A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: January 2012 (page 1 of 1)

Sunday Night Unwind, 01.15.12…

Sunday Night Unwind, 01.15.12...

(Image via iStockphoto.com)

In honor of, and in solidarity with, my friend, Tony McCollum, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and a few other random disco favorites are powering the Sunday Night Unwind tonight!

Here’s what I’m thinking about tonight…

  • Long, LOOOOOONG message this morning at The Crest.
  • I started a series last week about facing the challenges of growing older. Today’s installment focused on regret.
  • BTW, I developed the series with help from our folks, who identified some of the most critical challenges they face while getting older.
  • BTW #2: Getting older is not a function of a particular age. You and I are older than we were yesterday, and in fact, whether we are 30 or 90, we’ll continue to get older until we die.
  • Anyway, I digress…I used the story of Samson to help us see some lessons about dealing with regret. This article was a springboard for the message.
  • The discomfort of discipline will help us avoid the pain of regret. Our choices now have consequences later.
  • We can’t change the past. But hopefully, we learn valuable lessons from the past.
  • It’s never too late to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. But time is running out. And it may not look exactly the same at 40 or 50 0r 87 as it may have looked at 16 or 21 or 30.
  • Fulfilling that purpose will likely – no, assuredly! – require us to lose our own selfish and prideful agendas, and follow His.
  • In other news, it was a real special day for my friend and former colleague Melanie Christianson. She celebrated her retirement after 43 years of musical service at my last headquarters. Melanie was (hopefully, still is!) a great friend, an excellent musician, an effective leader, and the best assistant I ever had! Thanks, Melanie, for everything! Well done, good and faithful servant! Oh, and how does someone who’s only 39 serve for 43 years?
  • The lovely and gracious Mrs. JustCharlie and The Boy continue their headlong plunge, lemming-like, into Apple fanboy-/fangirl-dom. They’ve plastered those little white Apple logos on their vehicles! And The Boy just went and traded in his two-week-old iPhone4 for the 4S.
  • Apparently, that Siri can be a real snit!
  • What’s next, I wonder..a MacBook Pro? (13″, 8 gigs of RAM, etc., etc.)? OK…twist my arm…
  • It was good to see some old friends at The Crest today.
  • No YMCA, no school tomorrow…hope you have a great night! Later!

Sunday Night Unwind, 01.08.12…

(Image via iStockphoto.com)

Once again, Hillsong on Pandora is providing the soundtrack for the almost-county-famous Sunday Night Unwind! Long, interesting day, in case you’re interested…

  • I’ve been in a Hillsong mood the last couple of days. Somehow, I still think we need a chick worship leader!
  • Speaking of worship, who’s doing music that’s (A) theologically rich, (B) singable, (C) and at least a little bit celebratory? I love some of the contemporary takes on classic hymns, but man! What’s with the emo/Debbie Downer mood? And how can you get older folks to sing along when the music is unsingable? Just a thought…
  • Re: “older” folks…I started a new series this morning focusing on facing the challenges of growing older.
  • I know, I know…it’s supposed to be all about reaching younger people. You do realize, don’t you, that even your 30-year-olds are older than someone? And they’re facing the getting older thing, too.
  • For the record, I started fretting about the getting older thing at 30. Just sayin’…
  • Anyway, I told the story of Caleb, and tried to challenge our folks to be a “different spirit” like Caleb was.
  • What made him different? His undying optimism, his wholehearted devotion to God, his unrelenting quest for the next challenge, and his investment in the next generation. Not bad for an 85-year-old.
  • And can you imagine Joshua and Caleb sitting and playing checkers at the Cracker Barrel? Well, that’s how I told it anyway! 🙂
  • Even though the message was OK, I felt more drained than I have in a long time when it was over.
  • God really challenged me through my own words today.
  • Some NY writer said the Falcons beating the Giants in the NFL playoffs would reward the worst sports fans in America. Just in case you were wondering, it’s not the fans in Atlanta , it’s obviously the teams! For a team that’s supposedly so good, the Falcons sure are pretty bad! Two points? Really?
  • Oh, well, it’s back to my normal “Who cares about pro football?” status now.
  • Oh, and did you realize we were thaaaaaaaaaat close to not having to tolerate another NBA season? Too bad… 🙂
  • Four folks showed up for our new Second Sunday prayer gathering at The Crest. We were in bonus territory, I guess!

