Thursday, October 13, 2011


There's a standing rule in our household; when I'm preaching and I'm going to tell a story involving Sarah I need to give her a heads up and sometimes get permission.  It is a system we have worked out.

What I am about to share needs no permission.

Today she was remarkable to/for me.
I arrived home for lunch and she knew my morning had been heavy.  Although I did not want to dump on her, when she asked a simple question the avalanche made its descent from me to her.

She listened and calmly asked questions.  She heard my anger and spoke into it.  She picked up our nearly one year old and directed our almost 5 year old to better activities -  continuing to carry my weight while taking the weight of others too.  She heard disappointing news and swallowed it with dignity and an incredible level of understanding.

I love her.  I have loved her for years.
She loves me.

And that is good.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Curve Ahead

In 1992 I spent a school year in England.
Yes, it was very cool. Thanks for asking.
It was then that I was introduced to Roundabouts. They seemed to be everywhere! (In fact, estimates are that there are 25,000 of them in England.)

What's a roundabout?
See for yourself…
It is a traffic management device.
Rather than car coming to a complete stop there is a yield process and then a series of "spokes" that a driver chooses in order to continue on a journey.

When you first experience a roundabout it's just plain nutty! Especially in England where drivers drive on the other side of the road, it all seems a little out of control and hard to navigate.

Sarah and I travelled to England together in 2003. We hired (rented) a car and were literally tossed a set of keys, a map and then pointed to the top floor of the parking garage where our car was waiting for us. No training, no pointers, no tips…just a car and a map.

So we set off and within no time at all encountered a roundabout. Then another, and another, and … you get the picture.

We managed, but it was tricky at times.
When you are used to stop lights, exit ramps and right turns a roundabout messes with your head!
When you grow up in Wyoming, driving in England really messes with you.
Hello! Anybody out there?
Here's the thing.
Roundabouts are being proven to be safer, more efficient and more cost effective.
And they are beginning to show up in the states more and more (2,500 at last count).

I was in the backseat of a buddy's car recently as he attempted to navigate 3 roundabouts in city in Michigan. It was a sickening experience. He didn't have a clue what he was doing and where he should go. In fact, to get to our destination we navigated those 3 roundabouts twice! Then we had to go through them once more on our way out of town. Blimey!
But you know what? On our exit, he had kinda it figured out.

Here's what I wonder?
Is there a curve ahead for the church which will be big?
The shift from Right Turns and Stoplights to Yields and Roundabouts is big.
The shift from Church as we know it to Church as effective in reaching our community is BIGGER.

In America, we don't get roundabouts.
In England, they get them. They are raised on them and trained to drive around them.

We have a learning curve (pun intended) ahead of us.
It will take time. It will require training. It will include uncomfortable experiences.
But we must learn and put it into practice.