Archive for December, 2006

Countdowns

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Every year the last week of the year is full of countdowns. You name it, it is mentioned for the curious and to fill the news and programming doldrums; "stay tuned as we countdown the top music and videos, top news stories, most memorable events, top sellers", and you can't miss the ball dropping in Time Square, etc. In our ABF class several weeks ago a countdown of another kind was alluded to and it made me think.

Life is a countdown. From the day of our birth a countdown of sorts began.  Our days are numbered so that when life began the countdown started. Now we are closer to the end of lives than ever before. There are a couple of options we can choose. One could think of it pessimistically and be sad there are fewer days left to live or, one can choose to make the most of them by saying and doing the important stuff because we have only so many days left.

Who knows what will be the number one song or…paper clip manufacturer but we play a part in determining how we live. So, let's live with our eyes on the future as we are shaped by the past and present. Living in past memories hampers moving forward with energy. This next year, start '07 off with a renewed focus.

Christmas Decorations

Monday, December 18th, 2006

I was doing some shopping for a new Christmas decoration and as I browsed through the aisles and shelves I started label reading. I wasn't looking for fat and carbs and not even the price. What I found on every piece of decoration in the store was "made in China."

That made me think. For half and hour I looked at countless Santas, elves, reindeer and snowmen alongside nativities, angels, wise men and shepherds. I couldn't help but wonder if the ones who made these things knew much about what they were making? Moreover, it could be one of those jobs with a bit of mindlessness that the repetition probably dulls the senses after 1000 or maybe less. But what about Christmas things?

In a way the whole experience woke up my missionary spirit. I began thinking about ways to convey and communicate the meaning of Christmas. God began all of this sending Jesus in the first place. What if God is at work in some factory that is churning out all of these nativities? We could be a part of His plan through prayer and ultimately through "going." In the next year get ready as the married adult ministry sets our sights overseas, not China but to a people group that needs to know about Jesus, the meaning of Christmas.

Email tone

Monday, December 4th, 2006

Is it just me or is it hard to discern "tone" in an email? This age of communication technology has certainly enhanced many forms of nearly effortless communication. The email is one of the best in my opinion. However, some times it is not the best form and certainly shouldn't replace all types of communication.

I received an email years ago that left me wondering about the emotional state of the person. It started something like, "why wasn't I notified of this?" I couldn't tell if there was steam coming out of this person's ears or if this was just a simple question. I'm sure you've read several and wondered, too.

I've seen emails with bold letters, ALL CAPS, creative punctuation(!?!#!*), emoticonsCool and even text that is colored but usually that doesn't help, it just makes the email text look pretty.

As great as email is we have to be careful not to rely solely on it and to use it to communicate simple information. I catch myself emailing people who are acquaintances, friends, co-workers etc…and editing so that I am being as clear and simple as possible. I also try to read it from their perspective. What are they "hearing" when they read this?

That's all, my little rant is over for now.