pam and i love our neighbors. we have great neighbors that we really love spending time with. therefore, we thought it would be a fun to have our whole block over to the house for memorial day. thanks to my baton rouge friends giving me a jambalaya pot when i left louisiana i made jambalaya and pam asked everyone else to bring what ever that would like. it was kind of the best of both worlds – a set meal and a potluck at the same time. with the addition of s few tapestry friends we ended up having 33 people over to the terrell house. it was a wonderful time and everyone agreed that we need to do this again. pam and i are thinking of making this an annual tradition.
JESUS said that we should love our neighbors. i think part of this teaching means that the people who are a part of the bride of CHRIST (i.e. the church) should be great neighbors. i wonder how many churches would be described as good neighbors?
memorial day is about remembering those who have died for america’s freedom. the danger is that if we forget the cost of our freedom we will neglect it. forgetting is a very dangerous thing. i think the same thing is even more true with the CHRISTian faith. to forget is the most dangerous thing to our faith. when we focus on ourselves and don’t know, let alone love, our neighbors we are probably showing that we have forgotten what JESUS taught.
i hope memorial day was a day of remembering for all of us.
up until a moment ago i was sitting in emy j’s answering a few church related emails and working on my message for sunday night’s worship gathering. that all changed a few moments ago when around forty 1st and 2nd graders walked in for ice cream. the teachers are trying desperately to keep them quite but they are all excited about ice cream and the end of school. who can blame the. so i’ve decided to stop working on anything serious and enjoy the chaos that is happening around me.
here are a few random things that i can type while kids are shouting “i want that because it looks delicious!”
thanks to adam and heidi holte i am probably going to try a duathlon in august. it’s the run, bike, unite duathlon of the portage county united way. i think adam and heidi are going to do it too (since they were the ones who told me about it. anybody have any helpful hints on running a spring duathlon? it’s a 2 mile run/ 13 mile bike/ 2 mile run.
in 2009 i recorded 159 miles on my bike – which ain’t much at all. thus far in may i have recorded 127. that’s what happens when you try to bike to “the office” at least twice a week.
i love the fact that i see threads randomly around town now and get to spend a few moments with them when i see them. it’s 1:23 right now and i’ve seen and talked with three different threads thus far.
last night i received a cool email from a former student ministry teen. i am always honored that many of them write and tell me of huge encounters with GOD that they have had and are continuing to have.
there are four of us who have added input into this sunday’s message at tapestry. obviously i would prefer more BUT 3 other people beside me is a good start for something that no one in our group has ever done before. if you would like to contribute here’s the link.
a little more just shouted “HE’S GETTING MORE!” within 6 inches of my right ear. i guess it is probably not very pastoral of me to thump him in the nose.
i’m heading to the library now. i can only handle so much fun. 😉
this week i thought i would try something with the preparation of the message for sunday’s tapestry worship gathering. people already add to the message during sunday evenings. this week i thought i would invite people to participate in the preparation of the message. i’ve created this google document so that everyone can share their thoughts and ideas concerning the passage of scripture for this sunday’s message. this means that the threads that are not presently in the point area can particpate in sunday’s gathering.
i’ve been running on the plover river trail portion of the green circle trail for years. it is my favorite part of the green circle trail. until this week i had never ridden my bike on it. that has now changed. noah and i love riding on it because there are a couple of great hills on the trail. it is great living in an area that is full of trails.
i haven’t been able to listen to my podcasts recently because i broke my zune by dropping it (not a good thing to do). i’ve since replaced my broken zune with a zune hd and i am beginning to catch up on all the podcasts i’ve been missing. while listening to the may 5th episode of “wait, wait don’t tell me” i was suddenly surprised to hear them mention the stevens point blow dart crime. i was thrilled. for those of you that don’t know about it here’s an article concerning the stevens point woman who was shooting people with blow darts in downtown stevens point because she liked hearing them say “ouch.” i am such a proud citizen.
