Tuesday, December 23, 2008
In the meantime, I need a good laugh. So... Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It seems that there is at least one thing that happens every Advent that is, well... unexpected. All you have to do is take a brief stroll down memory lane and read some of my blog entries from last year to see what I mean. While nothing has come crashing down so far, and I have (to this point) been able to avoid setting myself on fire again, there have been a few moments during this Advent season when I have found myself asking, "Really? This is what is going to happen this Sunday?" Since there is still one Sunday left in this Advent season, I will delay in writing about those adventures... at least for today. We'll see what this Sunday brings...
Oh -- if you haven't checked out the joy that is Wordle.net, you really need to wander over to see it! Check out this nifty creation (based on the stroll down memory lane that I mentioned above...)!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Offering: An Emergent Theology Tale
Friday, September 19, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Really, I had imagined that more of you would have voted for me to study Korean, but that only received one vote! I am increasingly interested in learning Korean -- especially since there are so many Presbyterian brothers and sisters who speak Korean that I would like to be able to communicate with more easily at presbytery meetings and the like. Although, I would like to brush up on my Spanish for the same reason...
I have not yet ordered the materials to begin my study, but I hope to be able to do that before the end of this year. At this point, I am feeling especially drawn to brushing up my Spanish skills; but, I imagine that I will be taking on a study of Korean before too long, as well. I am likely going to use Rosetta Stone, so I would be very interested to hear from people who have used these materials in the past (or present).
Monday, September 8, 2008
John 13:34-35 (NRSV)
Almost three months have gone by since the 218th General Assembly of the PC(USA) met in San Jose, California, and I find that I am still reflecting on the many things that happened there – as well as the many responses and reactions to what happened (or what is rumored to have happened) there.
The committee that I worked with was the Church Orders and Ministry Committee. I must admit that I was both very excited and somewhat anxious about working on that committee, as it was the committee that would discuss issues surrounding the topic of ordination. Prior to going out to San Jose, I spent hours upon hours reading, re-reading, researching, listening, studying, reflecting, consulting, and reading some more. I poured over the overtures, all of the supplemental material, the Bible, the Book of Order, and the Book of Confessions. It all made for interesting conversations with the staff at the local Buffalo Wild Wings, which is where I did much of my pre-GA prep – boneless buffalo wings, free cola refills, and Presbyterian polity… yum!
I think that I expected more division and, well, “fighting” in my committee. But, thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised. The majority of the committee was ready and wanting to truly listen to – and maybe even learn from – one another. Certainly, there were those who arrived in San Jose with their minds closed to any ideas or opinions different from their own, but it was my experience that the majority of folks were there to honestly discern and listen with patience and respect to the voices of all who had been called to serve the Assembly. We worked hard as a committee, and it was not easy work for any of us. And when all of the debates were closed and the voting ended, we wrapped up our time together in a time of worship. With the exception of about 3 people who were upset by the results of the last vote that we cast, the entire committee – as well as those who were gathered to observe our committee – shared in the Lord’s Supper together.
Yes, there had been moments of finger-pointing, name-calling, derogatory statements, or assumptions made on all sides. Some of the presentations and debates that took place were not what I would consider to be nice or (occasionally) civilized. The Church is not perfect – it is made up of people. (I recall Paul saying something about everyone falling short of the glory of God…) Neither the conservatives nor the liberals have it all right. But I believe that there is hope. There is dialogue that is happening between those who disagree. There are places where faithful Presbyterians are reaching out to each other from across the theological divide. I know that it is happening, because I’ve been a part of it. I have had the opportunity to stay in contact with a fellow member of the Church Orders and Ministry Committee who lives on the other end of the country – as well as on the other end of the theological spectrum. She and I did not agree on many of the things that were decided in our committee, but we are both committed to staying connected. We may not agree on some theological issues, but we both confess with glad and joyful hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord. We both have come to realize that if there is to be any real hope for the Church, we must be willing to honestly listen to one another – recognizing and acknowledging one another as fellow children of God and sisters/brothers in Christ.
