Monday, February 25, 2008

Watching Water Boil

You know the old adage "a watched pot never boils". Well, that is the suspense the I am living in right now. However, one of the conferences that is interested in me, had one of their D.S.'s contact my D.S. Who promptly gave them a glowing reference. Hope springs eternal.

After my wonderful morning baptismal experience, I spent the rest of the day in prayer and meditation. Trying to relax and get my spirit back in balance. Obviously, I put off the entire de-stressing just a little too long.

I was getting revved up and moving again from my dreadful flu experience. Today, I wake up with the beginning of a cold---all centered in the middle of my chest. Darn, Darn, Darn.............

I still have people in the hospital that I need to see but they are in ICU. I certainly know that they want me to come see them but I feel that I would be endangering their recovering.

I am going to call in some of my friends for support. Church members are already visiting but I have several local clergy friends that will do a pastoral visit for me.

This sucks. It took me two weeks to get over the flu and now this. I know that all the stress is lowering my resistance but I eat right, exercise and take lots and lots of vitamins. Okay, now I know that I'm sick. I'm starting to whine.

I did finally get something very important accomplished today. I set up a trust, guardianship for my daughter and my Last Will & Testament in the event of my untimely death. Four years ago, I was being wheeling into surgery (gall-bladder) and realized that I had not made any provisions for my daughter.

I immediately bought a life insurance policy but it has been a little more complicated getting all the legal paper-work in order. Especially since I named someone outside of my family as the Executor and a cousin for her guardian (not my parents or sister). But everything is now signed, sealed and given to all relevant parties. The notary said, "You would be surprised how many people your age never make these kinds of provisions for their kids. It makes for a huge fight, lots of heart-ache, on top of the grief of the parent's death."

It makes me feel better that I have done the "grown-up" thing. Of course, I hope that it is totally unnecessary. Plus, I did the "pull-the-plug" directive, also.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Today, I baptized four people, Three children and one 30-Something man.

You could feel the power of the Holy Spirit in the Sanctuary today. It was awesome, inspiring and Holy. Even the humor of the little girl wanting to be reassured that I would not get her pony-tail wet, made the moment even more special.

God is Good.

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Spiritual Type

(Go to Brian's Page for the Link to figure out your spritual Type)

You are a Sage, characterized by a thinking or head spirituality. You value responsibility, logic, and order. Maybe that's why you were voted "Most Dependable" by your high school classmates. Structure and organization are important to you. What would the world be like without you? Chaos, that's what! Your favorite words include should, ought, and be prepared. What makes you feel warm and fuzzy? Like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof it's tradition! tradition! tradition!
Because you love words, written or spoken, you enjoy a good lecture, serious discussions, and theological reflection. Prayer for you usually is verbal. You thrive on activity and gatherings of people, such as study groups. Sages on retreat likely would fill every day with planned activities, leaving little time for silence or solitude.
We need Sages for your clear thinking and orderly ways. You pay attention to details that others overlook. Sages make contributions to education, publishing, and theology. You often are the ones who feel a duty to serve, give, care, and share with the rest of us.
On the other hand, sometimes you seem unfeeling, too intellectual, or dry. Can you say "dogmatic"? You may need to experience the freedom of breaking a rule or two every now and then. God's grace covers Sages too, you know!

Learn about other types: Sage Prophet Lover Mystic

Famous Sages:
Mr. Spock Dilbert Elrond Dietrich Bonhoeffer Maya Angelou Linus (Peanuts)Yoda (Star Wars) Andy Griffith Mr. MiyagiThe Buddha Rodin's The Thinker Moses Ross Geller Matthew (the Gospel writer) Tiger Woods
Read about some Saints who were Sages

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Name Calling

I recieved the "Official" evaluation a couple of days ago. It was full of inaccuracies, even to the point of saying that I had a brother, and as mean spirited as I suspected.

At the very end it said, "even if we are wrong about our evaluation, we don't believe she would be effective in ministry".

I got to thinking about that, so I pulled out the conference journal and looked up the author's church stats. Found out he pastor's a 1500 member church and had only 5 Professions of Faith last year. I pastor a church with average attendance of 37 and had 3 Professions of Faith last year. He sent absolutely no money to local mission's or charities. My church sends 4% of our entire budget to a local food bank. He took up no money for special offerings last year (once again my church did). He has an associate pastor that makes more money than I do, and he makes four times more money than I do.

It was petty and small of me to compare our numbers because I know that they don't tell the entire story. However, he lives near one of the fastest growing metro areas in the United States (keep in mind how big Joel Osteen's church is) and I live in a place that isn't even included on the map of Texas.

Who's calling who ineffective?!?!?!

Good news another conference's Bishop sent me a personal email asking for my Resume. It was informal and friendly and he signed it with just his first name. Which, of course, doesn't mean anything but it made me feel good.

I read a great article yesterday that called what is happening to me, right now, an adventure. The author said that it doesn't feel like it when it's happening but I will look back on it as stepping out in faith to God's call. So I am looking at this in a more positive way...............but still kind of nervous.

It reminds me of when I was in the Army and went up with the Golden Knight US Army Parachute Team. It was kind of scary but fun and I walked away with all my body parts intact. Or the time that I rappelled off the top of a castle in Germany, or when my Army jeep got hit by a flash flood in the middle of the desert and was washed away.

