November 24, 2007

"What Would Jesus Buy" on Black Friday?

I caught an article about this in the Canton Repository on Thanksgiving day. Google led me here. You should check it out. I'm very intrigued as the article ended with the comment that both the left and the right will be in agreement with Rev Billy and his message.


My girls and I arrived home last night from being gone to Ohio for Thanksgiving. We love our families dearly and enjoy our times with them. But, we really like home. Last night when we crossed the state line from Ohio to Michigan, there was a calm in the car. Maybe it was because we were 3/4 of the way done with a 4 1/2 hour trip with an almost 4 year old in the car. Maybe it was the fact that the speed limit is 5 mph faster. Maybe it was that we'd been away for five days.

All I know
is that there is something special about home. There's something special about the feel of your own bed. There's something special about the easy chair Steph and I share after Hannah goes to bed. There's something special about knowing where to set the shower pressure to get the right temperature and pressure without any fuss.

Don't get me wrong, there's also something special and nostalgic about driving the last two miles to my childhood home--the hills, Varian's Apple Barrel and Orchard, and the winding roads that I used to drive so fast on. But that's not home for me anymore. Home is here with my girls, laughing a playing on the living room floor, enjoying one another to the fullest that we can.

November 19, 2007

Gettysburg Address

Many of my friends know that I'm not the most patriotic of people. I do respect and love our country and the freedoms it has given me. My main reaction to patriotism comes from how all too often the church's patriotism seems to exceed it's commitment to Christ. We can get riled about current affairs and how our government is "slighting" our faith through banning the 10 commandments or whatever. We can argue about flags on a worship platform. Yet, we struggle to have passion for what I believe are more important things like making our people more like Christ. I don't think Jesus would care whether the 10 commandments are hung on the walls of a courtroom or that public prayer was not a part of schools. I think he would be more concerned with how his people are living out their faith and being light and salt in those places.

All that aside, for this post is not intended to be a rant, today is the 144th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. A few years ago I created a visual presentation for a memorial day service here at South. Making sure to be Christian before being American, I wanted to find something that was appropriate for our worship time to remember where we have come from in our faith here in this nation. As I researched, I spent some time with Lincoln's address in Gettysburg. In such a brief speech, Lincoln brilliantly captures the essence of where we've come from, who we are, and what we need to become.

Take a moment this morning and go to this site, Gettysburg Address. Listen to the Jeff Bridges version and then spend some time praying for our nation. Pray that we as a people would learn again what it means to be humble. Also pray for the body of Christ. Pray that we would be a people concerned about living out our faith, being who Christ called us to be. Pray that we will have the courage to love our brothers, our neighbors, and our enemies, humbling ourselves and putting their needs before ours.

November 17, 2007

Bedtime Songs

Last night we were out late--we went to Silver Bells in the City here in Lansing (which will some day be a whole other post) and to a party that was being thrown by one of our couples here at South. When we got home, I needed to run to the church to set up the movie projector for the Jr. Highers who were having a lock in. This meant that momma got the bedtime routine. As I walked out the door I told Hannah, "momma's going to do the bedtime routine, I'll sing with you when I get back from the church."

When I returned home, she was already out cold. So, I kissed her on the forehead and went to bed.

This morning at 6:00am or so, Hannah started calling out for me in her cute, just woke up, almost 4 year old voice. "Papa . . . papa." When I went into her room, I figured she needed to use the bathroom. That was not the case. When I asked her what was wrong, she responded with, "why didn't you sing songs to me?" Why didn't you sing songs to me? Why in the world are you waking up at 6:00am on a Saturday to ask me why I didn't sing songs to you last night? How is it that you wake up 7 hours later and remember what I was supposed to do?

The ability of her little mind is amazing to me. She remembers almost everything. She'll be able to recount things that happened 3 or 4 months ago like they happened two minutes ago. She remembers names better than I do (which, I guess isn't saying that much). She remembers specifically where momma puts her favorite toys. She remembers which story books she likes. She remembers where we are as we flip through the Bible we're reading before bed.

As I sit here and think through it all and think about what I want to write, my mind asks the question, "why do you care that I didn't sing to you at this hour?". The answer--because its important to her, even to the point of waking me up at 6:00am.

Thank you for the lessons Lord . . . again.


I have to admit that I laughed a little at this ad on

"The absolute necessity for any women's golf bag...The unique and original P-Mate enables woman to pee neatly while standing upright. Perfect for the long round of 18 when there are no potties to be seen but plenty of trees. Each pack contains 5 p-mates."

Hey, you want to get a thoughtful Christmas present for the girl golfer in your family? Why not try the P-mate?

The sad thing about this is someone is probably going to make millions on this lovely little contraption while I sit here in awe of it. I guess I should go to bed now.