A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: October 2009 (page 1 of 1)

Sunday Night Unwind, 10.18.09…

Hey, loyal readers…both of you! I’m unwinding tonight in Starbucks in Woodstock, Georgia. This is becoming a weekly ritual after long days. I’ve got the old iTunes kicked up , and I’m listening to a Genius mix based on Hillsong United’s great From the Inside Out.

Some things on my mind and in my heart tonight…

  • True confession time: Today was the first day in a long, long time I didn’t actually dread showing up at church. I know that’s weird for a pastor to say. Somewhere along the way to somewhere else, I lost that real sense of joy I used to have. Today was different, and I pray that’s going to be a regular thing again.
  • I don’t share that to whine, but just to lay it out there, and let you know that if you’ve got an extra prayer or two, I won’t try to convince you not to use them on my behalf!
  • I’m teaching through the powerful and practical epistle of James these days. It’s been good to get back to my roots, so to speak. For all the cool, hip, happening, relevant topical preaching out there, there is still something pretty powerful about opening up part of The Book and working through it in a systematic, deliberate way.
  • I want to be both Biblical and unboring.
  • I talked about facing the future this morning. I wondered aloud if I talk a lot about faith and all that, but live like a “practical atheist,” as though God really doesn’t exist and is not a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Ouch!
  • I wondered aloud if I presume on His grace when I assume things about tomorrow that may or may not be true. And yes, I used the great lesson of the word assume: you make one out of U and ME when you do it! Ouch, Number 2!
  • And I wondered aloud if I’m cruising through my life with God’s dream, purpose, and plans percolating on the inside, but not taking shape in my life. I wondered aloud what’s keeping me from fulfilling His plan and purposes. Big OUCH, Number 3!
  • I’m planning on talking about money next week.
  • I’m learning some hard lessons about trusting God to provide in the face of great need these days. At least I hope I’m learning the lessons. I don’t want this process to go on indefinitely!
  • Fasting without praying is just a cruel and joyless diet.
  • Action cures fear.
  • I’ve got at least 3 books in various stages of unread. I need to finish them and find something new.
  • I’m old and tired. That’s reality, but I tend to trot it out as a convenient excuse for not doing something.
  • I love Loreena McKennitt’s Christmas stuff!
  • I’m breaking my own rule and actually rooting for an orange team against another orange team next weekend. Hey, Perry…make sure your Tigers win, OK?
  • BTW, how ’bout them Jackets?!?!?
  • What the heck is a Hokie anyway?
  • There’s way too much math homework going on in here tonight!
  • My couple of hours of free wi-fi is about up, and my rambling has about rambled out.

Make it a great evening!

Sunday Night Unwind, 10.04.09…

Sitting in Starbucks on Hwy. 92 near Trickum Road in Woodstock, reflecting on the day, the weekend, and pretty much the whole week last week. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that I’m entering one of those infamous dark nights of the soul things. So maybe it might not be a great night to reinstitute the Unwind, but here goes…

  • I could have sat at my office and worked, but I needed — no, I wanted! — some Internet connectivity. Isn’t it strange that we want to be “connected,” so we sit — alone — in a coffee shop, surrounded by all kinds of people, that we don’t even know.
  • Yeah, don’t even get started on the glaring fact that even as 2009 is swiftly losing its identity into 2010, we have no Internet at our church office. I said don’t even get started!
  • It absolutely stinks to get old! I don’t recommend it to anybody!
  • But thanks for the birthday greetings last week!
  • I’m not ashamed to say that I’m glad to see my friend Gary Lamb back online on a regular basis. I know there are a lot of folks out there who are looking for any excuse they can find to bash Gary and sit in judgment on him. I love that guy, and yep, I’m pulling for him, big time!
  • There’s a gaggle of giggling Georgia Tech coeds in here right now. Man, they let 12- and 13-year-olds go to college! Amazing! (At least they aren’t some of the earlier-referenced “grazers” from that old Georgia Tech joke: “Why did they change to artificial turf at Georgia Tech’s stadium?”)
  • I came across a random article today about what happens when leaders lose their way. The abstract of the article says there are five perils of the leadership journey, “distinctive destructive behaviors that tend to occur in the hero stage of managers’ early careers: being an impostor, rationalizing, glory seeking, playing the loner and being a shooting star.” I’m wrestling with some of these things at this late-middle stage of my life.
  • Funny…Count Basie’s “Front Burner” is playing on iTunes, and in Starbucks at the same time!
  • 12 0f the 15 people inside Starbucks have their laptops open. Looks like 9 of those 12 are on Twitter right now! That’s funny! (BTW, the other 3 are playing poker. With real cards. Go figure!)