Separation Anxiety

September 25, 2008

I consider myself to be rather frugal.  I rarely buy clothing, gadgets (electronic or otherwise), music (tangible CDs or downloads), or much of anything found at Target or the great American shopping mall.  I do have a thing for shoes.  Not trendy, snazzy footwear for appearance sake – I’m way too practical for those type purchases.  I’m talking about running shoes.  Over the years, I’ve become an avid fan of the Brooks Adrenaline series.  I’m pleased with their fit and their overall durability.  I’m so impressed with them that I’ve had a difficult time parting with them once they’ve lost their worthiness for actual pounding of the pavement.  Once in semi-retirement these shoes enable me to perform yard work, play tennis, and go fishing in the creek.  After a recent weed-eating effort, I left a pair on the back steps.  This morning as I left my home – I was astonished to find my shoes no longer united. 

Who or what was responsible for this troubling development?  Was it a coyote, stray dog, or mountain lion?  We’ve seen a couple of cats around the neighborhood (and in our yard) but no canines most often associated with devouring footwear.  Could a cat have walked off with my shoe?  I began to scour the backyard – no dice.  I moved to the front yard and breathed a sign of relief.  There at the corner of the yard was my well-worn, molded to my phalanges, previously MIA shoe.   

No cuts, no tears, no holes of which to speak.  Yard work will continue at the Roberts household.  

From this day forward – we’ll be shutting the gate.  Perhaps this will keep those pesky varmints from messing with my sneakers.

 

 

 

 

Over the years, I’ve attempted a number of bizarre things.  I had high hopes of mastering each of these pursuits.  To be perfectly honest, I suppose that none of these activities, hobbies or sports are really that peculiar or bizarre – they are just far from my comfort zone or skill set.  In tenth grade, I was talked into joining the wrestling team (I’m the muscular kid in the gray uniform).  I won my first ever match.  I’d like to brag – but the reality is that my opponent picked me up to demolish me.  Somehow he slipped and I fell on top of him.  I won the match… due to his clumsiness.  In college, I bought a guitar.  I have zero musical ability.  When I tried out for the band in middle school, the instructor told me that I should run track instead.  I purchased the guitar with hopes that I could play a few chords and draw the attention of some cute girls.  I never quite mastered the chords – but I do have a very attractive wife – she’s not so concerned with my guitar skills.  I sold the guitar at a yard sale not so long ago.  While in seminary I purchased a surfboard.  I thought I might secure a cool tan, catch a few waves, and oh yeah – meet some cute girls.  I was still single at the time.  I failed to take into consideration that I was living two and a half hours from the coast.  I made a few trips to the beach, only to realize that I didn’t have the coordination to surf.  I later sold the surfboard.  Pole-vaulting, mountain biking, and kayaking also make my list of short-lived attempts at greatness.  I’ve learned a thing or two about myself through each of these pursuits.  What have you attempted – only to shake your head later wondering, “What was I thinking?” 

 

YIKES!

September 17, 2008

 

 

I know that costly fuel is the norm these days.  It’s been discussed often and complained about even more so.  I was just struck afresh yesterday when I filled up our Honda Accord.  I’ve been long convinced that a $60 fill-up is for large boats, SUVs and 18-wheelers.  Pouring sixty dollars worth of black gold (or at least its derivative) into the relatively fuel efficient Honda just broke my heart.  How are you handling the spike in fuel costs?  How have your driving patterns been altered?   

Sixteen Years and Counting

September 11, 2008

In recent weeks I’ve heard several of you reference upcoming or recent high school reunions. I’ve never attended a reunion (a least not at my alma mater – but that’s another story).  I missed the tenth year (I was visiting friends on the West Coast) and the fifteenth (I suppose one occurred though I never received an invitation).  It’s been sixteen years since I graduated – so I’ve got some time to wait before the next BIG event.  I was just in North Carolina last weekend and noticed that my high school is undergoing a major renovation.  They’ve stripped the old facade (and then some) and seem many months from completion.  I wonder how differently I appear after a decade and a half of post-high school life.  How have you changed?  I’m not talking about a receding hairline or a few pounds.  I’m talking about character, passion, perspective, faith, etc. – the things that matter much more than trends in hairstyles, music, and wardrobes.  So what do you think?

