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Showing posts from March, 2009

Adventures and Quests

Through the kindness of a mentor in ministry, I received a free edition of the Mars Hill Journal recently. And, yesterday, I had the time to listen to the journal as I drove east bound for Indianapolis. The edition that was sent to me was a collection of discussions Ken Meyer has had with authors, philosophers, poets, and other cultural analysts - a type of "best of" compilation.

One on the conversations was on the role of Tolkein's great works - including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The gentlemen who was discussing these works spoke of Tolkein's distinction between an adventure and a quest. An adventure is what Bilbo Baggins went on, and what will be displayed on the big screen as The Hobbit. What makes an adventure is that Bilbo goes "there and back again." Or, in other words, Bilbo sets out to explore the unknown for the sake of excitement, but all the while he intends to return home. The journey is to add some spice to his life, but it …

Life in Greencastle

The land that my family and I are living upon includes an old barn. This morning with the sun rising and displacing any remnants of cloud and mist, I walked into that barn and went up into the loft and sat in an Adirondack chair looking due south. As I sat in silence the birds and other critters that had been displaced by my coming began to reappear. One by one they came. At last a cardinal appeared: flaming red upon a lofty branch. And he started belting three sharp whistles to the sky. I returned the sound as best I could, and he responded. We went back and forth for a while. Then, he chortled a sound I could not mimic. Knowing I had been outmatched, I smiled and watched him until he flew off to entertain someone else. What a gift!

As I walked away from the barn, I began singing the song we closed our worship with last Sunday: "This is My Father's World".

The president of the seminary I went to loves that hymn (I do too). But, he particularly loves this lin…

Life in Greencastle: Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have been trying to meet some of the other ministers in town, to find out how we might work, pray and serve this community together. So about once a week, I find myself stepping foot into another church. You learn a lot by doing that. For instance, in the sanctuary of the Nazarene church across the street there is a 't' carved out of the east-facing wall and it has been filled in again with red plastic. The effect it makes is a blood red cross which bathed the whole sanctuary space the day I visited.

When I was leaving Gobin Methodist the other day, I noticed a small plaque on the wall near the administrative offices - signifying the day The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. entered that church's pulpit and preached. That plaque is an ongoing testimony to Gobin's ongoing desire to bring social-justice.

And, back in February, I drove out to a tiny "country" church to worship and visit my brother-in-law who was playing with a worship band. On the church …