Monday Morning Brief 2.8.09

It’s been a tough week in a quite a few ways. From my Macbook being stolen from out of my church office to an uncle passing away the next day. Still, there were moments within to be enjoyed:

1. Attending and sharing at my uncle’s funeral. Uncle Dawood (Arabic for David) was a good man who loved the Lord and his family. He loved leading worship, playing, composing, and teaching music, and as we all remembered, he smiled a lot. He leaves behind a beautiful family. My aunt Amal is a godly woman who is a solid example of what it means to live trusting the Lord. Their children (my cousins) are selfless and sacrificial people who practice so much of our Lord’s teaching. They too are musical and are generous in sharing what they have not only with family but with strangers too. My uncle leaves behind grandchildren and two sisters who adored him too. I was honored to share during the funeral service and hope to post something close to what I remember saying as a form of tribute.

2. While it was a difficult time for us, it was good to be with our family. Every time we gather, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be a part of them.   My sister, Kim, flew out from AZ with my adorable niece Lina and it was great to hold her and make her smile again.

3. Recovering from my stolen Macbook has been quite the process. At the same time, I’ve been blessed by the kindness of my friends. Some have even offered to loan their personal macs. Unfortunately my time machine backup takes up about 120 GB’s so I am a bit limited in what I can do.
I was especially touched that one of our students offered his personal macbook. Very cool. In addition, I had a youth leader and a kind man in our church offer theirs. We’ll see what happens (and if I can manipulate my high GB usage in Time Machine but you know you are in a good community when you are surrounded by those that take up your problems as their own.

4. Loved the Saints winning the Super Bowl. While I am an admirer of Peyton Manning, it was good to see the Saints win. It will be another thing to discuss on this summer’s mission trip to NOLA too.  So much to do for that trip but I’m looking forward it.

What I’m Reading…
The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch
Spiritual Marketplace by Wade Clark Roof
And have been flipping through The Search for God & Guinness by Stephen Mansfield.

What I’m Listening To…
White Stripes, Bob Dylan, new Desperation Band and Matt Maher’s Alive Again. I really like Hold Us Together.
NT Wright lectures
Relevant Magazine podcast – thought it was classy that the other week they altered their normal format in light of the crisis in Haiti. They interviewed World Vision VP Steve Haas and are currently donating half of every dollar from new subscriptions to World Vision’s emergency relief efforts You can subscribe here.

Didn’t Understand …
The Lost premiere and I hate that it’s on Tuesdays. I don’t get home til after 1am from school. I had to stay up til after 3am to watch and by then, my own brain was in a parallel universe.
The Tim Tebow commercial. Leave it to Focus on the Family to ruin Tim Tebow ;-)

Looking Forward to …
Our Senior High Winter Retreat. Showing Bill Maher’s Religulous and tackling the monster subjects of doubt and faith. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now. Praying for a meaningful time.
Our Invisible Children Benefit Concert at the Backdoor Cafe in the Nyack Community Center on February 26th.
Our next Second Mile gathering
The season of Lent.

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