Sunday, August 27, 2006

May I Take Your Bags?

If you hang around churches or around church people long enough, you will hear a person or two hundred complain about their "baggage." This is more than just a an effort to transfer responsibility for current difficulties. There really are issues with which many of us currently suffer that can be traced to influences that began in our past. But sooner or later we have to make our actions and decisions our own; perhaps even our faith.

As convenient as it may be to play the blame game, sooner or later it comes time to own up to things. If one continues to to transfer responsibility to others they live a hollow existence and deny the responsibility God expects us to use through free will.

One cannot completely deny this concept of "baggage." If anyone claims not to have some sort of baggage they are lying. But by design, baggage is intended to prepare us for a journey; not prohibit it. The journey metaphor is strong in my mind and it seems tragic when we stifle our opportunity to engage in it. If we use the excuse of our past as the reason we are unable to progress or thrive we are choosing to carry so much baggage that we are unable to move. Rather what we should do is travel more lightly, or better yet, cast our burdens on Him and let Him carry us.

It is in this that I can see the logic in the statement, "my yoke is easy, my burden is light." It is not some cavalier notion that following Christ is a completely lighthearted existence and we can expect an easy life as a follower of Christ; quite the contrary. In this world we will have trouble. Bad things will happen. Our baggage will at times grow legs and attempt to overtake us- no matter how bad we want to leave it behind. But in the end, there is freedom in simply trusting in Him. There is an easier way than trying to make sense of everything on our own. We can "simply" trust in Him. There is a better way than trying to conform to the beliefs of others instead of seeking a relationship with God built on more than history or tradition. There is a better way than trying to understand why bad things happen. Sometimes all that can be too great a load to carry. Though I cannot always make myself remember this as well as I would like, sometimes I must just simply trust in Him. To carry this anaolgy way too far, perhaps I should check my baggage with Christ and just travel with a trust that says He will always be in control. And even if it is a snug fit for the overhead bin or contains Living Water, it will still allow me to carry on.

(Sorry 'bout that last one. It was pretty bad.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

From about 15 years ago, here are (from left) me, Jennifer (Money) Crisp, Brandon Scott Thomas, Melissa (Portell) Kirby, Stefano "Nino" Elliott, and Alison (Money) Elliott. Obviously I am saying or singing something completely riveting. Jennifer is listening. Brandon and Melissa are either asleep or praying I won't do something embarrassing. Nino, on the other hand was more productive in that he is apparently flirting with the girl he would later marry. Speaking of that, this picture (I think) was taken at Camp Blue Haven where I had previously met the girl I would later marry. I think that is important to mention since I look rather gay. Oh to go back to a time where Guess overalls were in style (was there ever really such a time?) and tapered rolled up jeans were at home in the land of rompers and poofy hair. I'm laughing now, but all of that will be back within about ten years.
Well, I am finally back. As it turns out, I had my computer stolen from my office a few weeks ago and I usually have other things I want to do when I am home than post something that few people will read anyway.

I put up a camera system to see if we might see the thief or thieves that got us twice within eight days. Sure enough, the very first night showed us a young man trying to get in. He left after a few minutes only showing us a view from behind. I am afraid that a description of someone in white shirt with a backwards baseball cap over a large afro may not get us very far.

Also in the midst of those weeks we have begun school again. We now have a 1st grader, and 3rd grader, and a 5th grader. I rode bikes to school with them yesterday. I sometimes feel like I must be living someone else's life. It has all happened so fast that I honestly feel more like I should one of the ones going to class instead of the "responsible" escort. Frankly, the truth is probably somewhere between the two roles.

Yesterday was our 14th anniversary. Again, I feel like I am acting out the role of a lifetime being Kendra's husband instead of actually comprehending that this is my life.

Anyway, that is a quick update for now. More to follow.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sunday @ Highland

Highland Church of Christ
August 6, 2006

screen- Come, Let Sing for Joy to the Lord
226- Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Family Concerns ~ Mary Lee Mattis
Pastoral Prayer ~ Jim Trietsch

Call to Worship: Matthew 5:14-15 ~ Val
screen- This Little Light of Mine
“His Kids” ~ Jerry Taylor
650 - Send the Light (ch,vs3,ch)
2- We Praise Thee O God
screen - Here I Am To Worship
The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 5:10-16 ~ Robert Heil
Message ~ Jerry
screen- Let Us Be You

Thoughts & Prayer ~ Linda Egle
screen- Above All

Tithes & Offerings
559- The Joy of The Lord

570- A Beautiful Life
Benediction ~ Jerry

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Oprah and Co.

It amazes me somewhat when someone like Oprah is held in such high regard. I can remember the time when she was running the same kind of programming as the rest of the talk shows we consider as trashy. And yet these people are still considered to be experts on whatever topic they choose to discuss; the same people who said the following...

"Okay, our focus: 'Are babies being bred for Satanic sacrifice? Controversial to say the least. Unbelievable to say the least. Disgusting to say the least. We'll be right back."
-Geraldo Rivera, Just before a commercial break

Not so controversial and disgusting that we shouldn't seize the opportunity to run some money-making commercials.

"This is the 'Jerry Springer Show'...There's no such thing as class!"
-Jerry Springer

Okay, maybe he is smarter than I gave him credit for...

"That man is so repugnant. All of these satanic murderers are."
-Geraldo Rivera, discussing Charles Manson

With one fist clinging to a microphone and the other with an iron grip on the obvious...

"It's always difficult to be meaningful and relevant, because there's just not enough time."
-Oprah Winfrey

So we are giving up.

"Nobody differentiates between one show and another. It's all of us in the same trash can."
-Sally Jesse Raphael

A great argument for taking out the trash.

"I'd rather be called sleazy than to be identified as intelligent."
-Phil Donahue

Don't worry, Phil.

"There's nothing wrong with skipping your job to come to the 'Ricki Lake Show!'"
-Ricki Lake

Especially if your name is Geraldo, Oprah, Jerry, Jenny...

"Your wife wants you to die. Your reaction, quickly!"
-Geraldo Rivera

My reaction? "Quickly, please." I'm on Geraldo for crying out loud.

"My show is just plain STUPID!"
-Jerry Springer

I'm sorry, I have nothing to add.

"Tonight you'll be looking at some horrible scenes and meeting some horrible people."
-Geraldo Rivera

Nice to meet you, too, Geraldo.

Wow! This story is beyond dysfunctional!"
-Ricki Lake

Wow! Like, which are you? The pot or the kettle?

"Oprah's quitting in two years and I will be all you have, so you better be nice to me!"
-Jenny Jones

I don't know whether to clap or cry.

"If you think it was an accident, applaud."
-Geraldo, discussing Natalie Wood's drowning

Well, I guess clapping is out.