On July 1, 2008, I wrote the following reflection on my blog:
I just got back from General Assembly... and my head is still spinning! I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish as a Church! Wow! I'm sure that there are a few who are reading this blog who aren't as thrilled as I am, but that's okay... It is our diversity which can make us strong.Now that GA is over, the real work begins. We re-affirmed our commitment to the recommendations made by the Peace, Unity, and Purity Task Force in 2006, which challenges us to be in conversation and communion with one another. While there are certainly some churches who will want to leave the denomination, I fervently hope that most churches will seek ways to be in dialogue with each other. The words of Psalm 133 continue to echo in my head. How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity…
I had one response to that post. He wrote: “I hate to burst your bubble, Amy, but the 218 GA has created more divisions across the denomination than any other.”
Really? I guess I have a very different take on things – and it isn’t because I agree with what all happened at the 218th General Assembly. I don’t agree with every decision that was made by the Assembly. But I have come to understand that God is so much bigger than all of our squabbling and differences. It is very true that my perception of what God desires for the PC(USA) is different from my neighbors’, but it is my firm belief that God is able to work through and speak through the voices of both people with whom I agree and people with whom I fervently disagree. We are called to trust God in the process – really trusting that God is the one who is in charge. God calls us through scripture to live together, work together, pray together, worship together, and witness together.
I pray that we will seek to live out our calling to live as brothers and sisters in Christ, so that our willingness to look past our differences and declare together that Jesus Christ is Lord can bear witness to the amazing power of the love and grace of God!
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35 (NRSV)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Ok... time for me to dive into Presbymeme II. (I know that I wrote more than 25 words on number 5, but I shortened it as best I could...)
1. What is your favorite faith-based hymn, song or chorus.
It is a tie, I think, between How Great Thou Art and This Is My Father's World.
2. What was the context, content and/or topic of the last sermon that truly touched, convicted, inspired, challenged, comforted and/or otherwise moved you?
3. If you could have all Presbyterians read just one of your previous posts, what would it be and why?
I would have to choose And That's When I Set Myself on Fire... Part 1.
4. What are three PC(USA) flavored blogs you read on a regular basis?
5. If the PC(USA) were a movie, what would it be and why?
My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Some of our "families" within this family seem to be very different from one another - apples and oranges, even. But, as the father says in the movie: "We all different, but in the end, we all fruit."
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Our techno-savvy Moderator has blessed us with another meme - Presbymeme II! (Apparently, he initiated one a few months ago that he called Presbymeme 5... And, apparently I missed that one. I will be posting my thoughts on that one later.)
Today, I will post the rules and questions. Soon, I will post my response.
The Rules // Presbymeme II
- in about 25 words each, answer the following five questions;
- tag five presbyterian bloggers and send them a note to let them know they were tagged;
- be sure to link to this original post, leave a comment or send a trackback to this post so others can find you;
The Questions // Presbymeme II
- What is your favorite faith-based hymn, song or chorus.
- What was the context, content and/or topic of the last sermon that truly touched, convicted, inspired, challenged, comforted and/or otherwise moved you?
- If you could have all Presbyterians read just one of your previous posts, what would it be and why?
- What are three PC(USA) flavored blogs you read on a regular basis?
- If the PC(USA) were a movie, what would it be and why?
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
So, the time has come for me to start learning a language again! And I am welcoming you into my discernment process on this as I try to decide which language I am going to learn (or re-learn). Just vote for the language that you think I should try to learn next (using the poll in the column to the right). Voting will be open until August 25th.
I may or may not go with the majority on this, but I assure you that I do not already have my mind made up right now -- I really want your input! So, help a sister out and vote, please!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
But is that what Jesus is trying to say in this parable? I don’t think it is. It is a shame that we so often read parables as if they are Biblical Aesop’s Fables, with characters who represent certain kinds of people and a clear “moral to the story” to be learned with each. When we read parables in this way, I believe that we miss most of the point of parables. Parables – if we really read them, instead of reading into them – don’t give clear answers. Parables usually leave us with more questions than answers – and I think that is exactly why Jesus used parables to talk about things like the Kingdom of God. Why? Because by his using parables to teach, Jesus invites us into an ongoing conversation with him (as opposed to just giving us the answers – which we probably couldn’t handle anyway – and letting us live our lives without needing to be dependent on Jesus).
