Monday Morning Leftovers

A few weeks ago I offered the leftovers from my Sunday sermon preparation and people seemed to enjoy it. So, here we go again!

The Disclaimer: Every sermon is a series of small and large choices. Once a theme and direction are chosen many good/great things are left on the cutting room floor. Otherwise you’d get a 75 minutes sermon OR  a hodgepodge of ideas that would leave you wondering, “What was that all about?” So, below you’ll find a random assortment of notes and quotes; images and ideas; stories and thoughts. Enjoy. (also: if you want to listen to yesterday’s sermon you can find it here.)

Continue Reading »


Thanksgiving 2012

The news came via text message in the middle of staff meeting on Monday: AUNT JOAN DIED. My father likes to text in all caps so when the message flashed on my phone I immediately knew who sent it.

Continue Reading »

For the past few days, I’ve been following the news out of Israel closely. Rockets from Gaza (a Palestinian controlled area) striking Israeli areas have garnered a brutal response from Israel that has necessitated more rockets from Gaza and more bombs from Israel. Innocent civilians on both sides have been injured. Children have been killed.

When people wring their hands about the middle east and ask “When will they ever learn?” I quietly wonder, “When will we ever learn?” You see, what the nations do is only reflective of what we do individually. They do on a grand scale what we do to one another.

Continue Reading »

Monday Morning Leftovers

Preaching a sermon is an exercise of choice. After studying and preparing to share thoughts on a particular scripture passage, some things make the cut and are included. Other stories, thoughts, ideas, points, and quotes end up on the cutting room floor. For years, I’ve thought, “I should do something with all those leftovers.” Usually, they just get put in the recycle bin. But today (and maybe occasionally in the months ahead), I’m going to share a few of the leftovers for you to chew on today.

This week’s sermon, “As Long as I Live,” is based on Psalm 146–an amazing Psalm of praise. Instead of closing with a story or a set of “to-do’s” I closed with an interview of Che Helfrich who has lived this Psalm over the last 6 weeks. You can find the sermon here (or go to iTunes and search for “Parkway Heights”). Che’s interview is about 13 minutes in.

So, what go left out? You’ll find it below. Dig through. Take what you want. Leave the rest. Here we go:

Continue Reading »

A few days ago, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. I asked her how she was doing. She responded, “Busy. And you?” My immediate, response was, “We’ve been busy, too.” As soon as it came out of my mouth, I wanted to take it back. Though I have been busy, busy doesn’t really describe how I’ve been. Lately, I’ve felt blessed, happy, content, and joyful. Busy describes my level of activity, yes. But not how I am.

Yet, for all of us our conditioned response when asked how we’re doing is usually, “busy.” That’s become the cultural expectation for us. We prove our value through an expression of over-commitment and non-stop action.

And then we wonder why we burn out, freak out, or wear out. Now, I’m not an advocate of lazy or sloth. Being busy (as long as it’s productive busy) is very good. But maybe we need to define our lives in a way beyond “busy.”

Continue Reading »

On Tuesday, November 6, Americans will head to the polls to vote. This has been a particularly nasty election cycle. Candidates, supporters, and the media have all played to our worst fears and have pushed the level of dialogue in our country to its lowest point in a generation or more. With facebook, twitter, email and texting, we have exponentially more ways to voice our opinion in 2012—and more ways to denigrate the thoughts and opinions of others.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard statements like this one far too often in the last few months: “If you vote for ______, then you don’t love America.” Or, “A vote for ______, means you want America to fail.” Statements like these are damaging to our democracy (which is based on the ability of people to freely vote for the candidate of their choice, in case you’ve forgotten), and damaging to our witness as Christians and to the Body of Christ as a whole.

300 years ago, John Wesley wrote this in his journal:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”
John Wesley, October 6, 1774

What if we took Wesley’s words to heart over the next few days? What if you, because of the conviction in your heart and the judgment of your mind made a firm decision who to vote for and then made the commitment to not speak evil of “the other guy” or even speak evil of supporters of “the other guy.” Remember, if you want a one party system there are places you can go for that: North Korea, China, Cuba, and Russia to name just a few.

Or, if John Wesley words aren’t convicting enough, think about what Paul says in Galatians 5:

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: . . .  enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions . . . and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Strong words from Paul about how we speak of and treat those we disagree with on any topic. For Christians, this is a matter of whether or not we’re willing to step up and actually live what we believe in every arena of life–even in our political discussions and disagreements.

So, join me in prayer these last few days before the election arrives that people will faithfully discern their vote, that they will vote, and that even in the midst of a contentious election we will do what we’re all called to do: love God and love people.

And if you’re looking for a third-party candidate, I strongly endorse this guy:

Last week was a wild ride and my best intentions to continue the relate series were overcome by . . . well life. So, we’ll pick back up this week! Remember if you want email alerts when I post, just click the button to the right.

When I first got married, I just knew I could convert my wonderful new bride into a world-class house-keeper. This wasn’t because I had a patriarchal sense of expectations (wife: clean, husband: hunt). I wanted Audra to appreciate the joy of a clean house as much as I did. Cleaning the house was something we could enjoy doing together. I thought that surely with a little work on my part I could make her into the person I thought she would want to be.

Turns out I was wrong. Horribly. Terribly. Miserably wrong.

Continue Reading »

Yesterday, I posted the first five rules for “fighting fair.” Every relationship has moments of tension and disagreement. How we manage those moments will determine if the relationship grows or disintegrates.

You can find the first five rules here.

Here are the next five:

Continue Reading »

Today’s post is the second in the series, Relate. In this series, I’m discussing some important issues that will help us improve relational health. For you that may be your marriage, a friendship, or a work relationship. 

If you want to receive notifications about posts, just hit the “Follow” button to the right of this post.

In the previous post, I discussed that fights/disagreements/conflict/arguments can be a good thing in a relationship. The key is to make our conflict constructive rather than destructive. Over the years, I’ve developed a list of things that will help us fight fair. Some of these I’ve stolen from others and some I’ve painfully learned on my own. Today, I’ll give the first five and tomorrow I’ll share the remaining rules. At the bottom of the post is a funny, funny video a friend shared with me about what you don’t want to do in a relationship (guys, this one’s primarily aimed at you). If you need a laugh, you can skip straight to it. Or, it can be a bonus for making it through the list.

Continue Reading »

Relate: *!@#$%^#@*

Today we start a new series focused on relationships. Last week I invited you to submit your relationship questions (which you can still do by emailing me @ eddierester@parkwayheights.org). Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll share some resources and helpful reflections to help us make our relationships (marriages, friendships, families, and work relationships) a bit more enjoyable. Today we start with the most obvious issue in our relationships: How to deal with conflict

If you hate having to guess when I post something new (I try to post 2-3 times a week), you can simply follow the blog (upper right) and you’ll get an email whenever a new post hits the interwebs.  

What’s the constant in all of our relationships? You know what it is, don’t you?

Continue Reading »

%d bloggers like this: