Hope Springs Eternal

Well, I finally admitted defeat and had a second phone line installed into our house. Defeat? you might ask… Well, I was holding out for DSL or Cable, or some type of broadband access, but it just wasn’t happening in my area. In fact, the phone guy told me I’m only about half a mile away from having DSL. Oh well….for now it is dial up. Hopefully this will at least allow me to blog and post to umsource.net a bit more.

It Had to Happen….

Well, I said I would drive my 1992 Geo Prizm until it stopped…and it did. Too bad I was about an hour from home. Also, too bad my wife was with me (so she couldn’t come and pick me up).

While driving the transmission went completely out. So, we were there on the side of the road. Good thing I knew one of the local UMC pastors. He pointed me to a good towing service, who then pointed me to a good repair shop.

I don’t have my car right now. We decided to get it fixed. It was more than I want to pay on a car with 165,000 miles, but it was cheaper than I expected. Now, I guess we get to start the process of looking for a different car so we can replace the Prizm.

So, I am a bit stressed trying to keep up with everything at church, the Katrina Relocation Plan (although Jeff is doing basically _all_ the work now), and trying to find a new car.

Although I have found a cool Volvo, I think because of family issues, we will end up with some type of 1999-2001 Ford Taurus Wagon.

That’s where I am…and why I haven’t written much here.

p.s. Make sure to check out The Katrina Relocation Plan and find some way to implement it (or some type of plan) in your community. This is something that everyone should be involved in because it really does effect all of us.

Online reunion efforts overlap, confuse some – Tech News & Reviews – MSNBC.com

Online reunion efforts overlap, confuse some – Tech News & Reviews – MSNBC.com

It’s not just the reunion efforts that overlap. I keep hearing stories of evacuees coming into communities, but I’ve yet to discover who is actually in charge of placing the evacuees.

Right now it seems like FEMA is trying to take the lead. There is not one central plan in place to deal with the evacuees so, basically, individuals are left to come up with their own plan.

I’ve posted on the plan that I believe would work, but, the plan was developed because it really didn’t look like anyone else was heading anywhere.

The best plan was a “call” for people to open up their homes. There are big problems with that solution. For one, it isn’t really long-term (the evacueess will have to move at least one more time), and it can be dangerous, both for the host home and for the evacuees (unless you do background checks for all involved). As of now, it seems like, around Indiana at least, there are still some unresoved questions such as, if I have a home and a group to support that home, how does an evacuee family make the move?

Hopefully answers will come….

Church People…

 

The party was great – hotdogs, hamburgers, squirt guns for the kids, dads trying to get charcoal lit, moms passing around Baby Hudson like he was a football. An interesting realization hit me about halfway through the party as I was flipping burgers. No one there with the exception of myself, Amber, and her parents were “church people”. I’m looking at these friends celebrating Jackson’s birthday and thinking to myself, “How did this happen?” Five years ago, our life revolved almost exclusively around church people. At that point in my life, I was clueless how to relate to anyone outside of that context, almost to the extent of being fearful and avoiding social situations where unchurched people would be present.

[The Mustard Seed]

 

Some interesting reflections. I have often wondered what would happen if ‘chuch’ didn’t take up so much time and energy. I have a friend who at one point was a pastor, now he is not. It seems like he is able to ministry in a different way now. He has been able to shed the ‘churchiness’ and continue to reach out. At one point he said that it has taken five years, but now the neighbors are beginning to open up.

There are times when I wonder what life would be like if we could create a new type of church culture. One that isn’t focused on buildings and budgets but rather living an authentic life marked by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. What would happen to our communities if church ceased being about a ‘great meeting’ once a week and became the conversations we had with those around us and the time we spent with them.

VBS Done

Well, it was a pretty good week for our VBS. We allow kids from age 3 through grade 5 to participate. We had no idea we would have about 18 preschoolers there…man…do they have energy.

Last year we decided to do VBS a bit differently. We decided to begin it on Sunday instead of Monday and to have a celebration night on Thursday night. What we discovered is that it seems VBS goes quickly. Sunday works well because people don’t have to rush home from work (we do the VBS at night).

What happened on Thursday was simply amazing. We decided last year to have a full blown celebration rather than a “VBS Program.” This means, we call the kids up and have them sing songs (with a live band consisting of my wife and me, some of our praise band members and some high school students). The music is ‘edgy’ and the kids love it.

I do the story time. Instead of just telling the story I brought some kids up and had them help me act it out. That worked out well.

Each day we took up an offering. We made it a competition between the girls and the boys. We were giving the money to Hefer International so we were trying to connect the kids with the animals and how they would help families. The kids raised $175!

We had planned on challenging the congregation to match that, but someone from the congregation matched it on Wednesday, so we were up to $350.

Then the amazing happened. After the celebration night one of the grandparents came up and matched it! That brought us up to $525. Also, someone came up and handed on of the helpers some money for the offering (we didn’t take one up). They said that they just wanted some part of the “joy in this place.”

Of course the workers were amazed…to say the least. There was joy that night and many were probably surprised. My prayer is that same joy will spill over into the congregation. The emerging church folks keep saying that we (as the church) need to move from propositional truth, to experience. During the VBS celebration, I did not preach a 3 point sermon on joy, yet, there was joy. People didn’t leave with new knowledge about joy, they experienced it. Perhaps we need more experience of God’s truth on Sunday mornings…