Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's going to snow tomorrow. Blizzard conditions, they say. Likely to cancel school and all that.


For wintry weather, today's song for Sunday -- a classic rock song by the Doors .....Winter Time Love.

Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Song for Sunday: No Man's Land

This is Billy Joel's song about suburban development and an increasingly consumer-based culture. It comments on boredom and increasing media consumption, too.

And it's Billy Joel. So, yeah, that alone makes it a good Song for Sunday.

What songs do you find speak best about loneliness?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Organic Change

Change is inevitable

This is true for both people and groups.

I have been reflecting on the idea of change within institutions and organizations. Someone asked me what the relationship should be between tradition and positive change, and I said that I felt that tradition is important because it holds a group together and that change should be organic.

What is organic change? It is a group making adjustments to it’s way of doing things as new ideas, needs and purposes come to the forefront. Perhaps the emphasis of the group will alter in some way or maybe new people will bring about a change in style. Organic change is a community moving forward together.

Organic change comes from within the group, and is often “grassroots” in origin. Wise leaders who wish to make changes will build a base of support before moving forward. I am aware of one situation in which new leaders significantly changed an important tradition against the wishes of the majority. Their tenure was short-lived, by their own choice. When they left, the group immediately reverted to the old tradition, which had served them well and is still doing so. Another organization, a camp, had a long tradition of holding a fall gathering with traditional harvest activities, camp music, games and food. Part promotional event, part fundraiser, the event had been a highlight for decades. But then attendance began to fall and enthusiasm to wane. Over several years, adjustments were made to the program, but there was no real energy for it anymore. Only long-time attendees were still participating and many of them only for tradition’s sake. So the event was dropped and something new was tried. There was little protest. The leaders had their eyes on their constituents and knew the time was ripe for change.

Sometimes a change from within a group is imposed by circumstances beyond the organization’s control. A tragedy such as a central building burning down will, if a group is healthy, stimulate sudden change that is still organic in nature. I know of a school that that lost both it’s building and sponsorship near the end of one school year but opened in a new place with new leadership the following fall. They had to alter some of their traditions to fit their new space, but they remained a vibrant educational community.

Tradition is important. It keeps us connected to the past and to the history of the community to which we belong. It can have both spiritual and social benefits as it allows people to know what to expect in a given time and place. Used rightly, it can point us to God.

But traditions do change. Transformation and renewal can require that. If we prayerfully take our direction from God and watch the pulse of the community to know we are moving forward well this, too, can point us to Him.

May we blessed by both tradition and positive change.

What examples of organic change are you aware of?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Song for Sunday: Man in the Mirror


That is what it costs, on average to buy a human being. Over 30 million people are currently enslaved -- truly enslaved, not just exploited and paid too little. The market for human trafficking is valued at $32 million.

It's a travesty beyond words to explain.

But it only takes one person to make a difference - and that person could be you.

Begin with prayer. Then, look at your own actions. Many of the products we we purchase everyday have been grown or fabricated by slaves, in whole or in part. Watch for fair trade products to help ensure products are made by free people receiving a fair wage.

Today's Song for Sunday was chosen to encourage this.

It's also in honor of Andrae Crouch, the award winning gospel artist who passed away this week at age 72. Many of his songs are in church songbooks. In this instance, though, he is directing the choir that's backing up Michael Jackson.

I hope this song inspires you to make a difference somewhere.

God bless!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Song for Sunday: The Star Carol

For the tenth day of Christmas, another song focusing on The Baby that is new to me. Our choir sung it this morning, and it was beautiful.

May the Babe of Bethlehem find room in our hearts.

Merry Christmas!!