Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Praying for Patience

O God, my Father, give me patience all through today.

Give me patience with my work,
so that I may work at a job until I finish it or get it right,
no matter how difficult or boring it may be.

Give me patience with people,
so that I will not become irritated or annoyed,
and so that I never lose my temper with them.

Give me patience with life,
so that I may not give up hope
when hopes are long in coming true;
so that I may accept disappointment without bitterness
and delay without complaint.

Here is my prayer for your love's sake. Amen.

by Scottish New Testament scholar Wiiliam Barclay (d. 1978)
from The Doubleday Prayer Collection

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feeling a Bit Older

I am feeling a bit older this morning.No, I didn't overdo in the yard or stay-up too late watching the Braves. It's all those college students!

Last night our church hosted the "Kick-off Cook-out" for the Baptist Collegiate Ministry of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic. There were a hundred or so college students who consumed large quantities of hot dogs & hamburgers, played mixer games, and were exposed to the programs and ministries of BCM. They look younger every year and their energy and enthusiasm is amazing.

I felt a bit older because seeing these students took me on a trip down memory lane to my college days. I was active in the Baptist Stduent Union (as it was known back in the day) during my time at Shorter and was campus president my senior year. I didn't know it then but BSU provided a leadership development process that would shape the rest of my ministry. Our advisor, Dr. Joe Baskin, was a patient mentor and guide who remains a friend to this day. Priscilla also served as Shorter's BSU president her senior year.

I am grateful that Dave Stewart faithfully shares his gifts with KSU and SPSU students as Baptist Campus Minister. I encourage you to pray for Dave and Judy as they serve in our church and minister to the college community.

We had a nice contingent of Towne View folk here to prepare, cook, serve, and welcome. I appreciate our Missions Committee for their leadership and other members who pitched-in.

Come to think of it- maybe I'm not feeling so much older after all. The zeal of college students is contagious, the example of faithful servants is encouraging, and the generous spirit of our church is a blessing. Let's go- just maybe not quite so hard, quite so fast, or quite so late!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Frustrated Citizen

I am a frustrated citizen of this great nation. Not mad yet, just frustrated!

I am frustrated because leaders aren't leading.

I am frustrated with decisions that are made- or, sometimes not made- that impact my family, my future, my community, and even my church.

I am frustrated that leaders aren't listening- to one another or our citizenry. There seems to be too much talking "at" one another rather than talking "to" one another.

I am frustrated that too many of us are content to simply complain... or do nothing.

I am frustrated that our leaders, and even us "regular folk," seem to have lost the ability to "disagree agreeably." Taking differing positions or desiring differing solutions to common problems does not make us enemies.

So what can I do? As a citizen, I am empowered to be informed, involved, and ultimately to express myself with a ballot. As a Christian, I am encouraged to pray for those in leadership.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Weddings as Family Events

I know it seems obvious to say that weddings are family events. Saturday's wedding of John Todd and Kristina McDougall reminded me of just how big families can be!

It was great to meet members of John's family- Connecticut Yankees who wouldn't miss the opportunity to show John their love and support.

Over the years we have had opportunity to meet several members of Kristina's family- her parents, Ken and Carleen, worship with us while not in Brazil and her sisters have joined us for special events along the way. Most of Kristina's extended family are involved in missions and ministry and many partners in those ministries shared in the celebration.

The "family" grew, though, as I watched our church family in action. John, Kristina, and Alexa are part of us and the Towne View family shared generously in helping make the day special. We could all leave with the sense of love, excitement, and pride for this new family- part of our family!