Thursday, December 22, 2011

Prince Quotes of the Year (2011 Version)

"Jordan and Israel” --Alex
To the Israeli Border guard when she asked what Arab countries Alex had visited. A little indignant, she informed Alex, “Israel is not an Arab country.” Alex replied, “Well, you’ve sure got a lot of Arabs living here.” In June, our family went on a mission and sightseeing trip to Jordan and the Holy Land with Central Church and friend, Rod Green. Our favorite places were: Petra (Ben), Caesarea (Alex), Garden of Gethsemane (Karla) and the Old City of Jerusalem (Rob).

“Hello, my name is Karla.” --Karla (of course!)
To Rasil, the child we sponsor through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. We worked on various projects at Rasil’s school in Zarqa, Jordan. Back in the states, Karla is still servicing insurance policies for Financial Analysis, helping lead our Young Married Sunday School class, and living the dream with three fine Princes.

“I bet you are great at guessing your Christmas presents.” --Alex
To a Jewish airport security agent examining our luggage as we were leaving Israel. The friendly agent educated Alex that she neither receives nor opens Christmas presents. Cultural awareness classes might soon follow for our firstborn.

“It was my pleasure to serve you.” --Ben
To everyone ordering at Chick-fil-A. Ben has followed in Alex’s footsteps working at the restaurant in Olathe since August. An eleventh grader at Olathe South High School, Ben plays the guitar in the youth praise team, drives a “new” 1994 Teal Oldsmobile Cutlass and was one of the 6.5 million people that purchased Call of Duty 3 in the first 24 hours of its availability. We are so proud.

“Can I interest you in a Medicare Supplement?” --Alex
To customers at Select Quote Senior—a Medicare Supplement Insurance company where Alex worked as a summer intern. They asked him to continue working while at school and he is now a licensed agent. Alex is also a sophomore at MidAmerica Nazarene University majoring in business, still dating Blaire and this fall shot his first duck. Quack. Quack.

“We need to go to the hospital.” --Rob
To Karla at 2 AM upon the realization that he was graced with a kidney stone—two procedures later the rock was removed. In other health news: Thanks to quarterly Botox injections, Rob’s migraines have been held at bay, his forehead is more smooth than any drink from Smoothie King and life is good.

“I think God is calling me to a field.” --Ben
To a group of students from Central at the Nazarene Youth Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in July. Cory Stipp, our youth pastor, wasn’t sure if Ben was talking about a baseball field, a field of daisies, or the ministry—Ben clarified that he is sensing God’s call into ministry. (We would have been worried if he was talking about a field of daisies.)

“Four More Years!” --Central Church Board
To Rob and Karla following Rob’s six year pastoral review at Central. We have been blessed to pastor Central longer than other church. We are so thankful for the opportunity to see God working in many ways. Central is doing well and Rob has begun to plan a sabbatical for late summer 2012.

“Merry Christmas!” --Rob, Karla, Alex, Ben and Maggy (actually Maggy said, “Bark! Bark!”)
To all our friends and family—we hope you enjoy all of God’s blessings this Advent Season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Not So Deep Theological Ponderings at Christmas

My not so deep theological ponderings of the Christmas Season:

1. Can a five point Calvinist “re-gift” unwanted Christmas presents or is their motto “Once your gift... always your gift”?

2. If a person can quote the movie Elf more than Luke 2 does that disqualify him or her from next year’s cantata and thereby relegated to standing in a store loudly singing for all to hear: “I'm singing. I'm in a store and I'm siiiiiingiiiiing! I'm in a store and I'm siiiiiingiiiiing!”

3. If wax is spilled on the pew cushion during the Christmas Eve Candlelight service by a careless worshipper, will the church janitor request that Santa put the perpetrator on the “Naughty list”?

4. When looking at my rack of unworn (and never will wear) Christmas ties I am overcome with sadness for the wasted effort and energy meant to bring Christmas cheer by the thousands of silk and polyester worms—and I wonder if my congregants have had similar feelings after listening to some of my advent sermons?

5. If one has twelve Christmas trees in their house (and I do), can that house be declared a National Forest by the Department of Natural Resources?

6. Would “wee little man” Zaccheaus have been upset if someone mistook him for an elf?

7. Does the sending of a Christmas “card for a card” card negate any goodwill one might have accrued from the sending of a Christmas greeting card without having first received one?

8. Had Aaron given Moses a Garmin for Christmas would the children of Israel have gotten out of the wilderness sooner or would they have simply heard over and over “Recalculating. Recalculating. Recalculating.”?

9. Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, does one get double credit for attending a worship service on the 25th?

10. Will there be more new Tim Tebow football jerseys or Christmas sweaters worn to church on Christmas morning?

11. Do Pentecostal snowmen ever pray for fiery Holy Ghost revival?

12. Would Dancer and Prancer have been allowed to be Nazarenes?

In a much more serious tone, in your theological musing moments this Christmas season I hope you reflect on the glorious words of John 1, when the apostle wrote: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) Best. News. Ever! No joke!