Monday, June 30, 2008

If you have read

my blog for awhile you will know how fondly I think og my Granny. Well Saturday night Granny did something that I though that I would never see. We were at a family wedding and had made our way to the recption. It was a real good time spent with family. A real nice night indeed.



However, for me there was no bigger event that evening then the one that I saw about halfway though the reception. My wife told me to look out onto the dance floor and it was there that I saw my Granny dancing!



Now she wasn't simply dancing a nice quiet "slow" song with her husband. No this was my Granny shaking herself around to some song that was just a few years old and a very fast moving number. To say I was shocked would be the understatement of the night.



How cool is that and who would of "thunk" it, Granny was shaking her booty!



Now that is a phrase I thought that I would never type.



What a night!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Reconciling


I have been the treasurer for my local ministerium for the last 2 1/2 years. Now if you know me at all you know just how funny that is. the day I came home and told my wife she thought that I must be joking.
So I have done what I needed to do and made fairly accurate and always honest financial reports each month. since I will be leaving at the end of the month, I had to get everything ready to turn over to the ministerium. So this morning I decided to make sure everything was good. So I took all the bank statements for the last 2 1/2 years and opened them up, yes that is right opened them up. I then began the very laborious process of reconciling my account. Well I finished up an hour or so later and was happy to see that there were no glaring errors. In other words, I got lucky!
It is not that I am dumb, nor is it that I don't care or have the right tools to keep the check register up to date. I just had other things to do for the last 2 1/2 years! Thank God, that God does not work like that. I am sure God could have had more pressing matter to do rather than reconcile his people back. Yet that is just what God did and I am so thankful for that.
So I am going to give back my reconciled check register gladly and even more gladly give thanks to God on this great day for what has been done for us.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's a Beautiful Day


See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out

Above are some of the lyrics from a U2 song called a Beautiful Day. Looking at the Lyrics it is a song that has a bit of irony in it and a touch of hope and it all seems so fitting. After all the world is in fact what we make it. We are given a world that has so many things to see, touch, taste, and experience. What we do with those experiences is what makes our world.

So will we make it a beautiful day(and world) or shall we simply let it pass by and not enjoy the gifts that we have been given today?


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last Meal


Well okay it is not that dramatic, but today is the beginning of a very rough week for me. Today is the last Tuesday that I will be the pastor here. I felt pain just typing that. So many years and so many memories and as I look around the office, still so much to do.!

I know there are new memories and new years ahead and I am excited about that but I think this week will be sort of a melancholy one for me. I will be doing more looking back than looking forward, so un-biblical I know. I spent a few hours last night going over my sermon plan for the new church and it is on track and feels pretty solid. I also looked at my list of goals that I have for there. So everything for the new appointment is on course. I am glad that I did that because I don't know how productive I am going to be this week.

For the last six weeks or so it has been about getting ready. Getting the church ready and getting my family ready and making sure that they are as okay as they can be. It has been about getting the movers ready and a moving date set (don't EVEN go there). It has been about packing boxes and about ensuring that everything is ready.

Well that is pretty much done. Now I am just left with getting me ready. And getting ready, is sad. At least today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Boxes..boxes...boxes


Everywhere I look, I see them. They are in the office and they are in my house and they are just everywhere. I can't escape them and the seem to be multiplying. They are an ever present reminder as to what is going to be happening soon. I am moving.


Not taking into account the reason of moving and just focusing in on the moving is tough. I hate to move. I love some type of consistency in my life and for the last 6 years, this has been consistent. I lived in the little house that is as old as Moses and I walked to my office and I was the pastor at the "blue grass" church. Now those constants are all changing.

The more I look around me the more I understand mom's band-aid philosophy. You know the one, all mom's use it. When it comes time to take a band-aid off don't mess around, just yank it. Sure it is going to hurt but it is so much better than dragging it out. So while I always said I wanted to know in January or so if the Bishop was going to move me in any given year, I think maybe June would be soon enough.

So I am surrounded by boxes and those boxes contain so many things of mine from books to golf clubs. I am getting more and more anxious as the days go by. Do I have enough boxes? Am I going to be ready? Is the church ready? Is my family ready? No answers. Just more questions....and more boxes to pack.

Oh well, gotta go. Just found an empty box and I know just what to put into it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I have a confession to make


I do not like baccalaureate, or at least the baccalaureate service that they do in my township. Somehow or another the local ministerium has ceded control to the school. I know, I know the school can't be in charge and they technically aren't. However, I know how I think it should be run and what it should be and it just hasn't been that way. it is about the kids and the churches and the families coming together to celebrate this wondrous occasion in the church.


With that being said, I do have two positive things to say about the event last night. The first was that they FINALLY got the music right. It was real praise music that was led by a group of the students and it was good to hear. The other thing was that the speaker said a word that I needed to hear, actually he quoted a scripture that I needed to hear. John 16:33. Or at least a piece of it

"In this world you will have trouble." Ain't that the truth? Trouble is coming and how are we going to deal with it. I had a conversation the other day with a friend and we were talking about trouble. My friend was telling me about the trouble they were facing. It was at that point that I realized something. Taken all together, the trouble we deal with can be quite overwhelming. It can be impossible to handle on our own or feel as if there is anyone that can help us. We will get to the end of our rope.