I believe that Jesus wants us to join him in wrestling with the scriptures instead of constantly wrestling with each other. Wrestling with each other isn’t going to get us anywhere. But, wrestling with Scripture as we remain in conversation with Christ gets us closer to the Word of God.
One of the questions that I have wrestled with as I read this parable is, “what are we supposed to do with the Wheat and the Weeds?” (We always want to know what to do, right?) The response to that given in the parable is “Let them both grow together.” For those who are fans of Greek, check out the word that is translated here as “let them”… it is also used in the Lord’s Prayer, but it is translated there as “forgive”. Forgive and grow together…? Oh, if we would dare to take this to heart and live this way as Christians! The world expects Christians to point fingers and place blame (check out chapter 8 of UnChristian). I hope and pray that we will dare to take the world by surprise and live as people characterized by forgiveness instead of judgment!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Check it out!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
but a false witness speaks deceitfully."
-- Proverbs 12:17
The 218th General Assembly decided to begin the process of revising the Heidelberg Catechism. The Theological Issues and Institutions Committee presented the overture from the Presbytery of Newark, asking the Assembly “to correct translation problems in five responses of the Heidelberg Catechism as found in The Book of Confessions and to add the original Scripture texts of the German Heidelberg Catechism.”
Translation problems. Sounds simple enough. But, of course, not everyone is happy about this desire to revise the Heidelberg Catechism. There are claims by some that this call to revise this catechism is purely a political move spearheaded by those seeking the full inclusion of GLBT church members. This is because one of the translation problems involves the answer to Question 87, which (in the current translation) includes the phrase "homosexual perversion". However, that phrase (as well as the phrase "Surely you know that the unjust will never come into possession of the kingdom of God. Make no mistake:") is nowhere to be found in either the Latin or German texts of the Heidelberg Catechism. As it turns out, the gentlemen who did the English translation of the text in 1962 later admitted that they had inserted these words.
Apparently, I'm not the only one thinking about this issue.
Whether you agree with the text as it stands now or not is - in my opinion - immaterial. Mistranslation is mistranslation. When you translate something, you don't add materials that you want to see included. Otherwise, it is a false witness. And I don't know about you, but my mama raised me different than that...
Friday, July 11, 2008
I'm still reading, but so far I am really impressed with what Brian McLaren has to say. It is easy to read, yes... but that doesn't mean that it is an "easy read". It is actually pretty challenging. McLaren doesn't hold back. And it is rather refreshing, I think.
Now, this isn't the only book that I'm reading. I'm a true book lover, and I tend to read at least 4 or 5 books at a time. But one of the books that is on my list to read this summer is one that I got while I was at GA. It is not a book that I would have bought (EVER), but since folks were nice enough to give me a copy, I do plan on reading it. The book is Broken Covenant by Parker T. Williamson, the editor emeritus and senior correspondent of The Layman. Yes... The Layman. Not a publication that I endorse (at all). But... I am interested in what he has to say.
Maybe I will end up writing my own book in response... Who knows!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Now that GA is over, the real work begins. We re-affirmed our commitment to the recommendations made by the Peace, Unity, and Purity Task Force in 2006, which challenges us to be in conversation and communion with one another. While there are certainly some churches who will want to leave the denomination, I fervently hope that most churches will seek ways to be in dialogue with each other. The words of Psalm 133 continue to echo in my head. How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity. Maybe I will post the sermon I preached about a year ago that used that text...
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Worship was held this morning, and it was a wonderful service! They posted a link to view a replay of the worship service on-line at the PCUSA website. I think that it was done in streaming video, so it may not be available still... But, if it is still available, I encourage you to check it out. (If you did see it online, I invite you to share your thoughts by commenting to this post.)
