Originally uploaded by faithful nomad.
my church is amazing. my friend patrick spoke today instead of pastor jon or pastor dave, which was a treat. patrick is an amazing speaker, very natural on stage, and here's an unusual talent: he uses big words. patrick doesn't sacrifice his vocabulary to make his point, which is a hard line to draw for any public speaker (consider, if you will, that newspapers are written at a fifth grade reading level).
we're following the book of ecclesiastes, which is kind of a dialogue from king solomon. some background: he's regarded as the wisest and probably one of the richest kings of biblical history. so this morning, patrick led us through solomon's ideas of the world: that this life and this world are crazy. they don't make a lot of sense. they really, really don't. but it's up to us to not get caught up in it, get caught in realizing how often it's the cheaters and liars that get ahead in life, and the kind get suckered and kicked around. nice guys finish last, et cetera. but that can be overcome by realizing that while we can't control what happens to us, we can control how we react and process it. life is as beautiful and complicated and excruciatingly wonderful as we let it become.
after church i headed out to my grandparent's birthday party (they're both august babies), and spent some quality time with the family. we had a huge meal at maggiano's and just basked in each other's company for a few hours. my cousins' kids are starting to remember me (they're all under five), so that's kind of cool. they still don't, say, know my name or anything, but they also know i'm not a stranger. so they know it's cool with the parents to play with me.