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Showing posts from October, 2011

The Church Being the Church

What is the first image that pops into your mind when you hear the word, 'church'?

Maybe a brick building with a really tall steeple?

Maybe some one on television advocating a certain idea?

Or maybe that song from my years in Sunday School..."the church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is the people."

Church is a complicated word. It is a gathering of people. But like any gathering, at some point there has to be a purpose or a reason so that people keep gathering. Just standing around drinking decaf coffee causally chatting about the weather or the local sports team isn't going to get many people out of bed on a cold Wisconsin Sunday.

The reality is because the church is made up of people it means the gathering has individuals who are wholly/holy made in God's image who don't always/fully live out the profound truth that each person in the gathering reflects God's fingerprints.

To claim to be…

Marking Time

Eight years ago this week, I became a father.

And twenty months later, I became a father again.

Even though you have nine months to prepare to welcome a baby into your life, it is unfathomable how upside down your life becomes in the span of a few weeks. Those first few sleep deprived months of my son's life were a daze. You hold in your hands this vulnerable baby and the enormity of raising, shaping, caring for a life weights on your heart. The gospels tell us that Jesus came to us in the form of a baby. As much as we sing about a Silent Night and Holy Night when Jesus Away in a Manger, 'no crying he made,' there was an enormity of caring for Jesus that sat on the shoulders of Mary and Joesph that every parent can relate to.

It is too bad that the gospels don't have many stories about Jesus growing up. Luke 2:41 records a brief encounter Jesus had in the temple at age 12 with the leaders at Passover. But in some ways this is a foreshadowing of how Jesus will enco…

Vacation

What would be your perfect vacation destination? If you had asked me that question a few months ago, I would have described some Emerson-like cabin in the secluded woods away from cell phones and noise and crowds. I would have waxed poetic about the joys of leisurely reading books or rowing in a canoe on a calm river. It would be peaceful and relaxing...at least in my imagination.

But last week I found another spot that was surprisingly filled with traces of God's grace.

Disney World.

It was not exactly the place I thought I would encounter God's presence. Amid dancing dolls from around the world singing, "It's a small world" or riding rides or standing in a line waiting for Buzz Lightyear's autograph. But there was a deep joy and peacefulness even in the midst of the crowds and the occasional crying child and being constantly on the go for ten plus hours each day.

Part of that joy and peace was discovered as I saw my daughter's eyes light up when she sa…