Saturday, August 22, 2009

Writing Takes More Than Fingers

I have been away from Dwell & Cultivate for a couple of days. It wasn't my original intention to do so, but ministry happens at the speed of life. And writing takes more than fingers.

Now, before any of you imagine me sitting at my Macbook attempting to type with my toes, that's not what I'm talking about. Good writing, the kind that pulls the reader to the printed word, contains some emotion. Joe Friday would say, "Just the facts, ma'am; just the facts." But, while I'm certain that Joe was concise with his Dragnet police reports, I question whether we would have read one of his novels (not that he wrote any!).

So, my lack of posts for the past few days has been purely because my emotional writing well was dry. Yes, they were those kinds of days.

But I plan to be back tomorrow. I am always honored that you take time to read.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Need A Little Help, Friends

I am doing some informal research on how easy or how difficult it is for people to "be themselves" in small groups. Could you describe yourself in that area?

If possible, I would love to hear your story about why it's "no problem" for you to open up in a group. Or why do you it terribly difficult to open up?

If, for the sake your your privacy, you would prefer to email me your story, please do so at the following address:

sam (at) stoneridgechurch (dot) com.

I will not use your information in any embarrassing way. I will not identify you if I tell a portion of your story (unless you give me permission in advance).


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Life Goes "Tilt"

One of my friends recently walked into his workplace and was told to go home. After years of faithful service in a management position, he was simply sent away. Another of my friends is in jail because she won't divulge information -- information she says she doesn't know. (I have known her a long time and I believe her.)

I heard last night of yet another young woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is the fourth within my circle (and the only one I don't know personally) diagnosed in the past six months. Still another friend has to be in court today -- defending himself for something he didn't do.

I could go on. I am amazed at the pain just in my little corner of the globe.

"3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down."

(Isaiah 53:3-4 New Living Translation)

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Vulnerable Little Mind

I had a conversation yesterday with a senior Border Patrol official. He told me about a speaker he recently heard. I can't begin to quote the statistics and resources the official gave me, so let me sum it up like this...

If you have small children, cut off their exposure to brutal violence in television, movies and video games. Otherwise, you are risking more than you can imagine.

I keep hearing appalling stories about parents who take their young children to R-rated, shockingly-violent movies. Please. Just don't.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Literal (little) Mind

One of my good friends serves our country. At times his duty calls and he must go. Soon, "go" will mean a deployment and many months of separation from his family. He and his wife tried to explain that to their 4-year-old. You know, 4! That age when a little one is just understanding the meaning of "Daddy will be gone a long time."

"Why, daddy? I don't want you to go!"

"Because, son, it's my duty."

"What's duty, daddy?"

"Well, son, that means it's my job and I have to go."

"But (whimpering) daddy, I don't WANT you to go!"

"Son, if daddy doesn't go, I would have to go to jail."

Daddy told his son the truth, but there's one problem...

...a 4-year-old is now telling people that his daddy is going to jail.

And he will be gone a looooong time!