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Showing posts from September, 2012

Good News ain't no "Stewart Smalley Daily Affirmation" stuff: it's solid Biblical Theology

You know how every once in a while, when you're having a challenging week or a tough day, someone will send you, or you'll stumble on just the right word or phrase or thought-- some encouraging word that hits you like one of these cool late September breezes?
Well not long ago, a colleague and friend of mine sent me a couple paragraphs from a book she's reading by the author Steve Backlund that did that for me:
"'Good tidings of great joy' is the first thing that is said in the angelic announcement.
"Let that sink in for a moment.  
"The angel did not say, 'I bring you news of a teaching that I hope you can follow,' or, 'I bring you news that Jesus is coming; and boy, is he mad!'
"No, the message was, 'It's time to celebrate! God is doing what you couldn't. He is making a way where there was no way. You are being saved from the curse, rejection, shame, punishment, poverty, sickness; and from performance…

TFC E-vangelon

One of the things that people said they found helpful when I was Rector of St. James' was a weekly message I sent out, so now that I've caught my breath a tiny bit in my new position as Rector of The Falls Church Episcopal, I thought I'd carry that custom over.

It doesn't seem right to keep using the name "e-Pistle," -- St. James' is still using that, and this is a new thing in a new place anyway, so I knew I had to come up with a new name.

So...what do you think?...I landed on "TFC E-vangelon," which is a play on words on the "E" in "The Falls Church Episcopal" as well as the "e" in "evangelon" which is the Greek word for "good news."

So here is my very first "TFC E-vangelon" -- let me know what you think of it.


For today's "TFC E-vangelon," I want to share a line from the tiny little (and little-known) book (letter) in the Bible called Jude. 
It's Jude 1:2, as para…

Quilt of t-shirt memories

For my birthday today, Mary had made for me for me a quilt of many of my old t-shirts from almost every stage of my life...



...looking at it is a trip down memory lane: oldest one is a "Carmel Pups" football shirt from 5th or 6th grade (my mom saved everything), a wrestling t-shirt from 9th grade, half a dozen Indy half marathon shirts, a couple Marine Corps Marathon shirts, Capitol Hill, Towel Ministry...even a recent Copan, Honduras and Center Aisle and even a Cornhole shirt.

So "photogratude" of the day is "photograph of an attitude of nostalgia and happy memories."

Exercise = Oxygen Mask?

Started my new job/ministry at the Falls Church Episcopal on Tuesday of this past week, and so it's been quite a week:

We’re beginning a brand-new service at the 9:00 a.m. hour on Sunday, the first time the Episcopalians will have worshiped on a regular Sunday morning basis in the new (large) church/sanctuary since getting their property back in April. We're also shifting the 10:15 service that takes place in the Historical Church to 11:00 a.m., and continuing with the 8:00 service there as well. And launching the Fall program year of Sunday School. And Adult Christian Education hour. And hiring a minister of music. And trying to figure out the keys.

So in  a week like that, ironically, the things that slip...the things we tend not to take time for...are things like exercise, prayer, and sleep: the very things that give us (at least me) sanity, groundedness and creativity. 


So I want to thank a colleague and friend of mine who sent me an email checking in on me, in which sh…

"Photogratude" for today: The Magenta Box

At my first staff meeting today at my new job as Rector of The Falls Church Episcopal, they point out "The Magenta Box," which comes to every staff meeting:  



What's in The Magenta Box?

Correspondence cards.

And sometime during the meeting, as they discuss the goings-on of the parish, if it occurs to them that someone somewhere deserves a word of appreciation, or encouragement, or thanks, the Magenta Box is opened.

And on one of those correspondence cards, they write a simple "thank you" or "thinking of you."

And everyone on staff signs it. Right then and there. And off in the mail it goes...

...to make someone's day a day or two later, no doubt.

What a smack-on-the-forehead, "sure-wish-I'd'athoughofthatyearsago," but wonderful concept.

Sure pushes us from vague "feelings of gratitude" to concrete "actions of thanksgiving."  

And -- I hope you agree -- worth sharing as a "photogratude" today.�…

"Photogratude," Day 1

With the start of my new ministry today as Rector of The Falls Church Episcopal, I thought I'd start something new on this blog.

And that is to share "one photo and one attitude" that pretty much summarizes that particular day.

I think I even coined a new term for it: "photogratude."

So -- no promises it'll be done every single day, but a promise I'll try on most -- here's today's photo and accompanying attitude:

In case you can't make it out, the photo is me holding my new business card in front of my new, very empty office.

The accompanying attitude is a thought that a friend and colleague emailed to me today. She said,

"I hope you're having a good first day. I have no idea how you're feeling about your new job...but I've read this quote in Bill Johnson's new book a couple times and decided to send it to you.

He says,
'When you're willing to do what you're unqualified to do, that's what qualifies you.&#…