Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Five - Grumpy Edition

Will Smama returned to the RevGals for the Friday Five, and put out a whopper of a good time. She wrote:

Parishioners pushing for carols before you digested your turkey?

Organist refusing to play Advent hymns because he/she already has them planned for Lessons & Carols?

Find yourself reading Luke and thinking of a variety of ways to tell Linus where to stick it? (Lights please.)

Then this quick and easy Friday Five is for you! And for those of you with a more positive attitude, have no fear. I am sure more sacred and reverent Friday Fives will follow.

Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....

1) dessert/cookie/family food

Fruit Cake. Anything that has to be soaked in bourbon to be edible isn't actually edible. Besides, I prefer to do my soaking in Sapphire.

2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...)

The punch that is served at the extended family holiday party. It has pulp. There is something wrong with punch that has pulp.

3) tradition (church, family, other)

I can't think of anything. Which is kind of amazing.

4) decoration

I agree that those huge blow-up things are...uh...unfortunate.

5) gift (received or given)

A gift certificate for half a theater ticket. Nope. Not kidding.

BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it.

Do You Hear What I Hear. Oy. No, I don't.

And the MercyMe Christmas CD. It is musically disappointing.

On a more positive note, I can recommend the Point of Grace Christmas CD, as well as Diana Krall, Avalon, and Harry Connick Jr.'s "When My Heart Finds Christmas." All have some great arrangements.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Needs, Wants, and Contentment

I am speaking this week at a Saturday morning tea, and have been thinking about this topic for a while now.

I find myself saying things like, "I need a new set of golf clubs."

Now, if I am going to play golf and make any progress in my game, updating my clubs would be a good idea.

But I don't actually need a whole new set of golf clubs. I just think I do.

Much like I think I need anything else in this advertising-saturated society. I need a Rolex. I need a Mercedes.

I need another guitar.

Why? I can only play one at a time.

And when you play golf, and if you read golf magazines, or watch golf tournaments on TV, you find out you need all of the more expensive things. Because those are the advertisers for golf, because that's who they think plays golf. People that need a Rolex. Or a Buick Lucerne like Tiger's.

No wonder golf is so expensive. You need all this stuff to go with it.


See, I think we were created for relationship and community. With God first, but also with others. And not with stuff. But we were also created with the freedom of choice. So we get to choose the way in which we fulfill this need, and we often choose things rather than God.

As I enter the craziest season, I want to make sure I don't confuse my needs with my wants. Because I know I will only be truly contented when I find my rest in God.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Post Thanksgiving Friday Five

Singing Owl wrote:

Ah, the day after Thanksgiving--groan! Fortunately, I love Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving is the American holiday when the greatest number of people travel somewhere else to celebrate. I am posting this from my son’s home in Minnesota where we are recovering from the food shopping and the preparations and the meal and the clean up. It is difficult to think of anything requiring much energy today, and I am enjoying my sweet baby granddaughter, so I will keep it simple. For those of you not in the USA, I apologize for the nationalistic tone of this Friday Five!

1. Did you go elsewhere for the day, or did you have visitors at your place instead? How was it?

I went to Mom's after the annual football game. (I'm the band director.) The brother (and family) who just moved back from overseas was there, and it was great!!

2. Main course: If it was the turkey, the whole turkey, and nothing but the turkey, was it prepared in an unusual way? Or did you throw tradition to the winds and do something different?

Traditional all the way. My mom's stuffing is my favorite, and she always does "homemade" whipped cream to go with the pies. Mmm Mmm good.

3. Other than the meal, do you have any Thanksgiving customs that you observe every year?

Can you call it a custom that I work the game every year with the band? I haven't had Thanksgiving off in 20 years...

Actually, we go out to dinner the Saturday after to celebrate the beginning of the shopping season.

4. The day after Thanksgiving is considered a major Christmas shopping day by most US retailers. Do you go out bargain hunting and shop ‘till you drop, or do you stay indoors with the blinds closed? Or something in between?

I am home with the coffee and the blogs, and, yes, the blinds are down. Love it.

5. Let the HOLIDAY SEASON commence! When will your Christmas decorations go up?

If I get to them, they will go up sometime. It's different every year, because it isn't a big priority.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


We are in 1 Peter in our current sermon series, and today we talked about the inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade.

When we think of an inheritance, we often think in terms of things - and appropriately so, when we are talking about earthly inheritances from human relatives, I guess.

I was thinking today, though, that maybe God wants me to inherit from Him a few items that are not "things." His compassion for the suffering, His care for the widow and the orphan, His provision for the needy - His character and nature.

If I am His family, should I not inherit that? If my identity is in Christ, then his character is my inheritance.

May I show it to be so.