Monday, December 24, 2007

Great!

This is such a great time of year.

But there are still so many last minute things to do, and I have a checklist to make sure that they are all done.

Bulletins ready for tonight: check.
Power Point ready for tonight: check.
Sermon ready for tonight: check.
Recipe for the Prime Rib: check.

Cards out: Well I need to ask my wife.
House ready for tonight: See above.
Presents bought: See above.
Presents wrapped: see above.
Suit ready for tonight: see above.
Etc.
etc.
etc.

I was right it is an exciting time of year! It is the time when we celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus and all that means for us today. It is a time for family and friends. It is a time for fellowship and joy.
It is also a time when I am reminded time and time again how blessed I am. Without my wife,
I would be lost. She is the greatest. The old saying "behind every successful man is a good woman" is off the mark. in my case.

She is not behind me, she is beside me as my partner. Any "success" that I have is success that we share. She is my wife, friend, partner, and so much more.

I thank God, every day for her.


Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Granny

How does a young boy raised in the Catholic Church and sent to Catholic School for 12 years end up a few months away from being ordained(God willing) in the United Methodist Church?
Well, I believe that there are many reasons, but one of the biggest may be Granny.

Granny is one of the most faithful women that I have ever known. She is an angel that walks among us it seems. She has been the rock of my family for as long as I have been alive and I am sure much longer than that. She has raised a large family and has done it with a grace and dignity that is unrivaled.

There have been so many lessons and so many things that I have learned, simply by observing Granny over the years. I have learned how to deal with stress and pressure with poise and grace. I have learned to love my family and friends unconditionally even when it seems impossible to do so.


I have learned that there are so many more things in life that are important than "stuff". One of those things, perhaps the most important physical thing is family. Granny has taught me through example that in the end, family is what is important. They might bother you or disappoint you or cost you financially but in the end they are you. You are part of a team and like it or not you have to suck it up at times and be there for each other.

When this Catholic boy was being called into ministry, the scariest thing was not leaving my job or telling my wife and kids(they all thought it was great), it was telling Granny. I was 30 plus years old and still did not want to disappoint her at all. I had to tell the woman who was still going to daily mass, I know I lived right next to the church, that one of her grandsons was leaving the Catholic church for good.

I learned something else from Granny that day, I learned a lot about Granny's faith. It wasn't tied up in priests or mass or the pope, although these were all important to her. It was about God and relationships. I learned that day that the God I serve and the God Granny serves are the same. Yes, of course, I knew that but I did not know that Granny knew that. I sold Granny short, and for that I am sorry.

Much of my Theology is about a God of relationships. It is a theology built on the studies of others and my experience but also from the lessons that I learned from Granny that day and all the time while I was growing up.

So how does a young boy raised in the Catholic Church and sent to Catholic School for 12 years end up a few months away from being ordained(God willing) in the United Methodist Church?

Why the answer is simple, through the theology of Granny.

Thanks Granny. I love you.