December 12, 2010

Christmas Eve Prayer

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:46 am by Steve

Almighty God,

We gather this evening in the cold and dark of winter to sing songs of joy and hope, to bring light into the darkness and to bring warmth and hope to the hearts of those troubled by doubts and fear. May each candle be a prayer for peace and a sign of our resolve that the darkness will not prevail.

We thank you, O God, for the unquenchable hope of the prophets, the liberating peace of the angels, and for the inexpressible joy we find in Christ our Savior. We thank you, O God, for the Christmas spirit that unites us and for the presence of your Spirit to inspire us tonight and throughout the coming year.

We ask now O God that you continue to bless our homes, our community and our nation with peace and gratitude. This we ask in Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

December 9, 2010

A Taste of CS Lewis

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:32 pm by Steve

CS Lewis is without a doubt my favorite writer. Notice I did not say my favorite Christian writer as if that made him a lesser author. CS Lewis’ keen mind and use of allegory and clarity of storytelling revealed so much about the nature of God, myself and the world I live in that I scarce would have discover much of it on my own in 10 lifetimes. I owe so much of my faith journey to him for allowing me to see the world through his eyes and see the Kingdom of God for myself.

From the “The Case for Christianity”

  • Whenever you find a man who says he doesn’t believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later.”
  • “This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people.”
  • “Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can’t really get rid of it.”
  • “Safety and happiness can only come from individuals, classes, and nations being honest and fair and kind to each other.”
  • “Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn’t have guessed. That’s one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It’s a religion you couldn’t have guessed.”
  • “Badness is only spoiled goodness.”
  • “God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form…The perfect surrender and humiliation was undergone by Christ: perfect because He was God, surrender and humiliation because He was man.”
  • “Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won’t last forever. We must take it or leave it.”
  • “It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.”

Facts or Myths

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:43 am by Steve

When people cannot get facts, they will settle for myths. When people are faced with facts, they will often prefer the myths they are being asked to reject in favor of facts.” — James Hudnut-Beumler

 

Today more than ever before the church is changing. It is also changing so fast that no one is able to predict where it will be in five years. When people don’t know where the church will be they assume the worst, they believe the lie that says “evil forces are at work in the church and that “good old time religion” is being stripped away.

That is a myth. There really are good well intentioned praying, faithful, Jesus loving disciples working tirelessly for the flock of Jesus simply because Jesus asked them to. Most are burned out, frustrated, exhausted and confused about what happened, but most do have a heart of grace and love of God. If you disagree with the changes that are happening in the church ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I disagree with the theology that is being expressed?
  2. Does it inconvenience me and force me to change?
  3. Can I explain this program or change to God?
  4. Have I prayed for my church leaders?

What you choose to believe about the good folks in your church will for the most part be your witness about Jesus Christ.

Are you distrustful, critical, angry and bitter at God for changing things or

Are you encouraging, prayerful, thoughtful, and grateful to God that nothing is ever stagnant but the Gospel remains relevant and in the hands of serious disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

Will you believe the trust or the myth that may sound better?

December 8, 2010

2010 Family Christmas Letter

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:19 am by Steve

Well it’s been Another Interesting Year,

I suppose Katelin wins the prize for the most significant life changes this year. In March, Katelin visited the University of Rochester to interview for a position in their graduate program in Psychology. She was very surprised when they called the next day and offered her a full-time research assistantship. In May, she graduated Magna Cum Laud from Marietta College with a BA in Psychology, and in August we moved Katelin into her first apartment in Rochester, NY where she then started classes at the end of August. Her new address is: 84D Clintwood Court, Rochester, NY 14620. We got to see her again over fall break and Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a long Christmas break. Classes, I am told, are going well and thanks to her boyfriend Taylor, she is getting out and exploring the Great Lakes region of New York and Buffalo.

Alex has been very busy this year. He participated in a state-wide weekend youth leadership retreat sponsored by the Rotary Club at Jackson’s Mill, WV. Alex was nominated by the Williamstown High School teachers to represent the school at the retreat, and although Linette and I knew this would be a good experience for Alex, we still had to really force him to attend. At the end of the retreat, Alex was awarded the outstanding student leader by the other teacher who attended the retreat from across the state. Because of the award, Alex was invited to return next year as a counselor and to mentor the other students.

Alex participated in soccer last spring and fall and is now involved in swimming. Alex is also a certified grade 8 referee in soccer and last spring and fall officiated local recreation games to pick up some spending money. He is doing well in school and currently is interested in toxicology, although that is subject to change.

Abbie is coming to the end of the fall semester of her second year at Marietta College. Her major is Graphic Design but she is doing very well in Communication and now exploring career options in this as well. Abbie works in the local Mall in a clothing store called Rue 21. So between taking care of Rylan, school, sorority and working, Abbie stays very busy. Sometimes she says hi when passing through.

Steve started Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY in the fall of 2000 and finished in May of 2010 with an MDiv. That’s got to be some kind of record, but one I never wanted. I was approved the United Methodist Church and commissioned at Annual Conference as a provisional Elder in June. I also referee soccer games for High School teams in the fall and recreation teams with Alex on weekends. You may be surprised to learn that with soccer and birthday money I bought a kayak which I use to paddle around on the Ohio River. I guess that’s one advantage of living so close to a river. If you choose to visit, we’ll borrow a friend’s kayak and paddle on the Ohio just like George Washington. (Well sort of.) Needless to say, church keeps me very busy.

Linette continues to work at her jewelry business, attends training and conferences. Last spring she worked in the church’s Learning Center as a teacher but in the fall gave that up for Bible Study Fellowship. We got Linette a Kindle for Mother’s day and she is never very far from it. She is reading constantly.

Rylan – Well what can I say? This year we must have watched Shrek, Shrek 2, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Muppet’s Treasure Island a least 100 times each. He loves those movies and after his bath we watch a movie before bed. His language skills are remarkable and he seems to brighten up every room with joy and smiles. Right now he loves anything that has to do with Woody and Buzz from Toy Story. Linette bought him tiny plastic figurines which he carries with him everywhere. Rylan attends the church’s Learning Center three days a week and Bible Study fellowship with Linette on Thursday. If you want to see all the phases of his growth and adventures I suggest you checkout the photos I’ve uploaded at: http://www.gedonfamily.shutterfly.com

We are all very thankful for our friends and family and for a healthy love filled year that was full of milestones and new chapters in our lives. What 2011 will be, God only knows but we are certain that the Best is Yet to Be. Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us here in West Virginia.

Steve, Linette, Katelin, Abbie, Alex and Rylan