Lucy always knows just how to cut right to the point. She doesn’t always say things in the nicest way, but you know you are going to get the truth from her. This cartoon is no different. I honestly never paid attention to the presence of Adam and Eve’s belly buttons in artistic depictions of them. After finding this cartoon I did a little Google search and sure enough in most of the paintings both Adam and Eve have belly buttons. You and I know that is to make Adam and Eve look “normal,” and art does not have to accurately portray reality.Read More
Being a Disciple - Blog
The stories and pictures haunted me. A good-hearted man in a baseball cap with a big smile and a handful of flyers mugging for the camera on a tree-lined street that could have been in any American city—but then there was the story of how he had been beaten by a gang of hyper-religious neighbors who believed his flyers and his general witness for Christ was an insult to their own multiple gods. Again, a group of six or seven men and women dressed rather poorly, standing in a row for the photographer, no smiles—and a story of how roving bands had invaded their homes during the worship that was happening there, insults thrown all around, along with as many slaps or kicks. More and more stories, more and more pictures—and the dates were just last month, January, 2017.Read More
An older gentleman called the church office this week seeking help – but not the help we are used to handling. He spoke with Cindy, our office administrator. He told her he was 72 years old, had just gotten a new phone, and didn’t know how to fully use it. As my mom would say, his “smart” phone is smarter than he. He had been calling churches to see if there was anyone in their congregations that was willing to train him on his phone. We offered to help in anyway because we know technology can be scary.Read More
Owning a house never really was a big goal of mine. I grew up living in different apartments and rental homes. From my perspective, we were happy and secure. That was not the case for my husband. His goal was to own a house and so it became my goal too. When we got pregnant the timeline sped up a bit. And when she came two months early, the timeline went into hyper drive. I am sure my husband’s dream of signing the papers to purchase his first home did not include that event happening in his wife’s hospital room (I was still in my hospital gown), with his new daughter down the hall in the NICU. But that was our reality and I wouldn’t change it now because it is our story.
I have spent the last 2 ½ years trying to make that house a home. A house is something you own. It is a structure. A home, though, is personal and has an emotional connection to our story. It is a place where you feel the most comfortable. A home can refer either to a building or to any location that a person thinks of as the place where he/she lives and that belongs to him/her. We have all said something like, “I feel most at home at ________.” That place could be the house we own or it could be a beach in the middle of the Caribbean. Hopefully it is your church. I would like to think you feel comfortable at your church. We o1en use the term “home” in relationship to church – “This is my church home.” We want you to call the church home, and yet we don’t want you to feel so comfortable you never leave.
If we – the ministers and leadership of the church – are doing our jobs correctly, your time at the church is preparing you to enter the “mission field” that is the world outside our walls. The lessons you hear in your Sunday School class are helping you understand how God works in our lives through scripture and how that relates to us today. The songs you sing in choir practice, or worship, are not just to make a joyful noise to the Lord, the lyrics teach us about being in relationship with each other. The responsive readings, stewardship meditations, communion prayers, and sermons in worship are meant to help us do God’s work. We are preparing ourselves from the moment we walk into the building for the moment we walk out. What better place to do that than a home where we feel comfortable and safe? As long as we don’t lose sight of the reason we come home.
I was shocked to be watching the news last weekend and see my friend Fritz Ritsch, the minister of St. Stephen Presbyterian Church. Someone vandalized the church Saturday night forcing the cancellation of Sunday morning worship. The vandalism shown on the news was pretty minor compared to the images available on Facebook.Read More
There is quite a bit of conversation these days about truth in the media. We hear accusations from both sides of the aisle about articles being “fake news.” Both Google and FaceBook have made attempts at limiting the exposure that websites known for generating “fake news” get on their websites. A recent 60 Minutes storyline on the subject included an interview of a gentleman that runs one of the largest sources of these “news” stories. He spoke about the increased number of clicks the website gets when they run such “stories” over the number of clicks they get when they write an actual news story.Read More
The preparation for the Coming of the Lord – that is what we’re in the middle of. Don’t let ‘em fool you with all the prompts to go shopping, like that will make the season. Don’t let ‘em fool you with the endless stream of “Christmas” movies the plots of which are centered around the question, “Will they finally get married?” and the final scenes of which always involve plenty of egg nog and mistletoe.Read More
We have had some contentious elections in this nation before. One thinks of the election of 1824 in which John Quincy Adams defeated Andrew Jackson in a contest decided by a vote of the House of Representatives. In the next election, 1828, Jackson defeated Adams, but only after nasty accusations from both sides including charges of murder, bigamy and procuring women for use by foreign heads of state. In more recent memory, there was the election of 2000, with its “hanging chads” and, finally, a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court (or 6-3, depending on which part of the opinion you want to hang your hat on).Read More
Christy is attending the Birthing Cross+Gen Ministries Conference in Estes Park, Colorado this week.
As I write, day one is over and we are getting ready for day two. My excitement about the things I am hearing is only dampened by my struggle to adjust to being 8,000 feet above sea level and the fact that it is 40 degrees outside. On a side note, Estes Park is beautiful and last night after dinner we watched two beautifully HUGE elk fight for their territory – it happened right outside the dining hall. Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the questions that are running through my mind after day one. My prayer is that you will ponder these questions with me.Read More
I love the times I get to spend with my daughter reading to her. Many of you know, reading to a two year old is not always the easiest thing to do. Their attention spans are not that long. Meaning we usually get 2 pages into the book and she starts asking to read another book. I know reading to her is important and so I do my best to show patience. It must be working because she “reads” to herself quite often. She even wants to take a book to bed with her. It will be pitch black in her room, but I can hear her “reading” to herself.Read More