Friday, March 30, 2007

Dear God...

A member of my congregation sent these to me in an e-mail the other day. I thought they were wicked cute, and I hope you do too!

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

PS Having read through them all again, there's one more thought... Children pray with a sincerity and openness that we should all strive for. And a little child will lead them...

1. Dear God,
Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now.

2. Dear God,
Thank you for the baby brother but what I asked for was a puppy. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up.

3. Dear Mr.God,
I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had to have 3 stitches and a shot.

4. God,
I read the bible. What does beget mean? Nobody will tell me.
Love Alison

5. Dear God,
How did you know you were God? Who told you?

6. Dear God,
Is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house?

7. Dear God,
I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.

8. Dear God,
I like the story about Noah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones. I like walking on water, too.

9. Dear God,
My Grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go?
Love, Dennis

10. Dear God,
Do you draw the lines around the countries? If you don't, who does?

11. Dear God,
Did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident?

12. Dear God,
In bible times, did they really talk that fancy?

13. Dear God,
How come you did all those miracles in the old days and don't do any now?

14. Dear God,
Please send Dennis Clark to a different summer camp this year.

15. Dear God,
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they each had their own rooms. It works out OK with me and my brother.

16. Dear God,
I keep waiting for spring, but it never did come yet. What's up? Don't forget.

17. Dear God,
My brother told me about how you are born but it just doesn't sound right. What do you say?

18. Dear God,
If you watch in Church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes.

19. Dear God,
Is Reverend Coe a friend of yours, or do you just know him through the business?

20. Dear God,
I do not think anybody could be a better God than you. Well, I just want you to know that. I am not just saying that because you are already God.

21. Dear God,
It is great the way you always get the stars in the right place. Why can't you do that with the moon?

22. Dear God,
I am doing the best I can. Really !!!!

23. Dear God,
I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday night. That was really cool.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


If you startle easily or have a heart condition, do not view the following video.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

Friday, March 23, 2007

Driven Before the Lord

One of my goals for the year is to get another book study kicked off. The idea is to push myself and appeal to a different audience than joined me for The Chronicles of Narnia. Well, earlier this year, Pastor Ed kindly reminded me of my goal, and so I started actively looking for a book to focus on. That's when Elizabeth mentioned that she was reading a book based on the story of the prophet Hosea. All I could remember of his story was that God told him to go marry a prostitute. I'd always read the story as God creating in Hosea's life a microcosm of God's relationship with Israel. And no, Israel does not choose to play the role of the loving husband. Elizabeth, as usual, took up the perspective of the one character I hadn't given enough thought to. Not Israel, but the actual prostitute. Of course, Jesus would expect us to pay the most attention to the "least" character. I had to read this book. So I had Elizabeth give me the pertinent info,
Redeeming Love, a novel by Francine Rivers. I finally got around to ordering it last week, and I started reading last Friday during the Nor'easter that brought us snow, sleet, and generally deep frozen ickiness. It intrigued me right off the bat, even if I did fall asleep reading it on the couch. (I'm sure that had more to do with the amount of energy it takes to drive around in the snow, sleet, and generally deep frozen ickiness all morning.) This week, it went in huge chunks, and last night I couldn't put it down. The story, and the Good Lord speaking directly through it, had ahold of me, and so I gave in to it. It was the wee hours before I got to bed, but it was worth it.

I'm totally starting a book study of this one, folks. Just as soon as I can pull it together. Considering that it's still Lent, that might mean it'll take a while. (And no, I haven't had any caffeine to counteract the lack of sleep...!) But I was blown away, and inspired, by this one--and I plan on sharing that with others!

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Up the Walls

"By the way, Josh, long time, no blog."

Well, Dawn, when you're right, you're right. So, a couple of weeks ago (yeah, geeze, long time no blog indeed) our Junior High youth group went to one of those rock-climbing places, where I immediately attempted to be thirteen again.

Look! I made it all the way up!

Now, I know I look awkward, but really... ok, I'm awkward.

But I made it! All by myself! Unless you count the nice man holding the bottom of the net so it would stop swinging... Wasn't Dawn nice to not get him in the shot?

I'm just waiting for photo releases from the youth who went on the trip, then I can show you all how it's supposed to look!

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh

Monday, March 05, 2007

Elizabeth Abolitionist

The other day I was talking with a mother in my congregation about skateboarding laws, because I'm considering getting one to ride to work in the morning. It seemed important to make sure that I wouldn't be breaking any laws to do so! It turns out that there aren't any laws about skateboarding down the sidewalks, but that you can't skate in places where it's posted that you can't. I suppose that businesses are concerned about possible skater-patron collisions, but I also suspect that there's also a degree of irrational fear involved. Skaters tend to travel in groups, and any time there are groups of young people, "old" people get scared. (I know 20-somethings who get nervous at the sight of a group of teens hanging out together, to in this case "old" really is very relative!) Irrational or not, it's bad for business to scare off the "old" people--cause the "old" people have money!

But it still bugs me. We're literally surrounded by extraordinary teenagers who are passionate forces of good in the world. Take Elizabeth for example. You may have read her blog, considering that I have it linked in my sidebar. Elizabeth has a lot of good things going for her, but today I'd like to highlight her abolitionist work.
She is deeply involved with Justice for Children International, a charitable organization which stands opposed to human trafficking with a focus on child sex trafficking. Elizabeth recently held a fundraiser here at the church, and because she brought that attention to JFCI, our Board of Benevolance and Social Concerns is considering allocating money to support the group. Elizabeth was even recently featured on the JFCI website!

So next time you feel nervous around a group of teens, ask yourself if any of them are Elizabeth.
Ask yourself if any of them are fighting racism, or homophobia, or child sex trafficking. Ask yourself what it is exactly that you're scared of? Because most likely, you don't have any reason to be scared at all.

Be good to each other,
Rev. Josh