Friday, July 30, 2010

What Does Jesus Say....about Greed?

Luke 12:13-21 is the text for Sunday's exploration of what Jesus says about greed (what's enough).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

gift from Brad Boydston

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sabbath Experiment

This was the second Monday I tried my e-Sabbath. What happened to me in France was an awareness of how poorly I take Sabbath rest. Basically God confronted me and asked how I can preach about the importance of Sabbath when I do not practice it. My situation is complicated by living on the church campus and the ease at which I can "stop in" church to get something and get caught up in good conversations. Then there is the issue of email, blogging, face-booking, and web-surfing. I LOVE doing that (as you can tell). So I decided to try something different. I turn off my phone (a lovely iPhone) Sunday night and do not turn it back on again until Tuesday morning after my devotions. I disable my lap-top's air-port, so I can write, but receive no emails or ability to surf the web. Two things have happened so far: I am able to read for longer periods and pray more without thinking about phone, voice-mail, or email. But, by late afternoon I develop a "twitch" to check facebook, write a blog or send (and receive) emails. Yesterday I was agitated for about an hour. That tells me it's worse than I thought. So I'd betted continue this experiment further.
If you need to reach me, the church office is open and they can find me for emergencies.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Challenge of Advice

I've been in a long season of officiating at weddings. Weddings are more and more fun for me the older I get. What tickles me most are the occasions of advice-giving that happen at wedding rehearsal dinners, receptions and among bridesmaids and groomsmen. They all love the couple getting married and they pile on words of blessing and advice. Sometimes the advice I hear brings tears to my eyes, when it comes from seasoned (and scarred lives) of grandparents, parents, and siblings. But sometimes it is so silly, like when an unmarried friend waxes on about how the have a perfect marriage. Who gives you advice and where does it come from?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Bad Day Sailing in South Africa

Read the whole story here

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More On Worship

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My New Car

I love my little Volkswagen Jetta. We bought it new in Minneapolis in 2003 and it has been the most efficient car we have ever had! I consider it my "new" car. When I give it a wash, it still sparkles. But today, driving to the hospital I looked down and had to pull over to the curb. I was going through and "epochal" change! My "new" car just clicked 100,000 miles. What happened so fast to my new car?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Final View from France

Do you know what really grows well in hot and dry weather? Sunflowers! Acres and acres of them. What a great drive across Southern France today to Nice!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some thoughts:

Each time I go away to France, I reflect on my stage and place in life. This year I have some thoughts on being who I am and where I am in life. At this point…

1. not wearing skin tight T-shirts with “hip” logos is a good idea

2. not having ears, nose or eye-brows pierced looks better

3. not needing to have the last word in most conversations is more gracious

4. success is more than a number

5. listening is more valuable than expressing

6. being “right” has limited value

7. winning arguments isn’t what it used to be

8. getting someplace fast is less valuable than going safely

9. pauses are good things

10. second helpings are not what they used to be

11. instant responses can get you in trouble more than waiting

12. feelings pass, take a breath

13. not knowing and being wrong is OK

14. history does matter

15. understanding others’ motives for their behavior is not that important

16. my solutions in the past are now problems that need fixing

17. a lot of new ideas are really pretty dumb

18. a lot of old ideas are also really dumb

19. the bathroom mirror in the morning makes you honest

20. no one completely “gets it”

21. great art and music are healing

22. the most important news is the weather

23. sports is just a game

24. I have enough, I don’t need more

25. waiting for others to get ready is a good habit

26. laughing with is better than laughing at

27. I will die, get over it

28. not that many people need or want my advice, especially my children

29. a reputation takes a long time to earn and a moment to lose

30. other people really are interesting

31. good wine is worth drinking now

32. the plat du jour is the best thing to order on the menu

33. little white lies aren’t

34. simple things really are beautiful

35. a good night of sleep does change things

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Making Change

Making change is not a big issue at home. Most every ATM spits out $20 bills. If I want a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and all I have is $20, no big deal. The cashier makes no objection to the bill, and makes change.

For some reason, making change is a big deal in France. Almost every transaction includes and appeal from the cashier if you don’t have something smaller and exact change. So we rummage through our pockets for 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 euro “centimes” to make as close to exact change as possible. Now, here’s where it is interesting.

Over the years I’ve noticed a gender distinction. Women, by and large, like giving exact change and will take extra time combing through their purses for change to the penny. Martha is that way, and especially in French, where she has conquered the numbering system (don’t even ask me!). A cashier or vendor will announce the price, I’ll try to give a large bill (to make change), they ask for exact change, and Martha finds it for them, leaving me with the big bill unbroken.

Now, you might ask. What’s the big deal with that? The ATMs in France spit out 50 Euro bills. Cashiers and vendors hate 50 Euro bills. They will throw up their hands and make popping noises with their lips as if you had just done something inconceivably stupid! So, the other day I withdrew a bunch of Euros (all 50’s) and decided to walk into the bank that had the machine that gave me the cash, and ask them for change. After a long line, practicing the phrase “Changemont si vou plais” in my head, my time arrived. I asked the teller who turned to the manager, who waved his finger and told me that the bank does not give our change! The BANK does not give our change. Totally befuddled, I asked where I could get change. He pointed out the door and said “La Poste” (the Post Office). No way was I going to stand in line at the post office and ask for change.

What did I do? I drove to the MacDonalds, where I was already planning to do email and bought one cup of coffee, with a 50 Euro bill. No complaints at the MacDonalds…they do change!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Old Guys Rule...go Lance!

This is the great view from our little television yesterday....live coverage of Lance Armstrong powering his way into 4th place at the beginning of the tour. Does it get better than this? being able to watch the tour every day live? July 4th is a good day to celebrate!

eXTReMe Tracker