Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Spring Fever

This weekend, the time changes (spring forward), baseball season starts, Wrestlemania comes on pay-per-view, and I start an Easter sermon series. Today is absolutely beautiful, and I have finally contracted Spring Fever. Spring Fever breeds another illness, Spring Cleaning. As well as around the house, I am wanting to "spring clean" some personal areas as well.
  • I want to/need to lose at least 35 pounds. I feel tired all the time, and I do not sleep well. Exercising and shedding this weight will be a good start toward feeling better again.
  • I would like to take my wife on a vacation. Even if it is just a weekend. No kids, no cats, no dogs, no worries. Both of us need one badly. Any suggestions?
  • I want to be more spiritual. I want to be sure that my wife and kids see the same person the people at church see.

A couple of years ago on a day like this I would have taken a long ride on the Harley. I love Spring. Fresh air, filled with pollen. I also love Allegra.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Weekend Wow!

An amazing, very personal thing happened. The last couple days, I have been feeling kind of poorly. Stomach has been upset along with bad headaches. That is not the amazing thing, but this yucky illness was the catalyst of what happened.

I was sitting in my chair, looking over my sermon notes for tomorrow. Ministers will understand when I say that what I had prepared just wasn't happening. There was no life in it, so I scrapped it, leaving myself with nothing to bring tomorrow. So I thought I'd just worship the Lord and spend some time with Him alone. There are no kids in the house this weekend, and Tracy is at work.

I was listening to the song, "In the Presence of Jehovah," one of my personal favorites. I was reflecting on how much I love being in His presence, and how much I miss it when I am busy doing other things. In my spirit, I heard the Lord say, "Todd I love YOUR presence too, and I miss you when you're not here."

Say or think what you like. I experienced it, and it was real. I needed that. I have a lot of big decisions coming up, and possibly a move. I am scared yet excited. I needed to break away from the hoopla of life, even from noble efforts like sermon preparation, and hang out with my Father.

Psalm 46:10 says to "Be still, and know that I am God." The phrase, "be still," translates from Hebrew, meaning, "Cease striving." The word "know" is not an intellectual knowledge, it is experiential. Literally, the verse says, "Cease striving, and experience Who I am."

One of my dear friends, a senior Christian lady named Fran, told me that she told the Lord she was going to forego some household obligations and spend some extra time with Him, and according to Fran, she heard the Lord say, "Oh goody." I was reminded of a verse in Zechariah which says that the Lord, "spins around wildly at the thought of us."

I needed these reminders that the Lord enjoys our time with Him as much as or more than we do. For so many of us believers, time with the Lord is a duty, and not the privilege it is intended to be. And it is a privilege for Him, too. When you break it all down, Christianity really is all about relationships: loving God, and loving one another, in that order. Church should be about building and celebrating these relationships, but we'd rather we hide ourselves in religious pomp and circumstance, call it a day, and get out of there as quickly as possible so we don't actually have to speak to anyone.

My mission on this earth, whether it is as a pastor, husband, father, biker, wrestler, DJ, etc., is to help people build and celebrate these relationships with God and one another.

I pray that this will bless you as you read it, and perhaps put a little "wow" in your weekend.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I am Down With This!

My job as a weekend DJ has forced me to catch up on about 12 years of music, particularly in a genre that I had pretty much sworn off: hip-hop. If I want to be a good DJ, and I do, I have got to play the hip-hop tunes, because that's what the peeps are paying me for. Thankfully, I only have to play the edited/clean versions!

I came across this today and I was so tickled. It is a video which takes a popular hip-hop song exploiting women's hindquarters and turns it into something the Kingdom can use. If I were a youth pastor again, I'd be using this at nearly every FUNK-tion!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Something Fishy Here...

A perfect ending to a wonderful day of rest and relaxation in Walterboro. We had a great time at church, and then over to my cousin's ranch for fresh air and recreation.

