Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Birthday...Miss You


April 26, 1938 - February 14, 1992

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pastor In, Christian Behavior Out

Long story short is that the meeting at church last night favored my pastor by an average of 5 to 1 or better. All the allegations and the questions revealed themselves in one bitter person. Once she spoke, everyone could see what was really going on. The fact that she was the associate pastor's wife made her conduct even more despicable. The vote is over, but a period of change, healing, and restoration is before us, as well as the ever-present question, "How did it ever come to this in the first place?"

We are glad to have this lunacy behind us, and perhaps now we will strengthen our resolve to put our hands to the plow and not look back.

From the dust of this act of spiritual terrorism came an invitation for me to speak in Illinois sometime in October. The possibility of me serving my pastor as a part time Associate has also been brought up. In this regard, I would have the best of both worlds, so to speak. I could continue to build my Aflac career and minister alongside of a great man of God.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Processing...

I have what one might refer to as "brain overload" lately. Or in simple terms, I have a lot on my mind. Some of it is potentially fruitless thought, while the rest is basically a waste of decent Alpha waves. Nevertheless, here are but a few of my ponderings...
  • This whole Virginia Tech shooting has messed me up. It is the umpteenth time in recent history where someone has committed a heinous crime against humanity and then taken their own lives in order to avoid the consequences. What message is this sending to our children? I once counseled a young man who was incarcerated for gang crimes. His parents were members of my church, and so I built a relationship with their son. On many occasions, he told me of his plans to escape the facility he was in, and should he be caught, he would simply commit suicide. The blanket of deceit that rests over our world staggers the mind. As the body of Christ, how should we respond to this playing of the suicide card? On the flip side, are we willing to sacrifice our own lives for the cause of Christ? Am I? I am not suggesting that Christians should all commit suicide for Christ to make a point, but to revisit that place where Jesus said, "whoever wishes to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Face it, the enemy's people are ready to die for the cause of evil, and we still argue about whether or not people of color should be allowed in our church.

  • Is anyone else tired of paying almost $3.00 a gallon for gasoline?

  • I have been dealing with some personal issues lately that have really challenged me on many levels. "Personal issues" could more accurately read, "Character Flaws." It's like I have looked in a mirror for the first time in many years, and I have been flabbergasted at my reflection. I am speaking figuratively, although my literal reflection has the potential for clock-stopping as it were. (ha ha) Like the "Six Million Dollar Man," I am wrecked, yet I am hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, "We can rebuild you...better than you were." Does this include better LOOKING? I will let my wife be the judge.

  • There is some hoopla going on at my church. It is the classic power struggle between families that will come to a "vote" this weekend. Regardless of the outcome, does anyone really win? For a month now, the ministry of my church has been trumped by the backbiting and struggling for control. If I didn't love my pastor so much, we'd have gone elsewhere. So if the vote goes toward pastor, then what? Months of healing and wound licking with little if any reconciliation with the opposition. How does this honor Christ? It doesn't. And yet I have allowed myself to be dragged into the fray. I guess it is because I have been on that pastoral chopping block before and can empathize. And if he is voted out, what then? Start a new church born out of a split? There is no way to make this good. Only the Lord can.

  • I am really enjoying my new career. The career has really been the catalyst for my looking into the above-mentioned "mirror." I have been given a wonderful gift with which to build a better life for us. Pray that I do not waste it, as I have wasted so many other gifts and opportunities that the Lord has given to me.

Much more going through my brain. I am not sleeping well. I am being forced to draw nearer to God, which is not a bad thing. I am also being drawn to call on some old friends for wisdom and encouragement. If you are thinking, "Hey! You haven't called me!" Don't be offended. Be thankful.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Generations

I have always regretted the fact that my Dad died before my son was born. I am a sentimental sort, as you may know, and one of the things I have always wanted to have is a generational picture. I am pleased to report that I have the next best thing.

The man in the left of the picture is my Uncle Bob, my Dad's younger brother. Uncle Bob is my godfather as well. My family is primarily Lutheran and this is something that is done when a child is born: a "godfather/godmother" is assigned. Their duty is to care for the spiritual well-being of their godchild in the event of the death of the parents. My Uncle Bob has really stepped in and filled the void left by Dad's untimely death.

He has taught me about our family history, given me photos of my ancestors, and taken me to some of the important places regarding our family history. I am pleased to be able to pass this on to my son, and during a recent visit to SC, Uncle Bob posed in this photo with Cody and me. Dad is not in the photo, but I am quite certain he would be honored to have Bob stand in his place.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Kids On Spring Break; Dad's In School

I am off to Mt Pleasant for three days of Aflac training. The preparation for this sales school was the most intense thing I have ever encountered. There were many things which needed to be completed before I could even attend this training. I finished the last of it at 11:30 last night!

In addition, the kids have been passing around the stomach thing that Tracy and I had a couple weeks ago. I hope they keep it to themselves and away from me. Tracy caught a wee bit of it over the weekend. So far so good for me.

For all you USC Sports enthusiasts, my roommate for sales school and new co-worker is none other than Jamel Bradley, former USC basketball star. What a humble man he is. I look forward to getting to know him. Google his name to see the number of articles written about him. I regret I am not much of a b-ball fan. I'd have enjoyed seeing Jamel play.

I am that guy who doesn't own a laptop, so I am not sure if I will be able to post from Mt. Pleasant or not. Pray, if you will, for a safe trip, there and back, and for immunity from the bug. Much thanks!