Monthly Archives: December 2012

O Little Newtown of Connecticut

RosesFor the 70th time since 1994 gun fire erupted in a school in America. Time magazine called the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut “The Slaughter of the Innocents.” That image evokes the Christmas story of Joseph being warned in a dream to flee Bethlehem just before Herod’s troops killed all of the male children under three. (Matthew 2:13-18) None of us had an alarming dream last Thursday night. But all of us had been warned by the ever escalating, semi-automatic gun violence that a day like this might be coming.

The consensus seems to be that three issues need to be addressed: civilians with military designed weapons; our culture of violence; and mental illness. Individual believers and local congregations need to step forward to address these issues. The matter of weapons that are designed to kill dozens of people without the assailant having to reload needs to be addressed by us to our public officials. I suggest each of us needs to tell these officials our opinion on the matter.

Graphic violence in video games and movies has become ingrained in our culture. In the shoot-em-up games, when a player loses a level, he “dies.” Then a moment later the player resets the game and he lives to die a violent death again. Occasionally he has to reload his weapons. Dinner table discussions about the desensitizing levels of habitual brutalization of the “bad guys” need to take place, across generations. Grandparents included.

When I graduated from seminary, I soon discovered that I was ill-equipped to handle the multiple levels of mental illness within the families of the church and community. I needed to take a crash course in mental health and build a network of healthcare professionals. Mental illness has increased greatly over the years. The reality for the church is that the mentally ill and their families are some of the most invisible among us. It is time for us to intentionally cross the barriers of mental illness in Jesus’ name.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Reach across the table. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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Filed under Christian Life, Church life, Darryl DeBorde, Family Life


IMG_0370The clock is ticking. The time is at hand. The Mayan Calendar stops with December 21 and thus the end of the world. If not, then we still have the race to see who will jump off the political Fiscal Cliff first on January 1. If we go off the Cliff, some strategists are drawing up a Doomsday Survival Plan to accommodate our every fear and worry about what could come our way. I have heard stories that it’s the last bounce down a cliff that really hurts. I’m not worried about any of that. I’m just trying to get control of my six different 2013 calendars.

I once visited a man who was working in his home garage/workshop. His wall calendar was from 1963. Every few years the calendar matched the exact date. He said it was good enough. My life does not seem to work that way. I carry a journal with a handy multi-year calendar where I map out future sermons and reminders. I have a calendar in the car to record my daily mileage and note special trips. I work with the church’s master calendar of scheduled events and building usage. I have three electronic calendars for everyday commitments and appointments. Those calendars do not talk easily with each other: the home computer, my cell phone and my iPad. So I’m trying to develop a Master Calendar of Everything, but my low-tech self is still trying to schedule a day to start it.  I am also learning to embrace the interruptions of my perfectly planned days.

I take my clue from Mark chapter 5 which chronicles one day in Jesus’ ministry. His schedule for the day was to take a boat ride across the lake, visit some of the villages then head back. It turned out to be one crazy day of interruptions “as He was going.” Apparently Jesus values people above schedules, and relationships above calendars.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Redeem the time. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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