Thursday, August 31, 2006

My day off

Today was day off. I didn't set an alarm and woke up when I felt like it. I had a leisurely breakfast and watched some people win stuff on The Price is Right. A friend of mine in college, named Sara Stienecker, just loved game shows because they were all about people winning stuff and being happy. She took such pleasure in watching other people be happy...kind of like Stargirl, the main character of a book by the same name. Stargirl is written as a truly selfless person who is punished by her high school classmates who just can't figure her out. Tonight, at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Student Fellowship worship, Jennifer Fouse talked about being so full of the spirit that we make other people nervous...that we make people wonder if we've been drinking. I thought of Stargirl...oh, that everyone was more like Stargirl. In our prayer circle at the end of worship, people shared some really deep joys and some really deep hurts. As I stood there listening to these college student sharing all that they would lay at the feet of a loving God who sends a powerful Spirit, I wondered if I would have been as willing to share such things when I was in college...I wouldn't have. What a place of privilege to be in the midst of that circle and be asked to clear my throat and say, "Ahem, God, did you hear that? What's your plan for that? What's my role in that? Make things better, God. Bring them your comfort, God. Bring them your peace. Bring them your grace. " Yeah, to be entrusted with someone's deep pain and deep joy, that's...well, that's...that's something amazing and powerful and, dare I say it, spiritual. Oh, that we would all be willing to share our brokenness in our times of need and that the community of believers might hold the broken as God does God's amazing work. So, yeah, it was a good Thursday. Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A parable...of sorts

This, um, parable was left on my desk by one of my youth last Sunday. It's got a surprise ending, so be ready. :)

One day, the devil challenged Jesus to a boxing match. Everyone placed bets on Jesus, then Satan appeared. He was muscular and 300 pounds. Everyone except one changed their bets. Fight night, Jesus wouldn't fight, then two boys inspired him to punch and once he did, Satan fell over and lost the match, and said "I was the one who bet on Jesus, so I get all your money." The End.

At first, I thought, maybe, he had heard that Carman song called The Champion (is that right?), but he definitely took it in a different direction. Is it a parable against gambling? Does he like to picture his Jesus as a boxer with white gloves, shorts, and boots? Or maybe Jesus did his boxing in his traditional off white garment. Anyway, I thought I'd throw it out there and see what everyone thinks.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I have a dream

In 1963, 200,000 people participated in a peaceful civil rights rally in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

I found this on the New York Times website. I just thought I'd give a shout out to one of the coolest moments in United States history.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Long time no blog

Wow, this may be the longest I've gone without blogging since I started this up a couple of years ago. I've had every intention of doing so, but have been too busy, or too tired, or battling my neighbor's wireless internet. So, what has Alan Bancroft been up to. Well, here are some pictures to tell the story.

This is a picture of Weicher, Shelli, and me at Rock Spring Presbterian Church in Atlanta, GA. We brought our middle school youth groups together for a combined mission experience in urban Atlanta. It was awesome!! Watching the young people meld into one big group really warmed my heart. One of the reasons I love being Presbyterian is our emphasis on connectionalism...that the body of Christ is bigger and more powerful than one individual or even one individual congregation. This experiment in middle school mission will henceforth be called Mission Possible.

This is a picture of Wes Goldsberry (Rabboni) staring purposively at a street sign for the town of Goldsberry, MO (yes, this is a mirror image, for all of you spatially minded folks). Yes, Wes Goldsberry and Alan Bancroft made the trek from Nashville to Columbia, MO a little over a week ago. Our trip was full of meaningful discussion as well as some utterly ridiculous, but hilarious rants and raves. The day after arriving in Columbia, MO, we explored the rural countryside of the beautiful state of Missouri, including the towns of Ethel and Goldsberry, with a stop off in Kirksville, MO to admire Truman State University. As you can see below, there's a gas station in Kirksville called Kum and Go. Seriously, that's what it's called. Check it out as Wes and I stand in front of the sign.

After our adventures in Missouri, Wes headed west to Kansas City and then flew to Las Vegas. You'll have to check in with him about that, but chances are, he's gonna tell you that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

A few days after Wes left (I cried profusely), I embarked on a journey with Jeff, Samantha, and Roger to Madison, WI for the Drum Corps International World Championships where my corps, The Cavaliers, was favored to win the whole shebang. Well, after some shuffling in the top twelve, they did just that. Their performance was freaking amazing. For those of you who are into such things, you would have been in awe. I love it that The Cavaliers are always on the cutting edge of innovation and implementation all at the same time. Go Go Green Machine. Below, you'll find a picture of the Cavaliers as they prepare to win their 5th DCI championship in 7 years. Thanks to Jeff, Samantha, and Roger for providing wonderful company and letting me tag along. I should also say that, on Sunday, we had brunch with our friend, Lisa and her husband. Lisa went to junior high with me and Jeff and then moved away, but somehow, over the years, we've remained in touch. I love having friends like that.

So, I've been to Atlanta, Columbia, Ethel, Goldsberry, Kirksville, and now back to Nashville. We're gearing up for Rally Day here at Harpeth. I can't tell you how psyched I am to begin my second year of ministry here.

As somebody used to say, "See you in the funny papers."