Here is how I know I have had a good day.
How about you?
Good morning Surgeons!
We're closing out our At the Movies series this morning, with The Avengers!
Special music today is Soundgarden, Live to Rise.
Men's breakfast yesterday was a rousing success! Pancakes were eaten :)
As we head into spring, be aware of our Spring push... we're ramping up into Easter, we have another round of cards going out and it's a great time to invite family and friends.
We need help on the tech team! This is the group that assists with lighting, slides, video preparation! If interested contact E Reiss and he will get you connected.
Next week we're starting our new series, Vanity Fair and we'll be digging into Ecclesiates and life lessons.
See you soon!
Good morning all,
We're continuing our At the Movies series, with The Hunger Games. Watching the movie, it reminded me of my days in public school... but hopefully this morning the kids won't have to shoot anyone to get a snack.
We're going unplugged today... with an acoustic offering for worship... will be different and fun.
Special music is "Come Away to the Water" by Maroon 5.
Great concert last night featuring the music of Susan Greenbaum, it was an amazing concert.
The Yoga Center is expanding hours! Get your relaxing, healthy, yogarrific classes here! And check the Calendar for the latest times and classes.
Our Men's Breakfast, hosted by Terry Forrester, will be 8:30am this Saturday, Feb 23rd.
Finishing up our Movie Series this next week, with The Avengers! Don't miss it!
Good Day Surgeons!
We're continuing our At the Movies series, with the Pixar film Brave. Selma Nunes will be bringing a great message and you won't want to miss it!
Special music will be Mumford and Sons, Learn Me Right.
Second Sunday Lunch is today! Hosted by Mary Bevard, save the date, 1:30pm on Sunday, Feb 10th.
Location: 1934 Massachusetts Avenue, McLean, VA 22101
Our next SAW concert at the Barn is happening on Saturday, Feb 16th, opening act starting at 7pm, main concert beginning at 8pm.
Men's Breakfast, hosted by Terry Forrester, 8:30am on Saturday, Feb 23rd.
We need have open slots for corporate sponsors for SAW artists, contact E Reiss for details, if your company (or a business you know) would like to be a sponsor!
Next week, we'll be continuing our series, talking about The Hunger Games. If the Grammy's were structured like the movie (everyone runs in and grabs a weapon...) - I'd watch!
Stay safe and we'll see you Sunday AM!
Death - I'm not a fan.
Part of me wants to start with some intellectual / theological thing that somehow God holds the whole dream in His head and death now with His promise being fulfilled later is somehow better even if that is mysterious.
Uh-huh. That buzzing you hear is the ejection of that thought before it even gets started.
Part of me just wants to be sad. Part of me hasn't really accepted it yet. My father in law, Wayne Grimsey went to be with the Ancient of Days yesterday morning early. My lady hasn't really walked with grief in this way much - but she's handling it pretty well. And as for me, well... I can't say grief is an old friend... but I can say that it is a bit like an old shoe that is familiar in its familiarity, even as it rubs your foot sore. It hurts. There is legitimate sorrow. But it is a pain with purpose (or it can be that) and it isn't forever.
So I feel the need to write like a crazed Walt Whitman, railing and poetic, slapping wildly at words and let language try to get away if it can. But I also feel the need for some structure, so here goes, three things and I'll let this rest for now.
We're uncomfortable with death because we weren't ultimately made for it. It's a kluge. A bad fit. A leaky patch.
Imagine if I spun the following scenario... you get to have everything you ever wanted. A great job that is fulfilling and meaningful with great pay. A great family with a spouse that loves you and never leaves. Well above average children who make it to adulthood and become successful and happy. A great house. Enough income to really live well, to enjoy good things in life.
Then after a few years you die and you're done. End of story.
Seems unsatisfying doesn't it? That scenario just sucks. It does. In that context even the "dream" life seems kind of small and empty and short.
That's because it IS small and empty and short, compared to the eternity we were created to be a part of. Life can be good... and full of meaning... but in my heart... that meaning is ultimately made whole in the thought that this isn't all there is. There is more.
Ernest Hemingway famously wrote that, "all stories, if continued long enough, end in death."
Anyone who knows me has heard me mention that there is one that doesn't. And because of the one that doesn't, our story doesn't have to end either. The chapter closes. A new one opens. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Dealing with grief is best met head on. He's a persistent little cuss and hard to shake, or ignore. Like shame in Lewis' description... grief is like a really hot cup of coffee. You can't do anything with it, except drink it down. Try anything else and it will burn you.
