Monday Morning Musings for 04.04.16

  1. Contrary to where the evidence might point, this life is not a tradegy, but a love story. It is the story of a Father's sacrificial love for His children, but the story does not end there. None of the gospels end with the resurrection. They go on to call us into the story. We don't just read this story - or see it - we're IN it! We have a part to play which is what makes life so meaningful, even transcendent at times. Best of all, when we do more then sit in the pew - when we actually get IN the story and begin to play the part God has for us - we will see HIs signs and wonders. We will see those little moments when He pulls back the curtain and shows us just a bit of the plot line and how He is using us to write that story. Those signs are the pure joy of following Jesus. ‪#‎Godwinks‬ ‪#‎nosuchthingascoincidence‬
  2. TWO IMPORTANT EVENTS THIS WEEK: On Thursday, 7 pm at Northland Church, I will take part in a discussion following Jim Wallis' presentation on his new book regarding racism in America. (I will also be preaching on "Racism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ" on April 17. I hope you will make plans to be in worship that day.). This is an important community conversation that needs to be happening more and more often. Then, Saturday is FPCO SERVE DAY in the Mercy Drive community. Join us at the Northwest Community Center at 9 am for some wonderful projects - sign up by Tuesday at noon at Thanks to Robyn Barnes 
  3. I love children. Always have. They must make me smile. Last week, I am walking past our three-years olds as they are going to the park and one boy says to another, "Hey, I bet we'll see some dinosaurs!" I bet he did. And then yesterday morning in between services, I am standing outside talking to people and my buddy, 9 year old Carter Barnes, walks by and while waving says, "Hey! Swanson!", like I am one of his pals. SO honored. Made my day. 
  4. I love this week. NCAA finals tonight (Go 'Heels! If UNC wins, I win the "Swanson family bracket", the prize of course being the adulation of the rest of the family for the next year and the right to trash talk them when I choose!). From there, we move to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National for The Masters. Nothing better than hunkering down on Sunday afternoon for the final round. John David and Alex Swanson, it always makes me miss you! Masters Pick: Jason Day.
  5. I realize I do not grasp everything going on in different countries and why certain decisions are made, but I have always thought it odd that many European countries have very short work weeks - and then workers complain that they do not have enough, expecting the government to give them more. Last week, huge protests broke out in France when the government debated passing legislation that would "allow" for some people to work as much as 48 hours in a week. The current max? 35.‪#‎whathappenedtoworkethic‬?
  6. WATCH OUT MIAMI: An interesting paper released last week predicted that the ice sheet covering Antartica would melt far faster than previously expected, lifting ocean levels by 3 feet by 2050 and 6 feet by 2100. This would greatly shrink or even shutter major cities such as Sydney, Venice, Miami, New York, London and New Orleans. It's hard to even conceive of on one hand, but the other odd thought, for me, is that I will not be here when when that happens. That does not, however, give me a pass on caring about what happens. This world matters. It is the very world God will redeem in the end, and we must figure out how to be good stewards for the next generations. 
  7. From Christianity Today, studies show that couples who attend church together enjoy markedly higher levels of relationship quality. Why? They are more likely to have couple friends at church who are invested in their lives and they are more likely to pray together. Praying together is one of the strongest predictors of marital happiness. ‪#‎thisworks‬ ‪#‎tryit‬ ‪#‎churchmatters‬
  8. FOODIE REVIEW: Best meal in New Orleans at Superior Seafood: Boudin Ball appetizer, followed by oysters with lemon, crawfish bisque, then shrimp stuffed with andouille sausage over a bed of mashed potatoes. Ridiculous. NEW ORLANDO SPOT: We had dinner at Nova on the recommendation of several others. Other than the crowded, noisy atmosphere and that you can't park other than valet, the food was excellent. Service was quite slow and plodding, but they may be working out the early kinks. Worth trying.