Saturday, March 29, 2008

4-H Horse Judging

Well, today I am at a 4-H Horse Judging Competition with a group of kids from the county. It is cold, wet and foggy. This is the 5th year that my daughter has competed and might/probably will be the last with this particular group of kids.

We won't know what the results are until late this afternoon and since, they kick all the adults out of the arena, I took this opportunity to run back to the hotel and pack, blog and check-out of the hotel.

I still haven't heard anything from Arkansas or New Mexico. My D.S. called and was upset that we haven't heard anything. He said, "We are a much bigger conference and have already finished almost all of OUR APPOINTMENTS!" Hmmmmmm.........

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I was confronted today with a parishioner who was angry at me because I did not make it to the funeral services of her brother-in-law. She was actually apologizing for her anger. I believe that I was able to handle it in a manner that left her feeling better and still connected to the church and to God.

I believe much of her anger was directed at God because she felt that it was too soon for her brother-in-law to die. And as God's representative on earth (in her eyes), I took the brunt of that anger.

I seldom miss important events in the life of my parishioner's even if they are the periphery of the church. But during this time, I was sicker than a dog and couldn't get out of bed much less make it to a funeral. Of course, there is also the entire issue of infecting a room full of people.

I know that this is a normal part of a pastor's life but it makes you feel like you have failed, both your people and God, when it happens. And then it reminds us that we are not perfect (and in my case, far from perfect). I am truly sorry that I wasn't there to support this woman during this difficult time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ten Sermons

I just realized that I have only ten more sermons to preach at my current church. That makes this waiting even more nerve-wracking and now I'm starting to feel sad about leaving, too.

I have been here 4 1/2 years. I have made very close friends, fell in love with the church, and grown tremendously as a preacher and a pastor.

Leaving is a painful process even if you know something good is waiting for you. It becomes even more painful if you are still unsure about your future. It makes "Here Am I, Lord, Send Me" even more a test of faith.

I believe that I am learning more about myself during this time, the good and the bad. Hopefully, like all other "bad" events in my life, I will look back on this period as a time of growth.

I read in the Conference Newspaper about the proposal to streamline the ordination process and eliminate the Commissioning Process. I am sooo on-board with that.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Diet Update

Just in case you were wondering, when I first started blogging I was dieting and exercising. Well, I kept it up (even though I took a break while I was sick). My total weight loss right now is at 32 pounds. I would love to lose another 40 pounds, so I'm still exercising and TRYING to eat right.

My personal trainer has pretty much disappeared off the face of the earth (not really). She has been too busy for work-outs because of her husband's schedule but I guess that is for the best. I am still working out every day and it isn't costing me anything.

I think it will be easier as the weather gets warmer and as the fresh summer vegetables start coming in. I can't wait.

Easter Sunday

The day that we celebrated the Risen Savior, we lost more soldiers in Iraq, bringing the total to 4,000. I pray for the soldiers, their families and all the families in Iraq who have lost loved ones.

Speaking of families, here is a web-site that you all need to visit:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Popular Culture

I'm not that into keeping up with celebrity doing's (frankly, I don't usually care), but I found this e-mail from my cousin very amusing. I think, in part, because as a parent I had to watch many of these children's shows, over and over and over.....

Dragon Scales
So you heard that Jennifer Lopez just had twins, a boy and a girl, right? Anyway.. I just heard the names that she and her husband chose for the little darlings...
Max and Emme..LIKE ON DRAGON TALES????!!!!!! Those of you with little ones around will surely recognize this.
I am hoping that this was not intentional, but now every time I see those precious babies for the rest of their lives I will not be able to contain myself from singing "Emme wished on a dragon scale and that's what started dragon tales", etc. etc.
Let's just pray that their next child isn't named Ketzel...
Ahh crazy Hollywood.
Just an observation,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

I want to ask that God bless all you this Good Friday. I combined some different elements and made a powerful Good Friday Service.....I figured that this might be my last chance so what the heck.

Do you remember one of the little ladies that made my life so very, very miserable last summer during the remodeling of the sanctuary? Well, on the way out of the sanctuary, she said, "That was the most moving service that I have ever been too!" An Easter miracle!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Duke University

My daughter was selected to participate in the Duke University Talent Search Program. She took her ACT College Entrance Exam and scored a 22. Not bad for a 7th grader, which actually put her in the 65% percentile of all Texas Seniors taking the test.

She made it into the program and now has all of these wonderful opportunities to study at various universities around the nation. I can only pray that the financial aid will help with the tuition because otherwise I am going to have to disappoint her. It costs in the neighborhood of $3,000 for a three week session.

She wants to be a doctor, so that she can serve in 3rd World Nations. I'm proud of her and as a parent, want to help you as much as possible. It is very expensive though and costs as much as my doctoral semester. OUCH!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I'm not trying to get into a political argument with anyone and I believe that all the current political candidates have good and bad points. But I just listened to the entire Obama speech over race/politics in America and it was one of the most inspiring speeches that I have every heard. If you get the chance, listen to the speech in its entirety.

