Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8.17.10 6:30am

Today is Jenny's birthday. I can not explain how much being married to her makes me a better man. She puts up with me a lot more than she should, and that is a gift. I hope today is a great day for her.

Last night when we came home after class, Jenny found a recliner in her office. It was from her sons for her birthday today. She is always looking for a comfortable place to read, and they saw it at goodwill and bought it for her. Those boys love their momma.

Happy birthday my love...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday report

Today has been a pretty amazing day. It started with worship this morning. Any Sunday that we get to do a baptism is a great day, and today didn't disappoint. When we baptise a a child from our children's ministry, they bring all of the kids down, and stack them in front of the stage to watch one of there own get baptized. After the baptism, the kids usually file out during a song. Today, they lingered a little bit. I think it was because they knew the song. It was amazing to see them sing along with us. Have you ever seen a child that was mesmerized by something, and they couldn't break away from it? That is what they were like. They were singing and smiling, drawn in by worshipping.

I also started being the regular host for our 11 o'clock traditional service. I really enjoyed the service, and getting to see people that I don't get to see very much. I am really looking forward to being in there more consistently, for several reasons, mostly because I like being around the people, and being a pastor that takes call for pastoral care, I want and need to get to know the people in that service.

After lunch, I went to our local hospice facility to see Brenda Killabrew and her husband Martin. Brenda has been battling cancer for 3 years, and is at the end of her fight. She has fought valiantly, and Martin has taken such good care of her. It was an honor to get to visit with them, pray with them, and just listen. In our time together, Martin shared that one of Brenda's favorite songs was "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)", and asked me to sing it for her at her funeral. It is always an honor to be asked to sing at a funeral or memorial service. Her suffering will end soon, I look forward to her service, and celebrating her life. I enjoyed our time together today very much.

Bishop William Willimon says that, as worship leaders, one of the things that we are called to is the pastoral care of the congregation, both in and outside of the worship service. I believe this whole heartedly, and relish the role. More about this later this week.

It truly was a great day.

later kids...

Friday, August 13, 2010

I hate this time of year

I hate this time of year. I have several reasons, both personal and professional.

First, and foremost, I hate the heat. Today, we are likely to move into triple digits, and the heat index will get over 110. This is not good for me, being a fat little Italian man. Because of this, I sweat a lot, and I don't like that.

Second, it is budget time. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I don't do numbers very well, so naturally having an important, big project, that is wrapped around numbers is maddening. I get through it, but I hate it.

This time of year also means, goals and evaluations. Every year, we sit down, individually and as a staff, and try to set goals for the coming year. I understand the importance of trying to look forward, and do what we do better. I tend to find myself writing the same things, only in different wording... except for one goal: same goal, same wording... "More pastor, less tech." This problem is for another post.

Lastly, evaluations. I get really uncomfortable sitting in a room with people, even people who I know love me, and like what I do. I always feel like I am going to have to justify every little thing that I do, which is usually not the case, but that is really stressful for me. I end up being much harder on myself than the people who are evaluating me.

This is why I hate this time of year. It will get better for me in about a month or so.

Thanks for listening to me whine.

Later kids...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I know, I know...

it has been a year (minus 1 week) since I last posted here. It isn't like there hasn't been anything to write about, I've just been lazy.

As an update, here is a list of some of the things that have happened to me in the last year, both good and not so good in not any particular order.

  • This year, Jenny has been working so hard in her garden, and it has been incredible. She has always been a great cook, but since the garden started producing, she has been making some of the most amazing dishes. The best by far is the Roasted Roma Tomato Sauce. She made it for our staff this week, and they went crazy over it. I am so proud of her, and blessed by her.
  • 4 weeks ago, Jenny and I started classes to finish our bachelors degrees. This has been something that we have wanted to do for a long time. It is important to us for a couple of reasons. 1) As an example to our boys that finishing school isn't a luxury anymore, it is a necessity. 2) Both of us need the piece of paper in order to feel like we have a voice in our professions.
  • Our sons have grown a lot this year, and we could not be more proud. Andrew moved into the Wesley Foundation and is out on his own. It is hard to believe he is going to be a junior in college. I have seen him grow as a person, as a musician, and as a TD. Joey has started working with group called "Community Options". It is amazing to watch him work. His heart pours out every day. Watching and listening to Aaron is just crazy. In the last year, he has continued on his road to being a great musician. He is a sophomore in high school, and continues the tradition of taking really tough courses in high school. Physics, Algebra and AP US History.
  • In February, I got to my annual trip to ReCreate. A time of rest, renewal and being with friends from all over the world. We talk, laugh, pray, worship and learn together. It is some of the most inspiring times of the year for me both professionally and personally. It is led, designed and hosted by my friend Randy Elrod. I was also encouraged by the artists that were there, and started a little painting and altar design. You should check it out here.
  • I had to separate out 1 thing from ReCreate this year. We had a time of worship with Gungor. When I heard that they were going to be there, I was excited because Michael Gungor is a great songwriter. I had no idea how good. The hour that we spent being led and taught by him was life changing. It was laid out like a symphony, but unlike anything I had experienced before, it was a symphony extolling the beauty, love and grace of Jesus. I have since seen them again with my sons, and it was amazing again.
  • One of the disappointing things this year was the fact that I didn't get to take my annual pilgrimage to see my friends Tom and Rhondell. They moved several years ago and I miss them alot. This is the first time in several years that I haven't gotten to go after Easter.
  • I have had a couple of set designs that I have been pretty pleased with lately. I will post them in the next few days.
  • I started walking 3 or 4 times a week several months ago with my friend Troy. We have not walked in a little over a week or so though, and I am starting to feel the repercussions. I need the exercise and the conversation.
I guess that is enough for now. Thanks for reading.

Later kids...