I recovered from yesterdays massive inhaling of Wings, that's 17 chicken wing and one very small caesar salad. Ok, I over did it, and that totally rots my idea of losing weight. I find that I lack serious self-control when the option of 'all you can eat wings' is laid bare before my eyes. Time to search for 'salad only' restaruants. ... yeah, I'll work on that one.
I saw Predators today, and I really enjoyed it, it was a fun flick, and who knew that Adrian Brody could put on the muscle. Though trust me, he is far from the Arnold bod of the original. It's great that they brought the Predator back into the jungle landscape, and I thought the little twist to the ending was a nice touch. All that being said, nothing really beats the first Predator movie. I remember when I first watched it on VHS (yea no dvd back then), and I saw the Predator for the first time, not knowing who or what it was... that was intense. One thing I've noticed though, the movies in the 80's were alot bloodier and visceral than now. I'm not much for the whole blood and gore thing, and didn't miss it in this one, but it's something I've observed.
I watched Total Recall a couple months back, and though there were some corny 80's special effects ... it was much bloodier than alot of movies I've seen recently. Just an observation. Back to Predators .. great movie, and there is still some gross stuff, but like I've mentioned, nothing like the original. This movie also sports the 'F-Word' ...but really, the place is filled with a bunch of killers, I wasn't surprised. Definately not a family friendly film. Just an FYI.
Ok, now something more spiritual, and well, better for your soul than Predator. Yea, I know, hard to believe.
Before I went to the show, I was out picking some Black Currants, small little berries, sour as anything, but they needed to be picked. Whilst (notice the biblical language) I was in the wet berry patched (it rained like cats and dogs last night ... y'know, like when cats and dogs actually fall from the sky ... *sigh* i digress) and I recalled back about the farmer who plants the seed, and seed that falls on rocky soil basically dies or the birds come and grab it, but the farmer who plants the seed in the good soil, will reap a great harvest. Well, when looking at my black currents, my thought was ... who really eats this stuff. I mean, Black currents are sour ... unlike the sweeter red currents that I picked weeks ago.
Yet, if you take black currents and make jam its sweet, and awesome on toast.
Ok, maybe I lost ya, so I'll go on.
In our Churches we tend to coddle, or nuture people who are more .... professional... people who have everything in life all figured out. They are like raspberries, yummy right off of the vine, hardly any changed need to happen, they are easily (to use a Star Trek term) replicated into Church families.
Yet, when Jesus tells this parable, he doesn't necessarily say the what the farmer grew was going to be sweet, sour, hard, or soft. Just that the farmer planted some seeds. I find it interesting that Christ didn't come to the people that had life all figured out, but he came to fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. Yet how much attention do we give those that are a little ....sour around the edges as it were.
The message of the bible is love, God's love, and our love between us and God, and our Neighbors. Who are our neighbors... well we tend to think that those like us would be our neighbors. Strange about that isn't it. Yet the Bible constantly re-iterates God's love for orphans and widows, and His desire to love justice and to do justice. Justice for whom? For those that have trouble, or can't speak for themselves.
God used Moses, a murderer to take a people to the promised land; David whom (mmm.. fancy King James word there) was the runt of the pack, to build a nation; and God even sent his own Son, to be born in a stable ... humbly, to achieve salvation for us all.
So, no matter how 'unworthy' or 'unholy' you think you are, well ... God can use anyone, warts and all. Heck, He's even using me! And as a Church, we need to reach out to people that maybe don't fit the 'perfect mold' (whatever that is), but the Church needs to be about diversity ... reaching out to people, with the love that God through the Holy Spirit enables us to love.
Some ways Churches can look at diversifying, and integrate more people into their congregation:
-Look for ways to beautify a neigbourhood
- have headsets or ways to communicate with the blind, deaf
-Access to ramps
- taking communion on the road ... nursing homes, shut-ins
- offering a luncheon program for kids/teens
- Be aware of your people ... not everyone is comfortable or can read scripture in front of people, or are self-confident to sing hymns.
- give to local food programs, drop-in centers ... even if they are not part of your denomination.
-bless another church congregation somehow
- set up funds for kids of single-parent families ... for their education.
- watch how you set up your studies and homegroups ... some people may not want to have the group over at their house .. because they may not feel comfortable having people over.
- watch your church leadership, ensure that all income types are involved in your congregational activities.
-plan a mission trip ... locally.
- Look at supporting a refugee family.
- host cooking and nutritional classes
-help single mothers with babysitting.
- provide rides from and too sunday school.
- sports programs for city youth. NOT just the ones that attend your Church.
- Do a cleanup day for single mothers.
- offer internet uses for families that can't afford it.
- 'free oil changes' to families that could use the help.
- Be careful to recognize the cost of your Church events, while still giving pride to parents who 'don't accept charity.
- Redefine events toward the poor... not charity, but community acts... and give everyone a chance to have self respect, and dignity. -- give people a chance to give back to the community at to the Church.
-offer shower programs for the homeless.
- help with hydro payments.
- utilize the gifts of your congregation.
Whew, I'm sure there's a lot more, but that's enough. Tired, and off to a deacon's meeting.