My partner in crime is my stepson Steven, who along with some Mountain Dew purchased the ridiculous cap on his head at a local convenience store.

I am pleased to report that my angling skills have stood the test of time. I caught the only fish worthy of note. No plans for a cable program or any sporting gear ads at this time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Something Totally Different

You Are 40% Abnormal
You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.
You are at high risk for having a borderline personality. It is very likely that you are a chaotic mess.
You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.
You are at medium risk for having a social phobia. It is somewhat likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.
You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Supporting Cast

I have been thinking a lot lately. Nothing terribly serious. I have just been reflecting on my life and what has brought me to where I am today...right now. Much of my life has been wasted in front of the TV. Well, maybe not a total waste. TV taught me something.

Every great TV show has one thing in common: a great supporting cast. How funny would Fred Sanford have been without Grady, Bubba, and of course, Aunt Esther?

Richie Cunningham would have been so dull without Ralph, Potsie, and The Fonz!

Would Frasier have given us as many laughs without Niles, Daphne, and Bulldog?

Jerry Seinfeld is hilarious, but imagine him without George, Elaine, and Kramer.

My life has been good. But it was my "supporting cast" of friends that have always made it great. I would like to pay tribute to my supporting cast today. Your indulgence, please.

James: Our friendship turned 30 this year. I don't even bother to imagine what my life would have been like without you in it. I don't believe its possible to imagine. You are family. Here's to the next 30 years!

Rickwell: I owe a great deal of what I am to your influence, even in the present day. You have been a part of every major event in my life, except for band, which you opted out of. :) I have always admired your ability to stay the course, no matter what. I really AM sorry for the whole "Larry" episode.

Chuck: Many people thought we were brothers. Why argue? I have never met a more kindred spirit.

Alan: Oh, the laughs! If my life needed a soundtrack, I would ask you to write it. No one else could. High School was a blast, and it was mostly because of you. RARY!

George: Beneath the surface, I discovered a very compassionate friend.

Catoe: Where the heck are you, man?

Lori: My third sister. You have always done so much to keep the old gang together.

Crump: You helped lay the foundation for my Christian walk, and you helped me make my way through High School. Everytime I drive through the airport I think of us, airborne, in the Batmobile!

Croan: Nah, forget it! The Crass Section Rules!

Pastor Don: No matter how far I travelled from home, when I came back, I could count on you being there.

Dan Rabon: It's amazing how God puts people in your life just when you need them.

Barry: Heard that!

My family: We put the FUN in dysfunctional, don't we?

The Kirks: I have always considered you family. Always will.

My children: Every day just gets better and better.

Tracy, my wife: Behind every great man is an even greater woman. You're the best!

My, what a big supporting cast, and it is constantly growing. Of all the people named above, and others not mentioned or inadvertantly left out, I am most thankful for Jesus. Without Him, none of this would even matter. I am so blessed.

MS Walk

My lifelong pal, James is walking for MS, a debilitating disease that has affected two special people in my life over the years. Had I known about this sooner, I'd have committed to walk, but you can sponsor James by clicking here. You will find his name, James Kirk, in the lower left corner. You can also leave him a note of encouragement.

Thanks so much!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Big Weekend Coming Up

Tomorrow night I get to co-DJ a college Karaoke party. Should be a thrill. Then Saturday I do my first solo gig at a corporate function. After getting to bed Saturday night at around 1:00 or 2:00 am, I have to wake up early Sunday morning and head to Walterboro, SC, to begin my two month stint as interim pastor for the Evergreen Christian Church.

For the last few months, things have been slow and stressful in my life. Now all of a sudden I am back in the fast lane again. I am so glad.

I am getting a second chance at doing what I love, preaching the gospel. I feel ready. I feel anxious, but in a good way, like I used to. During the worship services at White Knoll, I couldn't wait to get in the pulpit. I haven't felt this way in a long time.

And away we go!