Sunday, December 03, 2006

Amazing Race Finale

It's my favorite show... and the finale is next Sunday night at 8 pm. Root for the 'Bama Girls -- they are the best!

Natural Unity

I witnessed one of nature’s miracles the other morning on my way to work. I was stopped at a long stoplight and I got to watch a flock of birds doing an avian dance. They were flying in a tightly bound unit that resembled a swarm of bees. They flew back and forth, up and down, in fast fits and starts while staying in complete unison. It seemed to defy reality that so many birds could operate as one. There had to be one lead bird, but because of all the different directions they flew, it was impossible to tell who was the lead bird. It was amazing that nobody made a wrong turn and crashed into the group. And somehow they all knew where to go because they landed in a nearby tree all together.

Why can’t the body of Christ be like this? When we have a leader who has been chosen by God and is leading the way, we decide we would rather go in a different direction. Unlike the birds, we bump into each other a lot and we hurt each other, too. We decide we’d rather land in a different tree than the rest of the group. Why can’t we share the shame vision, and follow the leader, like the birds?

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity
among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.
-- Romans 15:5

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Back At It

I seem to take longer breaks from this blog than the time I spend writing in it. But I’m back at it again. Figured I’d give a brief update on what’s been happening…

… The conflicted situation I’ve mentioned in the junco posting is improving. Hearts seem to be softening somewhat and a great bit of attention is being paid to the whole thing in order to work through it. God is good and is at work.

… I had the privilege to travel to the French Riviera this summer with family to met new family members (by marriage). It was a great experience. There was a definite language barrier and many new things to experience, but it was all good. I try and compare my trip to my friends here who are spending four months in Nairobi. I would like to think that what I did might be similar, but I know they are experiencing much more culture shock than I did. It is strange how you can be in a completely foreign place, and after about a week, everything around you starts to seem normal. I wish all the bread, cheese and pastries really could be normal for my life. More on the France trip later.

… My county was the focus of national attention recently: we were chasing the most recent fugitive to be named to the America’s Most Wanted List. Ralph “Bucky” Phillips had been on the run since April 2006 and after several months, he became somewhat of a cult hero. One local restaurant created the “Bucky Burger” and some folk painted “Run Bucky Run” on the back windows of their cars. A variety of his friends and family members were harboring him and helping him. And then he shot a state trooper who later died. And then the reward money went from $25,000 to $250,000. What was once a kind of joke all of a sudden became very serious. It was a bizarre situation to have happening around you. Glad it’s over.

… This summer I had the pleasure of working as an usher in the Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution. I got paid to listen to music – how cool is that? My favorite concerts were Peter, Paul & Mary, and Lyle Lovett. Also heard numerous symphonies, saw several ballets, and listened to opera highlights. Of course, I spent all the money I made on the gas to drive back and forth five nights a week, but who is counting? I met some great people who I believe will be my friends for a good long time. Isn’t that what life is all about?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oh, To Be A Junco

This morning on my walk, I stopped to observe a flock of juncos playing in a small wooded area. They were flitting from branch to branch, chasing each other, and chattering happily amongst themselves. I enjoyed a moment of clarity from God.

I am currently in the midst of a situation filled with great conflict. Parties on both sides seem entrenched and unwilling to move. As I ponder my role in it all, I am intimidated by what I may have to do. I am trying to trust God in it all, but I often return to, “How in the world would I ever be able to do what is asked of me?”

This morning as I watched the juncos, I thought of the verses in Matthew 6 where Jesus says, “Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down … careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.” (from The Message) I felt God’s comfort and care for me. He does know what is going on in my life, what concerns me, what challenges me, and He is with me every step of the way. He will provide the way and the strength to do what he calls me to do. Thanks to God and the birds for bringing home that familiar verse to me today.