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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. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. 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.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Scrambled Eggs and the United States Navy

My dad served in the United States Navy. As a Minnesotan, born, and raised, on the shores of Lake Superior, joining the Navy was kind of natural for him. He liked water. Thanks to people like my Dad, and countless others, we are able to enjoy some of the greatest freedoms in the world. Thank you to all veterans.

My dad often talked about his experiences in the Navy as we were growing up, and one of his favorites was to talk about the cook on one of his ships. "He could crack three eggs in one hand!" my Dad would proudly declare at the dinner table. My dad hated eggs. He did like Cheetos. And candy. And root beer. He thought a pickle as a green vegetable. As my brother remarked during my dad's funeral luncheon, "I'm having a hard time remembering ever seeing dad eat a vegetable." Truly, with his diet it is amazing he lived 76 years.

But I remember the scrambled egg stories. Although I am sure my dad took his service seriously (he took everything he did seriously), by the time he got around to telling stories at our dinner table, the Navy was just a backdrop for a joke or a point to be made. (To be honest, I'm not sure why he told the scrambled eggs stories, he might have actually just liked the cook.) But whenever I make scrambled eggs I remember the stories, and I remember my dad. (I also remember reading in a Nero Wolfe mystery years ago that Fritz, his cook, said you should scramble them for 30 minutes...but I give them a good 30 seconds.)                   

Maybe that's what all these upcoming festivals (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's) are all about. Creating memories to carry us into the future? I often wonder if Jesus of Nazareth knew this when he was celebrating his Last Supper? Was he creating a memory for the future? Was he offering a reality that flows through time to be eternally present? When we celebrate in the name of Jesus we recall a past in our present to be our future. How cool is that?

 It's interesting to think that just like my dad is more than veteran, he was also a veteran, and that I never knew my dad when he wasn't a veteran. Just like I've never known Jesus before he was resurrected. So this Veterans' Day, just like when I celebrate Holy Communion, I will remember what's important--the people who made my past so my future becomes real. Thanks Dad. Thanks Jesus.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

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