We’re entering the time of year when most minds turn to family. For many, the holidays bring positive memories and joy from spending time with loved ones. But that is not the case for everyone. Some come from broken homes. Others have lost loved ones, maybe even during the holidays, and instead of joy they feel renewed loss and hurt. The challenge for us as the church of Christ how do we handle these reactions of hurt, or even deep seated scars, for those we now call family?
I recently asked the members of my small group what three words come to mind when they hear the word “father.” As expected, the responses varied. We do not all have the same feelings or experiences when it comes to our fathers. The reality of our day and age is that, more than likely, at least half of us will not have positive view toward our own father. And it’s not just because of divorce. I live in a neighborhood where the last statistics show that more than 60 percent of the homes are single parent households. Now clearly this becomes an issue for not just how we view our fathers but our mothers as well. But for the church, we use the word “father” a lot.
Someone referred to me the other day as “one of the cool kids.” I just about coated them in coffee straight from my mouth. I’m certain my eyebrows hopped right to my hairline, a quick retreat fueled by surprise and disbelief.
Was this person 100% serious? No, not completely. They were a well-adjusted adult, after all, mostly just expressing a light hearted thank you for being included in an invitation. But still, it got me thinking.
Ask any adult: middle school was universally mortifying. I have never heard a soul admit they made it out completely unscathed. In the moment, though, didn’t it feel like you were the only one? The only one crying in the bathroom? The only one who wore her Halloween costume to school on the wrong day? The only one whose hair puffed out past her shoulders? The only one searching for what it took to really belong? To be more in than out?
I’ll admit that Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney animated films. And this past weekend with the new movie out, my daughter saw it twice. The soundtrack has been playing around the house and of course songs get stuck in your head. So, I keep finding myself quietly singing, “be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test…”
This has led me to spend a lot of time thinking about hospitality. It would be easy to limit our discussion about hospitality to what we offer on Sunday mornings. But the Bible doesn’t allow that. The scriptures actually have a lot to say about hospitality and it covers everything from having hospitable homes to how the people of God at large should practice hospitality.
Today I watched those students turn and stare at my boy-most-precious. His cerebral palsy gait, his body’s strange angles drew their curiosity as we made our way down the halls of that huge high school — and I squared my shoulders and lifted my head.
Special Education Director Meeting #1. High school transition.
Till’s anxious stroking of his knee, the softened corners of his mouth betray his welling emotions. That pit in my own stomach feeds the maelstrom pounding at my brain.
“They tied his good arm inside his sleeve,” she told me, “and they tied the sleeve to his opposite shoe. And they left him like that, all day. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t eat. And the teacher never noticed. He was in second grade.” I closed my eyes and caught my breath at the image. […]
It turns out that some angels wear aprons, do a lot of cooking, and deliver meals.
Angels in Aprons is a group at Discovery Church that express love by providing meals at critical times in the lives of others – families with a new baby, folks who have had surgery, and people in crisis circumstances.
Of course the leaders of this ministry are not really angels. They are two ordinary women who have listened to God’s call on their lives and responded by putting their skills and experience to work as they serve.
Watching How to Train Your Dragon 2. I turn to my kids — “Hey guys, what ethnicity did all of those good guys belong to?” They look at me blankly. “Umm…. white?” “And what ethnicity did that one lone bad guy look like?” Realization starts crossing their faces. “So guys, all the kids across our […]
Is Easter still needed? Is it still necessary? Nearly every problem is on the horizon of being fixed. Perhaps with a little more education, another good law, or at least a good app we can fix every problem. For a people who have figured out how to move a computer once the size of an […]
Tuesday night we had an awesome time at Elevate. Elevate is our quarterly volunteer night. We had such a good attendance we ran out of food! Chewbacca heard it was “star wars night” and even made an appearance! It was a ton of fun because Discovery has the absolutely most incredible volunteers! Men and women […]
I don’t know who to credit for the phrase “mystery of the ordinary.” I can’t believe that I’d be the first to pen these words. But it is true that we frequently find the unusual in the most ordinary of places. I’m also reminded of the phrase “hiding in plain sight” – NOT an original […]