Friday, July 07, 2006

Here I am to...

I am at the Youth Gathering with some of my youth group and San Antonio is actually pretty damn wonderful. It is hot, but not that hot. It is muggy, but not that muggy. But most of all, it is a wonderful experience.

I have seen things that boggle my mind, such as so many nice Lutheran kids. Very little attitude and low sarcasm. They are nice to each other, they talk to each other and they are wanting to know each other. The theology of the speakers and presenters has been what I would call OUTSTANDING!! I was scared at first but realize that they know what they are doing. The music has been so-so, but I am an old fart when it comes to Christian "music" Peter Mayer has been outstanding, but then again, he always is.

I have been suffering from a cold so my thoughts and emotions dont seem to connect well right now, and I am in the Adult Center where we can go to get away from all the kids, but overall things have been really good. The best part for me is seeing friends from long ago (well, about two years, give or take) and feeling like I am not alone in the world of pastoring.

Random thoughts before I join the hoard of kids again:
Coffee is pricy down here
There are no organizations for GLBT down here so I chose a bag that has rainbows on it
There are no word alone type organizations down here so I am pleased
I have lost some weight!!
My tan is rather "farmerish" but at least it is a "tan"
My phone texting skills are way improving.
There are people here that I know who are talking to me that I did not talk to much before and there is also the opposite way around. It is confusing.
The tap water here SUCKS!!!

God really, really, really is in this place.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

So Many Kids!!

I am currently hiding out in my office doing mucho extra work to make up for the fact I will be gone all next week. This week is VBS and my lovely wife is running it. Fortunatley, I just have to pray and run the computer/DVD system in the sanctuary at the beginning and the end. Once we are done with the little kids this week, I am off to San Antonio for the big youth gathering. The youth advisor who set everything up made sure that we are in a very nice hotel that happens to be 250 leagues away from any and all action so our days and nights will be filled with traveling by shuttle (I hope there is one since we are flying) to be with everyone else who got a better hotel. But, I am not bitter. What could possibly be wrong with spending 8 days in a hotel room wtih a bunch of teenage boys who have not yet learned the advantages of daily showers and acne cream? What could be better than 105 degree weather with thousands of kids in one big room?

If you like that kind of stuff, then God bless you. And...I will give you one thousand dollars to take my place!! (just kidding).

But I do have a question about an issue that has really been bothering me. WHERE ARE THE MEN? In our VBS program we have 3 teachers, 4 coordinators, 3 food people, and some kids helping out. But they are all women!! Not that there is anything wrong with women, but I wonder why it is the males don't seem to be wanting to help. I know this might be systemic of a mainline denomination congregation in the suburbs during the weekday when most people are at work, but there HAS to be some men out there who care and want to help. I hope there is a book about this somewhere...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Five

Thanks to Stumbling Toward Divinity and Rev. Gal for this. One of my two sermons are finished (including a reference to the X-Men movie), it is raining and I am bored.

1. If you were a mutant, what ability would you like to have? (think superpower)
Without a doubt, it would be the ability to control and manipulate any and all metals. So I would be like Magneto. And trust me on this, no plastic prison would hold me for long. (But, of course, I would use my powers for good and not for evil.)

2. Tell us about a memorable road trip you've experienced.

When I was a wee young lad working at McDonalds, some friends of mine wanted to know if I wanted to see Madonna in concert. Of course I did, she was hot back then. The only issue was that the concert was in Dallas and I was in St. Louis. And the concert was in two days. So we went. It was a blast. The concert was wonderful and the trip was fun despite the fact that the car we traveled in (a trans am) was driven by the girl who owned it and would not let anyone else drive it until she fell asleep and ran us off the road. Twice. We survived and found out that there are WAY too many bars in Texas who would serve underaged teens on a quest to see the mother of all concerts.

3. Do you enjoy solving riddles and working on puzzles? If so, what kinds?

I get Discover and Popular Science because I am a big dweeb and a dork. They have puzzles of many different kinds in them and I attempt them all. I do not always succeed but it is nice to keep my mind ticking. Does this, however, include Snood?

4. Take two of your phobias and combine them to make a campy horror/disaster flick. What would it be called?

Spiders in large bodies of water at night!!!!


5. Just how batsh*t crazy is Tom Cruise, anyway?

One only needs to look at his "religion" to answer this for themselves.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Yes, Yes I know, it has been forever

Instead of trying to catch everyone up on what has been happening (like having movie stars over to my house...a movie in which I actually appear!) and having a dear friend "leave" the ministry for higher ground, I will just put on here what is on my mind today...

