Monday Morning Musings for 03.07.16

  1. One of the great joys in life is to be around a table with those you love - to be nourished on the food while encouraged in heart by the depth of relationships with those gathered. This is no accident as God has "hardwired" us this way. So it's no surprise that God then invites us to HIS table - the table where the fulfillment of His coveant promise is revealed in Christ. Even as He gathered His disciples for Passover, Jesus changed the entire script by announcing the bread He lifted was not "of the afflcition of his fathers" but the bread of HIS affliction - HIS sacrifice. And so Jesus leads our exodus out of sin and death into the promise of everlasting life - an exodus we remember around His table again and again. #letseat
  2. In this crazy political season, I have been asked by several people why I never talk about "politics" from the pulpit. I actually shared some of my thoughts on the shameful election process currently underway in yesterday's Orlando Sentinel "100 Voices" editorial section. In short, I believe the highest privilege I have - and the priority of my call as a minister of God's Word - is the time I am given on Sunday mornings to lead worship and "proclaim" that Word. Anything I do that would distract from that focus or divert attention away from the living God diminishes the worship we have been called to offer. Further, I believe if I lead people to follow Christ as Lord and Savior, then they will prayerfully seek His counsel as they faithfully fulfill their civic duty to vote - and God will then do as He so chooses.
  3. As I shared in the editorial yesterday - and as the election process comes to Florida - I have been saddened to see the complete lack of dignity, decorum and human decency that should adorn a race for President of the United States. Instead, across the board, we have seen behavior more suitable on an elementary school playground, and we get to pay for the privilge of witnessing it. What's more, as we have lost the dignity of political process, those who would make wonderful, effective public servants no longer choose to take part, and that is the greatest loss of all.
  4. FPCOers - we are again hosting EASTER at the PERFORMING ARTS CENTER!! Last year, we were blessed to host 2000 visitors to the worship of God - so start planning now regarding who you will invite and bring to #easterinthecity this year!
  5. THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALPYSE: A father placed an ad in Christianity Today Magazine for a "son-in-law." I'm not making this up. He gushes that his daughter is "godly, gorgeous, athletic, educated, careered, bilingual, humorous, travelled and a virgin" at 26. He then says "you are unworthy, though becoming less so daily". He then gives a blog and an email address for more information. Hmmmm. #dadyouaretheproblem
  6. I was sad to learn of the death of novelist Pat Conroy yesterday. He was one of my absolute favorites, capturing me first with The Great Santini. I loved his writing because of its relentless vulnerability and its constant push to make sense of our emotional formation. From The Great Santini, I stole a line that has now become part of our family's history and tradition. As Santini would say to his children, I started saying to mine as I dropped them at school: "Hey, you're a Swanson - you eat thunder, you crap lighting - go get 'em." My daughter even put this phrase on a t-shirt for me one year. Thank you, Pat. Rest in peace with God.
  7. Great news this week when the UF Board of Govenors approved the downtown UCF campus and the legislature then approved the funding! Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this happen and who have given generously to the cause. It means the continued reshaping and vitality of downtown and the opportunity for FPCO to serve the city. All we need now is for Gov. Rick Scott to approve the $20 million from the state. Come on, Rick!
  8. According to the most recent scientific study, reported in the New York Times, the optimum temperature for good sleep is 65 degrees. Not only does this aid in sleep, but it allows the body to burn more calories as it tries to keep warm. #changethethermostat #honeyIamdoingthisforyourhealth
  9. THINGS THAT BUCKLE YOUR KNEES: A 6-year-old in Sanford, FL finds a loaded gun under a sofa cushion in her house, picks it up, and accidentially fires a shot that runs through most of her body and kills her. Every day, we see this sort of needless, senseless loss. We see the fragility of human life as those we love are taken from us far too soon. And those are the very things for which Christ came - the very suffering He answered by taking it all on Himself. #whythegospelmatters #liveforthekingdom #itsmorethanaboutyou