What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mind Sweeping

Here are several thoughts bumping into one another in my head...

* In last night's small group one of the newest members of our church family mentioned how he felt like he felt a sense of "belonging" at Pathway, and another said that this is one of the best things our church has going for it. The first guy said that he spent two years at another church before coming to Pathway and never felt the sense of belonging he feels here. Inside, I was thanking God that one of our primary goals is being reached - the desire to be a "No Perfect People Allowed/Come As You Are" church! You don't have to wear a mask around here for people to love you. The longer I follow Christ the more I see the need for authenticity. My wife Deb shares a deep desire for authenticity with me - she is one of the most "real" relational people I know.

* It's good not to have to fight innovation battles any more. This is one of the many things I like about Pathway Church right now. No one is going to feel uncomfortable with a video in the middle of a sermon or a contemporary song with a syncopated beat, or changing something to make it more effective, etc., just because, "We never did it that way before."

* Celebrate Recovery has begun on Saturday nights at 6:30! The potential for this program to help people is astronomical! Funny thing was, we had our first meeting on the same weekend that the National Alcoholics Anonymous convention was in town! Hilarious! Who Knew? Well apparently most of the people who were supposed to attend our first meeting knew - because they went to the big dance instead. But those of us who got the program off the ground felt a unique presence of God in our small group!

* "Faith in Action," not just "Faith in Advertising": People at Pathway get excited about service. We had such a spiritual lift last fall observing "Faith in Action Sunday" that we're going to do it again this spring! On the last Sunday of April we'll cancel the morning worship gathering and go out into the community performing acts of service instead.

* When I mentioned to some of the young couples in the church that Deb and I recently went to see the movie "Cloverfield" they said, "Really?" I know its a teen and twenty-something movie but I like to watch what the young adults are watching - besides - I have always liked amusement. The word amusement comes from the word "muse" that means, "to think," and the prefix "a" which means, "not." Therefore amusement is something you can do that doesn't require thinking. That's why I like amusement parks. Most of my work week is spent thinking - and I like thinking - but if I "don't think" sometimes, I blow fuses.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Unbeatables Beaten

New York Giants upset New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, 17-14.

Several of us watched the game together in the church fellowship hall. Getting together and eating and talking and listening is always fun. I guess I had more fun because I was rooting for the Giants to upset the previously unbeaten Pats. When the underdog wins, especially in the dramatic fashion of this year's big contest, it reminds us all to never accept defeat as a given.

I won't try to reflect on the highlights but one play stands out. When Giants quarterback Eli Manning miraculously scrambled to escape several defenders who looked like they had him cornered - and on top of that got the ball downfield to a spectacular leaping, behind the helmet catch by David Tyree - the "upset" chill bumps started gathering on the back of my neck. Tyree, who had not caught a touchdown pass since '06, had just caught one from Manning at the beginning of the 4th quarter, before making this unbelievable, highlights-reel catch, to keep the game-winning drive alive.

Just goes to show you - the majority may say your team can't win and you may not have contributed any game-winning plays lately, but never underestimate the power of perseverance.

"With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (From "The Message")