I have absolutely no idea how I am going to handle West Wing not being on any more. These people have gotten me through so much. We have been through seminary together and first call. Now, they are packing up the White House and their offices in favor of a new administration. I am going to miss them terribly.

I know that through the blessing of syndication they will be alive forever in hour hearts in non-primetime viewing schedules, but it just isnt the same. A few family and friends have suggested I get some DVD's of the seasons I like. HOW CAN ONE CHOOSE??!?! There is an empty hole in my heart and it will only get bigger as the series finale (I am choking back tears as I type this) shows next Sunday.

Keep me and the Bartlett Administration in your prayers.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Now I know what to get everyone for Christmas!!!

I happened upon this website that sells shirts/mugs ect. with some really wonderful sayings. I especially like the one about the jumping through hoops!!

visit:http://www.cafepress.com/gracehead/950396 at your earliest convience.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The family can grow

My wife and I have discussed growing our family again. We have to wonderful children now but we want to do something we have talked about since we were married so very long ago. She said that she did not want to have any more children herself so we have started that long road to adoption. In the state that I live in (round on the ends, high in the middle) you are required to be fingerprinted, take 12 weeks of class, get a home study done, and a psych profile completed. Well, we are almost done with the classes and the FBI has not yet come for us after being fingerprinted.

We are keeping it quiet when it comes to our family because some of them on one side of the family (her side) would not be very supportive. They think that if we want kids, we should pop out more of our own. That is not what this is about. If you ever get the chance to go on children services websites where the kids available for adoption have a pic and a profile, it is the most heartbreaking thing to see them and have then talk about wanting to live in a home with a family. I have never NOT lived in a home with a family so I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a kid and not have a family. But I try so I can somewhat understand what they might be feeling.

Of course, what this means is that these kids are old enough to write that they want a family. We have had enough of babies. Besides, they are the ones people want to adopt anyway. We want an older kid, probably with siblingings. Gender is irrelevant and so is race and culture for the most part. But the truth is, we have no clue what to expect. Then again, it is that way with biological children. We in a million years would not have expected what we got with our second child! (Lest you think that sounds bad, our second child enlightens/scares the hell out of us daily and we love him unconditionally and unquestionably like we do our first child.)

We have to be honest with ourselves. Can this whiter than white family really be a home to those who are of a different culture? Can our children handle the fact that the youngest age we want to start with is 10? What are our limits and abilities? If the process goes right, we will be able to discover all of the issues and work them out. But the closest it would be to have a new family member would be in about 6 to 8 months. Hmmm...maybe almost 9 months.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Importance of Knowing Things

So there I was, teaching Adult Sunday Bible Class (we were covering the 6th commandment!!) when a gentleman came in abrubptly and asked me to follow him. The look in his eye was serious. As I left the room and followed him, he told me that Matt was unresponsive. Matt had just had knee surgury the week before and was back at church for the first time. I started running because I could hear his wife screaming "Matt! What is wrong with you!?" I opened up the doors and I saw him slumped over on the bench he was sitting on while he was waiting for the car to be pulled up.

He was dead. Well, at least that was the thought I had. I tried to see if he was breathing or if he had a heartbeat. Matt is a rather large guy so I could not feeling anything. I don't remember a whole lot of specifics from my first aid classes, but for some reason the basics kicked in. My first thought was that I cannot do CPR on a guy sitting up. I had his wife and someone else standing around help me get him to the floor. It only took about 5 seconds but it seemed like forever and in that time i was going over in my mind the steps to take and the right order to take them in.

Due soley to the grace of God, when he got horizontal, he woke up and asked what we were all doing around him. Then he looked around him and asked why he was on the floor.

Things went pretty easy from there. The EMT's arrived and took him to the hospital. I went back to teaching the class and doing the second worship service. Afterwards, I spent some time at the hospital as they did tests. He, so far is doing well.

But what went through my mind more than anything was why was I called out of class to help Matt? We have at least 3 RN's who were in the building at the time who ended up coming and helping while we were waiting for the EMT's. I have never led anyone to believe that I was able to do any type of first aid. My only thought is that the people of the congregation really do see me as a leader of more than just worship. If there is something wrong or amiss, then they look to me first. I am grateful that I do know CPR and first aid, but it makes me wonder what else I will be called upon to do or know. While I realize that I have to know my limits and my place, it would be nice if I were well rounded enough to know some things that could help people out.

I believe that my first job will be to answer, with authority, which beers go best with which food. I start my training tonight.