Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When I See the Cross...

Like most people I have some streets that I drive down almost everyday. One of those streets is the street that passes in front of our church campus. Our new church campus is on the top of a hill and is quite beautiful - I admit my bias, but people tell me all the time how beautiful it is. One of the things I look for when I am traveling down that thoroughfare is the cross on the top of our new church building. I still remember the first day I saw it when the workers put it in place. It was so moving to me personally that I wept. From down the hill, almost a mile away from the campus, I often look up and see the cross on the horizon.

Not all churches have a cross these days. The cross is seen by some as offensive and out of step with the times. For me, it remains the chief symbol of the Christian faith and it reminds me of God's love and grace. When I see the cross I feel like I am heading home to a place where I will be loved and received with open arms. One day I saw a stunning site - a hawk was perched on the very top of the cross. I watched until she took flight and soared into the sky. It took my breath away. One day I saw a rainbow in the sky behind the cross - it was a wow moment! I can look up from my keyboard at this computer and see the cross right now. The puffy white clouds are zooming across the sky above it.

Inside our new building there are three very visible crosses - one in our foyer, one in our chapel, and one in our worship center. Each one reminds me of who I am and who I am called to be.

When I see the cross... Steve

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A New Day

As I reflect on the Inauguration festivities, the words I heard over and over were, "it's a new day." What I was watching for was the spirit of the occasion. The spirit, in my humble opinion, was the spirit of a new beginning - a new day!

Humans need "new days". We need new beginnings. We need a new January so we can set goals for ourselves for a new year. We need the changing of the seasons - we need the spring of new hope to follow the winter of harsh disappointments. We need new days because we need second chances and new opportunities to improve and do better.

I am thankful for the new day that now former President George W. Bush will have. Like all the people who have been President before him, he aged dramatically. He looked exhausted and broken. I sincerely pray that he and his wife will enjoy their new life away from the immense pressures they faced for the last eight years. I hope he goes fishing and takes some long naps and gets to hang out with his family more. He was very gracious to the new President. Both men demonstrated class in their passing of the baton of leadership. It was a visual reminder of what a remarkable place the USA really is. The outgoing fellow hugs the incoming fellow - just amazing!

My prayers are with our new President Barack Obama, the First Lady Michelle, and their beautiful children. The challenges ahead for him and for all of us are almost too much to take in. Even the planned new family dog will be under intense pressure - snap at one of those reporters and that pooch will be front page news for weeks and Nancy Grace will talk about the dog for months!

A nation needs a new day but even more each of us needs a new day attitude!

"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm118:24)


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Reluctant Blogger

I confess that I am a reluctant blogger. I have read only a few blogs over the years and told myself that I would never get the blogger bug.

And now here I am doing what I said I would never do.

This is the story of my life. I said I would never run a marathon and I ran 26 marathons, the last one in New York City with 35,000 of my closest friends. I laughed when someone said that I should do a Triathlon - I did 3 Triathlons last year. My Father was a minister and I pledged that I would never even consider being a minister - I have been a minister for 30 plus years, 23 of those years with the same church.

I have discovered that eating my words has become a major part of my daily diet.

I will never go to Disney World and wear the same shirt that my wife is wearing. If I do this please lock me away somewhere so that I will not be a danger to my self and others.

Life is really about doing things that we never planned to do and learning something new about ourself and about others.