Thursday, June 28, 2012


Somewhere around 65AD the Roman Emperor Nero (the one who fiddled as Rome burned) banished Jesus’ disciple John to the island of Patmos (a Greek island in the Aegean Sea).  While on Patmos John received an incredible Revelation (which became the last book in the Bible).  In that revelation John was given glimpses of heaven, of the final conflicts between light and darkness and of the new heaven and earth that God has promised.  John also receives, directly from Jesus, seven letters to send to seven churches located throughout Asia Minor (all in what is today Turkey).  Jesus tells John to:

Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
Revelation 1: 11

The letters offer affirmation, encouragement, warnings and corrections.  They were important messages for each church to receive and they are just as important messages for the church today.

Were John writing the churches in 2012 (and if he had a good Wi-Fi connection on Patmos) he might trade the scroll for email.  He might even use twitter to reinforce the main thing each church needed to hear.  Just imagine:

@Ephesus –remember love never forgets #sevenletters
@Smyrna – remember love remains faithful #sevenletters
@Pergamum – remember love knows the truth #sevenletters
@Thyatira – remember love refuses to compromise #sevenletters
@Sardis – remember love wakes the dead #sevenletters
@Philadelphia – remember love never shuts the door #sevenletters
@Laodicea – remember love opens the door #sevenletters

As we explore John’s revelation and these seven letters you are invited to follow along on Sunday mornings and on Twitter, Facebook and BlogSpot

Twitter:  @TDoug
Facebook:  TDoug84
Blog: (you have that figured out if you are reading this)

Use Twitter – tweets and Facebook – posts to make comments and ask questions about the seven letters.  If you use Twitter be sure to use the hashtag #sevenletters (and if you have no idea about using twitter, facebook or blogspot – no worries – Sunday mornings are going to be great).

As we listen in to these seven letters we will discover that the church in Birmingham is still called to a reckless sort of love that never forgets, remains faithful, knows the truth, refuses to compromise, wakes the dead, never shuts and always opens the door.  Whoever has ears come and hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I shared this in a post back several years ago:  “I never thought I’d be confessing this, but I’ve become addicted to a dance show.”

I’m still addicted (the first step is to admit it - right?)

It started back with So You Think You Can Dance Season Four (which is still my favorite “Four Real” [make sign on shoulder]). It began because we have a daughter who danced all her life and even began college as a dance major.  At first, I just watched along with everyone else – but it didn’t take long before I was hooked.  Before I knew it I was discussing the difference between Popping, Hip-Hop and Krump, and hoping that my favorite dancers don’t draw the dreaded Pasodoble or Quickstep.

I don’t have time for silly dance shows that attempt to turn football players and country music stars – SYTYCD is for serious dancers only and I even have favorite dancers (Twitch and Comfort both from Season Four).  I also now have favorite choreographers – obviously Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo but I’ve also learned to appreciate Sonya Tayeh.

I’m still probably a little less interested in who makes the SYTYCD Top 20 than I am in the OKC Thunder beating the Miami Nazgul (the Nazgul are the want-to-be kings in LOTR in search of a ring they would never have – that’s my hope for the Heat [though it looks like they will get one this year]).  But I am glad they were on different nights this week so I didn’t have to choose (choosing between the US Open and Game 3 was hard enough).
So anyway – every few years I should probably acknowledge that I’m still addicted to a dance show.  And FTR I don't think I can dance but I love watching those who canFour Real!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Kirsten Learns to Cook

One of the things I am really enjoying about this season of life is watching our kids and our friends’ kids enter the adult world of post college – jobs, graduate schools and relationships.

Reconnecting with our Menlo Park friends this week has meant also reconnecting with how all their kids are doing and I’ve especially enjoyed spending some time with the amazing Kirsten Fuller (daughter of Jennifer and Dale who we are staying with) a recent Westmont graduate author of the blog Kirsten Learns To Cook.

Since I made it into her blog this morning – title and photo – it seemed right that I should encourage everyone who reads my blog (all three of you) to start reading hers.  She’s already a witty and insightful writer, shows promises to be an exceptional cook and for the record the chicken was not dry.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

SOMA Tacoma

Kim and I had lunch today with an amazing couple we know from our Menlo Park Days - Chris and Stephanie Thomas (and their amazing daughters who showed me how much fun you can have outside the Tacoma Glass Museum).  A decade ago Stephanie and Chris were part of a small group of newlyweds that Kim and I led (today that group is impacting churches and communities all across the country).  Two years ago they left behind the "security" of the PCUSA to embark on a remarkable faith journey of gospel, community and mission.  Today they are part of SOMA Tacoma and helping to build a missional community, which is described on their web site by asking you to imagine:


What if a few neighbors lived out faith with you in the everyday rhythms of life? You'd share meals, watch each others kids, party together, serve neighbors, restore what's broken in your community, talk about Jesus a lot and see people begin to follow him. It would be messy and it would be glorious.

It makes me wonder what if that was true for every church?

Check out SOMA, SOMA Tacoma and SOMA at the Fairways and I promise you will be inspired.

PS – and without trying to sound parental – I am so proud of who Chris and Stephanie are as a couple, as parents and as Christ followers who have gone “all in” to spread the good news of Jesus!

Words With Nerds Part 2

In May 2010 I began playing Words With Friends – or as I like to call it Words With Nerds.  I know it was that month because I posted a blog post about how much I loved playing the game.  For such a sporadic blogger I pick odd topics

Two years later, I still love Words With Friends – enough that I am blogging about it again.

I will confess that at times its been a bit of a distraction.  At times I’ve been guilty of playing a word or two while stuck in traffic and maybe there have even been times that I’ve not been playing close attention to the conversation because I heard that distinctive bell sound letting me know that it was my turn to play.  People say the first step is admitting you have a problem.

I’m not quite ready to take that step – but there are family members that might suggest I at least consider it.

Yesterday my most faithful (and frustrating because she always wins opponent) suggested that I expand my games by using the “invite your Facebook friends” feature.  I had no idea how many people that would include so I tried to limit my invites to those who had made a play in the last day.

I can’t think of a single Scriptural reference to connect to WWF – Ecclesiastes 5: 2 would actually suggest that I should “let my words be few  and I will try – but right now I just heard that little bell sound so I need to go…..