Sunday, March 29, 2009

New York City

Well half of the folks made it back from NYC safety, the other half is stuck there because of bad weather. I am so glad that Ryss was in the early group even though she had to get up at 3 a.m. The only flight the other group can get is tomorrow into Dallas.

Hmmm, Dallas....I have friends there. So I volunteered to go and pick them up but apparently some of the parents are not happy that youth pastor is not stuck in NYC with the kids (and adults). They want him to be the one that goes to pick them up. Of course, it doesn't help that his two daughters are two of the ones stuck in the airport. Sounds silly to me. I know my way around DFW and the airport. It would be a lot easier for me to go.

So instead of a trip to Dallas I will be preaching at the contemporary worship service tomorrow night instead of the youth pastor. I'm trying to see the bright side. Oh I know, my garden survived the cold weather. Always something good to see if you look. Plus, the best of all, I got my daughter back from NYC safe and sound. She immediately passed out and I don't think I will talk to her again until tomorrow. Plus, now she thinks that the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD TO LIVE is NYC. We are so "provincial" here. God you have to love teenagers.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sleep Issues

When I was in Texas I had severe insomnia and had to treat it with meds. I haven't had to take one sleeping pill since moving but this past week I thought I would have to take one. I determined that it was breathing issue keeping me awake (Plus, one very annoying cat.).

So yesterday I went to the drug store, bought Breath-Rite Strips and nose spray, I slept like a baby, woke up with lots of energy, accomplished a lot this morning on only one cup of tea. One problem for that darn cat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Found written on the walls of a Nazi Concentration Camp:

"I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
I believe in love, even when I do not feel it.
I believe in God, even when He is silent." (Author Unknown)

I remember my trip to a Concentration Camp. It touched me in ways that I cannot describe easily -- horror, compassion, empathy, anger -- I felt all of those emotions.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Luke & Garden

My little "BIG" helper.....


Today Ryss boarded an airplane for New York City. She will be spending seven days there on a mission/cultural trip. Excited does not even begin to cover how she feels right now. This is the first time, since she was old enough to remember, that she has flown. Me, on the other hand, not so happy.

So I thought how can I spend this week with her away in a productive manner. Normally, I would read, read, and read some more. Today, though, I took a page out of Barbara Kingsolvers book, and planted a garden. All kind of veggies, strawberries and cantaloupe. I planted some stuff last year but I did it in pots because I knew I was moving. One of my church friends brought his rototiller and prepared the ground for me yesterday. Today, I planted all kinds of stuff.

It kept me from feeling sorry for myself or lonely because now I am exhausted. Gardening is hard work. Since she has decided to become a vegetarian, it will hopefully save me some money at the grocery store. Hope springs eternal....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Grad School

I wonder if School's understand that it is not only their programs that can attract or lose potential and/or current students. I am seriously considering changing schools. I hate having to beg them to disburse my student loan. It is an extremely convoluted procedure. The bank/government sends them a check, then they send it to me for my signature, then I send it back to the school, where they sit on the check for one week, then they cut me a new check and finally mail it to me, whereas I finally can deposit the money. Why??

I received an email tonight that, after sitting on my money for two weeks (yes, two, not just one week), they will disburse it after the Business Manager comes back from HIS vacation. I hate needing the money. I wish that I was making what I was in the Private Sector. I don't want and won't leave the ministry over something this stupid and petty, but it is so irritating. It's not like I owe them a dime. They received all their money in January. This is MY loan. This really sucks, because the reason that I am desperate for it, is so that I can pay Duke University's TIP tuition. It's due Friday. He comes back from vacation on Thursday. I'm praying for a very, very quick turn-around.

Okay, that is my bitch session for the week. Other than this petty, petty stuff, life has been so good to me lately that I really shouldn't complain. I am going to start looking for a Spiritual Director this week. I'm not really sure about this because my last S.D. was a very organic relationship. Since the Methodist Church is a connectional system, there are some drawbacks at having a S.D. who is a member of the UM clergy. I met a female pastor who is around my age, but is a Lutheran Senior Pastor. I'm not sure that she would be a calming influence on my life though (she might be wilder than I am), which as you can see from my rant above I probably need. I recognize the need for someone to talk to, who can hold me accountable, and who I feel safe with.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New York City

So today I went to the "parent" meeting for the mission trip to New York City and I'm convinced that I should have went along too. I believe that they will be having more fun than mission.

As my daughter gets older, it seems that I am standing at the curb waving bye much more often than I like. I don't remember traveling so much when I was a least not without my parents.It's kind of poignant.

I know that I have fallen behind on my blogging, dear friends. One day I will be done with my doctorate and hopefully that will mean a little more free time.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I don't think I've mentioned "canvascommunity". It is a new church start that Trinity is birthing. I have been a part of the team since it launched last September. JB is the pastor of the community and is doing a wonderful job with it. Hopefully, we will be ready to move to a new off-site location in July.

He is doing a sermon series over U2 songs. Tonight it was over the song "Grace". The service was well attended tonight and had a lot of energy. It's kind of nice to really have no role in the worship service and be able to sit back and participate in worship. My role is with the Eucharist which we have every week. The entire ambiance is like a coffee house.

It is hard sometimes as a pastor to feel like you have really had a personal worship experience. You are concerned with logistics or preaching or something. This was nice.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


It is now two 1/2 hours since getting the final "Yes" at the BOM. And, I am so sore I can hardly move. I must have been SO tense all day long that it was like an all day exercise marathon in isometrics.

I sat down with my daughter to watch T.V. and couldn't hardly get back up. It is pretty funny. I hope that I can walk in the morning. Oh well, it was definitely worth it.

Like Cool Water on a Hot Day

I am so relieved. I finally had the opportunity to appear before the Board of Ordained Ministry.....and (will wonders never cease) I did great. They had no problems with me, no problems with my answers, and passed me.

It has been a long tough road but with the God's help and everyone that was so supportive, this step on the path to ordination is over.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and your encouragement. Now I am going to kick back and relax with my daughter.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two Rivers

The Trinity Trekker's expedition was a lot of fun. It was bitterly cold, raining and then sleeting. Luke was soaking wet. I was soaking wet. And it was still fun. It was a nice wide, paved trail, three miles long. I only hurt a little at the end, so my knee held up for the duration. I think that wearing a brace made a big difference.

In fact, I am planning on going again on Saturday. We had the entire park to ourselves last week (I can't understand why!!). This week the weather is supposed to be in the 70's, so I expect a lot more company. Ryss is excited about going, so I can take all the dogs. Luke didn't have to be on the leash last week because he doesn't like to stray very far from me and there was no one for him to bother. I don't think I will get away with that again, unless I go when it is sleeting.

Later in the evening it started snowing. Really the first snow that I have seen since moving to Arkansas, ice yes, snow no. The important thing is that I was at home and, will miracles never cease, my furnace was working. So I was at home AND warm.

Luke slept the rest of the day and I must confess that I, too, took a nap.

The next day, Sunday, I had my first true challenge for my Lenten fast. During our Coffee Time (named Solid Grounds), one of the guys took these wonderful smelling little bread wrapped sausages out of the oven. They looked delicious and spelled delicious, my hand was reaching for them when I remembered my fast. (I know that technically on Sunday you can indulge in whatever it is you have given up for Lent but I wanted to go the entire six weeks meat-free). It was not easy passing those up.

Tomorrow, I head for Hot Springs for my interview before the Conference BOM. I am a little scared after my last experiences but I have faith that God works things out for the best. You guys can still pray for me though.