When Life...Slows...You...Down.

I've had this nasty bug for almost a week now. It began with what I thought were allergy symptoms, progressed rapidly into a head cold with pink eye, then laryngitis, sinus-, and an ear-infection. Joy.

The good news is that the risk I took in trusting God to help me preach sick this past Sunday more than paid off. Once again, I'm struck by how God is far more committed to his Word and to his people than ever a preacher could be. I'm also impressed by how God seemed to call me into living the message I was preaching--even as I was preaching it (if you're interested in hearing the sermon, go to: http://www.fpcboulder.org/audio.html in a day or two for the audio file. The written version should soon be available at: http://www.fpcboulder.org/transcripts.html). Check out the sermon and you'll see what I mean.

My point today is that this upper respiratory illness has forced me to slow down. I find myself feeling terribly inefficient. I've taken a sick day. My voice still sounds froggy. I've been on the bike only to spin easily and get some blood flowing. And that's where the point came to me: slowing down, pedaling and breathing at an easier cadence, forced me to see things on my typical ride I normally blow past: certain wildflowers, a crumbling barn, country houses tucked away off a side road. Moving slowly, as unexciting and lazy as it felt, gave me a renewed appreciation for the good gifts in my life: the joy of living in such a beautiful place like Boulder County, the wonderful roads I take for granted, the textures and colorful palette of God's amazing artistry. I don't think I'd always want to ride or live at this pace, but if I gain the grace to see the goodness in it, it won't have been wasted. When life slows you down, will you take in the hidden gifts?

Doing Mosque in a Digital Age: What's Happening in Iran

We interrupt this series for an important development from the streets of Tehran: the digital age is disrupting the control of the ayatollahs on the recent election in Iran! If you're like me, you're amazed at what feels like history in the making: despite the repression of the Iranian government, the people of Iran demand to have their voices heard--and they're expressing them to each other and the world (along with digitized video and pictures) with modern communication technology!

Go to YouTube or Twitter and you will find images taken on cell phones literally seconds ago from Iran--and posted, despite the efforts of their government, by the people. I think we're watching the leveling effects of the Internet age on traditional systems of control and management. It begs the question: can democracy be far away? Pandora's box of digital communication lies open and it's awfully hard for the mullahs and others to close it.

I'm encouraged by what I'm watching. We may be seeing the equivalent of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I pray so. It could transform everything in the Middle East. Watch and pray!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...can older denominational methods of control and management (and communication and decisionmaking) remain immune from these developments? What should stay the same? What should change? Hmmm....