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Showing posts from 2013

Are We There Yet? - 2nd Peter 3:8-10

At the end of October, Anita, Joshua, and I, took a road trip to Atlanta Georgia as Anita and I celebrated our twentieth anniversary. I don't think we had made it to Greensboro before Joshua started his version of "are we there yet" by asking “are we were in Atlanta?”  Joshua, of course, had no concept of the time when I told him that we were five hours away, because less than a half hour later he asked, “Are we in Atlanta, now?”  I quickly recalculated how to communicate the time to Joshua in terms that he would understand.  I said, “Joshua, do you know how long your Jake show is?” (Each episode with commercials is about 15 minutes long.) “Yes,” he replied. “Well, we are 20 Jakes away from our hotel. Okay?” “Okay.” That seemed to work because the next time he asked, “How many Jakes now, Anpa?” “Twelve.” Of course, hitting Atlanta, as we did, in the midst of the five o’clock traffic, that last Jake was the longest fifteen minutes on record—running between 45 minutes to an hour…

This Is Your King? - Luke 23:33-43

How many of you had to read Beowulf in high school or college?  Let me ask it another way, how many of you were supposed to have read Beowulf in high school or college?  I was supposed to have read it at one point, but I have to honestly admit that I never did…one attempt at trying to read and comprehend the Old English, and once again Cliff Notes were my friend. How many of you out there think the Preacher has now lost his mind?  I mean, this is the preacher who doesn’t want us to sing Christmas songs before Christmas Eve and he just had us sing “We Three Kings.” Then he follows it with a reading from the crucifixion of Jesus, which clearly belongs in a completely different season of the church year.  The Preacher then follows all of this with a clip and starts talking about Beowulf which he has never fully read or watched.  He’s really has lost his mind.  Well, just to check, how many of you felt that the preacher had lost mind before today?  Okay, that’s good to know.  Hold on a min…

Commitment or Convenience - Luke 9:57-62

One day, out on the farm, a chicken and a pig happen to be wandering near the farmhouse during breakfast time.  The two of them together, curious, look in on what the farm, his wife, and their children are having for breakfast.  There’s a nice spread set: scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits, jelly, and butter, along with milk and juice.  The pig and the chicken then start debating about which one of them is more dedicated to helping the farm start his day.  After hearing the chicken cluck, cluck, cluck away at how important she was for providing the eggs as the centerpiece of the meal, the pig looks the chicken square in the eye and says, for you and your sisters providing those eggs for the meal is a matter of convenience, for us pigs though, providing the bacon and sausage, requires a “whole hog” total commitment. Jesus was heading for Jerusalem.  He had called the Twelve to follow him.  They had been with him as he traveled from place to place, teaching, healing, and feeding.  …

Terminal Illness...Not!!! John 11:1-6, 11-15, 17-27

The video kind of softens it before it actually happens.  In the movie, Martha simply says, “It has been four days.”  However, while they left the line out of the movie, we see them quickly depict it once the stone is down.  Mary and Martha gag, we hear men coughing back the nausea, and many of the folks cover their faces…we see the result of Martha’s NRSV warning of “Lord, there is already a stench.”  Or, better yet, as old King James puts it, “Lord, by this time he stinketh.”  Any of us who watch the CSI type of shows where they encounter dead bodies, along with their resulting foul, decomposing smell, are familiar with the sight of folks reacting to that smell…some of us here may have even encountered that smell as the bacteria that are living in each of our pancreases today, start eating away, first at our pancreas and then at the rest of our organs, causing our bodies to exude a very foul smelling gas.[i]  Yet we see Jesus, the wind evidently blowing in his direction, lift his fa…

Don't Trade It Away - Genesis 25:29 34

Have you traded or sold something off without realizing just how valuable it was, or would be?  Have you had a trade that you wish you could go back and undo, but it was too late?  I’m sure it has happened many times during my life, but as I was reflecting, one of my occasions was an Ebay transaction.  Back in early 2000, when we were living in Rich Square, we did a lot of shopping online because it was a good thirty minute drive to the nearest Wal-Mart, and forty minutes to the nearest mall.  At that point in my life, I had stopped collecting comic books.  At the same time Ebay was rising in popularity as a way to find good deals and make some good sales of things you did not want any more.  I decided, because at that point I had moved three times in seven years, that I would sell off stuff that I did not want to move any more.  Unfortunately, as I see now, I started with parts of my comic book collection.  I was doing pretty well that spring, actually selling enough of my comics to …