i loved this line from tonight’s “30 rock.” they said the world is in chaos because “people wear flip flops to church and the nba tatoo situation is out of control.” apparently tapestry and the boston celtics are part of the downfall of humanity. 🙂
tuesday there was a bear sleeping in a tree on hoover road about 1.5 miles away from our house. i drove by where it was and saw about 40 people with cameras on one side of the road and two cops on the other but i wasn’t able to figure out what was going on until i saw the newspaper article yesterday. now pam wants a bear to show up in our backyard.
jan came to the first tapestry worship gathering back in september of 2007. i ignored her for the first two weeks. in my stupidity i had determined that she was a part of our sponsor church, fellowship church in waupaca. in a show of support fellowship met with us for the first two weeks we had gatherings. i was very grateful for them but i was also determined to focus my attention on those that i thought might actually get involved in tapestry. when i saw her the third week i finally realized i should spend some time with her. yep i am a fine example of a church planter.
she has been a part of tapestry for 1 1/2 years now and her questioning, honest heart has been one of GOD’s greatest gifts to tapestry and to me. she’ll probably disagree with that statement but she would be wrong (and she can just deal with it). as the pastor of tapestry i depend upon jan, who has not been a part of an organized church for years, to keep me focused on the gospel without religious language. i depend upon her to make the statements and raise the questions that many others are thinking. i trust her to ask me to explain something when i have said it in a rather archaic manner. i also depend upon her to express frustration with what i have said or even GOD’s word. she also does this things with a sincere, seeking, honest soul that has shaped how those of us who are tapestry live out our faith in CHRIST.
i’ll give two examples:
once while tapestry was dealing with mercy during my sermon jan asked for a definition of the word. once several of us had defined the word she said “well there is a friend of mine who has hurt me and i am trying to determined based on what you have said how i should be merciful in this situation. i’m desperate. i’ll throw it open to a vote here concerning how i should act because i just don’t know.” it was one of the most authenticate moments i have ever experienced in any church gathering.
next during one of our worship gatherings i was reading ephesians 5:22-24 concerning wives submitting to husbands when jan suddenly spoke out loud for everyone to “well i really don’t like that.” every now and then i hear people talk about “struggling with scripture.” jan’s statement set us up for an evening of truly struggling with scripture.
the two example above may seem insignificant to jan but they are two of the most amazing moments i have ever experienced in an organized worship gathering.
anyhow i try to meet regularly with jan. first, i do this because i love being around her (my whole family does). secondly, i do it to learn from her insight – she’s a very wise person and has done a ton of things (she was an actual shepherd at one point in her life). finally, i meet with her to hear how her journey to faith is going. at my first meeting with jan she said she was not a believer in JESUS but was interested and that was why she started coming to tapestry. along the way she started saying she wasn’t sure she believed but she was at the point that she waned to believe. i’m convinced JESUS gets very excited when people are at that point. last week we grab coffee and jan said she now professes to be a believer/follower of JESUS. she is still not sure of everything (who is?) but she knows that JESUS is life, loves her, and desperately wants her. she was willing to leap into the abyss knowing that GOD would catch her (a kirekegaard reference). apparently it is already showing that she believes in JESUS because the guy who is working on her yard today told her that she has “a “nice CHRISTians face.”
luke 15:7 says:
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
the partying going on in front of the FATHER right now is because of my friend, and sister, jan! i’m sure there is lots of dancing and jan likes dancing.
adam made pam watch this and then pam made me watch it. it is well worth the 4 minutes it takes to view it. our family has a couple of running jokes concerning west side story so we really loved watching this web-based parody of it.
i’m pretty proud of my cute wife. saturday after 11 weeks of training she ran her first ever 5k race (washington elementary school’s tiger trek race). this is huge. pam has never run before and 11 months ago she had major back surgery. she’s a little disappointed with her time because she didn’t finish within the goal she had set for herself but i am so pumped about the fact that she did it and is continuing to run.
it is so amazing to me that her back is now strong enough for her to not only be active but run races. she is impressive.