I’ve been in the process of changing two classes I’ve been teaching for several years into hybrid classes. These new classes would meet part of the time in the classroom and part of the time online. These were not traditional classes to start with. I’ve been teaching them for the weekend college. The classes meet three hours on Friday evening and three hours on Saturday morning. They are completed in eight weeks instead of the traditional sixteen.

I’ve enjoyed teaching these classes, but it’s been hard to have every weekend taken for thirty two weeks a year. So, I thought changing these classes to be done at least partly online was a good idea. I didn’t realize how much work it would be to convert these classes. I’ve never taught an online class. I’ve never even taken an online class. There is a steep learning curve.

I believe that this change will ultimately be good. It’s just hard getting there. Isn’t that the way with a lot of change. It’s just easier to stay where we are, even if where we are is not a good place. So, take a risk. Make a change.

I’ve not been able to blog for a few weeks now. This will be just a quick update. It seems that I’ve been spending my time cleaning up after Hurricane Irene. It’s required additional time and work at the church building as well as time around the house. We still don’t have everything back to normal. In fact, the adjuster hasn’t even been to our house yet. He should come tomorrow. We lost half of our barn roof, several tree limbs, and had some water leakage with our roof.

I know it will all eventually get back to normal, but it’s taking longer than I expected.

Here is a sermon from my series on Deuteronomy.

The family and I are heading out for a vacation this week. We’re planning on going to Cherokee, NC, then to a national forest for hiking. We have a few more stops planned. I’m not taking a computer. I’ll post again next week.

I’ve started reading Alan Alda’s Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself. Alda relates a story in which he almost died. He was in a small town in Chile when he needed emergency surgery. He had an intestinal obstruction. He went to an emergency room where the doctor there just happened to be an expert in this area. Surgery was performed. His life was saved. Alda was euphoric. He celebrated that his life was spared. He was grateful. He experienced new life.

Alda writes, “But as time passed, a persistent thought kept piercing my euphoria: What should this new life be like? This was time I was getting for free, and it seemed to call for freshness.”

Alda attempts to answer this question for himself and I’ve not read far enough to tell you what he concludes. However, I was thinking of this question in terms of our Christian life. What should this new life be like? Each of us who is a Christian has died to self and been raised to new life. How do we then live this new life?

Too often, I’m afraid that we don’t experience that death. Consequently we don’t experience that new life. Christ offers us new life; abundant life. But in order to experience this abundant life we must give up our mediocre existence. But our mediocre existence is all we know and so we’re hesitant even resistant to giving it up. This call for faith in Christ. We must believe that what he offers really is better.

Here is a thought provoking video from Rick Atchley. On a side note, I’ve been trying to post for over a week, but experiencing technical difficulties. I’m not sure what the problem is. WordPress has not been allowing me to do a new post with Safari. Anyone else having similar problems?

Two weeks ago, we made a quick run to WV for my grandmother’s funeral. She was 89. I got to see a lot of family, mostly cousins, that I hadn’t seen in years. We’ve had a family reunion around Christmas time for about as long as I can remember. But for most of the last 20 years, my little family has lived too far away for me to make it in at that time of year. It was good to see everyone and remember Grandma.

This past week had been spend in preparation for a wedding yesterday. It was a beautiful day. To the best of my knowledge, everything went off without a  hitch. I know at the end, they were definitely married. After the wedding, we came home, rested, and then headed out for a graduation celebration. There’s a lot going on this time of year.

Yesterday was also supposed to be the rapture, at least according to one group that been publicizing a lot. It hasn’t appeared to have happened. May we extend grace and mercy to those who were wrong in their beliefs. May others extend grace and mercy to us when we are wrong in our own.

I’ve actually been trying to post for most of the last week. I don’t know what’s been going on. Safari and WordPress don’t appear to be on speaking terms. I’ve switched to Firefox for this post, but even that wasn’t working a few days ago. If anyone might know what’s going on, please contact me.