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Musings

Latest thoughts from First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood Pastor, Dan Baumgartner

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Friday, 08 July 2011 Category Musings

Pastor Dan’s Musings

July 8, 2011

 

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Friday, 01 July 2011 Category Musings

Pastor Dan’s Musings

July 1, 2011

 

                                                            “On Reading”

 

            When people ask me what I do with my free time, I usually say:  I love to exercise- especially running, lifting weights and biking right now.  I like to putter around the garden just a little bit.  And I love to read.  Widely, deeply and across various disciplines and genres. 


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Saturday, 18 June 2011 Category Musings

Pastor Dan’s Musings

June 10, 2011

                                                                  If I Lose My Way

 
Question: Do pastors ever have bad days, get discouraged or ask themselves what on earth they are doing?

Short answer:  Yes.


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Friday, 10 June 2011 Category Musings
 

Pastor Dan’s Musings

June 10, 2011

                                               

              You are invited to wear RED on Sunday for our Pentecost worship celebration!”    

                                                            In It Together

Two weeks ago I sat in a conference room with our amazing Youth Ministry staff, and six of the youth who are in the Confirmation class.  I loved that time, talking about our faith in Jesus and hearing them wonder about next steps on that journey.  At one point I asked them to consider the different metaphors that are used for the Church.  “Body” emphasizes the vital need for a variety of differentiated parts. “Hospital” helps focus us on the idea that everyone in a faith community is broken or hurt in some way, and our mutual need for Christ’s healing. “Community” is helpful in remembering that the church isn’t a building, but a group of people.  “Family” grounds us in our relationship to God and to one another.  It also reminds us, sometimes to our chagrin, that we don’t get to choose our family members!  Then we talked about “Team.”   This one brings together a number of elements from the others:  the need to work together, the appreciation of different gifts, the necessity to move the same direction. 

 

 

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Friday, 03 June 2011 Category Musings
High on my current endangered species list are what may strike you as unlikely suspects: words.  It’s not that words are actually disappearing.  But we are ruining them one at a time, through overuse or misuse or increasingly flabby listening skills.  Words which once carried great weight are now throwaways.  But there are exceptions, and I kept running into one of them this week.  Grace. 

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Friday, 27 May 2011 Category Musings

Once upon a time back in the 1980’s I was a businessman, and an elder at our church.

I dutifully attended session meetings and sat at a long conference table similar to one in the executive meeting room at my company. The meetings tended to wander aimlessly and endlessly, and we spent most of our energy on things of little importance, and almost all of our time on “business.”  I usually went home numb and frustrated.


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Friday, 27 May 2011 Category Musings
More graffiti.  Early this morning I drove down Hollywood Boulevard on the way to the office. Sun coming up, palm trees swaying, beautiful morning.  The Boulevard wakes up slowly.  Folks who slept in doorways overnight were stirring, and there were a few earlybirds waiting at bus stops.  A couple blocks short of my Starbucks stop, I glanced up to my right.  Near the top of a two-story building were the three-foot words scrawled in black spray paint:  “I’m on it, Jesus!!”

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Friday, 06 May 2011 Category Musings
If everything has gone according to plan, by the time you read this Anne and I will be in Spokane, Washington at Gonzaga University to share in our middle son Nick’s graduation from college.  Wow.  That will mean two out of our three kids are done with school.  It’s a little hard to fathom.   It means our kids are growing up.  It means they are adults.  It means we are getting…well, older! Usually when I attend such events, I get tired of hearing one ...
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Wednesday, 27 April 2011 Category Musings
Stories.  Have you figured out yet that I love stories?  I have one for you, but I want to start with two questions:  Who are the people who have positively influenced your life?  Have you ever told them that? I played a lot of basketball growing up.  A whole lot.  When I entered Jr. High School, I turned out for the school team as a 9th grader.  I was a big kid, and so I always played center, close to the basket.  One day during a scrimmage at pra...
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Friday, 08 April 2011 Category Musings
            Even with daylight savings in effect, it was dark outside by the time we were halfway through the Wednesday service.  Outside in the gathering gloom lurked the threats of a federal government shutdown, teacher layoffs and panic sales of houses and condominiums. Outside, Hollywood Boulevard teemed with broken lives, huge billboards loudly touted new cars and fancy liquor, and drug deals went down on the corners. Outside were wars and r...
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