We need to look at each bit of trouble as the separate things that they are. Taken apart one big heap of trouble turns into 3 or four different things that we can then tackle. When we do that, we begin to see that it is truly not overwhelming and it is manageable. Yes it is tough and yes there will be problems in our life.

The Good News is if we take time and look these things over and we pray and we rely on others to help us it is not so daunting a task. Finally we just need to rely on the rest of that passage from John 16, right after saying this "In this world you will have trouble"....Jesus says this But take heart! I have overcome the world.
"
Amen and Amen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

525,600 Minutes


So how do you measure a year? Or six years for that matter? Since the very first time that I heard the song, I have loved the song from Rent called "Seasons of Love". It is a great song and if sung by the right people is just powerful.

I have tried to get my son to get some of his friends together for about 4 years to sing it in church and it never came together...until Sunday! Sunday was a big day for me at my church. I had the honor of performing two Baptisms and recognizing the High School graduates and presenting them with scholarships. In addition we had a lot of people in church because of all that was going on plus the fact that we had a luncheon afterwards as a good bye for my family and I. It was great stuff.

There were so many great moments in the service but perhaps one that will stick out for me is the moment that my son began to sing "Seasons of Love" , it was something that we had worked out the day before and I tied it into my sermon. The big surprise came when Sara stood up to join him. Sara is a young girl whom I have know since the day she was born. I had heard that she had a great voice but she never wanted to sing in church. Well she sang Sunday and joined my son singing in a big way. What a voice!

So how can you measure, measure a year(or six)? Perhaps you can start by thinking of the people with whom you have had the pleasure of ministering to, with and for. Perhaps it is with all the children that sat in the final children's time Sunday and all the fun you have had with them over the years. Perhaps it is with all the great people who helped lead service through song and word and presence.

Maybe it is the tears that you shared and continue to share. I truly do not know if you can ever truly measure it in any other way than the song suggests...How about love?

Truly it is love that is the cornerstone of all that we do and will do and have done. It is the love of God, friends, and family. I can't ever begin to thank the people here enough for how much they have helped me in my time here.


So now we begin the process of going on different paths but toward the same goal, kingdom building. We may worship in different places and do ministry in different environments going forward but we are always connected and we will never lose that.

So to my friends at New Brooklyn, thank you. You have helped me become the minister and the man that I am today. I will never forget our time together. So I encourage you all to continue building those memories and reaching out to be a blessing to the world. Your work is not done it is only just beginning.

How do YOU measure a year?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I've been thinking

As I got my sermon ready for this week I began to think a lot about Terah. You know who Terah is right? Yes that is right Terah, go on take a look...I'll wait. So anyway, I have been thinking a lot about him. I mean if you are not careful you might skip right through him and miss something that I think we really need to be aware of.

See the thing is, Terah was on his way to Canaan, really he was. He took Abram and Sarai and Lot and others and was on his way. Now something happened on the way and the whole group ended up settling down and never finished the journey. It says it pretty clearly right there in Chapter 11 of Genesis.

We spend a lot of time focusing in on Abram/Abraham and his faithful journey and rightfully so. However, we must also understand that the journey was started long before Abraham, Sarai, and Lot headed off. Who knows what the family conversations were around the fire with Terah and Abraham. Perhaps he told his son about some voice that called him to Canaan or the feeling that he just needed to go. Who knows what was shared from father to son.

What we do know is that for some reason Terah could not continue on that journey. He continued to worship idols and he could not or would not commit to God. He settled for the life that he had around him. Perhaps it wasn't as exciting as the life that perhaps awaited in Canaan but it was good enough.

So where are we on our journey? Are we being faithful to God's vision or have we decided to simply stay where we are. Are we so busy worshiping the idols in our life that we are neglecting God's plan?

God has a plan for his people, perhaps he will stop waiting for us and find someone else to take his people where they need to go. I want to follow God's plan. I want to be faithful to God's plan for me and my family and my ministry. I pray that I can stay the course. I pray that you will as well.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Some More Annual Conference Ponderings

It is GREAT to see the youth at the sessions.

We really need to find a way to reach out and get younger clergy.

100,000 dollars plus for Nothing but Nets!!!!!

Does it make sense for us to go to into another Annual Conference's boundaries to put on our
Annual Conference?

The presentation by the Morrow Memorial youth was fantastic.

I am all Basketballed out. Enough already!

The Bishop's Episcopal Address was his best yet, imo.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Just some ponderings about Annual Conference

The Music at Annual conference was Awesome...again.

It was nice seeing colleagues I had not seen in awhile.

It was a blessing to be ordained with that group of men and women. They are going to be a group that makes a difference!

It was also nice to put some faces and voices with bloggers names.

In this "post-modern" age is it time for us to rethink how we do Annual Conference?

The teleprompter was a great idea for the Bishop!

More to come.