Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2 Losses One Heartbreak

Within a couple of days this world lost two men. One man was unknown to the world, while the other had great fame.

The first man was my great uncle Ralph Fry. Ralph was the father of six kids, a retired carpenter, and a great Christian man. Ralph also had the privilege to serve in WWII as a member of the 509th Composite Group. That group was specially selected to drop the first atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan. Uncle Ralph was a ground mechanic for the two planes that participated in that event.

When I heard the news of Uncle Ralphs passing my heart was saddened, but knew that he was at peace. No longer did he labor to breath. No longer did he have to go through medical test after medical test. No longer did he have to fight the cancer that was about to ravage his body. He is at peace; he is now at home with the father.

Two days after I heard the passing of Uncle Ralph, tragic news struck the Cincinnati community. Chris Henry, a wide receiver for the Bengals passed away after a domestic dispute with his fiancé. If you follow much football you know that Henry had struggled with the law in his short young life. However, all the news reports, all the people involved with the Bengals, and his family said he was finally getting things in order. He had spent a lot of time cleaning up his life.

Our Sr. Minister had the privilege of speaking with the Bengals at their training camp. While there he got to have a conversation with Henry. During that conversations Henry took the opportunity to talk with Marty’s grandson about making right decisions and listening to the right people in his life. Henry seemed to be on the right road.

When I heard the news of Henry’s passing, I felt a different emotion than I did for Uncle Ralph. Uncle Ralph was 89 years old and a Christian man. He had lived a full life, and is finally in peace. Chris Henry was only 26 years old. I do not know if he was a Christian, or had any relationship with God, but I do know he left two young children behind. My heart went out for his soul and where it might be.

Friends, I believe situations like these tend to remind us of the urgency we must carry out the gospel. We never know when life will be taken from us. We must strive to bring the message of the cross to all who will hear. I can take comfort that Uncle Ralph is at home with the father. Can you take comfort that your friends and family have a relationship with the God, and have confidence where their soul will reside? Can you say the same for yourself?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Do you Process or Event?

Today I was reading a great blog by Seth Godin. On his blog he was talking about process vs. events. A process is the long haul, the path you take to get to your eventual goal or next level. Seth relates the process concept to loosing weight and dating. An event is an individual part of that process. Seth relates the event concept to setting up a trade show booth.

In the church, are we focused on the events or the processes?
If we are focused on the event then life change in people would be sporadic and all over the place. But if we are focused on the process, then life change is constant and always taking place. In the church the process is the system that will move you through each level of church growth. In the church the process is the path people take to go from a Christian who needs milk to a Christian who is eating solid foods. In the church the events are things that help the process move along. In the church the events attract people to the church, are the events that spur them to Christ, and are the events that encourage people to step up and serve. These may be festivals that attract the community to your church, the revival that moves the heart, and the ministry fair that calls for volunteers. But remember, these are just the tools of the process, the long term goal. There might be a wide variety of events that go into accomplishing one part of the process.

Can you define the processes in your church? Can you define the events in your church that help the process move? Can you distinguish between the two?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Traditions

One of the things this time of year is known for is family traditions. Most of us can reach into the crevasses of our minds and pull to memory many of our favorite family traditions.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions no longer takes place, but the memories I have are great. I remember when I was little we would meet at my Grandma’s house every Christmas Eve. It would be my family, all my aunts and uncles, their children, and my Grandma. That night we would share a meal, open presents and just spend time together as a family. After that we would load up the car and then go home. On our way home we would take a few detours to look at Christmas light in various neighborhoods. Finally we would get home and my mom would hurry my brother and I off to bed so that they could stay up to meet Santa when he came (They always told us that they had to pay Santa for the gifts that he brought us on Christmas.).

We had to stop doing that tradition once my aunt started working on Christmas Eve. Now the whole family meets on Christmas day at Grandmas for brunch. The first year we did not do this it did not feel like Christmas to me. The tradition was so much a part of Christmas to me as the actual day itself. Isn’t it funny how are traditions can define our experiences?

What are some of your favorite family traditions you have during the Holiday Season? What are some of the things you used to do in the past that you no longer do now? Do these traditions help you to remember that Christmas is about the birth of Christ? Feel free to comment in the comment section below.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


The Blog is in transition. I wanted an easier url for people to find this blog. Because of that it will take a couple of days to register, and as it does, some things might not work. The new domain name is www.michaeldawsononline.com . Place it in your favorites tabs and follow along. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just For Fun

I really enjoy Rhett and Link and thought you might like this video as well. By the way the product is more sham than wow in my opinion. Enjoy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Media Overdose

Last spring I stumbled across a couple of internet comedians … Rhett and Link. They are a couple of guys from central North Carolina who earn their money by making videos for the internet as well as some local business. As I scanned through their music videos I came across the following one.

Some days this is exactly how I feel. I was sitting in my parent’s living room on Thanksgiving, talking to family, when one of them asked if I did Facebook. I then proceeded to tell them I email, text, tweet, Facebook, MySpace, and Blog, and to top it off, I am able to do all that not only through my computer but also through my cell phone. I also read four or five blogs daily, as well as participate on a couple message boards, and I only do a fraction of what some of my friends do. Friends, we live in a digital age. One of the things we must do is find a way to balance all of it. It is sometimes tricky find the perfect balance, but it is very necessary.

I say all this as a reminder to myself. Beginning in January I will be making daily blog updates corresponding to the Bible reading plan at the church. It takes a careful balance not to spend all day scanning the web, blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, while I am working on God’s work for his kingdom.

So what digital media do you find yourself tied to each day?