Wednesday, October 29, 2008


You all read the post from my friend who is in the Commissioning process of the United Methodist Church. Well, today she called me with a question---"Did you have to get this physical form filled out when you were in the process?" Of course, I did.

Let explain what women candidates have to have done in the Texas AC. They are required to have a mammogram, even if they are not old enough for the medical community to recommend that particular test. So they are exposed to radiation in a totally unnecessary medical test, which I might add, that the conference does not pay for 100%.

Then another question for our doctors to answer has to do with "Abnormalities of the Genitalia". She wanted to know why they wanted to know about her vagina. Men are not required to have many of these intrusive tests until they reach the age of 50, but women have to, regardless of their age.

The question was "will I be delayed if I refuse to have unnecessary tests performed?" Probably....

"Is it even legal to ask anyone to go through these kinds of test?" The real question is this, if there is something wrong is that a reason to not ordain these folks. Another question, who gets to look at these test results? We have to make four copies of everything and send them into the conference, where they are distributed to various board members, most if not all, do not have medical training.

I know that the mammogram is an extra test that many of the other conferences do not require. It seems sexist and an unfair burden placed upon women candidates. But hey, I'm sure that there is some deep theological argument for these tests......................

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Word

This was an email from one of my friends. Apparently, she doesn't have enough to do.

Gen. 6:13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish."

CBOD 1:1: Then God said to the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church: "I am going to destroy all the candidates for commissioning. I am surely going to destroy them. So demand of them to make a packet of information of many pieces of 8x11 papers. It shall include a personal data inventory, a medical report, a psychological report, letters from not one but two seminary staff, a disclosure of the candidate's criminal and credit backgrounds, a copy of their driver's licenses, many written statements, a Bible study and sermon that is recorded on cd - not on cassette shall thy recording be made. Then have the candidates place 5 copies of this information in envelopes that are 9x12. I am going to bring a flood of paperwork to destroy their lives. Every candidate will perish. However, shall they not perish, thou must ordain them."

My Day

My Tuesday's start with a Bible Study at 9 a.m. and ends with a Bible Study at 9 p.m. (well, actually ends at 10 p.m.). But I had some free time around lunch, so I went and voted. Stood in line for one hour but it was an interesting time----I love watching people. Sounds a little creepy when I say it like that. Anyway, I voted, so no unforeseen accident will keep me from the polls, better safe than sorry.

I met with my District BOM yesterday. They unanimously voted to recommend me for commissioning. I've been to this place in the process before but this time I have a good psych evaluation on my side. Plus, two members of the District board are members of the Conference board, so it is looking hopeful. I really am amazed that they let me go before the board this year. I thought they would make me wait. It was a good meeting. Overall, the process has been much smoother in this conference that my old one. I wonder why?!? Of course, I still have several hoops to jump through before next Annual Conference, so there is still time to be hit some rough spots. I'm keeping hope alive.

I even managed to get a little D.Min. reading under my belt today. I did it sitting at my desk, so I wasn't tempted to fall asleep like I do when I hit my recliner. Maybe, just maybe, I should have went for the bi-focals. Now if I could get motivated to start my exercise routine again. My problem is I go straight to work after dropping Ryss off at school and I don't have to be in the office until 9 or 10 (which would give me plenty of exercise time). However, I am cheap and don't want to waste gas driving home.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I really enjoyed the hike yesterday. It would have been perfect if I hadn't fallen and, of course, landed on my bad knee. It looked pretty ugly last night. I have avoided looking at it today. The best part was seeing a herd of deer. We arrived before anyone else so the mountain was quiet and the weather was perfect.

The sermon seemed to go well except for the last few minutes of the 2nd service. I think that my knee was hurting so bad that I started trembling. I don't think anyone noticed but it was a bit unnerving to me.

Tomorrow I am being interviewed by the dCOM for probationary membership at 10:15 a.m., so prayers would be appreciated. Considering it has only been a couple of months since my last interview, I hope that everything goes well.

It has been ten years since I started my college education. I started out at the local community college, part-time, just to see if I could handle it. Went straight from my under-graduate into seminary, and straight from seminary into my doctoral program. I tell you all this because I am having problems getting motivated about doing my reading assignments. So feel free to check on me and keep me honest.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Christian Fiction

I love to read but I usually don't read Christian fiction. I must admit that I personally find much of it poorly written or I have problems in over-analyzing the theology behind it (The "Left-Behind" series comes to mind). But so many people were raving over "The Shack" that I read it and found it interesting.

I really liked one quote: "Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship" (page 92). Most of my time is spent on building relationships so this resonated with me.

In other news, my computer appears to be fixed. The repairman had to make an emergency run to my house this morning. It has been a rough couple of weeks. We have become very dependent upon computers.

Sunday is my regularly scheduled day to preach. It sure makes you feel more comfortable to have a few days in order to prepare a sermon versus a few hours. It will be ironic if last week's sermon is better rated than the one that I actually prepared for.

Tomorrow I am going hiking with a group from the church. I hope that my knee holds up but I am really looking forward to the hike.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

4 a.m.

Phone calls in the middle of the night are never good news and when my phone rang at 4 this morning that was the case. My senior pastor was sick and couldn't preach. Now this would be bad news in any case because it is hard to come up with a sermon at four in the morning (Note to Self: Have a sermon ready that is generic enough for last minute sermon). What made this worse was that this was Commitment Sunday, Confirmation Sunday, we had one baptism and No-Stress Joining Sunday.

Everything went off without a hitch. I told the congregation it was good thing that the Senior Pastor chose such a slow Sunday to get sick. It made for a lot of laughs and got us off to a good start.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I spent time by the bed-side of a woman in a coma who died the next day. I don't know about you guys but it is hard to sit and talk to a person without any feedback. I know that it isn't my place to "fix" people but it is against my nature and it made me feel inadequate.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Does Bad Luck Come in Three's?

My computer crashed right before my big paper is due. I have no idea why, but I emailed the paper to myself. So it is accessible. I, however, did not back up all my financial information before it crashed. I hope that the computer people will be able to fix the problem.

My new "used" washing machine died after washing its very first load at my house. I am contemplating a burnt offering to the washer god. This is the second washing machine to die in the last three monthes.

And for the 3rd thing, my brake pads are wearing out and making that squeaky noise.

Thank goodness everything else has been going so well or I would think that somebody was out to get me. ;-)