Monday, December 29, 2008

Feeling Wabbly

As we arrived at my parents for Christmas I remarked to Jill that my truck felt a little "off". It seemed to be wabbling? After we arrived I checked the tires and everything seemed fine. Maybe it was the huge load of presents, food and other stuff we had in the back. We parked the truck for a few days at home and honestly, I completely forgot about the wabbliness of my truck. Friday we drove up to my sister's house and I noticed it again. With snow, sleet and rain moving in and no cover on the back of the truck, we headed back for home. As we drove the wabble appeared again. We arrived home safely and as we unloaded Jill noticed a hissing sound. I said, "Oh trucks always do that after you park them." (like I have any idea what I am talking about) After some discussion I finally went down to hear a rather loud hissing and gurgling sound. It was not just the sound of the engine cooling off. We located where the sound was coming from. The back passenger tire was slowing going flat. This was flat #5 for this kind of tire. So, after a visit from AAA I finally came to the conclusion that it was time to purchase a new set of tires. I was tired of replacing these rather cheap factory tires. As I inspected the bad tire I noticed a chunk of the tire was missing. My guess is that chunk is what was making the tire wabble and thank God that we only had a flat tire instead of something much worse while we were driving. Now, I am waiting to receive the brand new set of All Terrain 6 ply tires. I am praying for no flats and a smooth ride ;0)
So, note to self- If you think something is wrong, you are feeling a little wabbly, don't just trust yourself to figure out the problem. Talk to someone else and ask them to help. With a fresh set of eyes, they might be able to see something you missed. Go in peace and go with God.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Services

Please join us this evening for our Candle Light Communion Services. They are at 5 pm, 7 pm and 11 pm. Open Communion for all. Tonight's sermon is "The True Purpose of Christmas".

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Celebrate the Season!

This should be a time of celebration! We are only 10 days from Christmas, that is if you count today. Ten glorious days of enjoying a snow covered landscape, buying those last few wonderful gifts for the special people in your life. I will just say it. I am a Christmas junkie! I love Christmas. It is the best time of the year...have a holly jolly Christmas..etc. If I could sing, and trust me, no one wants to hear that, I would sing every Christmas song loudly (I do in the truck). This is time to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. Millions, probably billions of people gather together in worship services on Christmas Eve to celebrate His birth. Of course, this season of hope, faith, joy and peace can be missed. Oh yes, it can. Some of us might be suffering from spiritual and celebration congestion. Buck Cueni-Smith has some good words on spiritual congestion over at www.lakepastor.com .
It's easy I believe for some to take their eyes away from Christmas and focus on the long, long journey to peace. We hustle, we bustle, it's a never ending race to get there first, get it in the cart and then swipe a card to pay for it. I'm going to go out on a limb here, but is that what God really intended for us to be doing as we prepare to celebrate the birth of His Son. My prayers this day will be for those who are struggling to prepare for Christmas. I pray that your days will be filled with peace and joy, and that as you hurry around you can take some time to see the glory of God's creation. Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Snow Day

'Twas several days before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; except two dogs who needed to go outside. (Yes I said two, we are dog sitting for some family, so there is Rheau and Penny). The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;The dogs were nestled all snug in their beds,While visions of bacon and dog bones danced in their heads;And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter (actually, we heard and saw nothing),I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.(I didn't really spring, Rheau was bugging me to get up. Jill had left for work and Rheau needed to go outside). Away to the window I flew like a flash (stumbled sleepily, is that a word?),Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but someone had struck one of our beautiful trees in the front yard. No there was not a note, no phone call, no knock on the door, "Hey man, sorry about your tree". Just the evidence of someone driving carelessly. So I called the authorities and they took their report. Prayerfully I await for the scofflaw to be a good sport. Admit your mistake and move on joyfully through the season, and have a clear conscience knowing it was an accident, without rhyme or reason. Oh yeah, Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow Day

Well, it's a snow day here in Lee's Summit. That means that for some reason or another the school administrators have deemed that due to weather conditions that it's not safe to have school. I heard a loud rumble late last night that sounded like the Hallelujah Chorus being sung by students (and some teachers) all over town. You would have thought it was Christmas morning they were so excited. A snow day gives us some time to recharge and rest. A day off for many is a rare thing. We work work work and disregard the need for our heart, soul and mind to take a day off and rest. God set up the 7 day week so we would rest on the 7th day. We need rest. We need some time off. Hopefully most of you who actually have a snow day (we are here at Grace working diligently this day) will enjoy it as best you can. Take the dog for a walk outside, drink some hot chocolate, finish that book on the nightstand, take a 2 hour nap this afternoon, eat some really good home cooked food and just enjoy the beauty of God's creation. The sun is shimmering brightly on the snow this day. Let the son shine in your heart and enjoy the snow day. Go in peace and go with God!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Church Staff

Dear Pastors,
We deeply appreciate our staff here at Grace. They do amazing things to help this church fulfill our vision and mission. Call it the bricks of the foundation, the spokes in the wheel or whatever, many church pastors could not do what we do without a great church staff. Most churches cannot pay their staff a huge salary. That is the reality of most churches. So how can we show our overworked and underpaid staff that even though we cannot pay them what they are worth (teachers, nurses are also underpaid) we still think they are doing great work? Answer- treat them well. Now, that sounds like how we should always treat church staff. For goodness sake, we are a church right? Well, let me tell you, I hear lots of stories of churches working their staff the day before Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, the day before and after Christmas. I understand that in some instances parts of the staff are greatly needed on certain days. Without our music staff Christmas eve would be missing something. And of course, our buildings need to be cleaned as well. So I guess what I am saying is treat your staff how you would like to be treated. I know some pastors have been treated poorly in some situations, but that does not mean that your staff should suffer. When you begin to think about your staff and their family situations, please remember that they would like to enjoy the holidays too and just because they work at a church doesn't mean they should work right up to the last minute. Your church will be a much happier and healthier place if your staff knows you care and that they are valuable in fulfilling the mission and vision of your church. Go in peace and go with God.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hope

This is a year of firsts for many of us here at Grace. We have several first time parents who will be celebrating Christmas this year with a newborn child. A few others are newly married, and so they will celebrate Christmas this year for the first time with a spouse. Those are both joyous and amazing firsts. Over the next few weeks we will here about hope, faith, joy and peace. God came into the world as a child, a baby in a manger. Born to set us all free through his death and resurrection. God being crucified and sacrificing himself for us, that was for sure a first. My hope this season is that as we go about our days of shopping and festivities, we would spend a great deal of time being thankful, kind, loving and caring. Make this Christmas a season of firsts for your faith. How about these firsts-
I will invite someone other than a relative to Christmas Eve service.
I will focus more on giving than receiving.
I will share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone that I encounter through my words and deeds.
I will not let the busy or hurried days stress me out and turn me into a scrooge.
Be hopeful. Be faithful. And be His.
Go in peace and go with God.