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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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Cup O’ Tea anyone?

We have determined that the simple act of sharing will be good for the world in many ways.  Sharing drives down the cost of living for everyone involved.

How then do we compliment the benefit of lower cost living for an additional and exponentially higher gain?  We give gifts that require relationality (not an official word…..yet).  The best gifts, in my opinion, are those gifts that are ineffective without someone with whom to share them.

For example, do you purchase your child an iPod or the board game of Monopoly?  Answer:  Which ever one requires the most relationship interaction…..probably the Monopoly game.

Do you purchase your mother the perfume she enjoys or a pound of coffee with a promise to give her an hour a week to talk while you drink together?  My mom would suggest that I should do both :0)  Mom knows that I pray for her.  She would much prefer that I pray with her.

One of the challenges with the ever popular video/computer game craze is that human to human interaction is greatly diminished and possibly replaced by human to machine interaction.  Machines are good for certain purposes, but should never replace conversation and communication between humans.

There is huge benefit in modern communication tools, yet there is also a serious downside.  When you email your wife are you really talking with her?  No, you exchanged bits and bytes and gigs of data.  Is it even possible to meet someone on the internet?  No!  You didn’t meet, you exchanged binary code.

In one way the names of social networking tools are very funny to me.  MySpace.com and Facebook are illustrations of this levity.  In all reality you are the only person in your space when your computer is connected to MySpace.  How many of our children leave the space of real, living, breathing humans, to try to socially connect with pre-digested computer data from an unknown “friend” in cyber space?  Is it not common to ignore the face of your dear family and friends and enter the world of Facebook where one can only see a digital photo of someone’s face?

How about giving gifts which require relationship in order to be fully enjoyed?  In this way the gift is meaningful and the return on your giving is inspirational, life-giving, soul stirring relationship.

My buddy Jonathan Gainsbrugh says it this way, “Kent, the internet is like the Tin Man.  It doesn’t have a heart.”

By the way, I don’t drink coffee.  I like tea :0)

Posted on 13th December 2007 in Christmas, MCA Family  •  Comments are off for this post
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For all the Fontanini Fans

Our three newest pieces have arrived and as promised the announcement is made here. Good news! We now have all three sheep in this collection. Bad news! Gabriel, the Shepherd boy, was broken (in shipping) entirely in two pieces.

We will see if we can get another piece shipped before Christmas.

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Posted on 12th December 2007 in Christmas, Creativity, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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MCA Mobilization and We Care Ministries Christmas Celebration

Mark and Val have great appreciation for the thousands of hours given each year in the ministries of MCA. Our Mobilization Ministry and We Care Ministry assist several hundred people each week. This great work requires a very large number of Jesus followers with servant hearts.

For the seventy people who braved the tough winter weather, the evening was marked by joy, appreciation, commitment, and love for Jesus. Hopefully the photos will help you catch the feeling of the evening.

Thanks, Mark and Val.

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Posted on 12th December 2007 in Christmas, Ministry Development, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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Home for Christmas?

I am wondering if there is a downside to the realities of the delightful Christmas song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas?” Surely, the upside far outweighs the downside, yet the downside deserves some attention.

I’m just wondering if it is really all that great for a new widow to be home for Christmas? Is the newly divorced man all that excited to be home for Christmas?

What are the unique challenges a military couple faces when one spouse returns from the war after being gone and in battle for over a year? How does a five year old boy feel when he hasn’t seen dad for over a year and now dad is back in the home? Maybe dad left a gentle, energetic, joyful soul and has returned battle weary and struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? A single soldier returns “Home” only to find that she was barely missed, everything has changed, and she doesn’t feel that she fits in the ‘old gang’ anymore.

I have a couple of suggestions………

1. How about offering to baby sit the children so mom and dad can have a weekend away?

2. Figure out ways to make home for Christmas feel like a genuine “HOME” this Christmas.

3. Say to one of your “home for Christmas buddies,” “What is the best thing that has happened to you since you have been gone? What is one of the most difficult things?

4. “Here’s $20. Have some fun on my dime.”

5. “Our Christmas Celebration Table wouldn’t be complete without you. Are you willing to come over and celebrate with us?