Women’s Event

September 9, 2008

 

Last night about twenty-five women from Cross Point Dickson gathered for a women’s event.  While I wasn’t in attendance (for obvious reasons) I understand that a great time was had by all.  There was food, conversation, and the painting of pottery.  Over the next two weeks, we’ll be promoting several new community groups for our women (other groups will be starting as well).  Community groups provide an opportunity to “do life” together by developing relationships and growing together.  In a small group you can study God’s Word, share interests, and just be yourself.  If you’re not in a group – I encourage you to investigate the new options and to get involved.   

I suppose a good blog post is concise and focused.  This particular one won’t be.  I’ve got a number of swirling thoughts/observations/questions – so here they go…

 

I just watched The Bucket List.  I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t seen it – so I’ll be vague with the overview.  The storyline follows two men in their final months of life.  There are references to the afterlife and the measure/evaluation of this life.  One character asks the other (somewhat of a paraphrase) – where have you have found joy?  And – have you provided joy for others?  Over the years I’ve worked to better understand words like joy, happiness, and contentment.  I’ve tried to frame each of these in light of God’s grand perspective and with deep recognition of His grace and goodness.  How do you perceive joy?  How do you serve to be a source of hope/joy/encouragement to those around you?

 

I just started reading Playing for Pizza.  It’s a John Grisham novel about a former standout (at least by high school and collegiate standards) football player.  His NFL chances are no more – thus he moves to Italy to play American Football in a country that doesn’t even charge admission to the games.  I’m not very far into the book but here’s what I’m chewing on…

 

How do you deal with adversity?  What measures do you take to push a dream forward?  At what point do you begin to wonder if it’s perseverance that you need or just acknowledge that the dream isn’t exactly what God has planned for you?

 

I’m further processing Matthew 18 and the instructions on addressing a fellow Christ-follower that has sinned against or wronged another (more specifically it speaks of what to do if YOU have been sinned against).  It speaks of approaching that person privately to discuss the matter.  If there is no progress – then we’re told to return with another person (or two) to try once more to resolve the matter.  If still no resolution (or confession of wrongdoing) then the matter is to be taken before the church.  What’s your experience been with this sequence?  I’m not looking for the gritty details.  Just curious as to how God worked through the situation and the pursuit of reconciliation.

 

I love our church!  Pastor Pete was in town (Dickson campus) yesterday and shared some exciting news in the midst of the message.  In the coming months and years – we’re involving ourselves/committing to several significant ministry pursuits.  Later this year, both campuses will be partnering with Habitat for Humanity.  Collectively we’ll be contributing to the construction of four homes.  That’s very cool!  Currently we allocate 10% of our weekly offering to missions.  These monies are designated for ministry needs elsewhere (locally, regionally, and internationally).  Over the next ten years, Cross Point has committed itself to increase missions giving by 1 percent annually.  Thus in ten years – our annual budget will allocate 20% to missions.  Estimates put total giving (two campuses towards missions) around $7,500,000 over the next decade.  That’s incredible!  Physical and spiritual needs abound.  Can you imagine the impact of these financial resources on those hurting and searching for hope?  A quick albeit significant side note – as a church we’re not interested in “just writing a check” to missions.  Our strong preference and pursuit is to provide people resources as well.  Our desire is to be personally involved and engaged with the ministries that we support.  Another big announcement from yesterday is the commitment to plant a third campus.  There is still a lot of praying and planning to do – yet it’s evident that another campus is where we need to give our energies.  New churches reach new people.  We’ve found hope in Christ – why wouldn’t we be intentional to provide a ministry setting where He can be discovered?  Finally, as we closed our services yesterday – we invited you share in the effort to build and strengthen our various ministry teams.  You responded.  Thank you.  I can’t wait to see your gifts and abilities used to further ministry.  God is doing some amazing things through you – I’m so grateful to be a part of this community of faith.