It is all about people

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Location: Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

...told (to me by my church members) of a man who visited Texas and found a phone with a sign that read, "Phone call to God $10."  From there the man traveled to Colorado and found the same phone with the same sign. State after state he traveled through, always finding the same phone with the same sign... until he passed through Pennsylvania where he found a phone but the sign above read, "Phone call to God - FREE."  Turning to the man behind the counter he asked why the difference from all the other states.  "This", the man replied, "is God's country and that makes it a local call."
Before you post your comment about Maine or Tennessee, I agree - the story is wrong... Pennsylvania may not be God's country but the Northwest certainly is. 
I just got back from a trip:
I met up in Seattle with some good friends Marius and Sarah  who serve in pastoral ministry in Atlanta. 
And a stunt!
Another stunt!
Just fantastic
A quick trip home and I met my niece for the first time...and her little watch dog (under my knees)

Friday, September 05, 2008

The illustration has been repeated since Jesus first gave it, and rightly so.  The lesson became a bit more personal, however I have not yet completely understood why God showed it to me... what does it mean to me personally? 
While in Germany, between speaking appointments, I stayed a 2 days in a small town on the edge of the Black Forest.  My second morning there I took a walk, intentionally to be alone with God.

I climbed a small mountain overlooking the city where a catholic chapel was.  On one side were rows of grape vines in perfect order, really this was the most uniform, at attention, vineyard I have encountered.

On my descent I was musing over how so much of the vine had to be pruned away in order for such success.  My rough guess was about 85% of what could come from the trunk was discarded.  A knee-jerk reaction is that the more vine you have coming from the trunk the better.  I guess that is not true.  While still considering this, I actually encountered the vine master.  He was methodically working his way up the mountain side stopping at each vine... not to trim the branches... but to actually cut almost a third of the yet green fruit off. I stood speechless for a moment.  I am not so ignorant as to not see any benefit in this... but what took my wind away, was that I was in the midst of a conversation with God about how He wanted to prune so much of me. And then just like that the vinedresser shows up and begins cutting the fruit. 
Okay, I can fathom pruning me as the branch, but to intentionally cut some of my fruit off. So I get pruned to bear more fruit and then God cuts some of that off so that I can... what?!  Of one thing I am certain, this is a road called faith.