6. “We have some extra airline miles. May I fly your best friend/parents/old football buddy/etc. up for a week?

My home can be your home this Christmas.

Posted on 12th December 2007 in Christmas, MCA Family, Musings, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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How to Reduce Christmas spending by 70%

Reducing Christmas spending is a sure way to get the ire of the retail wranglers, the debt deliverers, the corporate conquerors, the spending spinsters, the credit card crooners, and the overspending gurus.

What would the effect be of 70% less resources consumed? The positive exponential re-enforcing loop could be staggering.

“All right Redfearn, what is your big idea?”

“Ummm. Uh. Let’s see. How do I say it? It is rather, uh, well, elementary. Please don’t get angry with me. It’s called……..SHARING!”

How many days a year does the average motorhome sit unused and empty, just longing to go for a ride? That gotta have new hunting rifle? Let’s say the hunt is real long, maybe 3 weeks. What does the rifle do the other 49 weeks of the year? Honestly, how many days a year is that must have riding snow blower used? How many hours is it used on the few days that it is needed for snow removal? Is there time to talk about that Ab machine, treadmill, stationary bike, and workout DVD?

My daughter just told me that on a super high-use day she listens to her iPod a whopping………..three hours. Surely it is bored to tears the other 21 hours a day. My guess is that the average laptop computer sits idle over 20 hours a day. And how many hundreds of hours a year does that high tech personal Espresso Machine sit beautifully on the cabinet while its owner is at Kaladi Brothers (of course I prefer MCA member owned Cafe’ D’Arte) enjoying a Latte’?

Sharing could have significant positive impact. Sharing would greatly reduce the demand upon the international supply chain. Personal spending would be reduced astronomically. Sharing would require a revival of cooperation. People would interact with each other on a deeper and more consistent level. The stress of upkeep would be spread across several families.

Maybe I have lost my marble (marbles on a good day). Should we care that the average church building (the greatest asset of most congregations) sits empty over 80% of the time?

Now that I am an adult, I realize that I haven’t outgrown one of my very first words……………………..

“MINE!”

PS I hear that most USAmericans should resist the temptation to share their televisions………since they are watched virtually every waking hour of the day.

Posted on 12th December 2007 in Christmas, Message Response, Ministry Development, Musings  •  Comments are off for this post
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MCA Mondays are the Best!

An MCA Monday is a treat to behold. Our Children’s ministry, in keeping with our mission of equipping the Saints, presents Kids In Training. These wonderful children are learning attitudes, skills, and service. Each child is fantastic and brings to the mix their own unique personality. Tonight, our K.I.T. team celebrated the birth of our Lord with a Christmas party.

The world’s greatest teenagers also gather for training each Monday evening. To my knowledge the group doesn’t have a happening name…….. “Youth Drama” seems to be the current title. The members of our cool-name-less drama group are busily preparing for our Family Christmas celebration on December 23 beginning at 6:00 PM.

Special thanks to the students and leaders.

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Posted on 10th December 2007 in Christmas, MCA Family, Ministry Development  •  Comments are off for this post
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Fontanini Collection

The House of Fontanini produces one of the most loved Nativity Collections in the world. We have been entrusted with a growing number of the delightful pieces in the 50″ Institutional Collection. Viewing this treasured Christmas set may give opportunity for mediation, reflection, and contemplation upon the nature of our Lord.

Our newest addition to the collection should arrive sometime this week. One of the pieces we have ordered is the last one available in the U.S. My blog readers will be the first to know what pieces we have purchased and when they have arrived (One of the pieces has already arrived and is in hiding).

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Posted on 10th December 2007 in Christmas, Ministry Development, Prayer  •  Comments are off for this post
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Schmidt and Griffith Wedding Photos

My pastoral blog is designed for the purpose of “Putting the ‘Local’ back into Church.” When we fail to connect the real life of real people to the Real Jesus we fail in the essence of love. Speaking of love………

I finally have received wedding photos from Blaine and Robin and also from Keith and Linda. Celebrate with both couples.

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Posted on 10th December 2007 in Weddings  •  Comments are off for this post