Saturday, September 27, 2008

The friends are back

I had a great night last night catching up with old friends. You see wednesday and thursday evenings I house sat, which means that all of the shows from late monday night on (since I was at Bible study on tuesday) I watched last night. It was a great night. Boston Legal, Greys, Ugly Betty and The Offfice. Not only do I enjoy their stories, but I enjoy the memories of watching them with old friends. Countless cake nights, times spent with various roomates, trying to will parents to pick up children faster to get home to catch the beginning of something or other. The great conversations in the office the day after various shows, the way various catch phrases become legon wait for it dary. Yes, you see TV isn't just about those we watch, it is also about who we watch it with.

What is the first series you remember really loving? For me it was Doogie Houser - I watched it with my mom - in the first few years of the show we really loved it. Alright, let me know!

Friday, September 26, 2008

When elders go awry

The role of the elder is a scary one to me, even scarier in some ways then the lead/teaching/head/main/whatever you want to call him pastor. You see, in many churches, the elders, when all together, have all the power. If they so choose, they can oust the pastor, they can lead the church this way or that, they are the essence of power. The lead pastor is one guy, he may be well loved by the church, if he were to leave the church would be upset, but there is a different shift of power when the elders are in unison, especially when the elders are in unison and are against someone. I have never encountered something like this before, it is very interesting to me. When one thinks of a biblical elder they think of someone of humility, who practises biblical confrontation, who shows love and grace. As a group I think of people who want to see the best for the church, as almost a living security blanket. I have known well some of the elders at my previous church and have known them to be great men, men with amazing families (I judge probably too much by your family), men who have given their time, energy, and sweat to the church over many years. Do they all have their own selfish desires - probably yes, do I think that for the most part they try to keep those in check - yes.

So, what do you do when an elder board goes haywire? I would say that the majority of people in the pews do not know what to expect from their elders. They don't understand their church government enough to even ask the right questions. How do you submit to leadership while it seems almost corrupt? At what point do you say enough is enough and you leave the chaos behind? These are the questions I am pondering.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Communities and Churches

So, this week I have been thinking a lot about the church in general and communities. My new church is currently going through a rough time. At the same time my old church (which formerly went through a rough time) is gearing up to see God do some big things. In the mean time, I am on the search for community in the Temecula Valley. My new pastor has an amazing hope in the Church in general and in our specific church. Frankly it is quite amazing to me. I can't really see what he has to be hopeful about.
I know that the church is one of the few institutions the God has commanded and instituted. He created it, it is through the church that he desires to work, he desires to restore people, he desires to show his love, grace, and mercy. It is through the church that his truth is proclaimed. Yet, so many times, the church shows the opposite of all of the above. It quarrels, it turns it back on those who are hurting, condemns the oppressed, it kicks the wounded. I also know that those who inadvertantly do this are also trying to do what is right. I always see this as the saddest thing of all, when "godly" people cause so much pain.
I wonder how to remain hopeful at times... Then I remember those who have been there for me through the years, my fellow coworkers, my fellow church attenders, those in the community group I attend. The families whose children I love. Then I think, this is what church is supposed to be about and I hold onto that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Wonders of the Temecula Valley

There are not many amazing things about Temecula. It is usually about 10-15 degrees hotter than anywhere else. It boasts no amazing tourist attractions etc. However, in the last few weeks I have noticed that there are groups of sunflowers (at least I think that is what they are) growing up all over the place. This has been quite amazing. They have been at the edge of fields, on the side of roads, even along the center divider of the freeway. They grow up nearly six feet in places and are quite beatiful. I have been meaning to stop and take a picture somewhere. Well yesturday the power went out and myself and a two of my coworkers went for a stroll around the block to see how much of the power went out (the whole block was out) and as we were walking I saw some more. So, here they are. Enjoy one of the few amazing Temecula sights.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Swing Vote

So, yesturday I went to go see Swing Vote with a couple of friends. We went because it was the only movie at the right time. We all thought it was going to be beyond dumb and possibly very offensive.
About 15 minutes into it, I thought, "I am actually enjoying this." The movie was more about a dad learning to be a father, and two polititions wondering how far is too far. It was interspersed with some amazingly hilarious campaign adds and promises. Overall it was a pretty great movie. If you haven't seen it yet, I would recommend renting it.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Side of the Mountain

As a kid, I loved adventure books. The real life or fictional story about youth who went on adventures. I especially loved ones from history or ones set in the wilderness. Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain were ones that stood out to me. Both were stories of boys who ended up in the wilderness and had to survive. I also just read one about two boys who ended up in the artic circle and their survival. Anyway. Today I watched a movie based on My Side of the Mountain. It is such a strange tale. A boy runs away from his home, to a mountain, and lives there from late spring through Christmas. To find nature, to study algea, and to understand himself.
I think I like the idea of wilderness tales because so many times I feel like life is so chaotic, you don't know what is going to happen. I enjoy reading about people who relied on themselves and the world around them to survive. Yet to thrive, I am finding, we must rely on more than ourselves.