Showing posts from June, 2011

Phantoms and abortion clinics

In the Great Divorce C.S. Lewis highlights a series of conversations between men and women that are phantoms and the Solid Ones...the ones who have embraced the cross and become what God had intended them to be all along. It is hard for me to know how phantom-like I truly am as a man and even more confusing now that I have trusted Christ for my salvation and, in so doing, have been made his servant. On one hand I am nowhere near (in practice) what He has made me to be or what He wants me to do. I just haven't gotten there yet. On the other hand, a life without Him is so foreign to me, so other-worldly, that I can scarce remember it. But I was there, thanks be to God I *was* there. So how solid am I? What mix of phantom and flesh do I have? I don't know but I do care. A great deal. I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that read "Guns don't kill people...abortion clinics do." I initially thought it was quite clever and, the more I thought about it, the less clever it be

An amazing invitation to serve and proclaim

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”... ...Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him...  John Chapter 4 What a vessel she was this  woman who had 5 (implied still living) husbands and was living immorally with another man of whom she didn't bother to marry. Yet, here is my Christ asking her for a drink and ministering to her. Her response to carry the message (albeit imperfectly) that the Messiah had come is so beautiful...she must have been in love with him. Who knows how many people put their trust in him that day but one thing is certain: they would not have come if the woman had not gone to get them. Given her reputation I am surprised anyone came. Truly God makes all things possible. Even more amazing is the fact that he chose her, even her, to serv

An uneasy comfort

Strange, isn't it, this relationship I have with this world that I find myself in. All at once I feel a connection with the mountains, the water, the soil, but then there is something that snaps me out of my easiness and into a wariness that reminds me that I am not home yet. As the sticks and leaves crackle beneath my feet I hear sounds both familiar and strange...a different sort of sameness all the while. And then just a flash or a pang that rocks me both enlarging my experience and requiring me to assess, yet again, whether this world is my friend or foe. My heart yearns for this life and the one that is coming at, seemingly, the same time. I find myself taking comfort in the passage of time and marvel at its quick passage. The snow brings me both great happiness and strain. The rain that softens the soil and greens the grass drowns the flowers and rots the wood. The sun that warms the earth and lightens my hair burns my skin and bakes everything ill prepared for its exposure t

Watson and Will

Watson, a computer with advanced linguistic and deductive abilities and plenty of horsepower developed by IBM, defeated a couple of Jeopardy champions more than a few weeks ago in a much-publicized match. Being the geek that I am I was interested in this sideshow as well as the long-term use for a machine like Watson in the "real world". I was excited to hear that it would be put to the test in the medical arena to digest symptoms of patients and to attempt to diagnose their reported ailments. The frustrating reality for a lot of patients when trying to track down what might be wrong with them is that there is usually someone, somewhere who has run into this type of thing before and could offer a good diagnosis or an effective treatment. However, as advanced as we are and as complicated a machine the body is, the knowledge can still be somewhat diffuse and hard to come by. We had a situation when Will was a young boy where he was hypoglycemic. It took the doctors here a while

Constant change and assessment

I have noticed something lately. And it has taken me a while to do so. I am sure that it has more to do with my thick skull than anything but this has hit me hard lately. Our church is changing, assessing the changes, and then changing again. Nothing is in steady state and there is nothing that is not subject to scrutiny. I had a short conversation with a fellow church member and I mentioned to them that the only thing that we can expect around our church is more change. This can get exhausting at times because as flexible as I am I am not one that seeks change naturally. I would love for there to be a time in our church where things just stayed the same...just give me 6 or 8 months of "normal" and I think I'll be good. Just let me catch my breath and get my feet on the ground so that I can see where I am going. And here is the rub: this is how church must be. Everything that is not Biblically mandated is up for grabs. Everything that is not fulfilling the order to go and

Prayer for Kindergarteners

In my quest to make things understandable for the HotSpot kids I teach (PreK through Kindergarten) I tackled the subject of prayer last week. It was a challenge to explain that prayer is more than getting things (even things for other people) and more of a way for us to be more like Christ. Here is what I came up with: How do we talk to God? Prayer...prayer is talking to God Isn't it great that God wants us to talk to Him? He loves you and me wants to hear from us all the time He wants us to talk to him about good things that have happened to us and bad things that have happened to us He even wants us to ask Him for things...anything... He loves to give us things and He has a goal for you and me – He wants to make you and me to be just like Jesus And that means when we pray to God and ask Him for something, well, He could give us one of three answers · Let's pretend you ask your dad if you could play with a knife...what do you think they would say? Why? Sometimes we ask