New Year, New Me?

I love the last week of December. There’s a sense of closure. Whether it was a great year or a horrible one (or, as usually happens, a mixture of both), January 1 gives us a new start. When I was in school, I always rejoiced at the end of a semester. I was finished with finals and had new classes to look forward to. In the meantime, I could truly rest, knowing that I had a respite from responsibility.

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.

For some reason, this year is much like those long-ago years in high school and college. After a packed fall and crazy December, I suddenly have a break. The health issue I mentioned a few weeks ago has been resolved with a series of good reports and I’m rapidly recovering. Even more amazing, to my mind, were the multiple comments on my positive attitude from all the doctors, nurses, etc. who were involved—clearly an answer to prayer! Continue reading

Not My Will…

I’ve been going to PT recently. It seems that as a result of lugging my heavy camera and computer gear around Swaziland, I’ve developed tendonitis in both elbows. In addition to the heat and cold and e-stim and other PT tricks, I’ve been given a number of exercises and stretches aimed at improving my posture and thus relieving stress on my arm muscles. I don’t mind the exercises—they’re pretty easy and relatively painless. But the stretches—they’re killing me! It seems I’m not as flexible as I used to be.

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Another Way to Do Church?

As I mentioned a week and a half ago, I’ve been plowing through lots of books on how to “do” church. My most recent read is Houses that Change the World, by Wolfgang Simson. And I have to say he’s shaken my understanding of church.

The book has been around a while—maybe you’ve already read it. Published in 1998, a number of his predictions have failed to materialize, but that doesn’t diminish what he has to say. (He was merely analyzing trends, not trying to be prophetic, so we don’t need to take him out and stone him.)

In general, Simson argues against churches patterned after the synagogue, with a set routine performed by “professional Christians” in front of a lay audience, and in favor of small “organic” house churches where our faith is lived out in the context of real life. I certainly see his point. He’s very persuasive, and I tend to agree with him more often than not.

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