however, he assuredly was not. Not even the Romans would have crucified Mister Rogers.--Phillip Yancey

Accepting the reality of our broken, flawed lives is the beginning of spirituality not because the spiritual life will remove our flaws but because we let go of seeking perfection and, instead, seek God, the one who is present in the tangledness of our lives.--Mike Yaconelli

The way to Christian growth is often to allow oneself to be puzzled and startled by new apparent complexity.... Is it, after all, Jesus we want to discover and follow, or would we prefer an idol of our own making?--NT Wright

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Quotes for Sunday

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.--Albert Einstein

Contentment comes not so much from great wealth as from few wants--Epicitus

What is to give light must endure the burning--Viktor Frakl

Friday, November 06, 2009

Older Love


Today I went to the nursing home to serve homebound communion. I served it to one woman who has cancer and is near death. As always she was very sweet. She encourages me and cheers our church on every time I see her. We have shared communion many times. I enjoy her immensely.

Then I went and offered communion to a second woman in the nursing home. I will call her Gertrude (not real name). Gertrude is fun for me because she is ornery. One moment she can be glad to see you, the next angry that anyone has disturbed her silence. Each time I visit toward the beginning of the month I bring homebound communion. Usually she refuses to recieve the Lord's Supper. Today she accepted. It was a meaningful time for both of us. As often happens when homebound people recieve the Lord's Supper, her eyes looked a little moist. With Gertrude, it would be hard for her to admit she was crying.

As I left a gentleman walked in. Actually, the gentleman kind of shuffled in to say hello to Gertrude. My friend introduced us two to one another. The gentleman began to share how he always sits with Gertrude at dinner time. He said they sit at the tall table, and that they are there because it is made especially so that wheelchairs like Gertrude's can get under the tabletop. He talked about how he often got Gertrude's tray for her, and put it away when she was done with it. I looked back at Gertrude. She had that ornery look in her eye, like when she is really enjoying something, or like those times when she was up to no good. And Gertrude had her head tilted to the side, and she appeared to blushing a little bit. Gertrude was also smiling. She had the kind of smile that demonstrated for anyone watching that she adored being the center of this man's attention. It was very cute.

Watching this woman and her gentleman suitor intrigued me. The man was about the same age as she was, and he appeared to be a little slow of mind. It made me wonder if he had a stroke at some point. Gertrude adored him though. She couldn't hide it. It made me wonder, we're they falling in love? Perhaps so I pondered.

That led me to start pondering the difference between "young love" and "old love". Young love is about how someone makes you laugh, what kind of car they have, how they look in a tight pair of jeans and such. But what about "old love". Old love is having someone who wheels you into your special table in the cafeteria, goes and gets your tray for you, and takes your tray back in the afternoon. "Old love" drops by for a few minutes in the middle of the day at the nursing home just to see if you are ok. All of the other stuff, the beauty pageant kind of love, the trying to find the perfect one kind of infatuation fades away. And what is left? The man who will get your tray at dinner. The woman who adores you simply because you are better to her than she ever expected anyone to be. I kind of like "old love"

Conversation of the Day: Cutting-Edge Conservative Thought

I went downtown to buy envelopes this morning, and one of our deacons came up to me in his hoveraround wheelchair. This was our conversation:

Ronnie: I have an email to send to you, do you have an email address?
Me: I do. The easiest way to get to it is to read it out of the bulliten. Do you have one.
Ronnie: No I don't. Have any of you got the H1N1 vaccine yet?
Thrift Store Owner: I don't plan to.
Church Pianist: No I haven't
Ronnie: Don't get it. It has microchips in it.
Church Pianist: Ohhhh. Why?
Ronnie: It is in the book of Revelation. The number of the Beast. All that stuff.
Me: Ronnie....there are no microchips in the Bible!
Church Pianist: (Laughs)
Ronnie: Yes, but the Bible talks about the end times, and those that number of the beast will not go to heaven
Me: Ronnie, I think the mark of the beast is something that we choose
Ronnie: You ever watch Glen Beck?
Thrift Store Lady: Oh I love watching him. He is entertaining. He gets so excited everyday I think he is going to have a heart attack in the middle of the show.
Ronnie:Well. That is how we know it is true. My email is from Glen Beck.
Me: Well...I need to go get those envelopes...see you all soon (walks into grocery store)

Technology Video

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Beloit Mindset List

I have always thought the Beloit mindset list is interesting and thought provoking. This year is no different.

Check out the information about this year's seniors and this years freshmen in high school.

Social Networking Info



ht ElShaddai Edwards

Should I say it or not? Your input needed...

My new mantra about communication. I wimped out in sharing it at my last public communication to church people. I think I might include it in my presentation to pastors about social networking. What do you think?


Communication is like foreplay. About the time we think we might be overdoing it is about the time we are doing it right--Clint Walker