One of the most moving parts of the service for me was hearing the choir sing an anthem entitled "Offertory" by John Ness Beck. It is a beautiful setting of the words of Micah 6:6-8 (the text of Micah 6:8 is the theme of GA this year). This particular anthem has a very special place in my heart, as I sang it when I was a camper at the Jr. Music Camp at Kirkmont (a Presbyterian camp in Ohio). It was a true blessing to me.
I was also truly touched by the communion service. We served each other, passing the bread and the cup down each row. To see the people of God serving one another -- all of us coming from places near and far, representing a wide spectrum of theological standpoints, and even speaking different languages -- was certainly a glimpse of the Kingdom coming to life. It was a time for the Church to truly be church. I purchased one of the chalices that was used in worship today, and I look forward to using it in continued service and witness to what the Church is called to do and to be.
In other news, the committees began meeting tonight. Most of the activity tonight on my committee (Church Orders and Ministry) involved getting to know the members of the committee and approving the docket. Our really official business begins in the morning (and continues for most of the day). If I am able to post anything before tomorrow evening, I will. And, hopefully we will conclude our business tomorrow evening on time so I am able to post something...
I believe that I can speak for all of the commissioners from our presbytery in that we deeply appreciate your prayers -- both for us as commissioners and for the General Assembly as a whole. I believe that the Spirit is alive and at work here, strengthening and challenging the Presbyterian Church as we work together to discern God's call to us in this time!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Congrats to the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, the new moderator of the 218th GA!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The afternoon session is about to start, so I must get back to my seat. If/when there are posts without titles, those have been posted via mobile blogger (using my cell phone). Hopefully the technology gremlins will stay far, far away from my phone!!!
Monday, June 16, 2008
The overtures that I've been looking at all have to do with either upholding the recommendations from the PUP Task Force that were approved at the 217th GA in 2006 or doing away with those recommendations. Frankly, the ones that seek to do away with them are laughable -- well, laughable or cry-able, I suppose. Let me list the first 4 of the 5 recommendations for you to see... The Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church recommends that the 217th General Assembly (2006):
- strongly encourage (a.) every member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to witness to the church's visible oneness, to avoid division into separate denominations that obscure our community in Christ, and to live in harmony with other members of this denomination, so that we may with one voice together glorify God in Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit; and (b.) all sessions, congregations, presbyteries, and synods to renew and strengthen their covenanted partnership with one another and with the General Assembly.
- urge governing bodies, congregations, and other groups of Presbyterians to follow the example of the task force and other groups that, in the face of difficult issues, have engaged in processes of intensive discernment through worship, community building, study, and collaborative work.
- commend for study the Theological Reflection that heads the task force report.
- direct the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly, and urge those who plan and moderate other governing bodies, to explore the use of alternative forms of discernment and decision-making as a complement to parliamentary procedure, especially in dealing with potentially divisive issues.
I have to say that these all make a good deal of sense to me. I cannot imagine a time when the practice of discernment could be a bad thing. And I think I remember there being several places in scripture where we are called to treat each other -- even our enemies -- with honor and respect. And I certainly am in support of anything which calls us to study our theological understandings of things.
So, I am disappointed, to say the least, when I read overtures from presbyteries that want to do away with these recommendations. Their reasoning tends to be based on the notion that "peace" (aka - no disagreements) has not been made manifest in the last 2 years. People are still disagreeing with one another, so we want to run away from each other? That seems a bit reactive to me...
I'll keep you posted on my other musings as I am able... This is going to be interesting...
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Also, I have listed some of the blogs that I like to read. Most of them are written by friends of mine! I hope that you take some time to give them a look. Enjoy!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
About a month ago, my cell phone started acting all crazy-like whenever I tried to use my bluetooth headset. All of a sudden, it wouldn't connect properly. So, I took it to the Verizon store and they gave me a replacement phone. The new one seemed to work okay. All seemed well.
But last week, my "new" phone started acting of its own free will. It started by hanging up on people while I was still trying to have conversations. These were not your typical "dropped call" situations. It stopped connecting to my bluetooth headset again. The "recent calls" menu would pop up without my even touching the phone.
