Last weekend we went and spent thanksgiving with family in Colorado Springs. My parents and siblings came from Wichita and we had a great time. Of the many things I am thankful for, the people in these pictures are definitely right up at the top. Johnny and Emily we missed you! Kennedy is sitting in my lap to tell all of you who is in each picture:
I am sitting right now in Wildfour Bakery working on the December newsletter for the youth ministry. At the table next to me 3 older ladies are sitting and talking up a storm. By a storm I mean there is not a half-second pause between talkers anywhere in sight. Right now they are talking about (I don’t mean to listen, but…) how unfair jails are because they are too nice for people and need to have worse conditions. They have spent most of the last hour talking about different seasonings for food, ice cream scoops, and how to rearrange the furniture in their homes.
Now, to clarify, I think it is entirely wonderful that these ladies enjoy one another’s company, and I find no fault in the things they are talking about. This post isn’t really about them, it’s about me. I wonder, if when I am out with my wife or friends, we talk about things that would seem so trivial to those that can’t help but hear our conversation. Not that we can’t talk about sports or music or kids, but are those conversations filled with love, and do we ever get to the bigger, eternal things? Do the people that sit near me leave thinking how glad they are that they do/do not know me, or do they leave wanting to know more about how great my God is?
Jesus had this to say:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:13-16 NIV
As Christians, we must be salt and light in this world, it matters for all eternity that we live out the teachings of Jesus. It all leaves me to ask myself, “How am I seasoning my world with Jesus?” How are you seasoning yours?
The following things happened in your neighbors yards the past two weekends:
- Your neighbor was boiling an elk skull cap in his backyard to remove the rest of the meat, skin, cartilage, and/or brain goo so it could be mounted.
- The next Sunday, one of your other neighbors lets you come over to see the 4 goats and 4 turkeys he is keeping in his backyard. As you look and talk to your children about the animals, he informs you he is moving them today to get them out of the backyard. He is going to go ahead and just keep them in the freezer. Bonus Wyoming points if your wife was outside working on something while the goats were bleating their last sounds!
If you like good music, and well, who wakes up saying, “I hope I hear some terrible music today,” then go hear John Mayer’s new song “Say” that was written for some movie. The song is under an entry for November 16. Good times.
Tonight at youth group we were talking about spending our lives on eternal things of God rather than temporary things. I asked students to write down one way they could live for eternal things this week, put it in an envelope and address it to themselves so I could send it to them as a reminder in a couple of days. Afterwards, as I put the envelopes in my office, I flipped through and found that about 2/3rds of the students hadn’t addressed their envelope in a way that would get it to their house. Some of them put their address in the return area, some left off parts or had it out of order, one even included their phone number, but no city, state, or zip. When one of my volunteers guys and I were talking afterwards, he mentioned to me that many of the students had probably not addressed a letter any time recently, they do all communicating through cell phone or the internet. It has me thinking tonight about the ways in which I relate to students that misses them completely b/c we live in different worlds. I will be spending some time this week considering how I communicate and what things I hold to be true for all people that might not hold true for a 7th grader anymore. I want to lead them nearer to Christ, not confuse them by talking about things like VHS or cassette tapes!
A week and a half ago the phone rang way too early for a Saturday morning. It was my mom calling to tell us that one of my aunts had died that night. We spent that day in a fog of tears, phone calls, and wondering why. On Sunday we decided to head back to Kansas for the funeral. Shiloh arranged subs for her class and I made calls and emails to cover things for my week. And on Monday, off we went. We spent a week with family just spending time together and talking about my aunt and all the memories we have of her. She left behind a 5 yr old son and a 7 yr old daughter, her husband, and an entire 3rd grade class. And she was good at being all those things, great even. And now, 10 days after she died, I still wonder why, knowing full well that we may not ever get an answer that satisfies our hurt here on earth. And I try to get back to normal life. It’s just that normal life is different than normal life before the phone rang too early last Saturday.