Do you listen to podcasts? I do! In fact, many of my conversations begin with, "I was listening to this podcast . . . ." I love to hear recommendations for great shows and thought you might too. So here you go, my podcast pics. (The first five are general appeal, the last five are niche podcasts.)
Your turn! Which podcasts do you recommend?
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Published initially on: Nov 10, 2012
Top 10: Things I Love about Elections in the USA
America. It really is beautiful, isn't it?
Parenting and the Church. Too often as parents, we just don't know where to put church on the lengthy list of family priorities.
As a Minister with Youth & Children, I listen to kids say lots of things about going to church. Teens, and children too, have so many obligations--great things that keep them busy with meaningful tasks. I get it! There are many wonderful things for kids to do and I agree that most of these things are valuable and important and can even affect our children's futures.
I'm not suggesting that all kids should give up all activities and cleave only to the church (though I don't hate that idea). I just want church to be a priority for them too.
So here you go:
My Top 10 list of "Comments I'd love to Hear Parents Say about Church Attendance."
1. Church is community. When you aren’t there, the community suffers.
2. Sure, you can get a job. Just be sure to schedule ahead with your employer to make sure you can take off for church activities.
3. It doesn’t matter if no one else is going to be there. Tell your friends you’ll be there and I bet some of them will go.
4. I’m sorry you haven’t finished your homework, but we have church tonight. You can do it when you get home. It never takes as long as you think it will.
5. That academic summer program sounds great, but it would prevent you from participating in church events. Let’s see if we can find a substitute that will work around church activities.
6. You don’t like all of the people on your sports team, but you have to learn to get along with them. Let’s try that with the kids at church.
7. Sometimes you think you don’t get anything out of going to school either, but you still have to go.
8. I’m sorry you have to miss that athletic competition on Sunday morning too, but we go to church at that time.
9. We can’t go on vacation that week. Our church is having VBS then.
10. Yes. You do have to go to church.
Top 10 Things People Do Even Though They Are Inconvenient.
In response to a poem* that's been flying around the internet on youtube wings, I've been thinking about what I like about religion. My post got a little long, so I'm splitting it. Here are the first five.
1. Saying Grace. I love pausing in the midst of the rush of life and holding hands around the dinner table to say a blessing over our meal. I did this with my parents and siblings and they did it with theirs. We stop. We reach out. We look up. I love that.
2. Covered-Dish Dinners. True, I’ve had covered-dish meals outside of religious settings, but really, they just aren’t as good. Think about it. Office pot-lucks consist mostly of to-go foods or quick fixes. Rarely will you find a deviled egg at such an event and if you do it’s made with light mayonnaise which defeats the whole purpose anyway. At a church covered-dish meal, you get Miss Mary’s 12 layer chocolate cake, and Mr. Jack’s homemade barbeque. You’ll find Mrs. Smith’s homemade biscuits right next to Mrs. Jones’ and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll take one of each. There are 12 kinds of macaroni and cheese, all homemade, and that yummy salad that Mr. Johnson always brings. You can’t find this kind of food at the office picnic. Maybe at a family reunion. But that’s cause they all learned what a pot-luck is supposed to look like from going to church suppers.
3. Meetings. I don’t love--or even like--going to these. Not even a little bit. But what I do love is that we have them. We do try to make decisions as a unit. We disagree, sometimes loudly. We compromise, usually not nearly enough. But we work at it. Okay, not everyone works at it; but the intent is that we try to get along. We don’t always get our way. We often don’t get as much accomplished as we had hoped we would. But when it’s over, we hold hands, say Grace, and head out to the covered-dish supper. That’s church. Gotta love it.
4. Weddings. When I was little, I often went with my daddy, a Baptist preacher, to the weddings he officiated. I loved everything about weddings then and now—the signature attire, the music, the sweet (or not so sweet) kiss at the end. But the parts of the wedding I have always loved the most include scripture: the miracle at the wedding in Canaan, First Corinthians 13, and “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” These texts are read religiously at Christian weddings. And I just love that.
5. Sunday Morning Bible Study (AKA Sunday School). Okay so I didn’t love Sunday School when I was a teenager. My parents raised us as thinking Baptists and so we believed questions were a part of the journey of faith. Most of our Sunday School teachers disagreed. Either for the teachers’ sakes or ours (or perhaps for the sake of her husband’s career), our mother took over teaching our class. Since then, I’ve loved Sunday Morning Bible Study. I’ve taught most of my adult years (see above) and am so grateful that my class members allow me to continue doing so. I absolutely love it.
For the next five, check out this post.
* I tend to annoy both sides of issues like this. So, prepare yourself. The poem itself, I think, is well presented. I don't agree with everything he says; I like some of it a lot. I think the poem is the product of a zealous guy who loves Jesus and refuses to get caught up in unnecessary restrictions organized religions often put on people who don't fit under their steeples nicely. So, it's fine. Still, I like Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John better, and I actually do like a lot about religion. But not everything. So there you go.