I started to wonder if I needed to get in touch with a young priest and and old priest...
But this last Tuesday, my cell phone officially stepped out on its own. I was leading a training session on the new Presbyterian Women Bible Study. My cell phone was in my purse. Apparently, it got bored... so it called my dad. It was a flip phone. No way to "pocket dial". My bluetooth headset was in my car. And yet, according to my recent calls menu, I had called my dad a few times in the middle of my training session. I had even answered a few of his calls (since he called me back, wondering why I was calling and then not saying anything when he answered).
Maybe the young priest and old priest would have been a good idea...
Needless to say, I have a completely different phone now. And really, I couldn't be happier. How I survived this long without a phone that has a full keyboard, I'll never know. Plus, this phone doesn't seem to have a life of its own...
Monday, June 2, 2008
Anyway... I doubt that I will be posting any pictures from the Festival, since I just don't think I'm going to have time to do it. If it turns out that I do, then I will... but I don't want to make any promises that I can't keep.
Preparations for going to General Assembly are going full steam. I feel as if I am in a race against time to get all of my reading and studying done before I go!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The process of grief has been interesting for me. I mean, I have had to deal with the death of grandparents before -- all of them have now passed -- but, this is the first death of a relative since my becoming a pastor. I deal with funerals and I work with people in grief as a pastor, but it is a very different thing to go through that process myself. It has not been easy to put my role of "pastor" aside and simply be.
To all who have expressed their sympathy to me and my family, I thank you. Your words of comfort have been true blessings to me during this time.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The group that met today talked a bit about things that people yearn for today. That is, what are we all out there hoping and wishing to find? The first thing that was mentioned today was "belonging" -- we all want to feel like we belong (and maybe even fit in). Another person mentioned "rest". (How sad that we have bought into the culture's belief that we can't rest until we retire!) There was also some talk about play -- not a practice that is explored in the book, but definitely something that we all need to practice!
I'll be posting things from time to time about the book study. If you aren't a member of the church -- or you just aren't able to come to the study -- I invite you to join us all here!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
This is an amazing honor, and I am both excited and nervous about it. To be sure, I will be blogging during that week (June 21-28). It should be an interesting GA, as there are a lot of issues that will be coming to the floor -- some old, some new... never a dull moment! Of course, I am a little bit bummed that I won't be able to do any lobbying for some of the things that I am passionate about, but I will certainly be supporting those folks while I am there! Perhaps I will just lobby for my blog... hmm....
Monday, April 7, 2008
Another random poll will be coming soon!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
You create things that I understand.
You create things that I hope to one day understand.
And you create things that completely baffle me.
I pray that you help me to celebrate your creation
whether I understand it or not.
Strengthen me to see what I need to see,
hear what I need to hear,
and understand what I need to understand.
Encourage me and those around me
by the power and grace of your Spirit
so that we may be reflections
of your grace, love, hope, and peace
to all of your creation.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
In the meantime, be sure to pop some virtual bubble wrap... What a great way to de-stress! (Thanks for sharing this one, Josh!)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Monday, I drove to Urbana so that my friend Ruth and I could drive to Indianapolis to attend a funeral. There is nothing in this world more heartbreaking than seeing a mother and father have to bury a child. The mother in this case was a colleague of ours, and we had all gathered to remember her 24 year old son. Only 24 years young and taken by cancer... I believe that God was weeping right alongside of Charlie's family and friends.
On our way home, Ruth and I stopped at a Chili's restaurant. Our server, Rysta, was awesome! She got bonus points for growing up in Ohio, but the real deal was her super attitude and great service. Rysta, I hope you check this out -- you really helped us have a happy night on a day that was otherwise melancholy. We closed down the place, and then got back on the road to Urbana. I should mention that Ruth and I share a weakness for what I like to call "shopping therapy". I think we left a few CDs at the Best Buy... (I'll be reviewing a few of my new music pics soon.)
