Photo credit: Ken Schwarz / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
As has been humorously put, when we become Christians, there are two things we can do on earth that we won’t be able to do in heaven: sin and witness. The question for us is to decide which one we think Jesus left us here to do.
-Mike Breen and Alex Absalom, Launching Missional Communities
He’s the first active athlete of the four major sports in America to announce to the world that his is homosexual. Jason Collins, the 34-year-old center for the Washington Wizards, had an interview with George Stephanopolous on ABC’s Good Morning America after his announcement. When asked what he would say to a gay 12-year-old boy dreaming of playing in the NBA, Collins said, “It doesn’t matter that you’re gay.”
Have you ever seen what it takes to mass produce cars? Darren, the guy on the far right, is a friend from church who is head engineer at the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio. That’s where the Chevy Cruze is made; 1,200 of them every day, five days a week.
Darren Ford (yes, that’s really his last name) volunteers teaching the middle school kids Wednesdays at church. He organized a tour of the GM plant, the massive building that means so much to our local economy. We learned some pretty cool stuff from Mr. Ford, and not just about cars.
Photo credit: Digital Explorer / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Actually, it never was. Alcoholics Anonymous adopted the prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr that is associated with the famous twelve step program.
I had always heard the prayer in relation to people summoning the strength the overcome alcohol or drug addiction. Since I didn’t taste alcohol until my mid 30s, and have only had a few tastes of it since then, the thought that the sentiment housed in that prayer could apply to me had never entered my mind.
At the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, April ’13 (Left to Right) Emma, Zach, Vanda, Jess, Dave
During spring break my family took a trip to the Cleveland museum of natural history. In this picture you’ll notice that my eldest child, Jess, has a wonderful smile. Not sure how she roused that one. It had been a traumatic day for her.
It happened at the deer/turkey exhibit in the miniature zoo outside. An elevated walkway about twenty feet long separated us from the animals by a three-foot railing with sparsely spaced thin metal posts. On the other side of the railing was a shallow man-made pond, the kind that can be drained to keep it clean. Jess had already had an altercation with a turkey further down the exhibit where the fence was much higher. It had taken a snap at her through the fence, but missed. It was a sign of things to come.
Here’s a paragraph from my book that I’d love for you to consider:
President George W. Bush made a profound statement before the United Nations on September 19, 2006. It was about the Iraq War, but its truth extends beyond political discussion. Regardless of your view on the reason why he said it, the reality is undeniable. He said: “Freedom, by its very nature, cannot be imposed. It must be chosen.”
I’m less than interested in a political debate. Your thoughts on the nature of spiritual freedom and how we go about securing it for ourselves are what I’m interested in.
The doors to the back of the chapel are closed. The bridesmaids have made their way down the aisle, been greeted by their groomsmen counterparts, and have taken their place for the ceremony. Michael, the groom, stares at the double doors with great anticipation. He isn’t alone. All of us who have gathered to witness this union have contorted our bodies in the pews and are bobbing our heads back and forth to secure just the right perspective through the crowd for the moment when the doors will open.
Then, one door moves ever so slightly. A chuckle comes from the group because what we see isn’t what we have been anticipating. The door closes behind the tiny flower girl who has emerged (she will later refer to the bride as her best friend at the reception), and she goes about her flowery task. She finishes her trek and everyone re-fixes our gaze on the doors.
I’m waking up the morning after our wedding with a sense of being out of my element. It isn’t because I don’t belong here, it’s because I don’t know how to belong here. I am the same person and yet everything has changed. Yesterday I woke up a single man with only the promise of matrimony. Today I am a married man, terribly excited but not knowing what to expect or how to act.
Will I remember to put the toilet seat down every time? How often is too often to play ball with the guys? Vanda is British, and they have already thrown me with the crazy tradition of crackers last Christmas. I’m still not completely convinced that everybody in the United Kingdom wears those silly paper hats during Christmas dinner. What if there are other traditions I’m unaware of that will stress the boundaries of my comfort zone?