rockin' the suburbs...

I know I said I would finish this particular article, but the final piece is too long and I want time to edit it.

In other news...

**On Tuesday, friends of ours welcomed a new son into the world. Elijah Theodore was born at 3AM Tuesday. The mother, father, and son are doing well, despite the joyful shock of coming to Richmond a two-some and leaving a three-some.

The misses and I are extremely happy for both of them, and we know that Elijah has a wonderful life ahead of him, despite the fact that he will be a preacher's kid two times over.

**After my anxiety attack on Wednesday night, I feel much better. It is as though all of the stress of our impending move, the previous and forthcoming sermons, and general stresses of work and life have faded a bit.

Anxiety is a wonderfully powerful thing, and I liken this first of my attacks as pushing through a thick wall of jello. After pushing through, the world is a much brighter place and easier to handle. I think I would take anxiety over depression any day of the week.

**I am preaching on the lectionary text from Matthew this week (4:1-11). It is a difficult text because (1) I don't believe in the devil, (2) I don't believe that this story happened in real life, and (3) I believe that is very important to our faith and how we interact in God's world.

I stuck to an approach that is fairly current but a little less experiential than normal. It was important for me to attempt to have the congregation think a little less personally about this text and more along the lines social and cultural temptations.

We Presbyterians have no problems talking about sin, but there is some disconnect with the ideas of what gets us there in the first place. I decided to stick to the premise that these temptations have a common thread of arrogance. This is in the hopes that they can do some parallel processing to how our communities and our country acts on the local and global stages. We'll see if I am too obtuse or not.

**We booked our flights to Denver for a preliminary house hunt. It is both exciting and frightening to know that we will be leaving our home soon. The move is a good one in the long run, it is the toll that it takes on us in the short term that makes things so hard sometimes.

**Finally, I am beginning to shape a focus for this forum; something that will be helpful to me and hopefully to others. I still like having the opportunity to air the experiences of my life. I also want to begin to formulate ideas of what a community of faith is meant to be. This will be ultimately important to the doctoral work I will undertake and any opportunity to write about it will be helpful.

To that end, I have one question: when you encounter a meaningful and depthful community (religious or other-wise) what is it that let's you know that you have found a comfortable place to grow?



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