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Musings

Latest thoughts from First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood

Mike Mccauley
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Friday, 13 January 2017 Category Musings
I just finished a small book by David Ulin, a former book editor and critic at the Los Angeles Times. It’s called “The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time.” Ulin is not a Luddite, he does not think technology is evil or ruining the world. However, he makes the point that as a culture, our obsession with networking electronically is costly. While we communicate in increasingly rapid soundbites, we are losing the ability to immerse in deep reading. He asks, “How do we rumin...
Mike Mccauley
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Thursday, 05 January 2017 Category Musings
Some of you were here for the Children and Family worship service on Christmas Eve at 5pm. The sanctuary was full of energetic kids of every age, visiting grandparents, slightly stressed parents and relieved college students home for the holidays. It’s a joyful and fun worship time. It includes Christmas carols, a story, special music, lighting candles (glow sticks, actually), an outreach offering...and the traditional Christmas pageant. A mix of youth, adults and children act out the nativity ...
Mike Mccauley
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Friday, 16 December 2016 Category Musings
There are a great many reasons NOT to send out Christmas cards via postal mail. Saving trees. Reducing stress during December. Avoiding the expense. There are a great many reasons for keeping a mailing list in the computer, designing an online card and hitting the button for it to go out electronically. I am totally on board with people who choose this option, and I applaud it. Nevertheless... I once again found myself sitting in the living room with Anne this week, surrounded by cards that ne...
Mike Mccauley
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Wednesday, 07 December 2016 Category Musings
This one comes to you from the road. Two of our kids live in NYC, so we try to get here for a few days each December. I'm writing this at 6pm from our son's apartment in Murray Hill. The traffic down below on Park and East 34th is snarled, full of honking cars and bright lights. We love coming here at this time of year- so much culture and character it practically knocks you over. Sidewalk Christmas tree stands on most neighborhood corners, nippy air, huge wreaths on many buildings, the elaborat...
Mike Mccauley
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Friday, 02 December 2016 Category Musings
We live in an instant world. We drive-through for fast food or morning coffee, we buy gimmicky products that promise to get us in shape in just days, and we are frustrated if we can’t contact someone by email or text within seconds. We even trick ourselves into thinking we can grow deep spiritually by investing a few minutes a day. Bah. Humbug. We want to go deeper with Christ. A relationship with Jesus is cultivated piece by piece, scripture by scripture, prayer by prayer, day by day over a lo...
Mike Mccauley
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Friday, 18 November 2016 Category Musings
The presidential election is over, but the cacophony is at fever pitch. The figurative sound of email, twitter, news shows, newspaper columns and facebook have many people foaming at the mouth. Everybody has an opinion which must be shouted. Some people want to gloat. Some want to cry. Some are afraid. Driving is never easy in LA, but now it seems that people are working out their political angst behind the wheel. I thought of ten different ways I could add my voice to the din. Then I thought ag...
Mike Mccauley
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Thursday, 10 November 2016 Category Musings
I grew up watching the television gameshow Jeopardy! One category of knowledge often tested was “Potpourri.” It was a mishmash of miscellaneous questions that didn’t have a common theme. So with all due respect to hosts Art Fleming and Alex Trebek, here is today’s potpourri musing. Generosity-  As you’ve heard by now, Giving Sunday (Stewardship) is November 20th.  At all services, we will bring our financial giving estimates for 2017 forward so Session can construct a budget to f...
Mike Mccauley
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Wednesday, 02 November 2016 Category Musings
“If we are honest, we often want judgment for other people, but grace for ourselves.” I said it in Sunday’s sermon.     So last week Anne and I went with a friend to the LA Philharmonic to experience Dudamel weaving his symphonic magic. We were seated.in the first row directly behind the orchestra, which is a wonderful spot to see the conductor at work and be close to the action. About halfway through the concert, at a poignant moment, a nearby cellphone went off.   Act...
Mike Mccauley
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Thursday, 20 October 2016 Category Musings
It's been a traveling week. After church Sunday, I zipped down to San Diego for my annual study leave time with my covenant group from seminary days- we just met for the 20th year! Then Wednesday I flew into Minneapolis to be with Anne as she presents an outdoor art installation project at Augsburg College, where she is teaching a class as an adjunct professor. From the beaches of San Diego to the gorgeous fall leaves of Minneapolis, it's been a week of paying attention. I know I use the phras...
Mike Mccauley
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Thursday, 13 October 2016 Category Musings
Here is my normal Sunday morning routine: 5:00am- alarm clock goes off, shower and dress. 5:30am- leave the house with Anne, stop at Starbucks for my coffee and something to eat. 5:50am- arrive at church.  Anne and I pray in the car for the morning, my sermon, our community, the Lighthouse, classes and people. 6:00am- I head into the office.             Most Sundays, it happens exactly like that. So last Sunday, my alarm went off ...
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