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Life's challenges

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Friends-Has life ever dealt you challenges? I know I have had my share and my family is experiencing some difficulties right now. So what do you do?

It seems to me that the first thing that a person needs to do is recognize that something happened, something isn't right, or there has been a difficult change. It surprises me the number of people who deny their problems and difficulties. How often have you had someone tell you it's not a problem or they're getting along just fine when they are clearly struggling. I believe part of this is related to a world that longs for a quick fix, which leads me to my next thought.

Even when we have a challenge, there's an impulse to deal with it as quickly as possible. No one likes pain and we want deny the pain that life brings. We expect ourselves to cope with life and life's challenges on our own, quickly and efficiently so we can get back to the business of life. Perhaps this is related to the fast food culture we live in. …

a Needful Thing

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Friends-I had a couple weeks of vacation that were great. We went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan all the way to the end of the land. DeTour, Michigan is a great place for us to get away, recover, and recharge.
 The town is on the DeTour Passage in Lake Huron that gives way to Lake Superior. There is a lot of ship traffic through his area as large boats make their way up to the Soo Locks. Of course, there are a lot of light houses in the area and this is visible from the little town.
Away for vacation is why there've been no blog posts lately. But I'm back.
I was reading an article from The Atlantic last week and it was pretty interesting. I think most of us are aware of the decline in churches as a whole and the voices that clamor for community. This article discusses some groups that have gotten together and tried to make a community around itself-they gather just to gather. This is an interesting experiment.
These groups have come to find that church without God is a no…

a poem

Christ Has No Body  Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.  -Theresa of Avila

God's song

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This past Sunday was Trinity Sunday. This is a Sunday that presents a challenge to any preacher or pew sitter--preaching about doctrine can be a snoozer.

I'm not sure why, but a Grateful Dead song was stuck in my head this past week-"The Music Never Stopped" by Weir and Barlow. Don't know why, but it just kept running thought my mind. And it was against this backdrop that I started thinking about the Trinity.

What to say about the mysterious triune godhead? Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer--God is everpresent in these three ways. Like the music, God's presence never stops. That was the link. Surrounding us always is this divine melody, this joyful tune with which we are invited to dance. God's irresistible grace irresistibly invites us to be a part of this larger melody.

God's song is the song that animates all of creation, always there, it forms the life and vitality of the universe. Like the flowing stream of revelation, God's song weaves around us …

Prayer

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Friends-I apologize. I have been really remiss in blogging. Ever since entering into Holy Week, I feel like I have been fighting an uphill battle just to stay on top of the daily things that need to be done. Unfortunately, this blog too often slips to the back burner.

I was in a Worship meeting this week and a question was asked about its purpose: Why do we meet? This person felt that we were doing a lot to preserve the traditions, but no forward thinking. There is more than a little truth to that statement, but we need to go further than pointing out that something is not functioning as it should. We need to enter into solution.

Our conversation went on and I asked him what he thought we should be doing. In the Presbyterian denomination there is a lot of room to be creative with our worship and I'm always looking for ideas. What should this committee be doing that would be more helpful? Well, the long and short of it is that this person had no suggestions.

I want to encourage him…

Sabbath

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Friends-I had lunch with Michael and his wife today at our community lunch. We got talking about a variety of things and they ended up scolding me. You see, my life is scheduled so that taking time for a sabbath--an intentional break--is a challenge and something I frequently neglect.

Recognizing that, we talked about books that we had both been reading. In my case it was a work by Walter Brueggemann about Sabbath. Brueggemann writes that our culture has lost the concept of Sabbath. The world revolves around speed, accomplishment, busy-ness. In our culture our importance is marked by the number of emails, texts, and calls that we receive. In this framework there is no room for rest. When we face a problem we expect an instant solution and struggle to tolerate that liminal time of working through things.

Slow Church by Smith and Pattison is another book that takes on what they call the "cult of speed". These two authors share Brueggemann's perspective on our culture, but t…