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Showing posts from December, 2009

Life in Greencastle - Gift

About this time last year, while we were making preparations to move back to Greencastle, we were gathering our belongings and reaching out to friends. We were going through the hard process of saying goodbye and saying thanks for all that people had done for us. And in the midst of all that leave-taking, a friend and gentlemen named Rick Ford who had spent most of his life in Owensboro came to my office at the church.

In the short years we were in Owensboro, Rick and I shared many a good meal and conversation. But, I could never imagine or predict the gift he was to give me that day he arrived at the church.

Rick entered my office with a staff, a slender pole standing about five feet high, and upon handing it to me, he told me about this gift that he himself had carved for me. It was made of Dogwood, that flowering tree that is popular in this region of our land, and Rick had smoothed all but an eight inch section near the top - the very place I could place my hand to sturdy myself…

Evangelical

The following statement comes from The Evangelical Manifesto: A Declaration of Evangelical Identity and Public Commitment and was published in May of 2008. The whole manifesto is worth reading, but I was particularly struck by the following passage which details the need for Evangelicals to be radically refashioned in their own life and witness. It conforms to my own beliefs and views regarding the Church and culture:

Our second major concern [as Evangelicals] is the reformation of our behavior. We affirm that to be Evangelical or to carry the name Evangelicals is not only to shape our faith and our lives according to the teaching and standards of the Way of Jesus, but to need to do so again and again. But if the Evangelical impulse is a radical, reforming, and innovative force, we acknowledge with sorrow a momentous irony today. We who time and again have stood for the renewal of tired forms, for the revival of dead churches, for the warming of cold hearts, for the reformation of cor…

Life in Greencastle - Cantata

O ye heights of heaven, adore him; angel hosts,his praises sing;Powers, dominions, bow before him and extolour God and King.Let no tongue on earth be silent, every voicein concert ring Evermore and evermore.Christ, to thee with God the Father and,O Holy Ghost, to theeHymn and chant and high thanksgiving andUnending praises be,Honor, glory and dominion, and eternal victoryEvermore and evermore.Amen.(Corde Natus ex Parentis, Aurelius Prudentius, 4th Century; translators, John M. Neale & Henry W. Baker, 19th Century)Ah, the wind has been so cold – howling in from the west, like an icy-demon, stealing the warmth from our bones, slapping our faces till the blood rises to the surface, making car and street and tree stiff and ready to break.I sit in a comfortable place, looking down upon the city of Greencastle, but I can still see the cold’s effects:the salty streets, the slower motions.It is cold – so cold that when you step outside it truly does take your breath away.But, the world wi…

Life in Greencastle

“A man expressed the wish in the presence of the Belzer Rabbi to die like a good Jew.The Rabbi commented:‘Such a wish is wrong.Desire rather that you may live like a good Jew, and it will follow as a consequence that you will die like a good Jew.” – As quoted by Ari L. Goldman in The Search for God at Harvard.Yesterday, on my way to see someone, I passed a small pack of runners near Greencastle High School … training, preparing for a coming event.As I drove by the high school parking lot, I saw a number of cars still there.I imagine there were many more students inside – pushing the basketball up the floor on a 3-on-2 drill, working on the proper hold on a wrestling mat, rehearsing and rehearsing for an upcoming concert.I was often told by several coaches that I would inevitably play like I practiced.Their message was clear:the preparation you put into any activity (athletics or otherwise) would ultimately be reflected somewhere down the road.Our future is shaped by how we spend our p…