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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Today is the last day of my 5th decade on this great globe. I have friends who were not even born until I was married. I have people in my life that I talk to regularly for whom someone like Richard Nixon is a newsreel highlight, rather than someone who once caused me to miss a day of school. Heck, a lot of people weren't around when Ronald Reagan was President!

Since I get retrospective on a pretty regular basis here on this blog, there is not a lot for me to say about what was, or is, or even could be. There is still a lot of a craziness going around these days...another school shooting. I mean, growing up in Minnesota on the fringes of Minneapolis, I remember kids who were going hunting after school would bring their guns to school and have the principal lock them in this little closet. Times have changed in 50 years.

I guess as I look back on the biggest changes, using the broadest brush, this computer I am using is the biggest change. I remember my college roommate coming back from writing his BA thesis on a word processor and claiming he will never use a typewriter again. (He now is the CEO of a computer software firm. God has a way of working in our favor every now and then.) But who would have thought how this machine could connect us in ways that I never imagined, and am still wondering how it will be when I finally close this blog down in another couple decades or so?

As a teenager I got up every morning and read the newspaper, had coffee, toast and cheese, and went off to school. I haven't read a newspaper in 10 years. (The computer has not been able to replicate coffee as well.) I read news every morning. I look at pictures of friends and their kids, and I check the lines on upcoming football games, all without walking more than 15 feet from my bed. And...since nowadays I work from home, I have a six-foot commute to my office, and I can still get messages, reports, and writings to people. I still brush my teeth...some things will never change, I guess.

But mostly I remember so many people who have made my life wonderful. Many are still with me, and many have gone...and every year, sadly, more leave as time marches on and waits for none. I do believe God creates worlds into which people are then created. We are defined by our relationships, but even more so we are our relationships. You can no more "take out" my fatherhood than you can "take out" my heart. Each of those is needed if I want to breathe. Everything I say or do is colored by the air I breathe, and the people who are part of me. If you are reading this you are one of those people.

Every day--as Newtown, CT reminds us--should be a day to give thanks for the beauty, the wonder, and the friends of our lives. There is no reason to believe in anything, even God, if such things are not why you get up each and every day, each and every year, each and every decade. One of the most enduring images I have of Christianity is Jesus of Nazareth, dying on his cross, breathing his last, and telling his best friend to be a son to his mother, and telling his mother to be a mom to his best friend. What a great way to use some of your last minutes...create a new family from your death.

So I don't worry about getting older. I figure God's going to take all my friends, family, colleagues, and do great things with them whether I am here or not. And I am just glad to be included in the party, just glad to be remembered that once I was here.

May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you "broken bread" in your home with folks. My wife and I are looking for a common ministry together and are looking to open our home for a weekly meal, communion, prayer, and sharing. Jim in grand rapids mn

Scott Frederickson said...



dear Jim,
This sounds like the kind of thing we did with Prairie Table back in Bismarck. We had communion and meals, prayer and sharing, and we also tried to get out in the community and make a difference--as a faith group as well as individuals. I have to admit that I think what you and your wife are looking at is the best way to go for a "common ministry together." There are often too many competing agendas in other groups (congregations), and the focus of prayer, worship, and service often gets diluted. I'd always welcome walking with you and any people who are part of such a journey. God's blessings.

Chris said...

Jim - You can also use the worship online called "Darkwood Brew" you can find it live Sunday nights at 5:00CST at www.darkwoodbrew.org or you can go to the same address and find past episodes to watch and lead worship together in small groups if you like. God's blessings to you and your ministry together.