Rev.G 3/15/17

Right Tool for the Job

Spring arrives next Monday, but the nice weather is already here. Sunday should be a beautiful day for the SSP Youth Auction Fundraiser—easily the best mix of fun and fundraising every year (4pm in Brooks Hall). Bring your smile, your support, and your charge card—or checks/cash still work. (Tomorrow’s Connections will include a sample of the big ticket items, and a full list will be available Sunday morning in worship.)

Speaking of fun, here is both a guaranteed laugh and wise words, especially in Lent. Scroll down to play the video first. When you’re done wiping tears of laughter from your face, read the commentary.
https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/authority-and-vulnerability-in-the-interrupted-professor-video

First day of spring is my annual deadline to clean up our bikes for a new season of riding (guess that made more sense when I lived in snow country…) I started last week on our new off-road tandem, battered by the recent trip, and was reminded that it taught me a lesson right out of the box.

I specifically had it delivered unassembled, because I know I will have to know exactly how it goes together and works once we’re out in the middle of nowhere (in case something breaks or goes wrong). Halfway into the assembly, I found a small but crucial bolt with a special head on it—and I didn’t have the tool for it. I was annoyed right away; I’ve built up a good set of tools over the years—including many specialty bike tools—so I can do pretty much everything a bike shop can do. But here was some new-fangled thingy, and I would have to hunt down a new tool and pay extra for it.

So off to Lowes I went. And there I discovered that this newly-fangled specialty thing was not new at all, and instead was widely available from many makers. (To fully embarrass myself to all the mechanics out there, it was a Torx wrench—although a very specific angled shaft model.) In other words, a common, contemporary tool for common tasks on contemporary equipment.

Here was the real annoyance: most of my equipment is getting nearly antique. When it comes to bike stuff, I’m a ‘late adopter,’ slow to accept new technologies. This in spite of the fact that nearly every upgrade has been a worthwhile improvement (here I’m thinking back to when I finally tried real riding shorts instead of my original cut-off jeans—thank you Lord!).

Looking across to my bookshelves, I see stacks of books from seminary about the New! challenges to the ‘modern’ church— in 1978. Ever since then I’ve scrambled to keep up: thanks to technology, the information has become an avalanche. Using the internet, researchers in church growth can gather real time data from a wide base of experience (many, many churches across the country and even around the world), discern the patterns and trend lines, and report it all back through hundreds of websites, blogs, seminars, TED videos, on and on.

We have much to learn together. After Easter, we’ll be adding some new discussion groups, and I’m looking at resources in the area of church vitality: maybe we can pull out a good (new) book, check out some of the YouTube videos on church growth, come together and talk. Learn. Listen for where the Spirit is leading us. The tools are there, we just need to learn and use them. So we can, you know, keep rolling!

Meanwhile…

This Sunday’s Home Base Bible Study
The scripture lesson for this Sunday is another long one from John (note the jump from vs.30 to 39, all three versions showing:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+4%3A5-30%3B+39-42&version=CEB;MSG;VOICE

But the Bible Study discussion group works one week ahead: so from 10:45-11:30am this Sunday, we’ll be discussing this lesson—another long but lively one:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9%3A1-41&version=CEB;MSG;VOICE

Peace, rev. gary

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