November 19, 2013

In Memory of a Friend Who Taught Me Courage [EDITOR'S NOTE: My friend Kevin Tan lost his life while saving one of his clients from drowining. Kevin was part of an adventure company that took teams and individuals out to be challenged and to grow togther. Kevin succeeded in saving his client, but was unable to escape the swirling currents of the river himself. He is survived by his wife and their two young children, pictured at the bottom with my parents. Kevin was a big part of my teenage years in Malaysia, and was a de facto member of our family, eating/praying/laughing/playing often in our home. We were part of an extraordinary student ministry in Malaysia, where young people from 15-30-- or maybe even a wider range than that!-- were like a group of brothers and sisters, who cared for one another and helped each other grow. It often spilled over to include parents, making it a truly multi-generational 'youth group.' Kevin came into that group alone but quickly became a central part the family. The picture below is of him speaking at second wedding reception my parents had for us in Malaysia in the Fall of 2001. I wrote this to process my own grief and to honor his life. It will be read at his wake this week.] I woke up on Saturday morning to the tragic news of Kevin’s passing. Kevin Tan played a huge role in my life during my teen years. He was like a big brother to me in so many ways. We were in Bible studies together, worship teams together…We played football together—and I mean both kinds of football: the kind the rest of world calls football and the kind only Americans call football! He often went with me to play drums as we led worship at various small churches and...
Advent Resources, 2013 Edition I am getting really excited for the year to begin. No, not the calendar year...the Church's Year, the journey from Advent to Christmas, to Epiphany and Lent, through Easter and Pentecost, and down into Ordinary Time. But make no mistake: I'm no liturgical expert. After all, this is only my fifth journey through the liturgical year. But there's so much that I've come to love about it. It's a remarkably refreshing way to mark time. Here is a wonderful new calendar organized around the Church Calendar, yet easily compatible with our Roman calendar of months. For one, it helps us participate in the life of Christ by calling us into a rhtyhm that retraces His life on earth, His death, and His resurrection. Secondly, it helps us celebrate with the wider Body of Christ-- connecting us to the Church historic and the Church universal. [MORE RESOURCES ON THE CHURCH CALENDAR: I have excerpted and adapted something from a previous blog to make a new stand-alone blog on the Church Calendar and how observing as a spiritual practice can be helpful HERE. And, there's a beautiful art-filled calendar that looks like a wall-hanging calendar but each page is the new liturgical season...Check it out HERE.] ____________________ DATES, COLORS, AND THEMES: The Four Sundays: December 1 December 8 December 15 December 22 Colors and Themes: Week 1-- purple, HOPE Week 2-- purple, PEACE Week 3-- JOY Week 4-- purple, LOVE ____________________ PRAYERS: To me, it's hard to beat the prayers in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Find a link to the 1979 version free online HERE. There is also a nice iPhone app with lectionary readings and prayers out of both the RCL and the BCP. Download it HERE. First Sunday of Advent: BCP TRADITIONAL: Almighty God, give us grace that...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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