Don’t Be A Marlin

I am, more oftentimes than not, a Marlin.

No, this is not my post about my being drafted by Miami (the Angels would pick me first anyway).  And I am not referring to the giggling one in Cabo.

The Marlin I’m referring to is that of Nemo’s dad, played by Al Brooks, in Pixar’s Finding Nemo.  In that wonderful film (which to my surprise is nearly 10 years old!), Marlin is a worry wart, a Debbie-downer, and one who is constantly relying on himself and not able to see anything beyond his own two fins.  My own proclivity to Marlinism goes back many years and as I see more and more the ways that I Marlinize, I’m learning that it doesn’t get me anywhere.

In fact, one’s own Marlinishness can only lead to more fretting and less trusting.  The Apostle Paul told the church at Phillipi similar words when he encouraged them not to “worry about anything, but in every situation with prayer and petition, and thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Why?  Because then, “the peace of God, which is above all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  The benefit of not falling into Marlinism is peace.  God’s peace, and protection in Jesus.

That’s more than anyone could ask for.

Coming Towards…

It hit me yesterday that it was the New Year’s Eve of Sundays.  The church calendar flips over this week to start a new year.  And that new year begins with what has become for me one of my favorite seasons—Advent.

Advent comes from the Latin words “ad” and “venio” meaning to “come toward.”  As we come toward the holy day of Christmas, Advent offers a time to prepare our hearts for receiving the Christ Child Jesus, our Messiah!  As you do this this year, consider an Advent Guide that may be useful for you and your community.

Happy Advent!

Rwanda, Burundi expel Human Rights Watch workers in crackdown on criticism ahead of elections

Today’s news reports that “Rwanda, Burundi expel Human Rights Watch workers in crackdown on criticism ahead of elections.”

As many of you know, Jenn and I have spent some good time in Rwanda. This country that is near to our hearts, and its neighbor Burundi, both have their second elections since their genocides in the 1990s, which is raising a few concerns. See today’s Associated Press story for more. This news is not a good sign. Let’s be in prayer for those in Rwanda and Burundi as they prepare for the elections.