It’s Raining Giant Trees (Dream)

dark wood texture

First I am going to share the dream by itself. Then after that I will share what it means to me. The reason I am separating them is that sometimes dreams are like artwork, people can extract a wide variety, and all kinds of personal meaning from them. I think that is totally cool. So, please read the dream, ponder it if you want and gather your own thoughts on it. Then read my thoughts after the second section divider. :)

In my dream I am sitting on my Great Granny’s porch. The porch was built by her father, my Great Great Grandfather, by hand. However, in the dream it had been carefully preserved, modified, expanded and updated. However, I knew that it had always been lovingly maintained/remodeled by The Owner. The house was simply beautiful, warm, welcoming. It actually looked like it had been decorated by one of my best friends. It was again, beautiful.

Ask-It Basket: What Do We Do About The Easter Demon Bunny?

easter bunny

askit basketAsk-It Basket posts were popular on my old blog so I decided to bring it back for my new blog :). This week’s question is:

Why do churches have Easter egg rolls and bounce houses on the Saturday of Easter weekend? Is it okay to do that and not invite them to church or should there always be an evangelism message at the “party” or at least a flyer about church services the next day? Some people think these are secular activities and the Easter bunny shouldn’t be something the church endorses. And/Or, what can a church do to encourage people who visit on Sunday come back the next week? Is this the role of leaders, members, both?

That is a lot of Ask-its for this weeks basket so lets break it down by each question and my responses will follow.

Why do churches have Easter egg rolls and bounce houses on the Saturday of Easter weekend?

I always want to assume the best and say that they do that to be a part of the community. That sounds like a church who wishes to provide a safe and enjoyable place for kids to have Easter celebration fun. This kind of church probably would do the bouncy houses more than once a year. At least I hope that they would. If they are doing it on Easter weekend, I would imagine they are also wanting to inform the parents that they are having Easter services the next day. It only makes sense and I wouldn’t imagine anyone would be offended or surprised that a church Easter egg roll would have a church info table at the entrance. These types of activity are a fun way to meet the needs of children for community, and play, as well as let the parents get a feel for the church’s heart.

Is it okay to do that and not invite them to church or should there always be an evangelism message at the “party” or at least a flyer about church services the next day?

rthomasco_on_Instagram
Instagram Photo Of The Week: Sam Flax Mural

This is a cool mural outside of the old Sam Flax Art store in Orlando (it’s changed locations since I took this pic.) (iPhone)

A Father’s Dance, A Son’s Joy

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This kid is cute. I mean … just cute as a button. His name is Jude. He has sandy blond hair and he loves worship time.

Jude and his parents always sat up front at church because Jude loves to dance around or jump in place. Of course, as little boys are want to do, he likes to run around a bit too. Jude has also been seen with his toy guitar in tow to play along with the band on a few occasions.

I told you … the kid is cute!

The cool thing about Jude is he likes to mix it up … he’s a squirmer. Tina is very good at giving Jude some freedom but is quite the Jude wrangler sometimes. She loves her son. You can tell.

It’s Been A Gizmo Kind Of Day

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Gizmo ain’t havin’ it.

Gizmo, pictured above, was a GenX kids movie icon. See, Gizmo was a super-cool-super-cute pet as long as you did not

  • Expose him to bright lights
  • DON’T get him wet
  • WHATEVER YOU DO you DON’T feed him after midnight

If you broke those rules all kinds of Hades would be let loose when cute little Gizmo turned into one badass asexually reproducing scaly prank monster!

I know what you might be thinking but no … not Godzilla. YES Godzilla was a badass asexually reproducing NUCLEAR scaly monster. But Godzilla (90′s version) was just a sky-scraper sized hungry gender blurred symbol of humanity’s existential search for primal meaning in a modernist vs. post-modernist age; not a prankster.

Send Me An Angel

colorful dancefloor

Back in the day I used to sneak out of the house and/or call in sick to work to go hang out at the gay bars. I started going to them when I was seventeen. Initially the euphoria and my naiveté mixed very powerfully. I thought I had finally found a refuge for my aching heart.

