Unhappy Campers, Week 3 — Where The Wild Things Are

Many of you remember this book from childhood:

The place where all those “wild things are” is a place you want to leave; an uncertainty you want to escape, a freedom you’re willing to give up.

Of course, Maurice Sendak had nothing on the children of Israel.

They heard the “call of the wild,” entered it, and quicker than you can say “Ten Commandments,” wanted to return to slavery in Egypt. read more

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Simply The Best …

Here are some “bests” I’ve encountered in my time on earth.

Best tennis player I ever played with:  Rod Laver.  If you’re a tennis player, you know it’s virtually impossible to have a better answer than that one.  Laver, an Australian who won tennis’ calendar year Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969, was widely regarded as the Greatest Of All Time before Pete Sampras & Roger Federer came along.  In the winter of 1985, Laver was 47 and he and Ken Rosewall (another 60s-70s era Australian legend) played an exhibition match in Princeton, New Jersey, and as the tennis correspondent for The Trentonian, I covered the contest.  I was there early in the day and as the court was set up, Laver asked, “would you like to hit a few?”  I stifled a gleeful squeal and went out on the court, acting like I’d been there before, and helped the greatest player ever warm up.  Afterwards he said, “you play nicely.”  Well, so do you, Rod. read more

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Why Ambiguity Makes For Great Art And Terrible Leadership

Most critics will tell you that great novels and films involve more than a little ambiguity.  Characters are rounded, stories are open-ended, and the heroes and villains are indistinguishable, in large part because people are both at the same time.

It’s why in Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away, the drama unfolds around a simultaneous baptism & drowning.  Is it an act of murder?  Or salvation?  Judgment?  Or mercy? read more

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TOP FIVE TUESDAY — Top Five Wimbledon Moments

Some thoughts I shared about Wimbledon in the space before . . .

Top Five Tuesday: Top Five Wimbledon Moments

I have never been to Wimbledon. Something about sitting in a cold rain in early July doesn’t appeal to me.

And for the last 24 years, I haven’t been able to watch a men’s final as those matches are played when I’m working. Sunday morning. read more

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Guest Blogger Chris Thayer — The “Into The Wild” Sermon Rewind

Julie and I were away last week, returning to town on Sunday night, and so Chris Thayer delivered the second sermon in the Unhappy Campers series.

Chris is our Zoar Campus pastor and so on Sunday instead of hosting live at Zoar while I preached at Moss and was projected at Zoar, he preached live at Moss and was projected at Zoar.  Got that? read more

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My Least Favorite Sign In The World …

… is this one:

If you ever see one like it at Good Shepherd, you’ll know we have ourselves a new pastor.  It’s why our staff has instructions to park at the remote end of the parking lot.

So, no signs like that will be up this Sunday as we move into Week 2 of Unhappy Campers, a messaged called “Into The Wild.” read more

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Grass Court Tennis & The What Ifs

So it’s Wimbledon this week. It’s hard to be at work when there’s grass court tennis going on.

Back in the day, grass courts suited my game better than any other surface. Grass courts tennis rewards hard serves and aggressive play, both of which were my strengths. Grass courts don’t favor people who can play consistently and run forever . . . but I never could do either of those anyway. read more

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The Nicest Thing My Mom Ever Said. So Far.

As many of you know,  I am the youngest of eight children. You may also know that I am 23 years younger than the oldest Davis and seven years younger than the #7 child. In other words, an only child with seven brothers and sisters.

Being that much younger than everyone else — and the fact that my mom was 46 and my dad was 50 when I was born — led me to assume that I was, um, accidental. read more

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“Unhappy Campers” Week 1 — The “Wild Blue Yonder” Sermon Rewind

Week 1 of Unhappy Campers was ALMOST a sermon with multiple points.  Wha-what?!

We took a leisurely tour through Exodus 15:24 – 16:36 and realized along the way that …

…when you forget God’s provision you invent his punishment;

…biblical trust is a lifestyle, not a reaction; read more

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Unhappy Campers Launch

Unhappy Campers

 

Many of us – maybe even most of us – have heard the story of the children of Israel passing through the waters of the Red Sea as if walking on dry land.

Moses – in our mind, played by Charlton Heston – stands boldly before the waters, they part miraculously, and the people march out of slavery in Egypt and towards the freedom of the Promised Land. read more

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