Friday, June 19, 2015

A Psalm of Lament

How long must hatred be the legacy passed from generation to generation?

How long must innocents suffer at the hands of the wicked?

How long must a nation be wounded by the abuse of its freedoms?

How long must young people feel that violence is the only way to express their frustrations?

How long must "the other" be perceived as enemy rather than received as friend?

How long must a bright future be clouded by the shadows of the past?

How long must mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors... and churches grieve the senseless deaths of loved ones?

How long must people of good will, people of faith, avoid the awkward conversations and difficult decisions that shine the light of love and advance the causes of justice and righteousness?

How long, O Lord, how long?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


For the last couple of months I have tried to prayer-walk in our cul-de-sac and the one behind us.  It's not that hard- I pray for my neighbors as I walk the dogs!

I pray for neighbors trying to sell a home, those adjusting to an empty nest, and those struggling with aging parents- in New York and Florida.  I pray for neighbors who aren't talking to each other, for a family whose son is a marine, and for new neighbors making the adjustment to life in suburban Atlanta.  As I pray for them I ask God to meet their needs- for peace, for comfort, for discernment, for reconciliation, and for a recognition of God's grace.

I'm prayer-walking our building this week, as well.  As I walk the halls I am praying for children who are learning, discovering, growing, and experiencing God's love.  I pray for adult and youth volunteers- that they might be blessed with strength, patience, and a servant spirit. Above all, I offer prayers of thanksgiving for the opportunity to share the Good News through Vacation Bible School.

The great thing about prayer-walking is that you can do it anytime and anywhere- though I suggest you keep yours eyes open if you're driving!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Keeping Sabbath

In a break from our Jewish forebearers, most Christians observe Sunday as the sabbath, or day of rest.  In our own game of legalistic gotcha' much debate has been invested into what one could or could not do on "the day of rest."  At minimum, most would agree that it would be a day intended for worship and rest- a departure from work and responsibilities that consume our minds and bodies the rest of the week.

This past Sunday was a day of sabbath celebration for our little part of God's family.  Our worship service was a great celebration- I only hope God was as blessed by our worship as we were by His presence.  In good Towne View fashion, our worship was offered through music that spanned the gauntlet of tempo, style, and generations.  What wonderful gifts were shared from prelude to postlude.

From worship we moved to Bartow-Carver Park for our annual church picnic.  Lake Allatoona was again provided an exceptional backdrop for a beautiful afternoon.  Plenty of good food, sweet desserts, sweet tea and lemonade quenched our appetites. It was quite a sight to watch folks enjoy the rocking chairs, children on the swings and in the water, folks paddle-boarding and playing games.  I can't help but wonder, "why don't we do this more often?"  As a church, yes, such opportunities for fellowship  are priceless.  But even as families, what happened to taking time just to enjoy each other's company- no schedule, no agenda- just an unhurried afternoon of relaxation?

Of course, all this rest and relaxation wouldn't have been possible without somebody putting in some hard work.  I am grateful for Jonnia and our music ministry for leading us in worship and to Dave Stewart and the rec team for making arrangements for the picnic.  And, I'm grateful to our promise-keeping God for once again making God's precence known when we gather in His name.