Category Archives: Church

What is your Story?

ECI-bookThink about life for a moment.  Don’t “we often insist on living as if we are the beginning, the origin, the primary character?” Yet science tells us the opposite, that I’m “a small, little person in a massive universe that doesn’t really notice” me.  How do I attempt to reconcile these extremes?  I “need a story, and a God, that can make sense of my little life in this big universe.”

These quotations come from pg. 28 of a new book The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense out of Life” by Justin Buzzard.  His conviction, after examining numerous worldviews and philosophies is that only the Bible is a big enough story to make sense of the world without dealing with plot gaps and unanswered questions.

Whether you’re a believer or not, I think you’ll find something new in his rendering of the Bible’s message.  He doesn’t look at the Bible as merely a book of rules and regulations, nor does he get lost in the intricacies of the 66 different parts within it. Rather he looks for the overall message and the unifying parts which he puts into the context of a play in five acts.

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A Life Well LIved

What do you say when asked to speak at a Memorial Service for a friend?  A friend who was only 30 years old and left 3 small children.  I share this with you not only to pay further tribute to my friend, but also to encourage you to reflect today upon the gift of life that has been given to you.

Stephanie O’Hara Jones, 8/24/83-9/8/13

Homeschooling is how I met Stephanie.  Though I knew Tyler through my kids, I first met Stephanie when she and Tyler came in to talk with me about joining our Academy.  That was several years ago and I watched as she made the transition to homeschool mom.  It seemed to come naturally to her – she was so creative and had strong opinions about how she wanted to teach and what she wanted them to learn. But at our group activities, like EXTRAs Day, she was most comfortable sitting in a back row and observing the goings on.

She was quiet in a large group setting, choosing to really express herself to her close friends and to readers of her blog.  Stephanie was a keen observer of the life around her, she noticed details that many of us missed, and she expressed herself in witty yet truthful humor.

When she first became ill, we as an Academy began supplying dinners to the family as we do to many of our moms in difficult situations.  As the severity of her condition became known, though, it tugged at our heartstrings.  This was the stuff of mommy nightmares – thinking about passing on before our children are grown.

As time passed, more and more people joined our meal train for the Jones family.  Some of you here in this room today.  Many who had no connection to Academy.  And some who barely knew Stephanie or didn’t even know her at all.

But an amazing thing began to happen.  As I watched people getting to know Stephanie as they dropped off dinner or as they read Tyler’s emails or as they signed up to become a bone marrow donor, they began to bond with her.  And Stephanie, who had been a private person, began to develop quite a following. Continue reading