Archive for June, 2008

June 18th, 2008

A Squirrel in the Birdhouse

Posted in Blog Posts by Greg

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The other day I was out pulling weeds and snipping some roses while Aaron was supervising (yes, I know that the roles are reversed). Aaron noticed that we were being watched…by a squirrel…more specifically a baby squirrel. Upon closer inspection it was not just one baby squirrel but several. A family of squirrels is living in our bird house designed for bluebirds. Over the years I have chased away woodpeckers, chicken snakes and occasionally neighbors but never had I faced the notion of an eviction notice for squirrels. Of course baby squirrels are too cute to kick out on the street, so I suppose I will just have to learn to live with them for a while.

Several years ago I read with amusement that Dr. Bill Self, pastor of Johns Creek Baptist Church, preached a series of sermons entitled: Squirrels in the Attic and Water in the Basement. I have much respect for Dr. Self but I have no idea where he was going with that series. He certainly had my curiosity, which may have been the point.

For me “squirrels in the attic” is personal. Over the years I have had a few squirrels who have attempted to take up residence in our attic. Now that I reflect on all this a bit further, maybe what Dr. Self meant by the title “Squirrels in the Attic” is that in the course of life we are inconvenienced by the uninvited. One day we have squirrels in the attic the next our child is sick with the flu. Sometimes the surprises are relatively trivial. But we all know there are events that can also be devastating.

Our faith is not to insulate us from “squirrels in the attic” or disappointments in life. Rather, we bring together our sometimes tenuous beliefs to remind ourselves of God’s steady presence. I love the beautiful words of Psalm 139:8:

“If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.”

What a great affirmation of the character of God! You and I arise each day with little knowledge of what we will face. Our day may go well or it may turn disastrous. Yet in it and through it we will not journey alone. God is the one who follows us even to the pit of our despair as well as the pinnacle of our triumphs.

This Sunday join me and a congregation of others who battle against squirrels in the attic or the birdhouse, and all the other surprises that life brings our way. It is an honor to be in this journey and family of faith with you.

Grace and peace,

Greg

June 12th, 2008

A $4000 Hawaiian Shirt

Posted in Blog Posts by Greg

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I own several Hawaiian shirts, but none came from Hawaii. I have bought a couple from Target and who knows where they were originally made. My favorite is from St. George. It was a second hand shirt, presumably found along the beach and I think I paid five or so dollars for it. I take it with me every vacation down there. Amy and I were browsing in a department store last week and we looked at a nice selection of Hawaiian shirts, but they were all in the $100 price range – no thanks!

Recently I learned of a shop that sells vintage Hawaiian shirts (in Hawaii of course). It is called “Bailey’s Antiques and Aloha Shirts” and is evidently popular with the rich and famous. Jimmy Buffett, guru of all things laid back, allegedly bought one for $4000! And I thought a hundred bucks was a ridiculous sum. I will stick with the ones washed up on the beach or if I must have a new one Target will be sufficient. 

I like the idea of moving from power suits to swim suits, from starched shirts to Hawaiian shirts. Chilling out, as my teenagers put it, is just a contemporary reordering of the words of the Psalmist: It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved. (127:2) Taken to the extreme it is a recipe for laziness, but understood properly God would have us, I believe, chill out more and stress out less. 

How about it? Do you need to trade your tie in for a tie-dyed?

Peace,
Greg