Monday, February 24, 2014

Lego Movie Review

Oh snap!  This is a fun movie.  I don't write many movie reviews, so I will try not to spoil anything.  Here's what I like about the Lego Movie:
  • It's fast moving.  It's a toy version of an action movie.
  • It's witty.  There are a lot of clever plays on words, with humor for adults and kids.
  • It's ironic.  The dialogue and the action kept me guessing all the way through.  I did not see that coming... 
  • It has a great script.  It all fits together and makes sense.  The toy characters actually develop.
  • It has a good message.  People are by nature creative.  That's worth celebrating. 
  • The voices are good.  I can't imagine acting for an animated creature, but these actors pull it off.
And I had a really good date, too, so that makes everything good.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Power in Pain

Somehow God uses all the pain in our lives--when we let him--to create something beautiful.  When we gather for worship, as we lay our heartaches and struggles before the Lord, he gathers up all that gunk, and through the cross, he redeems it.  He shows us his strength.  He brings glory to himself.  He shares his goodness with us.  And with his goodness comes healing, meaning, purpose and hope.

Not only is God good--he is better than we think.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Crystallized Peace

It began to snow at my house about 1 p.m. today.  They say we may get over 8 inches.

Now I sit in my house, reading, writing, watching, praying.  Through every window, I watch powdered peace falling.  I am privileged beyond measure.  I have had today's meetings, fetched the last necessities, and now I sit in peace.

God chose to make precipitation beautiful.  Thanks be to God.  When these rare snows arrive, life's busyness comes to a halt.  No one expects anyone to go anywhere or do anything.

We can take a deep breath and just be.  We have permission to be still.  We have time to listen.  We remember that there are things--however few--over which we have absolutely no control.  Through nature, God puts us in our place.

Be still and know that he is God.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Lessons from Sabbatical

Crossroads graciously has granted me a sabbatical for the first two months of 2014.  In my 25 years as a pastor, I've never had such a break from the weekly routine of ministry.  This has been quite a blessing for me.  I've had extended time with the Lord, and I have visited other churches.
Here are a few random lessons I have learned from my experience.
  • It is hard to unplug.
  • Ministry goes on without me.
  • God likes for me to smile.
  • There is still not enough time for me to do what I want to do.
  • Life is better when I am rested.
  • I'm barely scratching the surface of life with Jesus.
  • The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) say very little about church.
  • I constantly feel like I should be doing something.
  • Sunday mornings are disconcerting for me when I'm out of my routine.
  • I love my church.  I really miss seeing people.
  • Prayer is harder than I thought.
  • My family is great.  I like them.
  • There is a lot of restless among the people of God.
  • We want him to do something radical and new.