Saturday I held worship, Saturday School, and Confirmation class at Mt. Olive. When I got home, around 11:30 we did some cleaning. We have a difficult decision to make for Jeremy. The decision is whether to keep him at home and send him to the Oklee Public School, or to send him to school at Echo Charter School. Each choice has several advantages and disadvantages. Keep us in your prayers as we make our own prayerful decision.
Sunday, after the 80 mile trek for three different worship services I finished up at Oak Park, had lunch (dinner, here) and took a nap.
At half-past three we left for Lengby. Jonah's 5th birthday is today. And we were invited to help celebrate.
What's the first thing a 5 year old wants to do on his birthday? Well, duh: Open presents, of course.
When Jonah found out that he'd have to wait to open his presents until after we arrived he asked if he could "uninvite" us. After being informed that he couldn't open his presents until after supper, because his cake couldn't be ready, he decided that we could be invited.
We got to Lengby around a quarter after four. I drove down to the park and saw that Kim and Barb, Jim and Tammy, Eldon and Dawn, Juell, and Annabelle and their families were all at the park. But the Jonah's family wasn't. We waved to everyone. I hope that the members of our parish who were at the park don't think we were too off putting. We knew we were late already for Jonah's party, and chose not to stop, but just to check out the park.
So, what does a congregation member think when his or her pastor drives through a park where they are having fun, but the pastor just waves and continues on, not to return as far as they know? Perhaps there is some relief. "Whew, at least he didn't stop and start talking. Man, that guy can talk. Can you believe how much that pastor talks?" Or perhaps there is some chagrin. "Doesn't the pastor want to be with us? Doesn't he want to talk with us? Doesn't he value us as members of the congregation?"
Should I have stopped to talk to everyone I knew? I admit, I feel some guilt about just waving and going on. But we came to visit Jonah and his family on his 5th birthday. So for those who were relieved that we drove through the park, I'm glad we could oblige you. For those who were chagrined, sorry, I didn't mean to offend. We were already late to Jonah's.
When we got to his place (You know that Lengby is such a large city, that it is hard to know where you are--sarcasm in the extreme since the population is 79) we released the troops from the van and overwhelmed the Staffords.
Pr. Stafford and I grilled corn, shish-kabobs and hot dogs for supper. Mrs. Stafford went to great effort to keep the meal gluten free. Thank you. It was a very good meal.
Jonah got to open his presents, blow out his candle, and eat some cake before we all went down to the beach.
By the time we got to the beach there were only a few people there. All the Clearwater Parish members had gone. Sophie found a snail and seemed very excited about her zoological prowess.
I did some fly fishing for about a half an hour and caught 5 decent sized Blue Gills and a couple Crappies. After getting the kids in from the lake we went back to the Stafford's. We had the kids pack up, say congratulations to Jonah, and went home.
Of course, not everyone was happy that such a nice day had come to an end. But the kids all slept well.
Monday I took as my day of rest this week. I read a bit of the new Harry Potter novel. I have to write something, some time, about the sanctimonious reaction against hard rock, Harry Potter, and other pop-culture phenomena. I like the books. And I like some of the movies. I read a disparaging review of the new book in Christian News. But it seems like the writer of that review gives way too much credit to the powers of Satan and way to little to his responsibility to represent the Bible or history accurately. Harry Potter is fiction. The movies are fiction. Even the witches of Shakespeare are fiction. And, all the new Wiccan inventions are fiction. It's not hard for my kids to know this. They can distinguish between Harry Potter and the Bible very easily. I know that we are to avoid misleading people into sin through their own ignorance of their freedom, But who is going to claim that Harry Potter, the Davinci Code, or any fiction book or movie has a great claim on the truth?
Maybe I should be more sensitive, but I bet those who would cry out against me for reading Harry Potter will watch the evening news or listen to some contemporary Christian radio programs--so much for their caring about honesty and integrity with respect to the Bible and truth.
Perhaps I'm a bit too strong in this post. Perhaps it will just go by some and they will wonder what I am writing about. If the latter is the case, just let it pass. It will pass. If the former is the case, there are two groups I would be addressing. First: my members; talk to me. Second: those who can't or won't talk to me-who probably are not my members--get a grip on what is essential and true. The Bible is your only source for truth. Excessive worry about what Satan does through other sources is exactly what he wants. Don't worry. Cast your cares upon Christ. Harry Potter is fiction. Treat it as that.