Taking a Knee

A while back a certain American politician/clergyman made some comments that I thought were really ridiculous. I remember saying, in disbelief and a little annoyance, that he shouldn’t have been allowed to say something so insane (It really doesn’t matter what it was… bear with me…).

My older brother Michael said in answer, basically… “You know, I’m grateful to live in a country where he can be who he is and say what he says and not go to jail.”

I agreed.

This weekend, in the NFL (and even at least one guy in the MLB), a growing number of players took a knee instead of standing for the National Anthem. They knelt to protest a politician’s remarks, and they also knelt in the spirit of the originator of this anthem protest movement… in recognition of the terrible racial divide in the U.S.

I respect their decision to do so and am also occasionally enraged by this racial divide, but I also must respect those who feel unhappy about it. And just as importantly, I respect those teammates who chose to stand for the anthem… but somehow ALSO found a way to stand with the teammates who knelt.

Whether you take a knee or stand, we need to love one another.

I love the fact that athletes can teach us that beyond tolerance… we can celebrate each other beyond our disagreements.

More of that please.

Please.

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The Best Adoption Story

Recently, we celebrated the 7 year anniversary of Charles’ adoption. By next year’s celebration of this event, he will have been adopted by us for more than half of his life. He’s already been part of our family for that long (he was in our family for more than a year and a half before the adoption was finalized.

But the best adoption story is not his. It’s YOURS… Check it out…

Reality

Have you seen those Virtual Reality glasses? Have you used them. Almost real, but not quite…

Have you heard of Augmented Reality? Where your smartphone or tablet or computer helps you see what’s real, but even better?

What about “real” reality? Anybody still interested in that?

This weekend at Norwood Grace we’re going to “get real”. We’re gonna get really real. Check back on Sunday for the sermon, or come visit us in Norwood, OH at 10:45 on Sunday morning. Click here to find your way.

Roman Holiday: The Real Meaning of Freedom

So, as some of you probably know, today I started as a part-time pastor at a wonderful church called Grace United Methodist Church in Norwood, OH. Great leadership team there, and I’m really excited (not internet excited, where you say that about everything from breakfast to clipping your dog’s nails… but real excited) about what God is going to do as we make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the whole world.

I decided to start with some simple preaching out of the lectionary, and lo and behold, the readings for the summer are the very heart of the book of Romans. PERFECT!

So we’re going to take a Roman Holiday together for the summer. It’s amazing to me that the reading for the weekend we in the US celebrate our Freedom and Independence is insanely appropriate.

But… does Freedom, in regard to the day we celebrate on July 4, the same as freedom in the Bible?

Look closer.

Okay, the view of our bushes in front of the garage isn’t much… We were trimming bushes (Kathleen was doing it, I’m not allowed… she’s SO much better than I am at it) and as she was trimming these Juniper bushes…

…she heard quacking (and later HISSING…)

Mama stays right there sitting on the eggs most of the day, so any day now…

I’ve had birds make nests in my trees before, it’s fun.

Never had a family of ducks move in before.

Before you get all “Aw, how cute”… they’re a little nasty, think they own the place, complain about the coffee, have NOT paid a DIME in rent, never pick up after themselves, and are leaving a mess of feathers EVERYWHERE….

Can’t wait to see the chicks, though…

Don’t Bother Figuring It Out

I’ve been making music and video and multimedia magic with computers for a very long time. Back in the day (that’s what old people say, but I’ll say it, too…) when we hit a wall, we called tech support, or a friend who also did what we are doing, or we just busted our heads against it until we found the solution.

But not anymore.

Recently, I discovered some very old stuff I wanted to open. Files that were nearly 20 years old, that aren’t recognized by the most recent version of the software (which still exists) that created it.

Normally, I’d search for weeks for answers, call tech support, call friends, and bash my head against the desk trying different things.

When I got on Facebook and asked on a forum of similar users, I had a relatively convoluted and difficult answer within FIVE MINUTES!

I ran into some problems and had to find some other answers. They came within seconds with a google search.

Folks, your parents and grandparents didn’t have the knowledge of the world in the palm of their hand. But you do.

So… here we are, in 2017, with all the knowledge of humanity seconds away.

Why aren’t we “better” yet?

God Our Help…

Here’s a song I recorded about 5 or so years ago that I think really works for this time in our US History. Thought I’d share it today.

O God, our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
You are our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Your throne,
Our hope will stay secure
Sufficient is Your arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or any thing was named
For everlasting, You are God
Forever you’re the same

O God, our help in ages past
Our hope for years to come
Lord, be our guide while our lives shall last
You are our eternal home.