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Archive for May, 2011

Last month we went on a little vacation alone – with two kids at home.  A first time for us.  The first day felt a little weird, but then we got used to it.  The kids did great back here and were very responsible.  We left them with some clear instructions and reminders and we also had some great helpers who checked in on them.

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A stiff neck can be caused by many things:

An injury or muscle strain; poor posture or stress.

In more serious cases it can be a symptom of a herniated disc or even meningitis.

Most of the time, a stiff neck is something a person may wake up with after a night of sleeping funny on it.  But whatever the cause, a stiff neck can be painful and annoying.

I’ve suffered from a stiff neck several times and tried many things to get rid of it including walking around the house with a garbage bag of ice on my shoulder.  (more…)

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The PBS series “Frontline” did a documentary recently on the changing nature of advertising in American culture.  It shows how advertising has shifted from being about product quality to promising a quality of life.  In the Mad Men age of TV advertising – in the kind of pitches Darren Stevens used to make on Bewitched – ads were used to demonstrate how one product was better than another.  Cleaner, brighter, faster, stronger, longer lasting, better tasting.  The “er” type of advertising that tried to convince the consumer that the product was well-made and effective.

But now advertising promises much more.  The emphasis of ads now has changed from what the product DOES to what the product MEANS.  This is called “emotional branding” and it seeks to link a certain product or the brand to an abundant and fulfilling life. (more…)

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Today we gather on a little Easter – just two weeks since our big one – and still celebrating the fact that the tomb was empty and Jesus is alive. (more…)

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LITTLE EASTERS

Wouldn’t it be great to hear that every Sunday?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle up the spirit of Easter worship and pour that into every worship service? 

Worship planners and musicians and preachers love to pull out all the stops on Easter morning, but why can’t every Sunday be this way – with this intensity, this volume level, this kind of good news being announced and celebrated?

What would you think if I said, that is exactly what happens.  Every Sunday is a little Easter.  And I don’t mean in the same way that someone might say, “I wish everyday were Christmas.”  Christmas tends to make people nicer and we like it when people are nice. 

But when we say every Sunday is a little Easter, we mean that every Sunday IS actually a celebration of Christ’s resurrection.  The Sundays in Lent are not included in counting the 40 days of Lent because they are in fact little Easters and don’t belong to Lent.   The very reason we worship on Sunday – the first day of the week – in the morning – is because that is the time and day Christ rose from the dead and Christians ever since have gathered to celebrate and to meet their risen Lord in Word and Sacrament.  (more…)

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