A Winding Walk & A Ponderous Path

A Winding Walk & A Ponderous Path

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by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter February 21, 2019

The season after Epiphany invited us to see the world with adventurous and amateur eyes, both. During these weeks we have been spiritually challenged by the biblical stories to experience the ordinary world in a new way. Wise Men taught us to look for stars, signs, and symbols to guide our journey. Jesus modeled what happens we cast our life in line with everybody else and wander into the wilderness to find our way. These texts have encouraged us to follow Jesus through the ordinariness of our lives toward something new.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned along the way:

1. Spiritually, we must confess that our senses do not provide us with perfect insight into what is happening around us.

We see what we expect to see in the world. This is especially true in the parts of our life with which we are most familiar. Your neighborhood and your commute to work are experienced by rote. Our routines are so repetitive that their interpretation is nearly automatic. Oddly enough, the same is true for things wildly unfamiliar to us. It is almost impossible for us to really see the world from someone else perspective without taking a walk with them to see what they see.

2. Take notice of the way you notice the world around you and question what you see.

Through these texts, we have learned that our ability to narrate and navigate our lives based on our senses must be continuously questioned and redeemed. I know the word itself, ‘epiphany,’ makes it seem like it is something that happens to you. What we have learned is that we must be intentional in the way that we seek to see the world. This is how we begin to see God in the world, and it is how we see the world from God’s perspective. This intentionality makes it possible to see our neighbor and learn about life from their perspective. Ask someone else to take a walk with you and tell you about their experience and this city from their perspective.

3. Take a step of faith based on your new insight

Once you have begun to pay attention to your life and have some sense of where God might be leading you, then it is time to start the perilous journey of following God with other people. Invest your best gifts on this new journey with God. I don’t know where God is calling you in your life, but I know this: if you listen to God, if you obediently follow, if you offer your gifts for Christ sake, then you too will have an adventure in faith to share.

Trees and Trust

Trees and Trust

by Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter February 14, 2019

I spent many days of my childhood climbing trees. At the home where I grew up in Newnan, Georgia, there were three maple trees that crossed our front lawn. One particular maple tree was accessible to my young hands and legs. I could grab hold of its lowest branch and swing my legs up to hug the limb and then lift myself up into the tree. I would climb a little higher into the tree to a branch that was thick and strong. It could support my whole body, and I could lean against it almost like a chair just right for sitting and pondering. From the tree, I could view nests that the birds had made, and occasionally find a caterpillar’s cocoon. It was a place to explore and view life.

Around the Block

Around the Block

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter February 7, 2019

“To find new things, take the path you took yesterday.”
~ John Burroughs

Walking around the church in this season of Epiphany continues to reveal new insights. So many things come to light if you allow your gaze to broaden and your perspective shift. This strange season, when it is February, but it feels like summer and looks like autumn, invites a fresh perspective.

Walking Home

Walking Home

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter January 24, 2019

Week by week and step by step we are walking through the season after Epiphany. The wise men encouraged us to look to the sky and leave the homes we know to discover what God is doing in the world. The baptism of Jesus calls us to this same kind of wisdom as we have reflected on his baptism and wandering in the wilderness for discernment and direction. We have resolved to see the world in a new way on this journey. Our biblical texts during these weeks call us to see the miraculous in the ordinary experiences of life, like a miracle at a wedding when water turns to wine.

Jubilate! Concert This Sunday Night at Highland Hills

Jubilate! Concert This Sunday Night at Highland Hills

by Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter January 17, 2018

As I’m sure you all have heard by now, this weekend the Jubilate Festival Singers will celebrate the 26th Annual Jubilate youth choir retreat and concert. Since 1994, when Jubilate began, the Highland Hills Youth Choir has attended every Jubilate retreat and summer tour and this year is no exception. The 100 voice Jubilate Festival Singers will feature youth choirs from FBC Avondale Estates, FBCX Macon and Highland Hills in Georgia; FBC Aiken and Boulevard Baptist, Anderson in South Carolina; and Broadway Baptist, Louisville in Kentucky.

In Epiphany, there is no road ahead

In Epiphany, there is no road ahead

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter January 7, 2019

Epiphany is a season of the liturgical year that celebrates the journey of faith by telling the story of the three wise men, who find their way by getting lost in the mysteries of God. Their lives were not bound by the conventional assumptions that threaten to end our journey into our new life before it begins. Epiphany removes our accepted landmarks and instead encourages us to follow mystery, curiosity, and discernment. Epiphany challenges us to leave our failed pathways behind and to venture into the unknown, together. Just like the wise men returned home by walking a new path, we must find our real life by charting a path home by another way. 

Write a new list

Write a new list

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter December 20, 2018

We need new lists.

No, not additional lists. Lists abound in the Christmas season. "To do" lists describe the many things that must happen at work in order to make it to your kids Christmas play on time. "To purchase" lists enumerate just how many presents to buy and for whom. Grocery lists curate how many Christmas hams to purchase and help organize our cupboards and counters when company comes over for Christmas. Even Santa's list names who is naughty and who is nice. We need a new list. Something that names what happens next!

Where Will Christ Show Up?

Where Will Christ Show Up?

by Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter December 15, 2018

It’s Advent. It’s that time when we wait and prepare for the coming of the Christ child. In our waiting, we turn our attention to worship, celebrations, and preparations. By now we have strung lights, purchased and wrapped gifts, attended a few parties and concerts, and eaten our share of Christmas goodies.