happy father's day to all the dad's out there. whether you dad is still around or not, or you think he was a good father or not, today is a good day to remember the good things about your father - the parts of you that you carry with you today. as for me, i've been blessed with a wonderful father (that's him grinning in the above picture), and i celebrate his joy and his playfulness and his intensity and his modeling what it means to be a father. thanks, dad. happy father's day.
in our church, we are continuing with a series called "letters from Jesus," in which we are looking at the seven letters in the beginning of revelation addressed to seven churches in asia. we are imagining what it would be like if we were to receive a hand-written letter from Jesus to our church. what would it say? how would we be encouraged? how would we be challenged? we've looked at three of the letters now. this week we looked at the letter to the church in pergamum. the letter to them includes some harsh criticism of some of their behavior, but it also says that Christ understands how difficult their situation is. and in case they feel like they are stuck in their sinfulness, Jesus says something amazing to them: i will give you a new name. the world gives us so many names, doesn't it? our parents, of course, give us our birth names. but the naming doesn't stop there. it continues right on through elementary school, high school, and into t