Thursday, November 27, 2008

My grandma:

On our way to Tammy's folks for Thanksgiving, we stopped off at the Creation museum.  I've wanted to go there for nearly 10 years.  I had received brochures for it before they even broke ground.  It was fairly extensive and the the kids seemed to enjoy it.  Klay said he liked it a lot more than he thought would when we told him we were going there...

After the Creation museum, we went to see my Grandma who just turned 89 Saturday.  I haven't seen her in about three years.  We went into the nursing home where she lives in Florance KY, and asked where we could find her.  She was in the dining room eating dinner.

Well, she is getting older.  She recognized  Tammy.  Said she had a picture of her.  But, she wanted to know who I was....  That was a little tough.  Maybe I've been gone too long.   We had a great visit, even though my grandma kept looking sideways at me every so often trying to figure out who I was.   Eventually it appeared she recognized me.  She was really thankful for the visit.  I really enjoyed it.

The awkwardness of not being recognized by someone you really love is hard to describe.  I can't say I've ever experienced that before....  It was difficult emotionally.  I was rather sad at first.  It also made me think of my own future.  What it must be like to be in the twilight years of life, and not be able to remember names and faces.   I guess there's no way to really prepare for that.  It seems somewhat inevitable.  I hope my grandkids will do a better job of visiting me more frequently that I've done so far :-)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Looking forward to Drew's visit:

Drew has plans to come home for Christmas.  Don't think it passed me by that he chose to visit at Christmas over Thanksgiving...  Drew has contacted the Starbucks here to get a few hours of work in while he's in town; very mature if you ask me.  

Well, yesterday Tammy and I stopped in the Kingsport Starbucks to get a cup of coffee, and we talked with one of Drew's close friends and co-workers.  The friend, by the way, is an atheist.  I know Drew has had good/deep talks with him, and I've tried to make a point of contact with him, talking about books and such.  Yesterday it stuck me: we usually don't have many friends that are atheists, in our circles.  Now before you go down the path that asks how can we win souls if don't befriend atheists, hear me out.

I have been blessed to baptize dozens of people.  I have studied with even more.  But, it's hard to even think of a time when the people I've studied with, weren't at least a little bit faith-friendly.  It's like, they know there's a God out there somewhere but need some help finding Him.  OR, they had a grandparent that took them to Church a long time ago.  Or, even if they didn't grow up in a home where congregational life was valued, they at least could entertain the idea that God existed.  

I guess what I'm trying to say is I've spent plenty of time around non-believers, or un-believers... but how often have I befriended an atheist; one who doesn't entertain there might be a God out there...  My eyes were opened to the difference between  non-believer and an atheist, and I'm concluding that they are not the same thing.  You think I might be confusing agnosticism and skepticism with a lack of faith?  No, it's not that either.  You can be a person who is not a believer out of plan laziness, or cynicism, or you just want to hold on doing life your way....  Again, I see a new distinction in the atheist and those who are open to build a faith.   

As I thought about the friendship Drew has with his co-worker, and the fledgling friendship I'm working on with him, I felt a weird rewarding sensation.  I don't know where it will go with Drew's friend (I hope Drew can water some seeds over Christmas break), but it was refreshing to think through the implications...


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not sure why?

Ha, I can't believe I'm flagged here as a spam robot blog :-)
Hopefully this will get resolved this week???
I may need some help from Kyle.  I requested a review from the good folks who run these.
Needles to say, I'll be interested in how this came about...

Until then, please refer to the Nov 18th posting if you are looking to sign up for lifegroups...  And beware of the spam-blogging-robots....


Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting started, again:

It goes without saying, launching a new blog is awkward.  It's about like taking your own picture with a digital camera...  You feel kind of dorky.  

I want to get the new blog going before we begin our new season of lifegroups (small groups) and set a different tone for the blog than I had last year.  Yes, I want to utilize this space for updates on the small group ministry, include weekly outlines ext..  But, I hope to expand this blog beyond those basics.

I'll probably do a lot of "out-loud" thinking here.  Stuff that is not typical "bulletin article" material.  Ideas and reflections that might be personal at times, and other times simply an observation on life and ministry and culture that I think is worth sharing....

So... this will be the place for lifegroup leaders to find the weekly outlines... and a place to overhear some of the ramblings of mine...