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Showing posts from September, 2012

Don't Make Me Poor. Or Rich?

I was recently listening to a podcast of a wonderful on-line daily prayer resource called " Pray as You Go ," and the day's reflection was on part of Proverbs 30:8 - " ...give me neither poverty nor riches,     but give me only my daily bread." Can you imagine yourself praying that prayer to God? Can you imagine sincerely, honestly praying, "Dear God: please... please give me neither poverty nor riches. Don't allow me to be poor, but don't allow me to become rich, either. Please give me only what I need to get through this one day." It's a counter-cultural (and counter-intuitive) thing to pray for. Well, actually, only part of it is counter-cultural: I'll bet most of us would be perfectly comfortable - certainly more sincere! - praying the "please don't give me poverty" part of the prayer. (I don't know too many people who pray on a daily basis for poverty, do you?) But listen to the author

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; an

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 J

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

"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... 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 "photog

"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'