I would like to rave on and on about it but we are under some pretty severe weather here, so I am going to power down my computer and unplug it from all the potential power surges that come through this part of the county.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Holy Week

Like all the rest of you, this is a very busy week. Plus, I have a wedding on Saturday but I'm excited about this couple. They went through the entire counseling process and have really worked hard on making sure that this was going to work for them. I have a good feeling about this.

As a gift to the church, they are taking down some of the old lights and replacing them with track lights. The old lights attracted crickets like mad, and it was horrible trying to keep them cleaned out so that they wouldn't be a distraction during worship. Allelluia, they are now gone.

My sermon yesterday went much better than I thought it would. I tried an entirely new thing for me. I just took my Bible and preached on Psalm 139....without an outline.....without a written manuscript....a major leap of faith for me (of course, I put many more hours in it than I would have if I had written it). And one of my harshest critics, complimented me. Hmmmm......felt good.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Powerful Experience

This week I was praying with a woman as she took her last breath. It was a powerful and moving experience, especially since she had been such a strong woman of faith and a member of my internship committee. It affected me profoundly to be with her during this time.

The aftermath has been unpleasant to say the least. I have heard of families fighting over possessions, arguing over funeral details, etc. I have never seen some of the dysfunction that this family has exhibited. The son and his wife are fighting over the china hutch....they both want it.....they live in the same house....OMG, what can you say to that???

The son wants me to go over to his mother's house and help him go through his mother's things.....alone. I explained that this was probably not something that I should be involved with and then called my SPRC Chair and clued her in to the bad vibes I was getting. Grief can make people do things out of character but I don't want to get in the middle of the train wreck that I see coming.

I did direct him to a friend of mine that is a Methodist Pastor, a male pastor, in his hometown and advised him to visit his church tomorrow.

Maybe I'm just imagining things but it sure did feel weird.

I did contact the DS of the neighboring state. He said that my name is still on the board, so I am keeping hopeful.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cagle Column

Cartoon by Daryl Cagle - Comment on the cartoon
The Seven Deadly Offset Creditsby Daryl Cagle - Comment on the columnThe Vatican just announced a brand new, modern set of seven deadly sins to supplant the old seven sins which have grown pretty tired through the years. The old seven deadly sins: lust, wrath, gluttony, sloth, greed, pride, and envy were proclaimed by a sixth century pope and were made famous by Dante in his "Divine Comedy" and by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman in the movie "Seven," which was a pretty darn scary movie.
The new sins are:
1. Genetic engineering2. Drug abuse3. The disparity between the very rich and the very poor4. Pollution5. Abortion6. Pedophilia7. Causing social injustice
The church describes the new sins as social in nature and "a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalization." Societies have experience regulating social issues, like pollution, and that experience gives us a great leg up on regulating the other sins.
California's Governor Schwarzenegger likes to fly his jet home, from Sacramento to Los Angeles, each night after work, so he can spend time with his family. Schwarzenegger creates a lot of pollution in his daily commute, but the governor buys carbon-offset credits from businesses that are more environmentally friendly than they need to be, selling their eco-surplus back to the governor. Al Gore does the same thing, reducing his big carbon footprint from his private flights and his big houses by buying carbon-offset credits. It's cool. Offsets work. It's the free-market solution and the system works for other sins too.
"The disparity between the very rich and the very poor" is another great sin for offset credits. Very poor people could sell their "poor-people-offset credits" to very rich people who need to relieve their guilt about being rich and reduce the size of their very rich footprint. "Poor-people-offset credits" would create a free market of guilt-reduction exchanged for income redistribution that would work every bit as well as the carbon-offset credits work to reduce the guilt of polluters.

Rev. Dulce's Comments:
I seem to remember something like this in the Middle-Ages.....Indulgences. Another way for the rich to feel better about themselves.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Last Will & Testament

This week has taught me the value of having your Last Will & Testament done no matter what your age might be. I have spent this week supporting families as they struggled with end of life issues and death.

One of the greatest gifts that we are given as a pastor is that we are allowed to come into a family's lives during some of the best of times and during some that aren't so great.

I have had an unusual experience at my church, in that, I have performed as many marriages as I have funerals. This week, however, was a little rough as I was privileged to be with a hospice patient as she died, dealt with a family's decision to sign a DNR for their mother, and then a funeral for a person whose family is feuding over the Will (very unpleasant people, none that even visited her while she lived but now want her money).

I'm glad that next week I have another wedding to balance things out. This is for the couple that I baptized the man a couple of weeks' ago. They are building a new house next door to the parsonage. I wish that I was going to be able to stay here and watch them start their lives together. It should be interesting.

I am hearing good things from another conference, so things are definitely hopeful.

But I am still struggling with this lingering cough from my recent bout with the flu. It just won't go away, which is why I haven't been blogging very much. I'm exhausted pretty easily, so I do what needs to be done and then take lots of naps.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

No News Is Good News

I am still waiting to hear from the other conferences. It hasn't been that hard to wait because I had a relapse of the flu. So I have been sicker than a dog, and even missed my very first Sunday preaching due to illness since I started this gig.

The weather knocked out all of my communities electricity yesterday. So no television, no telephones, no computer. If I hadn't been too sick to leave the living room recliner, I would have been a happy camper.

I am leaving the house long enough to vote today...............guess who???