Creative Faith-Based Conversations for Thanksgiving, Part 3

(This is the third in a series of four posts.  See the original post here.)

3. Third, the friends: On Thanksgiving Day families typically spend time together sharing a feast.  But when family time is over, there a ton of leftovers.

What if you had a “Leftover Feast” with the friends that you would consider your Christian community?  Allowing your kids to see people besides your family that honor God and offer thanks to Him during this holiday will only reinforce the spiritual significance of it.  Besides, you’ll get to eat more Turkey.


This was originally posted as a blog post I wrote for and can be found here:

Creative: Make the Ordinary Unusual

Not too long ago, I sat in an airport and looked up at a row of clocks on the wall much like those in the photo here.


(Photo taken by Marilyn M.  Originally posted here:

An idea had its seeds planted with that sight.

When I was younger, I watched the movie Dead Poets Society, where Mr. Keating challenged me to look with a new perspective.  Although I have climbed up on some desks to look at rooms differently, I now take this concept into everyday life.

A few years ago, a speaker talking about creativity challenged us to inspire creativity by finding unusual ways of doing ordinary things.  For example, if you normally drive the same route to work, take a different route.  (I did this one day and ended up driving around for over an hour!  That drive is still in my memory as I wandered and saw things I never normally see.)

Both of these concepts came together with the clocks.  As I sat there, I wondered how fun it could be to have a wall of clocks with fictional locations.

That idea sat in my OmniFocus app from April to July.  Then I prepared for a Wacky Weekend with the 5th-8th graders at my church and it resurfaced.  I used GroupMe to message a few of my friends in FourFiveSix for their favorite fictional locations, without giving them any explanation or context.

I then found six analog clocks at Target that were all the same style, with different colors for their case and hands.  I put each clock on a music stand on stage with a fictional location label for each.  In a room where students had recently pointed out that has no clock, we now had six!

When that weekend finished, I decided to let that creative, fun idea live on . . . in my office.  So, I now have my wall of clocks featuring fictional locations.  And most people who come in the room and hear all six clocks ticking away the seconds, do a double-take as they look up at the wall and see the labels.  I guarantee it inspires creativity!


One more thing . . . I always loved when Steve Jobs would say those three magic words in a presentation.  He had saved something good for last.  I’m all about the fun of having fictional clocks for creativity, turning something ordinary into something unusual.  But these also have a practical use.

Although you can’t see it in the picture, and most probably don’t notice when they visit my office, each fictional location also represents a real location where I have friends or family.  When I’m sending a message or making a call, I need to remember what time it is for those in each location.  In my mind, I know what each represents.  But for the careful observer, that is easy for anyone to see . . . like a hidden scene after the end of credits in movies.


So I leave you with this question: How can you foster creativity by making the ordinary unusual?

Pray for Pastor Chris Philbeck

As you know, Pastor Chris has been having a problem with his throat, and at the end of each service during this past weekend; we had the opportunity to pray for him. Today, we have some updates and would like to share with you.

Chris went to an Ear Nose and Throat Dr. on Wednesday, December 7th, because his right tonsil was extremely swollen. The Dr. told him he believed he had a tonsil cancer. In addition to the swollen tonsil Chris had a swollen lymph node on the right side of his neck just below the jaw. On Thursday, December 8th, Chris had a needle biopsy of the lymph node. A biopsy of the tonsil is scheduled for Thursday, December 15th. Today (12th) the Dr. called and said the biopsy revealed cancer. He believes the cancer started in the tonsil and spread to the lymph node. At this point Chris will have the tonsil biopsy on Thursday and is scheduled to meet with a radiation oncologist on Monday, December 19th. Tests will also be performed to determine if the cancer has spread to any other part of his body.

We need to pray for God’s healing power as well as for strength and faith for Chris and Sandy as well as Andrew, Tricia, Kara and Grace. Chris addressed the staff today and told them that great challenges also provide great opportunities. His hearts desire is for God to be honored and exalted in everything that happens and for the church to continue to thrive during this time and he looks forward to continuing his ministry here at Mount Pleasant for many years.

We would like to see as many people as possible praying for Chris. Feel free to share this note with your friends and ask them to be praying with you.

If you would like to send Pastor Chris a note of encouragement, here are few ways you can reach him:

Praying for You
381 N Bluff Rd.
Greenwood, IN 46142




So good to see old friends!

This weekend I am leading our group of 7th-8th graders at a middle school/jr. high conference called believe. There are thousands of students here at Northern Kentucky University for this conference.

So I was totally surprised when David Kennedy comes up to me with Justin. Justin was a child when I was the Youth Minister at South Jefferson Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. (Valley Station, PRP!)

I also saw Lloyd, Molly, Chelsea and others who are new to the church. We surprised Justin’s mom, Betty, by going up to where the group was seated to see them.

All of these kids were so little . . . 7 years ago!!! It’s so good to see and hear what God is doing through the ministry of this church and to see middle school students who were young children during my days of ministry at South Jeff.

I got to hear encouraging, exciting stories of what God is doing through the Elders and Senior Minister and the whole church on the southwest side of Louisville.

If you’re reading this, please take some time to pray for this great church that is a significant part of my ministry experience and life story. They allowed me the opportunity to serve when I was fresh out of college and green as could be.

If you’re ever in the part of Louisville known as Valley Station, stop by this church and get to know the great people who hold a special place in my heart.

And remember that this is a small world and a big family when it comes to God’s church. This is why I like to say “see you later” instead of “good-bye.” There is no way I would have thought that almost a decade later in a huge arena I would get a reunion with some old friends. Keep your eyes open for old friends God may bring your way today.

See you later!