Grieving for Notre-Dame

Iconic buildings do matter.   They are the culmination of culture, history, story, faith, and love.  They are a connecting point for a disjointed society.

Human beings reflect the image of God in many ways, including our creativity and skill in building beautiful structures.  

A centuries-old building lost in an evening brings a sadness we cannot quite reconcile, so we grieve for the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Pace yourself emotionally

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have learned (and still learning) to pace my self emotionally. In our fast-paced, information-saturated, constant communication culture, there is a magnet that keeps pulling us to depression, negativity, and unhealthy thinking. This pull is not just cultural issues, but the ability to discover so many things that impact family and friends.

So, as you keep caring for your world, care for yourself. Find out the things that fill your positive emotional reservoir, and lean into those gifts.

Sabbatical for the Allisons

Aaron&Beth-2018-Apr8On Sunday the CIL Leadership Board made an exciting presentation to the church.  Upon their invitation, Beth and I have accepted a sabbatical to celebrate eleven years of service at CIL, and 24 years of vocational ministry.   From May 13 to July 14, we will be away from CIL, enjoying a time of spiritual reflection, family time, and other experiences we do not have the luxury for during the normal pace of ministry.

We are not burned out or in need of a break.  A sabbatical is not a reactive move.  On the contrary, this is a proactive spiritual discipline that will contribute to our personal health and continued service to the CIL community.

CIL is currently in a firm position in every facet of our congregation and experiencing positive momentum.  It is an exciting time at our church, so taking a few weeks off in some ways feels counter-intuitive.  However, we trust our fantastic staff, leadership team, and church family to soar during our time of retreat.

What will we be doing?  Our number one goal during this sabbatical is rest and spiritual renewal.   Some of the things we have planned include time with extended family, council from spiritual mentors, family vacation, prayer retreat at a monastery, and some house chores we haven’t gotten to in a while.

Will you see us at CIL? No.  Our children will still be attending the church often, but Beth and I will be completely retreating from congregational life for this short season.

Who will be preaching? We have an incredible line up of guest speakers that will be speaking each week.  The spiritual life of our church will increase from the ministry of both the CIL staff and outside speakers.

I am expecting this time to be a fruitful and rewarding time for our family’s spiritual development and the health of the CIL family.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity!  We could not be blessed more to serve such great people.

But, we are not on sabbatical yet!    I will be preaching the next five weeks, and I cannot wait to share God’s Word to you during the Easter season!

We love serving Jesus with you!

Aaron and Beth

The amazing International Space Station

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A couple of sermons ago, I talked about the International Space Station as an illustration. I forgot to include this thought-provoking quote that impacted me:
 
“Few of us give a thought to the International Space Station, even though, when the future measures our collective contribution to humanity, the ISS will prove the single best thing we did. Less than a century after the Model T was state of the art, we manufactured a kind of galleon in space and have sent men and women from 10 countries to live in it, along with a host of short-term visitors, without recess or mutiny or fatality, for nearly 20 years.” -Chris Jones, Wired Magazine.

Learning from Joseph

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I have noticed a lot of people struggling with their mood, outlook, and emotional health in the last few weeks. I love how authentic everyone is with their feelings. This vulnerability is so much better than the days when Christians wore masks of perfection.
 
Still, why now? Is it all the recent rain? Is it the winter darkness and lack of vegetation? Is it the loss of momentum from New Year’s resolutions?
 
While I don’t want to minimize anyone’s personal experience, I must observe that some of this angst is predictable. Most years, we start January with some level of optimism but seem to plod through the winter months with a survival mindset. While winter doesn’t bother me as much as some people, believe me – I have my challenging times each year!
 
I wrote all of this because I think Sunday’s sermon is going to help people. We will look at a statement Joseph made in Genesis 45:5, “God sent me ahead.” Discovering Joseph’s perspective on his life may give you some perspective on yours.
 
Join me at CIL at either 9am or 10:45am.
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“The Recognition of Joseph by His Brothers”
Date: 1816-1817
Artist: Cornelius, Peter von, 1783-1867