Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Big Ken

The big guy had been around for decades, In fact, I can’t remember a time when he was not around. Big Ken More had become like a member of the family. For $500 my family purchased big Ken back when I was still wearing Garanimals (I was always a husky). Big Ken was our microwave oven. Of course, by today’s standards he was not “micro” in any way...he was huge. Big Ken had the volume of 36” television and weighed even more! We knew we had a good one because the lights in the house would flinch, surrendering their power, whenever the big KEN MORE surged with power. Ken was a man’s oven in every way...big handle, big numbers, big sound. And he proved to have staying power. Big Ken endured with patience as we mere mortals learned how to use such a powerful machine. Big Ken reigned for more than three decades- in three different houses, during the administrations of five presidents.

This week I got the call. Big Ken flipped his final breaker. But, being the machine he was, Ken went out with class. After warming up the last item on Thanksgiving Day and without forewarning but with a victorious roar, pop, and sizzle, big Ken More said goodbye. His work was done. (What better day to go out for a kitchen appliance than after Thanksgiving). My Dad assures me that he did all he could for Big Ken, but it was time. And so Ken was unplugged and replaced. (By one of those new fancy little sissy ovens that can warm your coffee but has nowhere near the breaker tripping moxy of a big Ken. But I’m a little bias.)

Material things come and go. They come, they rust and they wear out. Even the good ones. This time of year, rich with tradition, provides us the opportunity to refocus on that which matters ultimately- our faith in God, our family, our future. Today I was encouraged by this promise to us as followers of Jesus. God “has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade...” (1 Peter 1:3b-4).

Lord Jesus, help us this Christmas season to be sure to focus on what matters ultimately, which certainly are not the things that come in bubble wrap and a sealed box. Amen.

Friday, November 16, 2007


i'm dizzy. i think it's the incense. i don't know how to use them. today i wish i were catholic or episcipal or orthodox. they know how to use incense. not me, and now i'm dizzy. i don't know a censer from an ashtray, self lite from kingston... incense are so strong, aren't they? so is the presence of god. but not quite in the same way...well sort of in the same way. did i mention i was dizzy from the fumes? if i figure out how to use them i might burn them this sunday in my very protestant church. then we would have a church full of dizzy people, like episcipalians or catholics (it's a joke!) okay, i've got to get some fresh air.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

stories aren't bound, books are

okay so i'm reading this morning about this jewish king who's kicked back by an open fire, jack frost nipping at his nose, tiny tots with thier eyes all aglow... anyway... he's sitting back reading words from a prophet (Jer. 36) and as a page of the story is read he balls it up and tosses it into the flames. presumably he didn't want to pass this story on to his grandkids. so by the time the story is over, the book is gone. and this is where the king was confused. the heat from campfire must have short circuited his brain, because he somehow computed that destroying the book would destroy the story. it doesn't work that way.

i think true stories live even if they are not hard bound. sometimes people fear that destroying the bible will somehow kill the the story of god. it doesn't, because the story of god and the salvation of christ is a drama played out on the stage of history. the bible is the recorded story of god, but the bible is not the story(...by the way have you noticed that some people love their bible, they just don't love to read it) ... but as i was saying.... god forbid, but even if every bible on earth were destroyed by some toasty footed, frost nosed king, the story of Christ would live on....written and recorded permanently on the hearts of men and women. books are bound, stories are not.

man do i like my bible... even more i like to read the bible...even more i love the god of the bible. which i think is the point of the story anyway. but i think god is asking me...if someone burned a few pages of your bible, would you even miss them...