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Showing posts from July, 2010

Thinking about Rocks

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On Sundays this summer, we started doing a children's sermon during the morning worship service. Here's how it works. One of the children brings something in a black box (something that fits inside, is not alive, and is approved by mom or dad). I open up to box and use the object to teach a Scriptural lesson. This can be challenging.

This past Sunday, Alexandra brought a piece of coral rock in the black box. I talked about God being our Rock and Fortress and Jesus being the Rock on which we build our lives. Of course, I've been thinking about rocks all week. (Funny I've been thinking more this week about the kid's sermon than the "adult" one.)

I came across this brief article by George Grant in Approaching the Throne of Grace: A Parish Presbyterian Church Prayer Booklet. This is what I wish I would have said, but then it wouldn't have been a "children's sermon":
I was reminded of a well-known English nursery rhymne
Mistress Mary, quite…

Ever Green and Full of Sap

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I love old people. One day I will be old and I hope I will still be loved. (To my eleven-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son, I am old and they still love me.)

Have you heard the story of "The Wooden Bowl"?
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor". So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed their dinners together.

Since Grandfather had brok…

Life Flows through Relationships

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“Death creates an economy that makes life precious. One of the ways of naming that preciousness is friendship.”
--Stanley Hauerwas
Heather and I just returned from a two-week trip to Nashville and back. Along the way we lost luggage, fought colds, ate everything from Kentucky and Tennessee BBQ (I think TN won) to Georgia's best blueberry pie, did loads of laundry, and saw lots and lots of friends (although I am beating Heather in the "Facebook friend" challenge, she in reality has way more friends than me--and I'm OK with that--really!). Even when we were "by ourselves" at the Country Inn and Suites, our friends from Cape Coral were just across the hall (and I'm very OK with that--really!).

Oliver Claassen, a pastor-mentor of mine, once said that ministry flows through relationships. I've found that to be true. My version is that life flows through relationships. (I don't think Oliver would mind my edit.) Think about it--you would not be alive toda…