When I got back to the office on Wednesday and Thursday, there were meetings, meetings, and more meetings! Just one of those weeks, I guess. But... the best thing... I actually had a day off on Friday! Nice!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Yeah... I think I want to vote for this guy -- a high school student named Porter Ellett.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
The whole point of the contest -- be creative, and you could win! Just click on the links in this post, check out the picture, write a caption (um... or dance it, or something), and post it as a comment! The contest will be ending this week, so don't wait -- you don't want to miss it!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
This week (hopefully) will be better! I will be posting the contest where you could win a free item from Group Publishing. I'm planning to post some extra pictures from the NYMC. And I'll hopefully be able to post some video of the performance of "You Give Love A Bad Name" that was so skillfully performed at the conference, too!
God bless, y'all!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
- Seriously, I will never forget hearing (and seeing) Tony Dungy on the first night of the conference! It was an amazing message from and amazing man of faith.
- I loved all of the videos -- the announcements, the road trip with Couch, Overnighter... they all ROCKED! Great job, y'all!
- Mark DeVries and his crew were fantastic! I learned a ton! Now, if I can just keep managing my monkeys...
- I must give some e-props to all of my Presbyterian friends that I met at the conference. God bless each and every one of you for all of your work in your churches. Jenna, if you read this, please be sure to send me some pics of your purses and jewelry - and I'll be seeing you this summer at GA! Remember, don't ever let anyone tell you that you are too young... (I think there's a scripture about that someplace...)
- Finally, I must give thanks to the behind the scenes folks that made the conference possible. God bless the people running the sound boards and all of the AV equipment!
By 10:18 PM, we were all wondering where Josh was. We were all hoping that he was off getting us all a ton of free stuff... Some of us decided that we would just start the session without Josh. Here's what happens when you give youth leaders a podium and a working mic...
We shared a lot of great ideas about blogging and podcasts. We invited those with blogs to share their web addresses on the board we labeled: Got Blog?
And then Josh showed up! Hooray! And he brought some free stuff, too! Double hooray! And all of the free stuff went to people who had showed up after we had texted Josh suggesting that he bring free stuff... Yay for those who won free stuff!
It was really cool to meet Josh - a fellow Star Wars geek and goofball extraordinaire! I'm sure that my blog will never be the same! God bless you, brother!
Monday, February 25, 2008
- Those of us in Mark DeVries' learning track tried to engage the rooms next to us in a round of "We've got Spirit, yes we do! We've got Spirit, how 'bout you?". Alas... there were no responses. We figure that all they could here us saying was "wkosidnrj wowiefn wowkndrnf! solwefnseinlfwehfiwk pdeneewliyejhf ijhhfhwuef?" (We weren't exactly "together" on the cheer..)
- I did a study on Sabbath when I was in seminary, so it was refreshing to hear Mark DeVries say this regarding taking a day off each week: "If your church is suggesting that you break one of the ten commandments, then it probably isn't a good idea to work there."
- "My name is Tim, and I'm a porcupine farmer." Thank you, 321 Improv!
- Greg Stier said this about youth: "Why are they deaf to us? Because we are deaf to them!" Wow... let's all chew on that for a while...
- The announcement video... yeah... that was great! Check it out at Josh's blog.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
- The folks in Deeper Learning Track #11 learned that Mark DeVries had this advice for a youth leader wondering how to get more students to events: "Naked Jello wrestling is always a good idea." (Josh...I know that this isn't a picture, but...!)
- The Overnighter video by Leonard T.... FANTASTIC! You can check it out at Josh's blog, MoreThanDodgeball.com. I think Leonard has been to a few of my Lock-Ins...
- Hooray for the Skit Guys! They thanked us for what we do to serve youth. We thank them for sharing their gifts with all of us.
- We learned from Doug Fields that "God invented Red Bull." Scripture tells us that God never sleeps or slumbers... now we know how God does it!
- My friend Ruth and I met Jason, who I would officially like to name as the King of the Gift With Purchase! Jason... you know who you are... You Rock!
