What’s growing in my garden?

Maybe it's because I've been reading the book of Job as part of my devotional reading. Maybe it's the cumulative effect of my life experiences. Maybe it my current awkward growing pains as I'm trying to learn my new job. Or maybe it's because I'm firmly planted smack-dab in the middle of mid-life and my newly-emptied nest.No matter what the reason, the melancholy cry of Psalm 39 has captured some of emotion of my soul:I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle … [Read more...]

Kickin’ it @ skool

Scenes from the start of the school year:I walked into work this morning and saw two girls sitting a few seats apart from one another in the otherwise empty chapel. They weren't speaking to one another. They were just sitting companionably in the dark, in the silence. Intense conversations, everywhere. All the time. It will be sad when it snows because 98% of the students will have to stow their flip flops until spring. The other 2% will wear them even in a blizzard. More than a few students … [Read more...]

Notes from Transition Road…

The last week and a half has included:- Moving my youngest son Jacob into his first apartment in a brand-new town for him, where he'll begin classes this week. He doesn't know a single person there. I'm praying...- An early-labor scare from my daughter; she's due October 10. - A very steep learning curve last week in my new job, as well as the challenge of rustling up the equipment I'll need to do the job. Oh, and I'll have a learning curve with the electronics (when they appear, which seems as … [Read more...]

The box

As part of my 3-4 times a year update to those on my e-mail list, I sent the the following post. Read on to the end to find out the suggestions I got from those who responded to my question. I sweetened the deal by offering readers an opportunity to win one of two $15 Starbucks gift cards if they responded. Here's what I wrote:The other day, I went hunting in our garage and noticed a mystery box that has been moved from house to house without ever being opened. (Raise your hand if you, too, have … [Read more...]

Implosion’s launch pad

There are hundreds of church growth seminars offering church leaders enough "tools for their leadership toolbox" to stock a Home Depot. I've never heard of a seminar telling church leaders how to shrink their congregations...or even to kill them...but this happens A LOT. Stagnation, shrinkage or complete collapse may be more common than the stunning growth that those church growth seminars seem to showcase. I'm thinking about this today because some friends from a former congregation sent us a … [Read more...]

File this under “(Way) Too Much Information”

Quite possibly, the wackiest headline I've ever seen. … [Read more...]

Two Sunday morning moments

An African guest at our church stood in front of the congregation this morning, reading...no, proclaiming...today's New Testament selection. His richly-accented English brought the passage alive for me in a fresh way. It was verse 15 that struck me: "As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, 'This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food'". Even if our reader came from a densely-populated … [Read more...]