Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Relationships as Primary

About 6 years ago, Steve and I lived in Clearwater, Florida. At that same time, my French friends, the Augirons, used to rent a bungalow on the inter coastal waterway in Clearwater. Our families spent many afternoon and evenings enjoying the beauty and solidifying our friendship.

There are some things you and I might be able to learn from the Augiron's approach to friendship (as well as the approach of many other non-American cultures).

Rather than a second tier goal or byproduct, friendship is primary. That was evident in our times together. It was always a no-agenda, evening-long event. We would shop together, visit together, cook together, visit together, eat together, and visit together some more. I loved those times!

Several years ago, the Augiron's moved back to France and the bungalow was replaced by a high-rise, but my memories of us sharing our stories and our perspectives on life (though complete opposite oftentimes) are some of the best memories of my life.

As Americans we are so programmed to: "be individuals" or "reach our goals" or "pursue the American dream" that I think we sometimes miss out on the very thing that gives value to life - relationships.

I'm reading a book right now entitled "The Relational Way," by M. Scott Boren. Boren Says:
"Churches don't need another growth program with small groups at the center. They need a way to help people connect with one another in meaningful ways so that they create a contrasting way of life to the environment in which society lives."

As I read Boren's words about reclaiming relationships as primary, my heart leaps. I want to be a part of something that adds beauty and depth and makes a difference in our communities, don't you?

How can we help individuals (who may not even recognize what they're missing) move toward rich, full lives where relationships are primary?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stories from the Journey

Check out New Hope's newest blog at:

It is a place to share what God is doing in your life and see how he is working in the lives of other New Hopers.

You're invited to join the conversation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Here's what I love about Mary Jo

You may not know her name, but if you are a New Hoper who attends the Sunday gatherings, you have probably interacted with Mary Jo. It's very likely that she's given you coffee or a handshake or a smile.

She's friendly. She's welcoming. She's disarming. She's interesting. And she spends the weekend spreading love and friendship.

I was really surprised this past weekend when she shared with me that she is very shy. She said a lot of times she prefers the background. But at New Hope, where she is surrounded by people she considers family, she comes out of her shell.

I love that! Thanks Mary Jo for spreadin' the love!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

On Mission

Check out Paul's 6.14.07 blog.

I'd love your input.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Two Questions

Ok, here are the things I am wondering about today.

1. If a dog spends his day tied up outside, at what point does he decide he needs to go to the bathroom?

2. Two of the three local news programs I watched while at the YMCA today had questions of the day that viewers were supposed to answer. Why ask questions? Why not just give us the news?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gardens and Glass

The other day Steve and I had the chance to escape to Pittsburgh for a few hours and take in some beauty. Phipps Conservatory has the most incredible exhibit going on right now featuring glass artwork by Dale Chihuly. Enjoy:)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Missional Approach

Have you ever been at Paneras as the buzzards are circling? You know, those times when it is so crowded that people just stand in the aisle waiting for a seat, any seat, YOUR seat.

What if instead of avoiding the eye contact..or getting slightly annoyed..or feeling rushed, we accepted this as God's work and took a missional approach? What if we even went so far as to invite someone to join us at the table? It's risky, I know. But wouldn't it be fun to see what God might do? Who knows what connections might happen?

Friday, June 1, 2007