If you're entering a cycle of grief, (or haven't exited one yet) allow yourself to feel. It won't kill you, though it might feel that way at times. You don't have to shiver. You really can just let yourself be cold for a few minutes.
It can be a powerful time of growth if you let it be. Our natural tendency is to avoid pain and run like the dickens when it appears. In this case, resist that urge. Ask God to guide you through the process. And you'll see things that are amazing. Priorities clarify. Minutiae fades. Important things become important again. And we remember.
We also get clobbered into a train of thought about spending the currency of our lives well. That isn't a bad thing, especially for those of us with puppy focus. This season of life doesn't last forever. It waxes and wanes and fades and starts and stops and hitches and jerks and abruptly ends. Make the most of it. Redeem the time.
That thing on your heart that is really big and that you want to do? Don't wait. Write it down. Get it moving. Today.
That beautiful project you want to pull together? Pull! With both hands. Keep pulling.
That person you need to re-connect with... please do.
But don't get stuck. The decisions you make in this season are deep ones and they affect a shaping of the soul that is an accelerant to normal process and internal development. Don't run, don't abstain, don't wall off. Feel. Reflect. Learn. Grow. And come to resolution in moving forward. My mind is settling into the process phase of this and I'm trying to think of ways to be an encouragement to Karen and a help to the rest of the family if I can. I look forward to the time to think and reflect as we'll fly over the darkened winter landscape tomorrow morning.
Seeing this through Evangeline's eyes is kind of amazing. Children are such a gift. She turned 4 last Friday... and doesn't get death yet. Going to heaven is like going to Idaho. They're not really gone and they can come back anytime. I know it isn't healthy, but my goodness would I keep her there if I could.
Karen explained it to her like this.
Paeyoo (the grandpa name on that side of the family...) has gone to heaven to give God a big hug.
Yeah, that's a surprisingly sophisticated way of thinking about it. And today Evangeline said that and crossed her little arms and made an exaggerated hugging motion back and forth. Then she said this, "I'm glad he is in heaven, I didn't want him to be sick and feel bad. I'm not sad." She's precocious to be sure, but she said it with such a weight and a spirit of wisdom that I wonder if she doesn't understand more than I think she does.
I'm glad he's in heaven too. I didn't want him to be sick or feel bad either.
I'm still a little sad, though. I'm not quite as old as Evangeline is yet.
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
~1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Just off the GW Parkway, in Lady Bird Johnson Park, there is an amazing piece of sculpture that can be seen from the road. It is a 30x35 foot memorial, made of aluminum, depicting birds and waves... and lives spent in honor.
I was intrigued, because one of our primary visual metaphors for the Surge, was a wave - and this one was particularly beautiful.
So, with Karen and Evangeline in tow, we made a run for the Lady Bird. And discovered the Navy - Merchant Marine Memorial in Washington D.C. We really do have an incredible amount of high art, memorials and culture in our area that we don't often take good enough advantage of. Turn off the TV and walk around would ya? :)
I was hoping for a background or two to use for the website banners... and I certainly will craft a couple, but the memorial captured me in it's own right.
It was commissioned in 1922, and completed in 1934, to honor the Navy veterans and members of the Merchant Marines who gave their lives in service during World War I. Click here for the basics.
Anyway, click through the slideshow below to enjoy some of the shots. The work in aluminum is clever and unbelievably detailed. I tried to the give a basic photo journal overview of the memorial, moving from the big picture, to the inscription, to the birds rising from wingtip to wingtip, to the detailed work of the waves themselves. Enjoy!
Good Day Surgeons!
Hope you are doing well, staying safe and warm! Here are a few announcements!
- We are kicking off our At the Movies series, with a message on the Dark Knight Rises!
- Special music today is "Burn it Down" by Linkin Park
- We have a few things coming up in the weeks ahead you'll want to know about:
1) SAW open mic and songwriter workshop @ the Barn, second Saturdays, check saw.org or our calendar for details.
2) SAW monthly concert, third Saturdays at the Barn, beginning at 8pm.
3) Second Sunday lunch is happening at Mary Bevard's place, next Sunday at 1:30pm after the service.
4) Men's breakfast is the last Saturday of the month hosted by Terry Forrester, that will be Feb 23rd.
We're continuing our Movie series with Brave this next week. See your small group (or E and Dwaine) for info on watch parties... and we'll be hearing from our pastor of youth and outreach, Selma Nunes - don't miss it.
We probably have a few weeks of winter left... if we do get a bad snowstorm and the Theatre is closed... we'll message by email, website and facebook... so if you have any doubts - just check online and we'll post the best information we have!
Have a great week...
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.