Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2009

Life in Greencastle - Graduations

On my way to the church this morning I drove by Greencastle Middle School and High School.And the regular signs of life were not there.No busy movement of buses.No parking lot full of cars and teenagers with bags on backs.Through absence and stillness the message was clear:school is out for summer.Many of our lives are affected by this news though it affects us in different ways.For some there are no more children to teach, which means freedom and loss.For some (for a while at least) there are no more tests to prepare for; there is room to stretch and play and discover and be.For some the grandkids will be around more – more time to pour love into their lives and to cherish small wonders.For some there will be more chances to be together as a family; there will be trips and vacations and camps.And, for some there will be more stress in trying to juggle parenting and working because for some summer never really comes.It is also around this time some of us celebrate graduations.We mark …

Church Connections - June 2009

Time.Albert Einstein declared it to be relative.But, that’s not the only thing we say about time.Why, just consider this short list:“I’ve making good time.”“I’ve got time to kill.”“If I could only save time in a bottle.”“I’ve just learned the best ‘time management’ technique.”You’ve heard those expressions before, and likely a hundred others.And all of these sayings point to one reality:we all want to know how to use our time, and very few of us feel like we know how to do just that.A few weeks ago, I was listening to an audio program from Mars Hill Audio.The topic of this specific interview was … you guessed it:time.The interviewer noted that a few years ago Forbes Magazine dedicated an entire issue to the topic of time – what Forbes called the biggest issue of our age.And inside the magazine, the writers at Forbes went on to say:“We’ve beaten (or at least stymied) most of humanity’s monsters:disease, climate, geography and memory.But time still defeats us.Lately its victories seem m…

Life in Greencastle - Sacrifices

The women of our church are meeting right now on the other end of the building, in the wing that stretches south towards the Putnam County Playhouse. I stopped in for a brief visit, and when I walked in I saw the American flag decorating the table with the "goodies." It didn't take me long to find my way to that table, and shortly after I did Jean Holley walked in the room with her own star-spangled shirt. We are moving into a weekend of family gatherings, of big bowls of potato salad, of the "500", of remembering our veterans, of flags and shorts and sandals. Ahhhh ... let it come, let it come.

And, indeed, here it comes: Memorial Day weekend.

As I look towards this weekend I have been thinking about "sacrifices." Makes sense: Memorial Day is about sacrifices others have made for our benefit. We let the Stars and Stripes ride the currents of wind with pride this day because others have laid down their lives to protect our freedom. What a gift…

Serve One Another

This is a paper I wrote after reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book Life Together, which is a classic on Christian community. I invite you to consider my own thoughts as an invitation for you to also consider this question: what do you want to get from our church? And, just as importantly, what do you want to give to our church?
Just about three years ago, I stood on the edge of a tremendous change – like being at the top of a strong wave before its peak descended.My wife and I had just had our first child.We were preparing to move from Pasadena to Owensboro, and I was about to enter full-time ministry for the first time as an ordained minister.I was full of idealism.Now three years older and the father of two children (and back in a place that once was my home), I am fresh with a new idealism.But, I am also deeply aware of reality.Interestingly, in this same three year span I read Bonhoeffer’s classic on community twice.Both times it was a valuable read.The first time I read it, I…

Life in Greencastle - Passing on the Faith

Like most of you I receive a free copy of the Banner Graphic on Mondays.Most of the time I flip through the first section – noting who’s doing what for better or for worse – and then move on.But, this past Monday I happened to read into the second section, and it was there I discovered a story worth holding onto.Did you see the article?It was a quick blurb titled “Purdue-trained guard unit helps Afghan farmers.”The essence of the article is that there is a group from the Indiana National Guard that has been specifically trained to help the Afghani people relearn and re-cultivate successful farms.Here is the line that jumped out to me:"A lot of generational knowledge that gets passed down from father to son on different ways and successful ways to do agriculture has really been severed,’ said Maj. Shawn Gardner, the 1-19th Agribusiness Development Team's operations officer.”Ever since the Russians invaded Afghanistan in the late 1970’s Afghanistan has been torn apart by war an…

Life in Greencastle - Motherhood & Abiding

I’ve been thinking about motherhood a lot this week.Maybe that’s because we are approaching the Sunday in our wider culture where we set aside some time to say thanks, to buy a card and leave a few thoughts scrawled in it about how much our mothers mean to us.That may be it, but whatever the reason is I have been confronted with conversation after conversation about the joys and struggles of motherhood this week:conversations with mothers who have seen their children grow into adults themselves, conversations with parents who are watching and waiting for their children to take flight, conversations with mothers who are pouring themselves out day-after-day as a baby grows and tests limits (and writes on the walls).I talked to my sister today on the phone.She is about to return to work after spending three months with her newborn daughter.She does not want to go back to work, and – yet – she is overwhelmingly aware of how difficult motherhood is … how much it demands of her.Motherhood i…