October 24, 2014
The Parable of Timmy and the Trampoline
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Timmy. One sunny summer day Timmy awoke, ate breakfast, and went into the backyard to play. Presently he heard the sound of laughter coming from the neighbor’s yard. His friend Billy’s head appeared over the fence, disappeared, appeared, then disappeared again.
Curious, Billy ran to the fence and pulled himself up. There was Billy, jumping gleefully on a brand new trampoline. In mid-jump, Billy saw his friend.
“Hey Timmy, come on over!” he yelled, turning a summersault. “My parents got me this new trampoline, it’s so much fun!”
Without a second thought Timmy let go of the fence and ran into the house. He had reached the front door when his mother’s voice cut the air behind him.
“Where do you think you’re going, young man?”
“To Billy’s house. He got a new trampoline and I’m going to jump on it.”
“Oh no you’re not.”
Billy was crushed. “Why not?”
“Because…” there was a pause, “because you could fall and break your neck.”
Obediently he trudged out to the backyard, but his little toys paled in comparison to the fun his neighbor was having. Still, his mother had told him that the trampoline was dangerous, and so with a certain amount of pity, he awaited the inevitable day when his friend Billy would break his neck.
In subsequent conversations with Billy, Timmy would proffer dire warnings about how jumping on the trampoline would have tragic results for the other boy. This of course was met with much scoffing. Timmy retreated into a sense of superiority, knowing that his mother was right.
Except she wasn’t. Weeks and months passed, and Billy continued to jump on the trampoline, neck intact, while Timmy watched with growing fascination.
Finally, the inevitable happened. Timmy’s parents left him alone on a beautiful Saturday morning, and at Billy’s invitation, he climbed up onto the trampoline and took his first tentative jumps, holding his neck for fear that it would snap in punishment for his disobedience. But it did not snap. Nor did it snap as he jumped higher and higher, turning and spinning and laughing with glee.
Over the following months Timmy hit the trampoline every chance he got. Those moments when he could steal away and jump to his heart’s content became the highlight of his week.
This had gone on for some time when, one beautiful Saturday, Timmy’s parents loaded up the car and the family went to a forest preserve for a camping trip. Near where they pitched their tent there was a river and peaceful inlet that, to Timmy’s eyes would make the perfect swimming hole. Someone had even strung a rope up on a tree branch that hung over the cool water.
Timmy’s mother saw the look in his eyes and warned him, “Don’t even think about it. If you swing on that you’ll break your neck.”
Timmy thought back to the last time his mother had told him he would break his neck. After months of jumping on the trampoline his neck was perfectly fine.
This time there was no hesitation. As soon as his mother’s back was turned Timmy yanked off his shirt and made a dash for the rope. Grabbing a hold of it with a firm grip he swung out over the water and let go. The splash was of the water was followed shortly by the sickening crunch as as Timmy hit the rocks hidden just beneath the surface of the water and broke his neck.
October 21, 2014
So Sunday was an adventure. Lots of extra trips, a friend visiting from out of state, and my car (christened The Donkeyslayer) breaking down after the evening service.
But one of the coolest things that happened was this:
This is our church celebrating the Lord's Supper. Though it is always a special time rich with significance and theological truth, there is nothing too unusual about this particular celebration--we do it once a month. The neat thing here is the young man at the left, who is actively training to be a deacon. He now participates in meetings, and last night he helped administer the communion service.
Nothing gladdens the missionary's heart more than seeing the Holy Spirit bring growth and maturity to those He brings to the Faith.
October 19, 2014
Musical Interlude: Mozart for Saxophone
October 18, 2014
Blowin' in the Wind
By chance I watched the following three videos in sequence this morning, and the impact was profound. I'll not explain...just watch them.
First, Peter, Paul and Mary in the flower of youth and the height of their career.
Next, a nostalgic Peter, Paul and Mary celebrate 25 years of singing together.
Finally, and aged Peter and Paul at singing with friends at Mary's memorial service. Be sure to watch this one to the end. (no embedding possible)
October 13, 2014
Children's Day Sunday School
Yet another Children's Day has come and gone, and once again the Ebenezer Congregation put together an amazing program. It was in two parts: a special program for kids in the morning, and then a special evening service led by the children.
Here are some pictures of the Sunday School program. I'll post pictures of the evening service later.
Itá and the other children's workers, dressed up as popular children's characters.
It's Bible quiz time!
William get's attacked by kids on the trampoline.
Children's day: the day when adults become children.
The battle of the plushy dice.
Itá with her charges.
See more pictures here.