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Archive for November, 2014

Tradition has frequently gotten a bad rap and frequently with good reason. Tradition as an excuse not to move forward, not to learn and grow, is a hindrance to be done away with. But tradition that strengthens relationships and belonging and remembering what is good and right and passing these on to the next generation is good. I think where this good kind of tradition goes wrong is when it is not explained to the new people (children in this case) and when it becomes more important than the truth it is supposed to point toward and when it becomes an excuse to be lazy and not grow. My family’s Thanksgiving traditions have changed slowly over the years growing into a 2 1/2 day event. Wednesday night is soup dinner and games. Several people usually run and race on Thursday morning. As many brothers (there are 4) as can come to the eldest brother’s house with children (8) and grand-children (12 + 1 on the way so far) to eat at 1 PM. In the late afternoon the willing and able (male and female, young (about 6) and old (oldest this year was 54) play flag football. On Friday we go for a hike and then meet again for one last dinner of leftovers. Those able to come, willing to participate, and able to participate changes from year to year and each event within the set of events and some sit and talk rather than participate, but the general way of things remains the same. Conversation is lively and involves catching up. It is a good constant in my life and I am thankful for the stability of my extended family. God has been good to us in so many ways; a godly heritage is much to be sought after. It is good to hear conversations about God’s provision and elements of our faith. It is good to celebrate and have fun.

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I have not blogged since August, the longest time off since I started blogging in 2007. The pace of life always seems on the uptick and where are the moments for musing? God is at work and life is still a challenge. I want to relate His goodness, provision, direction, and discipline in my life, but it is more important to live out what He has set before me than always write it down.

I had a dream the middle of this last week. I probably dream frequently as do most people but I infrequently remember that I have dreamed at all and even when I do the dream is vague and fades quickly when I awake. When I have a vivid dream I pay attention.

In the dream I was sitting in a chair at a white, plastic round table surrounded by chairs perhaps large enough to seat 6. The table sat near the inside to an entrance to a business, perhaps a department store or the entrance to a mall, but I could not tell which one because I was faced toward the multiple sets of double doors through which many people were passing. It was a hectic scene but I was focused on a piece of paper on the table before me. With a pencil I kept trying to organize how to pay the doctor bills, complete all of the tasks required of me by home and work, and fulfill all of the commitments I had made to people. As I struggled over the list occasionally I would glance up to see one or three or two people sitting at the table across from me. Every one of the people that would come and sit for a moment was someone I know and can name. Some would be saying encouraging words to me and others would just smile. These were all people who have and are helping my wife and me since her stroke. I could not understand their actual words but I understood the content of their words and smiles to mean that God was working it out and that they were there to see us through. I continued to fret and pour over the list. One couple who has helped us in various ways came separately to the table, first the woman and then the man. She smiled at me with an ever growing smile as if to say, “God has this under control, trust Him.” After she left the man came and lounged, legs crossed, telling a story as he is apt to do, interjecting my name with “It will work out.” Others came who have blessed us with their presence and concern and prayers and help and financial assistance and encouraging words.

When I awoke I had several immediate conclusions that seemed abundantly evident from the dream:

   1) God was saying to me that He had sent all of these people to help us.

   2) My fretting was useless, distracting me from blessing, lacking in faith, and sin, and I need to repent of it. (I didn’t even think that I was fretting or scheming but it is so easy to to fall prey to that lie. I knew God was in control and providing but I still was adding my “two cents worth” of figuring it out.)

   3) I need to thank some people who I have not really thanked for all of the help they have given us.

We need the church. You can’t fellowship by yourself. You can’t glorify God to the full extent and in the way He has ordained without believers’ input. The people of God help us in so many ways through prayer, encouragement, admonition, teaching, and material help. We miss out by not growing relationships with fellow believers in a local body of believers, worshipping, praying, working, witnessing, crying, and laughing together.

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