Found 17 results.
Christmas is three days away. Take a deep breath. Breathe in the peace. Breathe out the stress. Repeat. The lead-up to Christmas is often a trying time. We struggle for the perfect family get-together, perfect decorations, perfect gifts, or, honestly, just to get through it without messing up anything too badly. I don't tend to stress much over decorations, but this year I've been struggling with getting the rubber duckie nativity outside my office just right. Sure, it may not be your struggle, but I believe where it's led me will give you some peace.Read More
Between kindergarten and eighth grade Christmas stars started appearing in my neighborhood. Farmers fashioned stars out of lumber and lights and mounted them on the tops of silos and other tall structures on their property. One year my uncle fashioned one such star for the silo at my grandfather's farm, and a few years later it came to our house where my dad mounted it at the top of a 5-story tower that held our TV antenna. High in the air and out in the country without city lights, our star and the others in the neighborhood shown large among a night sky filled with stars, and they proclaimed the coming of Christ. So, a couple years ago when our staff was encouraged to decorate our offices for Christmas, my mind went back to my childhood.Read More
About a month ago one of my former professors from Perkins School of Theology, Dr. Bill Bryan, passed away. I had the privilege of taking a class with him on leadership. One of the most important things he taught me was that a good leader is one who is “unusually committed and action-oriented.” Dr. Bryan taught me about the importance of being dedicated to the people we serve and care for. He even taught the importance of getting up on the roof for more than just fixing a repair.Read More
The band "The Roots" that is featured on the Show with Jimmy Fallon wrote a song in 2008 called Lovely, Love My Family. Here are few words to that tune: “Those quiet moments when not with no one else. I’m mesmerized by all the many good things in my life. I think about the time when I was younger. And the older that I get the more that I feel wiser. With the love of friends and family I get stronger and it carries me on through.”Read More
In Mario Kart (unquestionably the world’s best video game), one of the final rounds of whimsy takes place on a track called “Rainbow Road.” The course is exactly as the name describes - colorful, bright and fun. You drive around a long and winding multicolored road that poses one small challenge: there are no rails to keep you from falling off the edge. So the word ‘fun’ may be a bit of stretch for those of us who find ourselves falling off the track over and over again. I may have mentioned this before, but I don’t like to lose. I’ll be honest… I find this whimsical rainbow track to be a dream crusher.
So what happens when things turn out to be a lot harder than we originally thought? What do we do when it seems like we just keep falling off the track?Read More
Our church staff is learning about the Enneagram, a tool that helps people understand the motivations behind their actions. We learned that some people's desire to be well thought of by others leads them to present themselves very differently depending upon the group they're in. It could be scary if two of their friend groups met, because they couldn't meet both group's expectations. The Bible gives us two stories of people that changed themselves for those around them and some clues as to when it's spiritually healthy to do that and when it's not.Read More
Each person has unique gifts, interests, and past experiences and a unique personality. When I get to know someone well enough I usually discover something fascinating within their uniqueness. Last week I discovered that a member of our Access congregation, Dirk G. Sutherland, writes devotionals, which are reflections and prayers on Biblical topics and scriptures. Dirk shared one with me related to our recent sermon series on conflict. I found it insightful and vulnerably honest and want to share it with you.Read More
I've noticed something around me that I find curious: some people noticeably filter cuss words out of their language. They usually say something like, "Well, I can't say that in front of a pastor." Others don't filter their language but then sheepishly say something like, "Oops. Sorry, pastor." Friends, let me ease your anxiety. Cussing might be helpful.Read More