Murph Notes

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Location: Dublin, Ireland

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Friday, December 30, 2005

His Thoughts Are Not Mine

I heard a song the other day that I really liked. The music and vocals were really smooth. I love songs that tell a story and this was one of them.

The song is is "Cry of A Tiny Babe" by Bruce CockburnI listened to these lyrics and thought about Christmas in a brand new way:

"Like a stone on the surface of a still river
Driving the ripples on forever
Redemption rips through the surface of time
In the cry of a tiny babe"

Christmas was a true invasion. God, in the form of the Baby Jesus, stepped out of eternity and into time and space. He came here to make war; to save His people. The word "rips" seems like such an appropriate word. Creation not only met it's Creator, but it's Creator stepped into it. And the ripples go on forever... wow, deep.

And it happened not with trumpet blasts or planets exploding but in the cry of a tiny Babe. God came as an Infant to lead the charge. He is not like us. His ways are not ours. We need to remember that we are dealing with with an infinite, powerful and mysterious God when we come into His thrown room. There is more power in the small cry of a Baby than the explosion of planets? That's not man's logic.

Driving the ripples on forever...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

My "To Read" List (alphebetical order)

Blue Like Jazz-Miller
Building a Church of Small Groups-Donahue
Building a Contagious Church-Mittelberg
How To Change Your Church-Nelson and Appel
Inside the Mind of the Unchurched-Strobel
Moving Off The Map-Bandy
The Connecting Church-Frazier
The Emerging Church-Kimball
The Journey Of Desire-Eldredge
The Sacred Romance-Eldredge
The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Group Ministry-Donahue
Velvet Elvis-Bell
Visioneering-StanleyYouth Ministers Survival Guide-Kageler

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Last week or the week before I was watching Seventh Heaven. Now I don't particularly like this show and usually don't watch it so I have know idea why I was watching it. Anyways the blond girl on the show, who has followed in her father's footsteps by becoming a pastor, was having a hard time "balancing" her home and work life. She asked her grandma, who apparently was also married to a pastor, and she told her not to worry about balance. I wish I could remember the little speech she gave her but it was very interesting advice coming from the spouse of a pastor (yes I know she is just a TV character). If any of you TiVo or such and have this episode check it out and help me fill in the gaps.

Balance is a pretty hot topic around my home often. I wish I could blame it on full time ministry but I can't. I have always been a work aholic and had a tough time "balancing". Full-time ministry just gives me a more spiritual excuse perhaps but not a "good" excuse.

Recently I heard 2 of my teens sing an old Amy Grant song "Breathe of Heaven" and this one line really has stuck in my head and won't leave me alone. I know there is something in it that I am supposed to be learning and have not yet grasped: "pour over me Your Holiness for You are Holy"

Last night I was the last one to pull out of the parking lot at church and it was still. I just stood outside and enjoyed the cold wind and looked around. I almost doubled over laughing at what I saw. We have 2 little graveyards on our church property. They are small, beautiful and well tended. They actually serve as little reflection gardens for many I believe. Around these little graveyards (they may actually be one because they are right next to each other) are little white picket fences, shrubs and some small trees. 4 or 5 of these trees are pines, the kind of pines that are tall and skinny. Guess what someone did? They put Christmas lights on these trees. So there in the midst of the graveyard(s) are these beautifully lit Christmas trees. Is this reverent or totally the opposite? I don't know but last night the sight just struck me as hilarious. I imagine the lights have been there for awhile and last night I just happened to finally notice them. I think part of what makes it very funny to me is that my church is not a church that you would call progressive. We are very traditional and things need to be "proper". I guess those lights were hung "properly". I love my church, graves, lights, traditions and all!

So nuget - what in the heck is nuget? What is it made of? Where does it come from? I was watching TV this morning and one of the characters asked another to smell his candy bar. He did and told him it was just nuget and that is what nuget is supposed to smell like. Now I have been thinking about nuget all day. Who in the world came up with this stuff?

Which brings me to a word that sounds like nuget - neuter. I had to ask my wife the difference between neuter and spade today. I still can't remember which is which but one is for males and the other is for females. Why is it that I have made it this far in life without knowing the difference between these two words/procedures? Isn't that a bit odd?

My 7 year old took her first shower "all by herself" today. This must be one of those super important things in ones life that you reach and then you are different somehow. I don't know. I know when we moved into our house it took me a very long time to figure out how to even get the shower to work and then I couldn't get it to work without it making this incredibly high pitched squeaking noise, which I did not particularly mind (I think I actually liked it) but that my wife absolutely hated (finger nails on chalkboard hated). She finally burst into the bathroom one day, reached into the shower and fixed the little knobby thing so the squeaking stopped and asked me in her most patient (yet somehow just a step over the "I can't take it anymore" line) voice to make sure I imitate what she had just done from now on when I get in the shower. I, being the risk taker that I am, asked her to show me again (just to make sure I did get what she had done). She patiently (yet with rolling eyes) repeated it so that it went to squeakville and back again.

So my daughters biggest concern with taking a shower by herself this morning was not getting soap in her eyes while washing/rinsing her hair. She managed this feat wonderfully and with no squeaking, nuget, Christmas lights or neutering (Is that right?). So I guess you could say it was a well "balanced" shower.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Did you ever have someone say something to you that hurt so bad it took your breath away?