Monday, January 3, 2011

MacBook Pro

Crashed Mac02
My old iBook finally bit the dust just prior to Thanksgiving... quite literally. I was trying to carry too many things out to my car, the iBook was under my arm and slipped out... hitting the concrete floor of our garage. Disaster! Fortunately, I had a back-up of everything from within the last couple of weeks prior to the wreck. But no replacement would be in sight for quite some time due to budgetary constraints.

Crashed Mac01

I tried to take this devastation in stride and trust the Lord for things far more meaningful and important than a laptop computer. Yet it was putting a bit of a crimp in my working style.

Then along comes grace in the form of my incredible family. Ann, Rebecca, her husband, Devon, Jonathan and Elizabeth all gave me the gift of a new Apple MacBook Pro for Christmas. I ordered it Christmas morning and it arrived on the Wednesday after. Good timing, since I take the week between Christmas and New Year’s as vacation almost every year, this would allow me to get things all set up the way I want on the new MacBook.
MacBook Pro 02 MacBook Pro 03 MacBook Pro 01

I am so thankful for a family who cares. They are a blessing. Thanks to one and all!

Family

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Praying Life

416DnmCJYBL._SL500_AA300_
I’m starting a preaching series this month on prayer. For a frame of reference, I’ll be drawing upon Paul E. Miller’s book, A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a distracting world.” (NavPress, 2009). I highly recommend this book, if you don’t have it on your shelf already. It has proven very helpful to me; I have no reason to doubt it would benefit you as well.

Miller begins by asking a question I think all of us have asked at some point in our life as a Christian: “What good does prayer really do? Does it make a difference?” It’s a seriously asked question, to which Miller seeks to provide serious answers. Miller contends that we who live in America, probably live in the most difficult place in the world in which to pray. There are constant distractions. We are such busy people who feel guilty or exhausted – or both – when it comes time to pray. We don’t like extended periods of quiet (just try asking an entire congregation to spend two minutes in silent prayer prior to taking communion and see how long it takes before you can hear the shuffling of bulletins, clearing of throats, the subtle movements of people peeking around wondering if the pastor is really doing this too).

Prayer is a bit strange to most of us. We’re raised in a “rational” world and prayer is very rarely rational. I mean, let’s face it. You’re either talking out loud to no one or silently, you’re speaking to no one. You almost hope something BIG will happen to shake the room you’re in, just to verify that you’re not insane in what you’re doing.

Miller suggests that we each need to visit a prayer therapist (not really, but who knows; if there were such a person, it might not be a bad idea). The vast majority of us would most likely be told: “Your relationship with your heavenly Father is dysfunctional. You talk as if you have an intimate relationship, but you don’t. Theoretically, it is close. Practically, it is distant. You need help.” (
A Praying Life, page 17)

As soon as I read this, I knew I was the one on the proverbial therapist’s couch. I can give you all sorts of theological definitions regarding prayer. I can provide many biblical references why you ought to pray and how you ought to pray. Yet I honestly know that my own prayer life is haphazard, disorganized, at times very sporadic and in need of a large dose of intimacy with my heavenly Father.

So, this preaching series, while given to my beloved congregation at
Cornerstone EFC, will be getting preached to me. Yes, I know. How selfish – preaching a sermon series to yourself. But it’s necessary. My prayer is that God will do a work in me, to draw me into His presence as His precious child and grace me with His presence and love through prayer. Of course, I’m also praying that all who hear these messages will be graced with the same.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year – A New Beginning

imgres
Well, here it is... 2011.

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, but I hope I’m back and can see this site take off and re-establish an identity all it’s own.

Many people make resolutions for the New Year. Me? Not so much.

Although, during late November and early December, my goal-setting program seemed to be working in high gear. This is a bit unusual for me. My problem with goals is not in the setting; no, no, no. It’s in the writing them down stage. You see, once I write a goal down, then I’m committed. Then there are expectations. And goodness knows, I seem to have enough expectations to meet.

However, I’ve set a new goal – write my goals down. I think I’m tired of always hoping I’ve accomplished something, hoping someone else notices that I might have accomplished something and never being too sure if I did. Those of you who procrastinate as badly as I do will understand. All you “Type A” personalities that are goal-driven will just shake your head sadly and smile knowingly.

All this is to say: It’s a New Year and my goals are set... for now! Let the fun begin.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Changes in the New Year

Hey, everyone. Thanks for your patience during my hiatus.

I'm working at making some significant changes to the blog and I'm in process of migrating back to my original dream – having my own domain name, my own blog and not having to settle for just whatever Blogger will allow. It's a work in progress, but I'm hoping that all will be ready by January 1. Stay tuned for the announcement to come.

I'm also reading a ton right now and will have lots of reviews up after January 1.

So, if you'll all just stay put and remain calm... oh wait, that's what I need to do.

See you soon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I got Nuthin'

absolutely_nothing_road_sign_lg.jpgBetween families matters (knees still very sore & tight, two kids with wisdom tooth removal within two weeks, husband/wife medical procedures, aging parents needing lots of attention) and school schedules (I'm the high school boys basketball official bookkeeper, home and away games) and probably too many things on my plate at church. The blog will be taking a long vacation. It is yet to be determined whether it will come back after the first of the year. I have several book reviews to do and will post those over at Caffeinated Theology. Sorry, but something had to give and this is it. (I'm kind of hoping this will force me to journal better with a real pen and notebook... no kidding).

nothing3.jpg
nothin.jpg