As a bonus... we discovered that there are actually a pretty good number of Presbyterians at the conference! Yay Presbys!!! Those Presbys who are attending Mark's class stopped for a picture on Saturday afternoon, and that night there was a group that met at the Elm Street Bistro for more fun and frivolity. Remember the words of 1 Timothy 5:23. Our stomachs and our souls felt better after our evening out... although I'm pretty sure it was the company and not what we may have had to drink!
I'm probably not going to get my Day Three and Day Four posts up until Wednesday, since I'll be up late on Sunday (learning more about blogging from Josh), driving back to Illinois all day on Monday, and chillin' at a Presbytery meeting all day on Tuesday. So... keep checking back for updates!
Oh -- and there will be a contest coming your way soon (with a groovy prize and everything)! Details will be out this week...
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The opening session last night was really nicely done. Josh Griffin opened things up with some giveaways and wacky antics - but really, would we expect anything less from Josh? I'm praying that they give away more of the Sack Chairs, and that I defy the odds and actually catch the hacky-sack that they toss into the crowd! Those things ROCK! Be sure to check their website, y'all!
The entire evening was really cool, but the highlight had to be hearing from Tony Dungy! What an amazing, Spirit-filled man! If you have never thought of ministry as a kind of coaching... well... it is never too late to start! Key points: 1) Learn your craft; 2) Make connections by being yourself and keeping it personal; and 3) Be sure to recharge your battery (Sabbath keeping, anyone?). In case you ever read my blog, Tony... Thanks for an awesome message of hope and encouragement!
Here's my Top 5 from Day One:
- We all learned that Rick Lawrence has a picture of Doug Fields in a Speedo... and we all died a little inside when we saw it...
- Thom and Joani Schultz almost shared a passionate kiss in front of us all... but the voters decided that they wanted to hear them answer awkward questions instead (46% to 48%! I was expecting a landslide for the awkward question!). No questions about burping in worship or anything...but perhaps another time...
- Tim Timmons led us in a rockin' version of My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less (On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand)... Fantabulous!
- We watched a piece on The Couch's trip to the conference... I want to officially invite The Couch to my next pool party!
- Tony Dungy, Tony Dungy, Tony Dungy!!!
Oh... and the best T-shirt award goes to this guy:Keep checking back for more updates and pictures!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Anywho... it was quite the weekend! At the Lock-In that we had in the fall, about 16 kids were here. Not bad... This time, the word must have gotten out that we host a really great Lock-In, because we had 28 kids! That's right... 28! They just kept on coming! It was awesome! (It was also made a few of the volunteers nervous to be that outnumbered... but we all survived!)
The big hit at the Lock-In: video games. Specifically, the musical video games of Sing Star, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band. Not only are the kids hooked, but I'm pretty sure that I'm hooked, too. Seriously -- Guitar Hero is addictive! Perhaps it helps that the music that's featured in Guitar Hero is the music that I grew up enjoying. (Yes... I'm a pastor. And yes, I used to listen to groups like Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath. In fact, I still do. I'll take listening to Black Sabbath over practically any country music group anytime!)
If you have not tried your hand (or voice, in the case of Sing Star) at one of these games, I highly recommend that you do! It is crazy fun, and it is a great way to connect with youth!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
So not the monster-sized desk is mine. Seriously - it is HUGE! We traded desks last week, and now I have a TON more space to spread out all of my crap -- I mean, all of my "highly important ministerial accouterments". But, as it tends to happen with any kind of move, this has suddenly become the time to sort through and clean out my collection of highly important ministerial accouterments.
Seriously... it is like an archaeological dig in my office right now! There are papers in my file cabinet that I have never looked at, never needed, and frankly...I don't think I even knew they existed. Much of what I am finding that has taken up so much space is crud that was left here by the DCE that had this office before they called an Associate Pastor.
I have a feeling that the "round file" is going to be full before the end of the day...
Sunday, January 13, 2008
"I don't believe in the Holy Ghost. I don't believe there are ghosts. [slight pause] I believe in Santa."
God bless the world's youngest theologian!