10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff

Come join in the discussion of faith at the Koinonia Page where scripture and life intersect in conversation and exploration. Visit on Facebook, Twitter, and Dave's Web Page too! I'd welcome your company at Palmyra First United Methodist Church, where I hang out, too, come and see!

Monday, August 29, 2016

10 Gifts of Rest and Renewal

Fountains, living water, captured
my imagination and lens this summer.
Renewal has been a planned part of the summer Study and Renewal leave.  My training, my job and my culture teach me to seek and report tasks, but they seldom encourage rest and renewal.  Thank you for being a part of God's design for rest.  

Below are 10 Gifts of Rest and Renewal.  They are refreshing and wonderful.  Just recall a time you've had time with a friend for a long lunch, or a weekend with no scheduled tasks...nice, eh?  Here are 10 of the gifts that have renewed my spirit:
  1. No Evening Meetings, allowing time for family and offering a restful stopping place at the end of each day;
  2. Walking an average of 5 1/2 miles each day has entertained life-giving prayer, transportation, engagement with the world around me, and improvements to health;
  3. Traveling in my truck, navigating the countryside.  I enjoy the adventure of new places and conversations with new-found friends;
  4. Woodworking offering creativity and clear accomplishment.  (I love working with people, and it's hard to know how much is accomplished on any given day.)  I finished my Ukulele, built a Cajon (wooden drum), and crafted several walking sticks;
  5. Family Time with Penny, the kids, grandkids, my sisters and their families...it's just great to have some additional weekends when they're free, and a slower pace permitted quality time for family;
  6. Worship at Many Tables means that I've experienced the ministry of others and enjoyed the variety in the Body of Christ.  I've worshipped on the boardwalk by the ocean and with a homeless congregation,  in satellite congregations and in historic downtown churches.  Each place and people sharing gifts, experiences and insights;
  7. Learning growing from my natural curiosity, partnered with time to explore everything from places to people, books to museums--every experience a building block;
  8. Pacing that is life-giving.  In our American/Western Culture I/we frequently live as if there were not enough time in the day.  The truth is that God has made plenty of time for that which is important and necessary.  This summer I'm remembering the core of those essentials;
  9. Encouraging Conversations with friends, colleagues, and all those who surround me too often gets hurried in the busy-ness of life.  This summer offered reminders and invitations that it is OK to be right here, right now;
  10. Emptiness draws attention that which makes me richly filled.  There have been moments of personal emptiness beckoning me toward new spiritual and emotional resources.  There have been times of emptiness felt in lost routines, causing me to appreciate deeply the loving congregation that has walked with me through a dozen years and a summer of study and renewal.  What a gift...thank you!
There are more gifts to be appreciated and in this celebration I  rejoice that the familiar rhythms of pastoral life return later this week.  I look forward to reconnecting with the people of Palmyra First UMC-- I've missed you all.

I anticipate renewing familiar tasks with fresh eyes, seeing in the conversations of old and new, glimpses of transformed life promising hope-filled ministry ahead.  I'm excited about this next season of conversation, life and being followers of Jesus together. 

10,000 Joys in Jesus Who Gives Life

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Adventure Ahead -- SRL Video 3

Video 3 is here.  It's a wrap-up with events from video 2 until now and has some next steps and common themes (Vital churches that are making a difference and making disciples all have open conversation, genuine listening,  missional focus,  radical love, amazing flexibility,  gathering around tables, and honesty that gathers brokenness to wholeness--sin to salvation in personal transformation and story.)

Adventure Ahead -- SRL Video 3

Video 3 is here.  It's a wrap-up with events from video 2 until now and has some next steps and common themes (Vital churches that are making a difference and making disciples all have open conversation, genuine listening,  missional focus,  radical love, amazing flexibility,  gathering around tables, and honesty that gathers brokenness to wholeness--sin to salvation in personal transformation and story.)

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Guide to Study Renewal

If you scroll back through posts here you'll find them all.  To share easily I thought I'd make a list.  What an amazing gift this adventure is, has been and will be!

Here You Go:

  1. Video Report 3 -- wrap ups and next steps
  2. Video Report 2 -- Bringing the hectic distance travel to a close.
  3. Video Report 1  -  Early Common Threads
  4. 3 Things My Grandkids Taught Me  -- About curiosity, trust and patience.
  5. I Talk to Myself -- Prayer's surprises and when prayer doesn't look like prayer.
  6. True Love, Trailers and Truth -- The accident, my wife's wonderful support, and some of the rest of the journey.
  7. One Step At A Time --  Failure, story and the roles they play.
  8. When Life Takes A Turn -- The bee, the trailer crunch and other times life doesn't turn out like we expect.
  9. Surprises and Invitations -- Gifts come from invitations, relationships and surprises.
  10. Love, Grace & Pancake Corndogs -- Early experiences and a "Place of Possibilities."
  11. Palmyra First Makes the News -- Some local coverage and links to first stops.
  12. Family Rest, Sabbath, starts Study -- Taking time to trust God and connect in fresh ways.
  13. Thanks & Prayers -- Appreciation for a great and supportive congregation at Palmyra First.
  14. The Study Renewal Journey Begins -- an introductory video and some basic info.
  15. The Journey Begins --  A few key document links
  16. I'm Taking Jesus Off My "To-Do" List --  Being and doing and our God-given lives.
There may be a few more, but this gives you the idea.

It's been an amazing journey and in these final weeks I'm reflecting, writing, resting and preparing for the adventure of conversation and next steps with the awesome people of Palmyra First UMC.

Friday, August 12, 2016

3 Things My Grandkids Taught Me.

     Each of my 3 grandkids has taught me an important lesson this summer.  Family insights have been a part of my study-renewal time, because of the margins that have been created by this gift.  Here they are:
     Lesson One: Be Curious and Engage the World --  My oldest grandchild, Jon Jeremiah, in Washington DC this past week, turned to a young Vietnamese man speaking on his phone and said "I don't understand you."   A moment of mild panic for me, Gramps--wondering whether to allow, moderate, or avoid this encounter--became a gift.   A gift of an amazing conversation about culture and the multiplicity of World languages. A gift of honest conversation between a young adult traveler and a 7 year old. 
     Thanks be to God for a stranger's grace and a 2nd grader's boldness.  His curiosity and willingness to engage others is so important in this world.
     Lesson Two: Trust, Play and Enjoy the Dirt -- My son's middle child Miah May easily dives into every day to find a bug, seek out a swing, climb a tree or a door or whatever is in front of her  (There's another story here for another time). She does it with every ounce of emotion and personality that she has. She will freely yell out my name, "Gramps," and then throw herself in my direction, fully trusting that I will catch her. Trust, play, and a willingness to get dirty I learned from my four year old granddaughter.
     Lesson Three:  Be Patient, Content and Present -- Lillee is my two year old granddaughter and is not as easily read at this point. What I do know is that from her I always get a joyous greeting, a hug, and a great willingness to simply be present with me -- she sits and enjoys whatever we happen to be doing. I'm learning new things about patience, contentment, and being fully present in the moment, from Lillee Jane.
     Thinking about my summer exploration of Making Disciples and Making a Difference, I notice that my grandkids' lessons point me back toward practices I've observed in every place I've visited and seen strong, healthy faith community. They embrace these three lessons:

  1. Be Curious and Engage the World
  2. Trust, Play and Enjoy the Dirt
  3. Be Patient, Content and Present
From that joyous, chaotic, curious faith grows new life.  
     Where do these lessons touch your life?  What might you add?