Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Family Time

I found myself at the end of the year with quite a bit of unused vacation days which I would forfeit if not used, so I've been enjoying some extended family time since around the 20th of December or so.  I made a quick trip down to Texas (Dec. 16-18) to see my second son before his overseas deployment and had a great time with him and his wife and our newest grandson, Jonah.  Since then, it's been hanging around the house with my wife and youngest as well as our second son who is home from law school at Ohio State Univ.  We've also had our oldest and his wife over with their three children on two occasions.  Throw into the mix my mom who lives with us permanently, my wife's mom who has been staying with us for a week, and my wife's sister who also spent a few days here and we've had a houseful of company. 

It's almost Guatemala travel time again for me as I'll be heading down there the second week of January for another round of leadership training conferences.  The day after I return, our church is hosting a "free garage sale" for the community.  It's something that we've done in the past and this year we're linking it to a bunch of other civic and non-profit organizations' efforts in conjunction with a week of service for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  In mid-February, it will be back to Guatemala again for a missions trip with our church.

Beginning this Sunday, we're also totally revamping our Sunday morning worship and Bible Fellowship schedules.  We've had two identical blended services to this point (at 9:30 and 10:45).  Our new schedule will begin with a traditional service at 8:00, the blended service at 9:30, and a contemporary service at 11:00.  We're beginning a number of new Bible Fellowship classes to accommodate the worship schedule changes.  I'm looking forward to teaching a coed class of 60-somethings during the 9:30 hour.  We'll be using the Smyth and Helwys Formation curriculum.

There's a certain amount of apprehension on the part of some with the new scheduling (change is always threatening), but there's a great deal of excitement as well about the chance to reach some new people we're currently not impacting with the gospel.  Life is good!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

One of the popular Christmas carols you hear on the radio frequently these days begins with the line, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” For Christians, it certainly should be one of the highpoints of the calendar year as we pause once again to reflect on the incredible truth that God became a man in the person of Jesus. A miraculous birth was accompanied by miraculous signs. Angelic choruses sang to shepherds. A guiding star led wise men from afar to visit the young child. An angel warned the family to flee to Egypt from Herod’s wrath.

The greatest miracle of all though was that Jesus was willing to give up His eternal glory with God the Father and come into this world in the most humble of circumstances. He who had existed with God from all eternity stepped into time and space. Why did He come? The angel said it best when he told Joseph that the baby was to be named Jesus, for He would come to save His people from their sin. In the midst of gift giving and receiving this Christmas season, don’t forget that we’ve been given the most indescribable gift imaginable—forgiveness of our sins and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The True Origin of the Internet

Couldn't resist passing along this account of the origins of the internet in biblical times that I received from one of our church's senior adults.

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called 'Amazon Dot Com.'

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why doth thou travel far from town to town with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?"And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever moving from his tent.

But this success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secrete himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the young man did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Siderites, or NERDS for short.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that would work only with Brother Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.

And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."

And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or as it came to be known "eBay" he said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."

And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."

"YAHOO," said Abraham.

And that is how it all began. It wasn't Al Gore after all.