Today is the first Sunday of Advent. In the coming days and weeks people all through the world will be making preparations for Christmas. I’d like to invite you to consider a new way of making preparations this year – join the Advent Conspiracy.
Monthly Archives: November 2008
My reflections on Thanksgiving 2007 are, for the most part, true again today. Heather and I now live closer to much of our family (though it is still spread over many states) and we are now a part of different faith communities, but my reflections and gratitude for 2008 remain much the same.
To all of this, I would, of course, add gratitude for Hannah and the joy that these last weeks have brought to our lives. In fact, these last months, with the anticipation and excitement of her arrival have been a time of great joy. There is no telling what technology will look like in 15, 25, or 50 years, but should this content still be available and should Hannah be interested in looking back at her father’s life and thoughts, I would want her to know these things:
- I thank God every day for the gift that she is to her mother and I
- Of all of the things I’ve done in my life, I’m most grateful for the gift of being a father
- I am grateful for her fussy cries as they represent her strong lungs and the breath of life
- I am grateful or her squirming, wriggling, and kicking, for they show what a strong body she has
- I am grateful for the warmth that I feel (literally and figuratively) as I hold her, for it tells me of God’s love
As I sit here on this Thanksgiving morning with my daughter sleeping on my lap, I am most grateful for the gifts of this life. My hope and prayer for you today is that you might feel and experience God’s love this Thanksgiving and always.
This weekend I was blessed with an opportunity to preach in weekend worship at Resurrection. Worship was Saturday at 5:00 and Sunday at 7:45, 9:00, 10:45, and 5:00. The 10:45 and 5:00 services were live on the web. It was a fantastic weekend and something I hope to be blessed to do again in the future.
The sermon is now archived online if you’d like to check it out.
For the last couple of weeks I have been away from the office. I didn’t intend to be away from Changing to Bring Change, but found myself these last two weeks consumed by:
- spending time with Hannah
- working on my sermon for this last weekend
- sleeping when possible
I’m back in the office today and am looking forward to getting back to the blog in these coming days. I’ve taken lots of notes and accumulated a number of ideas and look forward to sharing them with you in these coming days and weeks.
Last night at 6:32 Hannah Marie Clinger was welcomed into the world. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 1.9 ounces, was 19.5 inches long and is doing great. So, I was totally wrong on my prediction for gender, but called day, was within about 45 minutes of time, and was pretty darn close on the weight. I’ll be curious to see if anyone in the pool can boast a better record than that!
More pictures will be posted soon at the family site. Here’s a little glimpse of this proud papa’s joy.
Since Heather and I first found out that 1) we were pregnant and 2) I’d be serving at Resurrection, I’ve been planning on taking two weeks off once the baby comes. I knew all along that these two weeks would simply come on the baby’s schedule, but it’s more and more feeling like I can see how things are going to come together now.
Our due date has passed and we’re scheduled for an induction on Tuesday morning if the baby hasn’t yet come. I’m wrapping up a few things in the office now and Monday is my day off. Once I leave here in a few minutes, I’m pretty much done working as a non-parent. When I return to the office, I’ll have a child. It’s pretty exciting (and terrifying) to think about!
Over the next two weeks I’ll be doing all that I can to welcome this new child into our lives and our home and to get settled into the routines of fatherhood. During this time I’ll also be prepping for and teaching a training class at the church and preparing for and preaching in weekend worship on November 22nd and 23rd. I’m anxious about making sure that I do all of these things as skilfully and faithfully as possible and am excited about the incredible opportunities of fatherhood, of this job, and of life in general.
I recently had this video forwarded to me:
I then checked out the finished product.
Both of these then caused me to pause and reflect a bit about the possibility of starting a new church someday…. Here’s a guy who has been given a large amount of money by a corporation to travel the world and dance (poorly). But, people have gotten excited and passionate about it. He has connected people around the globe in a common purpose (to dance together poorly? or to be a part of something bigger than themselves?). I am hopeful that we, as the church, can continue to find creative ways to raise funds, to engage people, and to inspire passion about the gospel. If this guy can do it with some crazy dancing, I’d like to think that we can do it with the good news of God’s love.
I was in a meeting early this morning with the D-I team of Congregational Care Ministers here at Resurrection. We meet twice a month for coffee at Panera at 7:30 and though they are early meetings, they’re always a lot of fun.
This morning it seemed that we had an exceptional number of laughs and really had a good time with one another. At one point conversation about Baby Clinger began to take over and I realized that I no longer had the attention of the group. They were all busy putting down their predictions for the birth date (and time), gender, and weight (pounds and ounces). One of them came over to the church following the meeting and began to get others in the department in on the pool. I’m not sure who’s picking what, but think it’s a lot of fun that they’re all talking!
For the record, here are my (completely unscientific) predictions…
- Born on 11/11 (5:45pm)
- 8 lbs. 3 oz.
Anyone else want to chime in?
- The large amounts of quiet time carved out for prayer and reflection.
- The absolutely beautiful surroundings and weather.
- The incredible worship.
- The ridiculous boughts of laughter.
- Listening to Adam cast vision.
- Jim Lucas’s time working through managing paradox
- The conversation with good friends.
- An early morning run with Andrew and Dagney.
I feel incredibly blessed to be serving with such a fantastic group of people at Church of the Resurrection.
As I’m on retreat today, I voted last week using the Advance in Person process. It was an all around good experience. If you’ve already voted, thanks for doing so! If you haven’t already voted, I would ask that you take the time to do so today. It is important.
In the spirit of election promises I want to share something posted last week by Andrew Conard. They are his campaign promises and I think they’re great:
- I promise to be positive about the future of our country.
- I promise to be supportive if the candidate(s) for whom I vote does not win.
- I promise to be humble if the candidate(s) for whom I vote wins.
- I promise to pray for the future president and vice-president.
Now those are promises I can stand behind!