How to Deal (dealing with grief)

hands_depression_grief1What has lead me to think, talk and now blog about grief. Well one year ago this week one of the kids from our children’s church died suddenly from the flu. It was incredibly tragic. I still remember walking into the hospital totally unprepared for how much my life was going to be effected.

I have been to many wakes and even recently my Grandfathers funeral. But this was in a completely different league. I walked in and the young boy had just passed away. It was one of the hardest if not hardest things for me personally. I can’t tell you why I was so profoundly effected. Even today as I write this post I am very emotional.

What made this death so disturbing was that he was a healthy boy, who had a great family who loved him cared for him. He was only 5 years old and his parents did EVERYTHING a parent could, would and should do. But he still died. What made this so difficult to deal with is that none of my built in pat answers fit, “he lived a long good life”, “he is out of his suffering now”. I had no way to tell myself there was a reason in all of this. Which lead me to ask over and over Why God. If you can do anything Why?

It has been a rough year. I have asked many hard questions of myself and others. I have been asked many questions I don’t know the answers to and don’t think I ever will. I have even doubted at times God’s ability to be greater than my doubt, circumstances, and fears. But in my doubt I believe that God is building an even greater faith. A faith based on position more than condition.

YouTube Friday: Brother Barry

I found this video courtesy of fellow blogger Steven Furtick’s blog. It is very funny. Clip 2 of 3 it is my favorite but if you have the time all three are well worth your while.

What struck me most is that we are undeniably a product of our environment. Someone in brother Barry’s life preached like that. I think that we need to look at our environment and we need to look at ourselves because very often the environment you are in defines your direction. Growth happens in the context of community.

What about you. How is your environment shaping you?

Lastly some great advice Steven Furtick gave me is get some tisues because you are going to laugh until you cry or cry until you laugh. Either way enjoy.

Here is the link to Brother Barry 1 0f 3

Here is the link to Brother Barry 2 of 3

Here is the link to Brother Barry 3 of 3 (I know I said 2 was my fav. but I just watched 3 crazy funny stuff)

Super thoughts on Regular Wednesday.

Well yesterday was “Super Tuesday” the day in American politics that is supposed to choose the leader of each of our two parties for the upcoming november election. I didn’t vote. Before you freak out let me just say that I am a registered independent and can’t vote in my states primary. If I was a registered Republican I would have voted for Huckabee if I was a Democrat I would have voted for Obama.

I don’t make it a practice to blog about politics but regular Wednesday following Super Tuesday seems like the best time to blog about politics.

In the last 6 years I have slowly come to this realization. The church is to involved in politics. We need to vote as citizens I truly believe that. I think that far to many churches believe that electing the right guy or gal will equal God’s favor in and on our country. We even get intoxicated by the often made evangelical voting block references in the todays media. I have come to a realization over the past 6 years or so and it is this, Politics Will Not Change America. Having a Christian in the oval office will not bring a renaissance of Christian values. I must trust more in God and his ability to use whoever to answers the prayers I pray.

I will vote this fall, even though there is not one Republican or Democrat that share my views and will do what I believe needs to be done to keep our country moving in the right direction. I vote because I am a citizen of a great country not as a evangelical trying to achieve a Religious awakening via politics in America, that I believe will come if you and I love God more and love others more.

Be our Guest

I picked up Be our Guest by Disney yesterday. Wow! I could not put it down! Here is a killer quote. Think about this for a moment and the impact on the church.

“In The Experience Economy, B. Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore suggest that we seen the demise of the Industrial, which is focused solely on the efficient production of goods, and are past the peak of the Service Economy, which wrapped products in bundles of services to make them more attractive to customers. Now, say the authors we are entering a new age of competition that they call the Experience Economy. Goods and services are simply props to engage the customer in this new era. Customers want memorable experiences and companies must become stagers of experiences.

Pine and Gilmore make a point of describing the ephemeral nature of experiences. “However, while the work of the experience stager perishes upon its performance (precisely the right word), the value of the experience lingers in the memory of the any individual who was engaged by the event,”……They go on to use Disney as an example of a notable experience stager. “Most parents,” they continue, “don’t take their kids to Walt Disney World just for the event itself, but rather to make the shared experience part of the everyday family conversation for months, and even years afterward.”