It was this risk-taking side of me that the Evaluator had a problem with. But my Conference is promoting Risk-Taking Mission as one of its core beliefs, so I don't think that I'm that far out-side the church as this guy seems to think. Maybe he needs to learn the joy of taking a few risks. He might actually grow his church if he did.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Finger's Crossed

One of the Conferences that I applied to began Cabinet meetings today. One of the DS contacted me for my resume, and other personal information so that he could take it in with him to present to the Cabinet. He said that I should know something before the end of the month. Of course, I am sitting by the phone with baited breath this morning like an idiot. I know that they could not possibly make a decision this fast. Luckily, I have appointments all day tomorrow so I will be out. I will admit that I have my sermon for next Sunday drafted and my bulletin already finished, so it wasn't wasted time. Butterflies are having a field day in my tummy, though.

On top of that, the BISHOP of that same conference contacted me last night and wanted to make sure that he had my resume prior to this morning, just in case his DS had not contacted me. My experience with Bishops has not been extensive but I am impressed that he contacted me to follow-up.

It sounds so very promising. I am so very excited. I am trying not to get my hopes up but it is hard.

My current DS has said that he has an appointment for me if none of the conference transfers can come through this year. He won't tell me where yet but he promised me an appointment. So I will have a position come June and won't be living on the street.

This whole experience has openned my eyes to the somewhat precarious position that we place ourselves in this ministry business. I will buy an acre of land in the future to put a house or camper or tent for future security.

I forced myself to behave in an optimistic manner this week-end by attending UMCOR Emergency Responder Training for Disaster Relief. I have done several rebuilding trips and one Emergency Response Trip.

I was in Louisiana doing Katrina clean-up when Hurricane Rita hit. So I got to personally witness the devastation of a hurricane before anything has been cleaned up at all. We actually beat FEMA and the military into SE Texas and started rendering emergency aid to the victims.

Now I am certified to do that very same thing with an "Official" badge and everything. It makes me laugh because when the people needed water to drink and food to eat, never once did they ask to see my official badge.

It was hard to force myself to get out of bed and go to the training. I was feeling depressed, self-pitying, and had a bad case of "Who Cares?". Why should I train to help a Conference that doesn't seem to want me?? Then I got my act together and realized I was not doing this for any conference or church but for God.

Things are looking up and I thank all of you who called me and lifted me up in prayers. I promise not to be such a downer if this conference transfer doesn't turn out positively, but I appreciate all of your support.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another Bit of News

I found out today one (of many) of the things that the psychologist is holding against me. Apparently, I waited too long to get my divorce. Agreed my ex-husband was a very un-nice kind of guy, and was in jail at the time but the reason that I took so long to get my divorce was because I was waiting for the Abuse Crisis Center to provide an attorney for me at low-cost.

I explained that it was a matter of being poor but apparently that is a crime in his eyes. I weighed my choices.....feed my child and pay the electric bill OR get a divorce from a man currently locked up and no threat to me.

I guess that was the wrong choice for a potential clergy member to make.

I know that the great majority of United Methodists would probably not agree with him. Unfortunately, he is in a position of power and that makes all the difference in the world to me.

I feel that I am being abused all over again. What is most painful is the things about me that he objects to happened before my conversion to Christianity and my Baptism.

Are Redemption and Forgiveness merely mouthed platitudes or do they really have a place in the Methodist Church?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Last Saturday

Last Saturday my 13-year-old daughter took the ACT test for inclusion into the Duke University Gifted & Talent Program. I will never live it down if she scores higher on it than I did, especially since I was 32 when I took the test (when I planned on going into the medical field).

I am slowly recovering from the flu but I can't seem to shake the head-ache. It is brutal.

About the commissioning stuff: Discovered that the Bishop has been informed about my situation. Hmmm....wonder if that will change a darn thing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Road to Recovery

I am trying to get well from having the flu. I guess the stress of my situation overcame my natural resistance to the flu (plus I had the stupid flu shot). Anyway, I have been laid flat out for the last few days.

I want to thank everyone for all your support during the stressful time. I really appreciate it. It meant so much to me.

Last night I went to a meeting of the District Board of Ordained Ministry and the support from that board was overwhelming. They support me 100% (which for a Methodist board is kind of unusual). They are going to fight the system on my behalf. I don't know that they will be successful in my case but perhaps it will stop this from happening to someone else.

I have been contacted by three different conferences that are interested in having me in their conference. One of which I sent all my information today because that DS said that they are meeting on Monday and he will present my info to the bishop. He was very positive and will let me know something by the end of this month. Pray that I get into the right conference.

I have a funeral to attend this afternoon, so I am going to lay down for a while and build up my strength.

P.S. One of the things that made my District BOM furious was that the Psychiatrist said that I needed to take a CPE course but that the only one that would be acceptable is the one that he is teaching. They felt that this was a form of blackmail and very unethical.

Monday, February 4, 2008


I am devastated, discouraged and ready to give up. I have been delayed another year. The outlook for ministry in this conference is bleak. To be commissioned you have to be perfect and, guess what? I'm not perfect. I have been divorced. I have made mistakes. I was not raised a Methodist, or for that matter, a Christian.

I have not felt this disvalued as a human being in a long, long time. Not sure what I'm supposed to do. My DS said, he would let me know if he could find a place for me to be appointed by Friday, maybe, but he did not seem very optimistic.

I sent an email to another conference to start checking into the possibility of openings in that area. My faith is in God. I know that I am called to serve but maybe not here, maybe not in this denomination. I don't know.............

My self-confidence has really taken a beating this past year.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?
this quiz was made by Lori Fury


I was speaking with one of my friends from Seminary today. He has been asked to voluntarily delay his commissioning for another year because they don't have enough slots for probationary elders in this conference. Ten slots and 38 people up for commissioning. This is making me very, very nervous.

The conference keeps talking about a huge hit coming when lots and lots of elders are retiring.

Hold on they say.

Very nervous.

The Board of Ordained Ministry is running way behind and have just finished with the Full Elder group. This is unpleasant.