Monday, July 12, 2004

Only a Dream

In my dream, I entered a towering Urban Temple. My eyes were wide with what was all so real – surreal. The temple looked like any other mega-store. There on the sales altar were three immediately recognizable things: a thin television, a sharp cell phone and a bottle of pills. They were more extraordinary than any I had seen. Each was appealing.

These were three gods (among many) from my urban life. Their brand names were Illusion, Need and Escape. These gods invited me to worship. These gods commanded my undivided attention for hours.

All three were for sale. The paperwork was easy and only required a signature for my money and my time and my future to buy all three. I felt glad there was no interest and no payments due for many years. The friendly salesman loaded them in my trunk. He turned with a smile and disappeared. A quick glance back and the trunk was empty. A more careful gaze at the temple and I saw it was boarded up and vacant. I awoke sitting straight up with an empty stomach. Only a dream.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Happy 200th Anniversary

Today we celebrate the birth of our country on Independence Day which marks the signing of The Declaration of Independence. I love our country. We disciples of Jesus also celebrate the two-hundred year anniversary of the “Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery” from 1804. Our tradition began to take shape with this document that plead for the death of the Presbytery and that all would be dissolved into the body of Christ. You may wish to read the Last Will (it is brief) and maybe even the “Declaration and Address” from 1809 (it is longer). SImply click on the titles of these documents in this text.

History is history (it’s behind us). History matters (for the future). So, look back with humility and launch forward in faithful following.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Those Unused Unlimited Minutes

The office has moved a little slower this week. Our ministers have scattered to points all over the U.S. Many meetings and obligations have been shifted away from the July 4th holiday. I am one who likes busy-ness and enjoys plenty to do. However, the calmer, quieter office has been an unusual and welcome change.

Driving up I-35 today, I realized that the last few weeks have given me the chance to personally reconnect with old friends and family. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife who is my best friend in the world and my trusted ally in life. I have enjoyed emails with a childhood friend from my neighborhood, calling a friend from my teen years who lost his mother, dinner with my college roommate, lunch with a ministry colleague of more than 12 years, and spending a few “reunion” days with relatives.

I sadly admit that it is easy for ministers to loose touch with our friends in other places because our churches are filled with near and dear souls. It is a mixed blessing. Having such a wonderful family of believers that are dear friends, means sometimes those more distant geographically are overlooked.

May God give you opportunity to re-connect with people you love, people you need to confront and people upon whose shoulders you stand. There are soldiers all over the world distant from their families who put their lives at risk to keep you safe at home. I thank God for these dear friends, our troops.

Do you remember all those “Unlimited Night & Weekend minutes” on our cell phones . . . what an opportunity for Kingdom connections.