Friday, September 9, 2011

Rest

Almost two years into my job here in Hutchinson, one of the greatest challenges has been the pace that things run at in a bigger church. I have often found myself tired, grumpy, uninspired and struggling to get things done. And then there are the bad days...

To help correct that and keep me and my family sane Shiloh and I have been working toward me finding better space away from church and work. I want to be in youth ministry for a long time, so I need to find rest in Christ and with my family regularly.

To that end, last weekend we went to my aunt and uncle's house in Oklahoma. It is one of the most restful places on the planet to me. And I came back with some new energy and decidedly non-grumpy attitude.

A few pics and a video:

video

Thursday, September 1, 2011

30 Days- August

I have decided to give myself 30 day challenges each month to help gain some self-discipline and to do things that interest me or would better my life. I will tell about each of these after they are done.

This month I gave up all non-water drinks. Including coffee. Coffee. For a month the very smell of that wonderful drink has driven me crazy. Even though it's been incredibly hot, I have wanted just a sip of the java. Or two sips. Or maybe just an entire pot. But I reminded myself of my goal and I waited. Until yesterday when my 30 days were up. I went all in with about 32oz of coffee between 815 and 915 yesterday morning. At first, things were fine. I enjoyed the taste and smell and the small caffeine kick.

Then trouble came. I started feeling a little dizzy. Things started to move around the room and I had a headache. What was my good friend coffee doing to me? Was it punishing me for ignoring it for so long? I hadn't thought coffee grounds could be angry, but now I knew differently. I trudged through an afternoon meeting feeling terrible and waited for the effects to wear off.

In the end, I feel like this 30 days taught me that I rely way too much on coffee (or pop) to keep me going and that I need to drink it occasionally and not every day in copious amounts.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And. And. And.

After writing my last post, I was reading through it before publishing and noticed that almost every sentence started with the word "and". I went about trying to correct it and wondered if it said anything about me, other than my total lack of care for some of the most basic rules of writing.

(Kinda like the word "and" with the quotations around it up above. Why are you supposed to put the period inside of the quotations? I think that is stupid and doesn't make sense, so I don't do it, unless the period was already inside the quote.)

I decided that what it maybe says about me is that I live a run-on sentence kind of life. I move from one thing to the next, never quite finishing one place before I have to be at the next. Things just keep going and going and going and going and going. And at (dang, there I go again.)

At some point, I have to stop and find time for punctuation in my life. I run right past all kinds of questions marks, periods, and exclamation points just because I am in such a hurry to get to whatever is next. My contract at the church offers me one personal retreat day a month. I've been a pastor for about 90 months of my life. I think I've taken 4 retreat days. I think 3 of those totaled about 6 hours all together. So really, in 7.5 years of full-time pastoring, I've taken 1.75 out of a possible 90 retreat days.

No wonder I can never stop. So, this month, a retreat day it will be. Mark it down on your calendars. August 22. I'm going to stop, be still, remember, listen, and spend time with the One who gives me life.

And then these sentences can just go back to being my inability to follow basic grammar rules.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Prayer Promises

I have always tended to be the type of person that tells people that I would pray for them. And then never does. I think I kinda figured that was ok. My thought was that next time they faced whatever they were facing, they could find strength and encouragement in the fact that I said I was praying.

Did I mention that I'm a moron?

I recently decided to stop saying "I will pray for you" to people unless I meant it. Unless I was going to enter into life with them and be a part of whatever was going on. And to take the time to pray with them when we were together.

Surprise! God has been showing up in those relationships and places with amazing regularity and power. And not because I can be such a source of strength and encouragement, but because God is strength and the source of all encouragement. He is our strongtower.

I'm glad he loves morons and keeps giving chances for me to learn about, know, and serve him!