Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The calmest Trump conversation you've ever heard

I was trying to catch up on email during a coffee break, but I got distracted by the two gentlemen in their 60s-70s who were talking at the next table. 

The younger one was answering questions about how people can have so many opinions about President Trump all the time. The gist of his answer: Trump writes short notes on electronic media and shares them with anyone who has a computer via a place called Twitter. So people aren't just responding to his policies or his recent military actions; they're also interacting with these notes, which at times are actually quite brash or vulgar. 

Both men continued evaluating the pros and cons of various ideas, asking sincere questions and giving thoughtful answers, comparing recent events with past wartime experiences, and maintaining a perfectly relaxing conversational tone. 

Their conversation was so completely opposite of the hype and drama we've become used to on social media lately. It made me wonder how many of today's kids will grow up without ever engaging in thoughtful conversations like this with their elders. 

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Then back to work, and my next class observation included a chance to read through a newspaper from 1918! This yellowed, tattered artifact was so fragile yet still strong enough to be here 100 years later--and to think it was originally read by people who are probably no longer here to influence our daily lives! Significantly older than the gentlemen whom I'd admired earlier this morning. The early 1900s had never felt as close, as real, as they did when I held that paper today.

I'm so grateful for the chance to eavesdrop on those two gentlemen this morning, and to leaf through this 1918 newspaper. I imagine that we could all benefit from more frequent connections to our past--as grandchildren, or as citizens of a collective history. It might even just help us return to that sense of thoughtful calm from our past...You know, like from the days of WWI...



Sunday, April 16, 2017

5 Minute Message


I haven't written anything here in a long time. Well, I haven't *finalized* anything here in a long time anyway.  I have plenty of half-drafts tucked away behind the scenes. But I haven't had enough time to fully explain and revise anything lately...And honestly, it seems like I haven't had enough time to accomplish anything in life up to my standards lately, so writing something here certainly wasn't a priority. 

But today, I heard a message that was so short and simple that I knew I had time to reiterate it. And more importantly, I knew I *needed* to share it. If any of you are wrestling with these same struggles lately, I hope this 5 minute post will uplift and redirect you (as it hopefully will do for me too)! 

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Many of us have figured out how to live successfully behind the facade of "I'm all good, I've got it all figured out."

But this is a terribly stressful way to live, and it still doesn't resolve the emptiness, fear, or pain we feel inside when we look beneath that facade. 

The good news is that there is nothing we have done, or will do, that could make God love us any LESS or any MORE than he already does. Grace is not about US and our issues or accomplishments; Grace is about HIS LOVE. 

We already ARE loved. We don't have to pretend. Or work to accomplish it. Or worry about losing it. We just need to accept it. And begin to live in gratitude rather than in pretense. 

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If you didn't get to hear this message in person or via live stream, I encourage you to check back here in a few days once the video has been uploaded. The sermon is short and powerful, and the music is skilled and moving. Even when I don't seem to have time for everything I want to accomplish in a week, I always end up glad that I made time for services like this: 

https://eastpointchurch.com/talks/