Showing posts from December, 2012

Inspirational Christian Leadership Quote

"God has no more precious gift to a church or an age than a man who lives as an embodiment of his will, and inspires those around him with the faith of what grace can do." - Andrew Murray, Leadership (Fall 1986)

Christmas Grief - God is Present with Us as We Remember the Sandy Hook Children

My husband mentioned that there has been a few news articles most recently asking where God was the day 6 and 7 year olds lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary.I have to admit, that hasn't been one of my questions this Christmas season, rather I have found meaning in a part of the Christmas story that for the most part of my life I have overlooked:

Matthew 2:16-18
New International Version (NIV)

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:18   “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning,  Rachel weeping for her childrenand refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”[a]
         I am comforted and see the Christmas story in a new way.  At that very first Christmas, an entire class was lost, and the peopl…

Gender Inclusive Adaptation of the Christmas Song, "Good Christian Men, Rejoice."

Good Christian, Come Rejoice
Good Christian come, rejoice with heart and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say: News! News! Jesus Christ is born today;
Ox and ass before Him bow; and He is in the manger now.
Christ is born today! Christ is born today!
Good Christian come, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened the heavenly door,we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!
Good Christian come, rejoice, with heart and soul and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all, to gain His everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!

A Blue Christmas: Christmas Gathering for the Grieving

This morning we are offering a Blue Christmas Gathering at our church.  I had heard about such gatherings and even read about them, but have never sponsored such an event myself.  This year though is my first Christmas as a pastor, and I would say over 30% of the families in our congregation our grieving the loss of a loved one.  I thought that we should offer a Blue Christmas (a.k.a. "The Longest Night.")  I was quite surprised though how difficult it was to find a service flow to follow for such an event.  So looking at what I've heard people say about such a gathering and piecing together little tidbits I found across the Internet, I put together the following service.  Please feel free to use and edit as you have need.

Blue Christmas Gathering
Opening          We come together today because we are people who share something in common, the loss of a loved one.  Not everyone around you gets what it is like for you to celebrate Christmas and at the same time mourn. Not eve…

A Petition to Change Daylight Savings

It is the winter and I find myself quite unmotivated to work after about 4:30 p.m.  It is dark outside and it feels like it is time for bed.  Some of my colleagues and friends struggle with seasonal depression that correlates with the changing of seasons, emphasized by the clocks "falling back." And when the time changes for Daylight Savings there is an increase in traffic accidents for several weeks.

What if we didn't have a biannual change in our time schedule?  Did you know that we didn't until World War II?

So, I decided to take advantage of the website and created a petition asking the government to look into and consider asking states to not shift time back & forth biannually.

But, the catch is, I need 150 people to sign the petition in order for it to go live/public on the White House's website.  Would you be willing to be one of those 150 people to make it go live?

Here is the link to read more about the petition and to sign t…

evangelical Christian homemaker perfection

One of my very close friends who is a professional mother recently wrote a blog post that I think needs to get extra attention and a lot of hits:

Pinterest and the Devil

One of the blessings of attending a mainline protestant church rather than an evangelical protestant church (both are Christian) is that I don't have to face "the perfect Christian woman" image that is so prevalent in the evangelical wing of Christianity.  No pressure to wear makeup, have my hair perfectly styled, nails manicured, have my home decorated like Martha Stewart, or even to be a parent.  But, I do admit that when I have spent time with my evangelical Christian female friends, I have felt that jealousy bug creep in - giving me a desire for something that will never be me and is not me.  This is one of the reasons in my 20s I was cautious about joining Christian women-only groups - they seemed to harbor these ideals.

Actually, I've kind of wondered if us mainline Christians are the misfits o…

HSP - continued

I am still reading Dr. Elaine N. Aron's book "The Highly Sensitive Person" and it continues to be healing and life-transforming.  I never thought one book (besides the Bible) could have such an impact on my life.  One of the things I appreciate is how it explains my life experiences, re-frames them, and shows how they are unique.  For example, as a child, it often bugged me that people didn't listen to what I was saying behind my words, they couldn't read between the lines to my heart and my non-verbals.  I was saying so much, yet they heard so little.  The author, Dr. Aron explains that Highly Sensitive People are able to catch nuances and things that are left unsaid that so many other people miss.  I thought others were just not being good listeners or they just didn't care enough to respond.  This also helps me to understand why I am able to carry on a pleasant and meaningful conversation with people who have dementia or similar memory loss.  I am present …