Ponderings for November 9 2018

Greetings, Trinity friends and family. I hope this note finds you well and that your week has been a positive and productive one.
 
A friend just alerted me of an article by Judith Shulevitz entitled, “Alexa, Should We Trust You?” I believe he called it sobering. I think she is writing to warn us of both the privacy that we are increasingly losing and also of the dangers of the instantaneous consumers which we are becoming. It’s too easy to want something (the latest book by Tim Keller or the newly reproduced White Album from the Beatles) and have my wants immediately fulfilled simply by a command to Alexa.
 
I’m sorry; some of you might not be sure to what I am referring. Some time ago, I received an “Alexa” from Amazon. Alexa is a technological gadget that I can order around with my voice, telling “her” to play my favorite song by Andrea Bocelli or describe Mentor’s upcoming weather or update me on the score of the Cavs game (I bet they’re losing). Amazing technological advancements, right?! Not sure. Hence the article by Shulevitz.
 
Anyway, let me read the article and then get back to you soon in another Ponderings about it. I have a feeling there will be some good life and spiritual lessons and cautions for us. But until then, this is but another reminder of how “delicate” our lives and relationships are in these days.
 
Many of you have reported the encouragement you’ve received from our talk Sunday about the prodigals in our lives. Hope and patience are among the key words I keep hearing. And every day, at 1:00pm, the phone alarm goes off. I am cheating—I am now up to four wayward “kids” (and one prodigal spouse) for whom I am praying. I am eager to hear how God is answering our hundreds of prayers. (If you did not hear: On Sunday, I challenged us all to pray for one prodigal once a day at one o’clock until Christmas. Join us!)
 
This Sunday, as we continue our “Delicate” series, we will look at the very human emotion of shame: a real experience of so many that devalues our very sense of identity. Dr. Linda Dakwar will join me as we delve into this topic, describing shame’s manifestations and its eventual shrinking amid the presence of Christ’s love and that of his community.
 
Speaking of those who need love and the healing touch of our Lord and people—our Surviving the Holidays events (on November 15 for divorce victims and November 16 for those who have lost someone) can be a great opportunity to introduce God’s love and healing. If you know someone who could benefit, please invite them. Better yet, accompany them to Trinity on that evening.
 
A couple of Did you knows and then I’ll stop typing: Did you know that Ian and Brooke Neale will be here in the middle of November? As you may know, we have called Ian to be Trinity’s NextGen (Youth-Plus) Director. You will soon be hearing and seeing them a lot. At the right time, we will have an all-church welcome for the Neales. We’ll keep you posted.
 
Did you know that the apron of the exit in the parking is being finished? A nice, smooth departure is at hand! (We all want that!) Anyway, on Sunday we will use the entrance only to drive in and out. A video will be posted on Facebook with a few more details—look for it later today.
 
That’s all for now.
Alexa, say goodbye to my friends!
Pastor Paul