Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let's Pray

that all the people talking about hope and newness really want it and are willing to fight for it. Let's pray that all this talk about hope, is not just talk.

Today, I have hope. My hope is in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. I hope that this nation responds to this moment in time in a greatway and truly becomes the nation that we can be.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What were you doing in 2001?

These two were playing in the NFC Championship game, just where they will be today.

Kurt Warner will be putting on the uniform of the Arizona Cardinals and Donovan McNabb will be putting on the Eagles uniform again.

The change of uni will not be the only difference for Kurt Warner, today he will also go home with a loss.

Go Eagles!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Letter from the next President

I saw this letter today and I must say I am very impressed. To all who didn't vote for Obama, I know it is just words. However, words and the ideas behind them are so very important. For all those who did vote for Obama, remember these are simply words. Words by themselves mean nothing, unless there is some action and direction behind them.

So are these words going to be important, I hope and pray so. We will all find out TOGETHER, in time. I simply continue to hope that perhaps this can mark the start of something new and exciting for our country. It is now time for us to see if the rhetoric over the last 8 years or so from both sides was just words, or was there something of substance behind them.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It can be frustrating

being an Eagles fan at times and especially a Donovan McNabb fan. However, when it is game time you put all that aside and just watch the team go.

Sunday was just the type of game that I thought it would be, a mean nasty NFC East type of game. It was a game that included lots of hitting and lots of frustration and lots of excitement.

In the end it was a game that saw the Eagles defense rising to the occasion and putting a fright into Eli. He knew they were coming so never really allowed himself time to get set. It was a game that saw Donovan continue his remarkable play. He looks good in the pocket and has regained a little of that "escapability" that makes him so dangerous on third down.

So we are off to the fifth conference championship game in the last 10 years. How sweet is that!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It had to happen eventually

I think in my 6 plus years of ministry, I have used a ladder 4 different times as a visual aid during a sermon or children's time. I am very afraid of heights and every time I have gone up the ladder I have been worried. I am happy to say there has never been any problems....until today.

I was in the sanctuary today and we were in the midst of "taking down the greens". I saw a ladder not being used, so I quickly jumped up on it and began to take some stuff down. As I was just thinking about coming down off the ladder with a banner, something happened and the ladder fell.

The ladder ended up on the pews and I ended up on the ground. I was "smart" enough to catch myself with my left hand before I fell. So now several hours later, my wrist,elbow, and shoulder are battling it out to see what hurts the most.

All those times up on the ladder for no reason other than a visual for a sermon and I don't get hurt and the one time I use a ladder for what a ladder is designed for, I get hurt.

Who'd a thunk it?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Trust is Built One Apple at a time

Every fall it happened at least once and many falls it happened two or three times. I was sent out to battle with simply a brown bag and my speed as a weapon. To say that I was afraid would be quite the understatement. I entered the battle every time convinced that I would not make it out alive. So where was I and how did I get there? What crazy universe did I find myself in? Where was this mythical battlefield? Simple, I was in Granny’s backyard!
Out in Granny’s backyard stood this huge old apple tree. Growing up that tree was like a huge watchtower. It simply overwhelmed everything else in the backyard, at least in my mind. I am not sure how old the tree actually was, I simply remember it always being there and always seemingly taunting me. Even in the dead of winter when all else was covered by snow, it seemed to still call out to me and tell me that the fall was coming.
I knew that eventually that tree would be full of apples once again. I guess for some people the thought of an apple tree in the backyard would be a great one. It’s perhaps the idea that the apples would be yours for the picking. The apple pies that Granny was sure to make and boy can she make some apple pie! It might be the thought of as the apples come out on the tree it means summer is here and schools not in session.
But for me, it meant none of those things, for me it simply meant that I was about to hear from Granny that one phrase that even to this day sends shivers down my spine, “Take a bag and go fill it up with apples and I will give you a quarter.” Now I can hear you know saying how wonderful that sounds, Granny was going to give me a quarter for being out in the sun and picking a bag full of apples. Oh but see that’s just the thing, you couldn’t be more wrong.
It is often those things that we like the most that are our biggest downfalls. Yes, as a child thought of a nice shiny quarter was very appealing. I was not opposed to the money at all, I was simply afraid of what I had to go through to actually get it.
See I was not picking nice fresh apples of the tree. No, I had to go out into the yard and pick up the apples that had been lying on the ground. These apples were the ones that had begun to rot on the ground. Granny had seven kids, most of them were moved from the house by the time I had started my apple adventures. So if I did not pick them up or if my cousins Billy and Mark did not pick them up then they just laid there.
Now I don’t know how much you know about what happens to apples as they lie around in the sun but let me tell you it is not pretty. The apple begins to rot and over time gets very soft and mushy. Now before you try and judge me too quick, it was not the condition of the apples was the problem, although it was not fun picking up rotten apples.
No, it was not the rotten apples but it was what happened to the rotten apples. I am not sure of the science but I believe from experience that rotten apples must secrete some chemical that bees from miles around are attracted to. Yup, that’s right bees. I was in a war with bees and it was a war I was destined to lose time and time again.
I am not sure if you ever in the military as I was but at least in the military they gave you some protection. In Granny’s army, you were simply given a brown paper bag and told to go out and not come back without victory. So each time I trudged out unsure of how it was going to turn out. Yet because it was Granny I kept going out there.
I knew one thing with certainty and that was that I could always trust Granny. I might get hurt and I might fall down. I might run away screaming from some bee that flew within 500 feet of me and I might even get stung (only happened once) but I knew that Granny would always be there for me.
She gave me a sense of protection and love that I knew was going to always be there. Granny taught me at a young age that there are certain people in your life that you will always be able to trust. She showed me that trust and love are available to everyone and are things that everyone truly deserves and needs.
Trust built with paper bags, apples, bees, and a Granny’s love.