Showing posts from February, 2010

Are you bearing heavy loads?

Broken tree limbs litter grounds outside my office window. A recent snowstorm dumped record levels of snow onto branches, lawns, roofs and roads. Several roofs collapsed in the region, many more limbs buckled under the weight of February's snow.
Younger limbs higher on the conifers survived the storm. Older limbs were not as fortunate.  The younger limbs have less area, less capacity, to hold wet snow as it sifts through the sky and slips from higher branches. Lower, older limbs which have stretched to gather sunshine further from the trunk have more surface area. Surface area can be an advantage for synthesizing sunshine, but a disadvantage when wet snow clings in heavy clumps. Some limbs broke under the weights of the storm and now litter lawns.

This image reminds me of workloads.  During this time of economic challenges, when more employers are cutting back, are you being asked to carry heavier work loads? Are fewer people volunteering to help a community project or in the churc…

Taming tech anxiety begins with remembering

I like to joke now and then about struggles I've had with computers. It helps to remember. It may help to share.

As a Web worker for our local church, I meet people with diverse attitudes and comfort levels with technology. Some are excited, some cooperative, and some are outright hostile.

A Web worker in the local church may enjoy spreading the word of Christ's love on the Web site, but loving words are needed behind the scenes as well, especially for those who resist change the loudest.

When I can listen and recognize frustrations or fears I've once felt, I'm in a better place to pray. When I can hear, "I don't want to have anything to do with the Web site" and not expect him to change, that gives him space to own his feelings as the whirlwind of technology invades more and more of his once familiar world and also his church routines.

Mastering technology is important, but it isn't the most important part of Web work for the church. Serving is. Remember…

Yikes! There's a spider in my Web

I work on our church's Web site. It is a wonderful way for a writer and Christian to serve in the church, but it isn't paradise. Or maybe I should say it is similar to paradise on some days, but watch those spiders!

Spiders are creepy, crawling problems, thoughts and sometimes people that unsettle my concentration on serving God. They have eight legs!

Yesterday I tangled with several spiders. Yikes!

Today is a time for healing from their bites. My bandages have a smiley and the verse, "The Lord is good."

Since Christ could endure the cross out of love for us, I willingly and prayerfully serve him now on a Web. But I don't do it because I like spiders or their traps. Sometimes I don't even like technology.

No, I serve the living Christ who said he was the Way, the Truth and the Life. Christ's way for me has lead me on a journey on Webs and through Webs. Although they can be cool, I'm not enthralled by Webs; I'm seeking God's smile.

How about you? Wha…

Sweeter than chocolate

I heeded a friend's recent message to live simply and invest in relationships. In the aftermath of several monster snow storms in the metropolitan Washington area, I helped a neighbor shovel her driveway. We chatted a little. It was a rare opportunity to catch up on each other's busy lives.

No good deed goes unrewarded.

A few days later she brought over a large tin of cookies as an early Valentine's gift. I said thank you, but "Yikes!" I didn't buy that particular tin at Costco during the holiday season for a reason. Many little, tiny, delicious reasons and several hard-to-walk-it-off-the-hips reasons.

For days our family snuggled in the family room with that unexpected tin of cookies. Snow piles everywhere we look have outlasted those tasty gifts.

The rewards of being a good neighbor are sweet. I like her smiles.

I think I'll give her several of my yellow roses.

How about you? What non-chocoholic ways do you try to be a good neighbor?

Dodging calorie overload at church

Do you ever get the feeling that people are more interested in your wallet than your best interests?

Ads on television strike me that way. Yesterday, during footage of the Winter Olympic Games, ads frequently interrupted the games to entice viewers to buy this product or that service.

I know, that isn't news. That's what ads are all about.

Often I tune out commercials. I'm just not interested in most of the appeals to buy this and that. The appeals come from their desire to sell or promote their product or service. Most appeals aren't focused on you as an individual and what you want or need. Long ago I realized that and decided that I can't buy it all, and probably shouldn't. So, I try not to listen to appeals that really aren't what I want or need. That's healthy screening, and it is a good thing.

What about commercials at church? How are we as smart consumers to respond? What if those ads are "dressed" in appeals to support deserving causes?


Living Simply

I've been away, silent. I haven't had much to say. Today I do.

Our church is running a campaign on Living Simply this month. Big talks coming.

I've studied the topic before and I've been deeply impressed with some of the messages, so I can anticipate some of what is coming in the sermons. I've already read a message or two that have accompanied the church staff's campaign.

Living Simply. Not a bad concept. Not a bad pitch. Especially coming from sermons in today's complicated world. Life is stressful. Life is busy. Life is short and do we really have time to waste minutes and hours doing things that aren't important or necessary?

That's where the simple message of living simple can have an appeal to busy people -- return to the simple life of simple pleasures, deeper relationships and meaningful, not wasted, moments. Spend less, live more.

Ah, but this topic is frought with mine fields of simplistic answers and anything but simple motives.

There are peo…