Waves on Straddie beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every summer as the boys were growing up, we tried to go to the ocean, at least for a few days. Going to the beach meant walking the boardwalk, playing the games at the arcade, riding the rides. It meant lunch at the diner on the beach, renting a bike surrey and flying kites at dusk. The boys had favorite shops, favorite restaurants, favorite things to do.
But above all, it meant time at the ocean—digging in the sand, chasing seagulls, playing in the water, jumping waves. If you went during the week, you could take a raft out and just float.
Not long ago, we were talking about our beach trips with our older son, Rob. He recalled lots of fun times, and then he casually mentioned, “I remember the time I was on the raft and almost floated out to sea.”
Wait–what? The time he almost floated out to sea?
Happy Thursday! It’s time once again for Thursday Intermission: when you can sit back, relax and take a break. (I feel like we need a theme song here.)
Have you ever had one of those days when everything you do turns out perfectly, no matter the odds? When everything you tried just worked out flawlessly, and all those around you were in awe of your abilities? Me neither. This guy, though? Whole different story …
This week also brings us some adorable red pandas. I’m pretty sure God created red pandas so all the angels would go “Awww!” It seems to work for humans, anyway.
Hope you’re having a great week! See you tomorrow.
“The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.”
–N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church
“What is this? A video blog entry? But it’s not Thursday!”
Yes, I hear you. I’m intentionally posting this on Friday in hopes that you’ll find 20 minutes over the weekend to watch. Benjamin Zander’s TED talk on classical music consistently makes lists of top TED talks–and for good reason. Whether or not you like classical music (or whether or not you think you do), this is well worth your time. It isn’t just a talk about music; it’s about passion and creativity and igniting those things in others.
This week’s been a bit of a blur, so I decided to slow down and go retro for today’s Intermission.
So what do you want? Comedy? Hmm … Johnny Carson and Jack Webb should do the trick. Here you go:
Or, if you’re in the mood for exuberance, dance and fun, here’s one of Fred Astaire’s most joyous song and dance performances. This clip gives you some context as to why he’s evading the police; Fred’s performance starts at about 1:35. The video is from “A Damsel in Distress,” a fun romp based–loosely–on the book by P.G. Wodehouse.
Sorry for the late post this week. Work’s been busier than usual. I’ve been working on projects related to advertising—TV, online, in-app, event-based … Sometimes it seems as though advertising rivals God in the whole omni-present realm.
Which gives rise to some questions.
- How can we become more aware of Emmanuel—God with us?
- In a world filled with voices screaming for our attention, how are we at focusing on the One Voice we need to hear?
- With our attention being pulled this way and that, how can we be sure we don’t run right past what God has for us to do, to say, to be?
The loudest voice isn’t always the best to follow. Let’s train ourselves to hear the voice of the Shepherd.
[Jesus said] My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.
John 10:27-29, New Living Translation
Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn’t go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed.
What did John see inside that tomb? What was the “evidence”–the empty tomb itself? No; there were empty tombs scattered throughout the hills in that region. John saw something more. He saw something left by a carpenter.
You see, Jesus came, not as a ruler, not as a king, not as One powerful. He came as a Baby—the reality of who He is was hidden, unrevealed to most.
He came as the Son of a carpenter.
Jesus spoke of shepherds and farmers and fishermen. Why wasn’t He one of these? Or why not an innkeeper, a shopkeeper, a smith?
Did He and the Father discuss these things before He came?