As any traumatized slightly neurotic seventeen year old looking for any semblance of escape would be prone to do.

It wasn’t legal for me to be in the bars, even way back then. They had raised the drinking age a couple of years before I turned 18. Yes, it used to be lower than 21. Back then I think people had to have strong drink in order to put up with all the dinosaurs and lack of electricity. ::: grin :::

Health & Fitness Update: Kicked Off The Training Wheels

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The last health and fitness update I did was on Facebook back last February 22nd! That was seven… SEVEN weeks ago. It doesn’t seem like it has been that long, but it has.

I stopped them momentarily because I stopped using Weight Watchers. I would like to say I stopped for some noble development involving maturity, sudden enlightenment, or achieving my ultimate goal weight. However, the reason I stopped is none of that. I stopped because of finances. I am having to save every dime I can. The $20 a month I was spending on that needed to be diverted elsewhere.

It’s that kind of season.

Friends, Gathering By The Fire

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“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ― Albert Camus

Several times today I have caught myself thinking about friends and the blessings each of them are as individuals and as a group. Last night, in the spur of the moment, one of them decided to have at least one more fire this season (pictured above.) We had a bit of a cool snap yesterday (dry air, high in the 70′s). So last night as the temps fell through the 60′s toward the 50′s, a fire + friends = perfect.

This same friend said, “You know what we have here is truly unique. We have a great mix of people, giftings, and personalities.” I agree.

I can’t remember exactly, but I think I have been a part of this particular group for about 7 or 8 years … has it been 9? There are many reasons I love this group. One reason that comes to mind is that it isn’t a typical programmatic “church” group with the constant pressure to multiple/expand/divide/multiply/expand/divide, work through a structured bible study, and so on. We all come to it as peers. There is no pressure to create or contrive activity; no pressure to increase our numbers. It isn’t about anything other than just being friends sharing a good meal twice a month, and hanging out when the mood hits.

Over time a closeness has developed. However, that closeness hasn’t been contrived or manipulated. It’s not needy or about someone trying to get “their needs” met. It has developed naturally as we simply share life together.  To be sure, there are times when we ‘need’ each other more. We all have seasons we need more support or feedback through difficult times. However with this group, it isn’t a “support group” dynamic like many church groups feel they have to be.

I hope that makes sense.

Of course we talk about spiritual concerns, current affairs, our families, dreams, hopes, projects, … all of it …but we talk about it as it happens, naturally.

I told a couple of the guys who were around pretty late last night, as the fire was dying down, that over the past few years I have had some serious pressures (by other people, groups) to abandon one camp and join another to prove this or that. There was also incredible pressure to abandon the various aspects of God that I have fallen deeply in love with (i.e. grace, personal identity.) Being able to be with these friends, who truly are a spiritual family now, has been a very grounding and life-affirming anchor. Probably more than they know. I deeply appreciate it.

Gratitude for these friends has found its way into much of my day today.

rthomasco_on_Instagram
Instagram Photo Of The Week – Waiting In Phoenix

This was taken while waiting on our flight home from Phoenix Arizona…about 38 months ago (Instagram…why don’t you just put the date?)

One of my favorite things while traveling is to people-watch and meet new friends. I am not a stalker talker. If you don’t want to talk, I won’t force the issue. Unless your Alan Chambers. If you are Alan, I feel compelled to ask as many questions as possible, and retell certain stories I find highly amusing. However, if you aren’t Alan Chambers and just want to talk to a complete stranger, I am the guy stalker talkers like because I will talk back.

Well, unless your breath is horrible. Then I will limit the potential conversation according to your response to this question, “would you like a mint?”

Overall, I don’t like flying but meeting people and hearing about whatever is on their minds makes it bearable. :) That and generic Xanax … which makes me even more talkative.

What is the woman in the photo thinking? She is probably thinking, “I wish I could talk to that guy.” (iPhone)