Kitties are winding down – hopefully! Opportunity clock will sound promptly at 4:00 a.m. See you later! Good night!

I Wonder…

(Image via flickr.com/striatic)

It’s a cold winter day in North Georgia, and I’m wondering about a few random things.

  • I wonder if the apostles ever begged anyone for money to accomplish “their major projects.”
  • I wonder if they ever taught a series on finances.
  • I wonder if we didn’t make such a big deal out of high school athletes and their recruiting status if they would turn out to be better athletes, students, citizens, and people.
  • I wonder what makes people think two days of New Year’s resolutions will reverse 10 years of unhealthy living.
  • I wonder where all the money goes.
  • I wonder if there will ever be a time when we don’t stay as frustratingly busy as we are now.
  • I wonder if there’s an end to this funk.

Sunday Night Unwind, 01.01.12…

Image via spicytec.com

Happy New Year to all my loyal readers – all two of you! Here are a couple of things on my mind as the first day of 2012 begins to wind down…

  • I preached from John 15 this morning, and I talked about the essentials we need for a truly successful and prosperous new year.
  • Above all else, we need a living and vital connection with Jesus. Most believers have plenty of information about Jesus and His teachings. Too many of us substitute knowing about Him for living connected to Him. That vital connection brings clarity to our lives, provides the difference between frustration and fruitfulness, empowers our prayers, and brings real joy,
  • We also need a vital connection to other people. Life is not a spectator sport. Don’t forget the command of Jesus to love one another is just as much a command as the Big Ten.
  • And we need a purpose and a plan to achieve it. Jesus called us and commands us to be fruitful by doing what God intends us to do.
  • By the way, the reason New Year’s resolutions don’t usually work is because we depend on our own effort and ability to make them happen. Jesus is clear that apart from Him, we are powerless to accomplish anything of lasting value.
  • We tried recording my message directly to digital today. I know, I know…old coot, behind the times and all that. I’m going to try my hand at editing that audio in a bit.
  • We are becoming Apple fanboys/fangirls at the Just Charlie hacienda. New iPads for the lovely and gracious Mrs. Charphar and The Boy. They were comparing the size of those little white Apple logo stickers yesterday. Sheesh! 🙂
  • BTW, I’m thinking of stealing one of their stickers and putting it over the Dell logo on my laptop. Not…
  • I interrupted this post to rescue a kitty. From the box springs. Don’t ask…
  • And aren’t pets supposed to lower your stress level?
  • For the past couple of years, I’ve read through John Piper’s Brothers, We Are Not Professionals in the month of January. Each chapter is short enough to use as a daily reading. You may not agree with everything  Piper writes, but this book serves a s a good reminder for those of us “in the ministry.”
  • Speaking of the iPad, it’s pretty cool and all, but right now, I really can’t see where it would replace my laptop. For this old coot, at least, it seems like a pretty expensive toy. Your mileage may vary. Of course, I might could come over to the Dark Side if someone dropped a  nifty 13″ MacBookPro in my hands!
  • Georgia Tech did it again in the Sun Bowl. It seems nobody snatches defeat from the jaws of victory like the Jackets. I can’t decide if they need to find someone to play defense or someone to coach defense.
  • It’s a sad day when the red cups go away at Starbucks.
  • The old grind starts back tomorrow.
  • The old grind is starting to really grind.
  • Next week, I’m starting a series on the challenges of growing older.
  • And with that, I’ve bored you long enough. Pandora’s Hillsong channel is providing the Sunday Night Unwind soundtrack.

Hope your 2012 is off to a great start. See you later!