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2011 Budget

A Big Thank You to all who have raised their pledge for this years budget. The most difficult miracle that ever took place in scripture can be found...drum roll please...Acts chapter 2! "All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need."

God's Big Red Heart

Amid the gray cold skies of January fast appears and approaches the red hearts of Valentines Day.

The one day a year when people act like they're playing roles in a Hallmark movie. You know the stories where people fall in love with a look or a glance,and where you know he’s not the one because he didn’t get the bright eye treatment from her.. People who fall in love that fast probably leave relationship just as fast.

Atoms and Atheists

The other day in Nick’s office we were talking to a physics student and our conversation wandered over to the quest for the Higgs boson or the God particle. Scientists are intrigued by the possibility of smashing into it, especially now that we have the large (LHC) at CERN . “Where do we come from?” It’s fun to think a very long way back and ponder the nanoseconds surrounding the Big Bang. Evolutionary biologists love to go back to the beginning of life on earth and to the processes of evolution. These are gripping investigations.

An Answered Prayer

In the midst of one of our Christmas Eve services, it hit me: this was a moment I had prayed about, and wondered about, way back last June. Back then, as we were packing boxes and preparing to leave a place and a people we loved, to come to the “unknown” of Downers Grove and First Church, I was just hoping – and praying – that by Christmas of this year we would be happy, and beginning to feel at home – in short, feeling as though we were in the “right place.”

Remembering the stable

I like to read W.H. Auden’s “For the Time Being”—a powerful poem written during the dark days of the blitzkrieg in London in World War II. It contains this breathtaking stanza:

Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.

Happy Christmas Season to All of You

A Song of Joy and Hope

I was reading Luke’s telling of the song that came to Mary in Chapter 1 Verses 28- 35. It’s known by the familiar title “The Magnificat”.

I wondered as I read these words, “He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.” Could she possibly be talking about us?

It’s easy to feel that Mary is talking about them, that lot over there, who’ve got more money and power than we’ve got.

Christmas Lists

We’re at that time of year when we keep lists pretty close at hand – lists of gifts we’d like to buy (at the best price we can find!), lists of groceries to get for holiday treats, lists of special Advent and Christmas events we want to attend.

But there is a different kind of Christmas list someone told me about, that I’d like to pass along to you. You may already be familiar with it – it’s a Christmas list from “The Advent Conspiracy,” a resource developed by a network of local churches to help Christians find ways to weave more true meaning into their holiday observances.

In a few short weeks

In a few short weeks it will begin to look a lot like Christmas. What there’s never been before is what’s revealed in Jesus: the news that God has shaped his whole life to be in relationship with us, and that he’s chosen to draw us into that relationship not by force, not by guilt,not by threat, not by necessity, but by beauty, by joy, by the winsome simplicity and vulnerability and magnetism of a tiny child.

"We Gather Together"

One of my favorite elements of the Thanksgiving story is the surprise that the Pilgrims must have felt when 90-plus Native Americans showed up to share in that “first Thanksgiving meal.” The handful of Native Americans who had worked with the Pilgrims through the spring and summer, teaching them to plant crops that would thrive in the soil of this continent, had interpreted the invitation by the Pilgrims to join in a special meal, as an invitation to a “potlatch.” They knew what that was – a time for the community to gather in fellowship, thanksgiving and feasting.

Our Journeys Together

On my night stand are still three acorns. They are momentos of an afternoon walk with our grandson, through the parsonage back yard to Fishel Park. We’d just read a board book about busy squirrels storing up food for the winter, and sure enough, as we walked we saw squirrels scurrying around the edge of the yard, and felt acorns crunching under our feet. So, of course, it became essential to collect our own little batch of acorns.

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