NOH Podcast Season 1: Episode 3
National Day Calendar link: https://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/
S1E1 of the ‘Neighborhood of Holy’ audio podcast is up! Go here to listen and check it out. Since I’m a noob at this, I’m guessing there will be plenty of changes on the near horizon, so now is your chance to give some feedback on what you’d like to see (hear) from the NOH Podcast. I’m thinking through whether to keep it as a separate ‘page’ on the site or creating a new post for each episode, which would then allow you to more easily share, comment, and ask questions…as I write this very sentence, I’m thinking that might be the way to go. Thanks for your help already!
Happy New Year! I pray your holidays were enjoyable and meaningful. Here we are again, at the beginning of a new year with all of its possibilities, hopes, and potential. What are you most excited about as you enter this new year? When your birthday is on the 2nd day of the year, like mine, a new year also means another year older. Here’s what I’m thinking about when I think about 2017…
Yesterday a tragedy struck our community when beloved Amy Beverland Elementary principal, Susan Jordan, was killed and a couple of students were injured in a bus accident at the school. The impact that Principal Jordan had on this school and our community cannot be overstated. She modeled servant leadership down to her very last act as she pushed students out of the way of the bus that would have certainly killed them as well.
Many in our community are numb as we work toward what it looks like to move forward together. For many students and families, this is the first experience of death that a number of these children have ever encountered, certainly this close. Walking through tragedy and grief with our children is an important part of what it means to be a parent, loving adult, and community.
The dawn breaks on the longest night of the year. The light of morning pierces into the darkness of night, reminding us of hope’s presence. Many of you have been walking through the longest night of your lives for sometime now. Perhaps it is the loss of a loved one, the never-ending battle with addiction, the shadows of depression, or a broken relationship that has thrust you into a dark night of the soul. You find yourself echoing the words of Job, “When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn.” The dawn is coming.
We all have it. A need and desire for connection. Whether it be a relationship, a thing, or a vice, we are searching for a way to connect. Often times our points of connection don’t go much deeper than the surface and so we find ourselves still longing for something.
I was born 26hrs into the year 1979. My birthday puts me near the divide between “Gen Xers” and the coveted “Millennials.” I say coveted because it seems to be the only demographic the Church is interested in reaching as of late. People born outside the early 1980s to early 2000s are people too. Sure, Millennials might approach church and faith differently but so does our culture in general and millions of others as well. Perhaps the way we’re “doing church” isn’t working for lots of people, not just Millennials.
Numbers represent people. God cares deeply about people. To suggest numbers don’t matter is silly at one end and a dangerous form of denial on the other. We have made a “personal” relationship with Christ so personal and so subjective that we have few quantitative ways to measure growth within the Church other than numbers.
Lent reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, which he was led into. Now wait a second, does this suggest that there are times when God leads us into the wilderness, not just out of it? Yep. And guess what else? The wilderness can be a very messy place.
I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:26)
I don’t use the word blessings very often. It’s not that I don’t believe in blessings or that I haven’t been blessed in many ways, it’s just a word I don’t use. If I’m honest, the main reason I don’t use the word blessing(s) very often is because it feels spiritually loaded.