Monday, July 31, 2017

A Lasting Legacy

I just had a wonderful meeting with a representative of the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest.  We talked about the future.  Not the future of me and my family, mind you, but the future of the congregation at which I serve.

She wanted to talk about endowment planning.

I'm all for it.

I've seen how positive such endowments can be as congregations think about what they will be like years into the future.

How can a camp ministry be funded?
How can local ministries receive extra benevolence?
How can technology improvements be made?
How can scholarships be funded?
How can a congregation make sure such things be taken care of well into the future?

Endowment funds can help us look to the future to ensure a lasting legacy.

Perhaps one day we will see one here.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Saving a Life

Yesterday, I saved a little girl's life.  Literally.

We were at a birthday swim party, and one of the little girls headed into the pool.  She had permission to swim, but didn't think about getting her swim vest on.  Without any hesitation, she jumped into the pool, and unfortunately, she didn't jump straight into the shallowest part.

Fortunately, I was watching the kids swimming, and I saw her go in.  She yelled, "I can't swim on my own."
I was out of my chair almost immediately.

I saw this little girl trying to tread water.  I watched her go under several times as I headed toward the pool.  I stopped and hesitated at poolside for just a moment thinking about shoes and cell phone, but seeing her continue to sink under, I simply jumped in.

It was only in waist deep water for me, but I am sure that for this little girl, it seemed like the inky depths.  I grabbed her and lifted her out of the water.  I put her on the steps, and she ran out to those around her.

I was shaken.

Those around were shaken.

The kids recovered much faster than the adults, and in minutes, this little girl was swimming once again--this time with her swim vest on.

I was pretty much shot for the rest of the time there.  The adrenaline surge followed by the worry over cell phone (It still works, by the way.  Thank you, Otter box.)  wiped me out emotionally and physically.

As we left the party, the girls' mom said, "Thank you for saving my little girl's life."

And I didn't know how to respond.

I mean, I wasn't gloating at all.  But the words, "It was nothing.  Anyone would have done it," sounded so trite and cheap as well.  It wasn't nothing.  It was definitely something.  Something big.  But it also was something I would do again--even if it did destroy my phone, shoes, or whatever--something anyone should do if they see someone in trouble like that.

I don't know how I feel about the entire situation just yet.  I've never actually saved anyone before.   It's exhilarating and humbling at the same time.  A weird mixture that I'm not exactly sure how to reconcile.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Mile Wide. Inch Deep.

Saw an article promoting travel to the Middle East as a way to heal faith that "is a mile wide but an inch deep."

First time I've heard that description.

Is there such a thing as this type of faith?

Is travel really the cure?