Thursday, April 27, 2006

Come On, You Knew it was Coming

Finally, an answer for all those churches searching for a way to create a genuine worship experience, but lacking the giftedness to pull it off! Automate communion and we can get rid of the human element of leadership altogether! No more flat notes, longwinded sermons or boring public prayers! It's karaoke church with a disco beat!,,1762183,00.html

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Easter with the Jetsons

Stephanie made these AWESOME dresses for the girls to wear on Easter Sunday. My wife is unbelievably gifted! She got the idea from some expensive dresses she saw in a shop and then took it her own way. The result: Easter with the Jetsons! The girls looked like they should be on the catwalk in Paris or New York or wherever the Jetsons live. "Daughter Judy! Jane his wife!" "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!" I love it!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Traveling Mercies

Anne Lamott is kicking my butt! Of course she might not put it that nicely. For years I have heard references to her work, so I finally picked up a copy of Traveling Mercies and it's killing me! I'm either crying, laughing hysterically or driving my wife crazy with "hmmmm's" and "ahhhh's." I've read a good bit of it out loud to her so she could get a feel for why I'm reacting so strongly.

Lamott, or Annie as I like to call her now, has an enviable relationship with God. Agree with her theology or not, appreciate her language or not, she is intimately known by her Father and now so many others because of her stark honesty. Her personal story is interesting to say the least and her thoughts on matters of faith (especially forgiveness) are inspiring.

I was reading a section today where she talked about coming to grips with her own beauty. She was not a classically beautiful young woman and she found herself in her forties still paying way too much attention to her ever widening and sagging parts. But she found beauty in growing older. She learned to see herself the way God sees her. What a gift!

So many times we, to quote Stephen Sondheim, "see all the parts and none of the whole." God cares about the parts (hairs on your head and all that), but He sees the whole package and not only loves us anyway, but celebrates us as His grand creation!

I'm about 60 pages from finishing Traveling Mercies and I'm already looking forward to a re-read. I had a teacher who used to tell me to read things three times for comprehension. It will be a pleasure.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Views From a Different Angl(ican)

I found this Top Ten list the other day while reading the blog of a woman named Maggie Dawn. Her blog is subtitled, "Anglican priest thinking out loud about theology, life and faith." She gave credit for the list to a woman named Serena.

I found this list to be both funny and strangely familiar...

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained

10. A man's place is in the army.

9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.

8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.

7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.

5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.

4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.

1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.

I especially like #2, but that's just me.

Sometimes my own logic is not all that logical. It helps to poke my head out of my bubble and hang out with some people who may look at things a little differently than I do; to actually listen to a different opinion than my own. Sometimes when I do that (gasp) I'm even forced to (dare I say it?) grow and (here it comes) change.

It helps to have a sense of humor, confidence and a lower than average IQ.

Most people who know me would say I possess at least one of those (the last). My guess is Maggie Dawn possesses the first two, and I'd probably enjoy hanging out with her.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I was with a group of men this weekend and we were discussing temptation. I am certainly tempted in a lot of ways that other men are, greed, lust, the desire for total world domination, but those are so obvious. I see those coming from a mile away. I have a missile defense system in place for those.

Just in case Satan reads my blog, and I have every reason to believe he does even though he's never left a comment, let me tell you the three places where I am most vulnerable. My friend Jim challenged me with these several years ago, but only recently have I seen it play out in my life.

1. Ambition. I live in a culture that applauds the self made man and loves stories about pulling yourself up by your own boot straps. I don't know what boot straps are, but I do know that if I'm spending all my time and energy attempting to raise my status in this world, I don't have much left in the old gas tank to serve other people. And with the price of gas these days...

2. Human Affection. Love one another right? Children obey your parents? Here is where this gets me. I'm guilty of making decisions based on how others (friends, parents, wife, etc.) will react instead of what God has called me to do. This can quickly become confusing because even trusted brothers and sisters commend me when I do this. For instance, if God calls me to Africa and I don't go because my parents are getting older or it's not a good time for my children, I'm actually held up as an example of a good son, husband and father. Good thing Abraham didn't think that way. Relax Mom, I have not been called to Africa.

3. Common Sense. I think I have pretty good common sense. I do not intend to sale everything I have and give it to the poor. I know better than to share a meal with just anyone, there are germs to consider. And I'm certainly not going to waste my time throwing my net on the other side of the boat when I haven't caught anything all night!

So there you have it. I would describe myself as an ambitious man who loves his wife and kids, respects his parents and makes decisions based on common sense. Hey, I'll be made an Elder in some church before you know it.