this is no longer my blog
Monday, February 28, 2005
another notch on my ordination belt
i attended another ordination yesterday. It wasn't quite as big as the last one I went to, because only two people were getting ordained as opposed to the four that got ordained last time. I am still having issues with the whole group ordination thing. I can understand why they do it - because it's about the call from God, and serving the Church, and all that community language... but it doesn't take away from the fact that I'm human, and it is going to be MY ordination [editor's note: at this point, I should insert the word "hopefully," and not automatically assume that I will be ordained. There is still a long road ahead before that happens, including six more months of internship, 9 more months of seminary education, approval from my home synod candidacy committee, approval from the faculty at my seminary, then a bishop somewhere in these wonderful United States has to want me as a pastor in their synod, and then a church has to want me for their pastor, and then AFTER ALL OF THAT I will finally get ordained], and being human I naturally want MY ordination to be about ME. I don't want to share the spotlight with other people. I know it won't be the end of the world if I do end up in a group ordination, and in fact I think it might be a blessing in disguise because then I will have SO MUCH LESS to worry about that day. All I will have to worry about in a group ordination is making sure I follow the line of pastors up to the front of the church, and that I sit in the right spot, and that I answer "I will, with the help of God," when I'm supposed to. Which is significantly less than if I were the only one getting ordained and it was my shindig, and then there'd be a WHOLE LOT MORE to worry about, like making sure the accompanist was there and had the right music, the preacher was there and knew what was going on, that someone was providing food for the reception afterwards... you get the idea. And one of my big fears is that IF i get ordained, that there will be a small crowd. I like ordinations with lots of people and a big procession of pastors and diaconal ministers and associates in ministry, all vested in their robes and red stoles and towels and whatever else marks them as their particular roster in the church. And if you have a group ordination as a synod-wide celebration, then more pastors from the synod are likely to show up (if only to impress the bishop), more people from the other ordinand's home churches/internship sites/other areas of their life will show up and help fill up the church, alongside the people that show up for me. And then I can pretend that most of them came to watch me get ordained, even if it's not true. But I can be pretty good at fooling myself if I need to be. It has worked well in the past, I'm sure it will work just as well at my ordination.
So, hmmm... maybe I AM leaning towards group ordination... Maybe I've just babbled in a complete circle... Maybe I need to go take a nap...
it's dark down here
I'm feeling umotivated. To do much of anything. Yeah. I'm really not even sure what to blog about here. I just can't get myself to do anything else, and I was at the computer and since I didn't blog yesterday, I thought I should type something today. So here it is. Riveting and captivating, huh?
In other news, I heard on the radio that the Pope is doing exercises to recuperate from his breathing issues which resulted in that emergency tracheotomy, or however you spell that medical procedure. At what point do you realize the poor guy has had one foot in the grave for a while and give him a rest? Isn't it time to let someone else be the Pope (note: instead of Pope, I started to type "poop") and let this poor guy live the rest of his days in some nice place where he doesn't have to put on all that heavy liturgical garb and pretend to be happy and wave at people, and then have Polish people come and breakdance for him. Poor guy.
Anyway, I think I'm going to see if I can get motivated enough to move my lazy butt to the chair and watch some mind-numbing tv. That doesn't take much motivation, which is good, because I don't have a lot to give. Ugh.
Saturday, February 26, 2005
it's late, and i should be going to bed, especially since Sunday morning always comes horribly, awfully, painfully early. And I have this deep-rooted need to hit my snooze button several times before I get out of bed. Which means that I have to set my alarm clock for about a half an hour earlier than I actually need to, so that I have that opportunity to hit my snooze button repeatedly. Then, when it's time, I get up. So that means that I set my alarm clock for 6:00am on Sunday mornings. 6-freakin'-in-the-morning. It's inhuman, really.
So yeah, the whole sunrise service on Easter Sunday? When I PREACH at our 6AM service? Yeah, really not looking forward to that. Ugh.
I came across a link to an article that explains who that lip-synching guy was that I had a couple links to. Turns out he's from New Jersey. And I guess his new internet fame has made him a wee bit depressed. Anyway, maybe I'll post a link to it later. If you really want me to. Right now my brain is slowly stopping its functioning. So I'm going to bed.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
dream a little dream
So I had a dream last night, and it was particularly vivid. I thought that I'd blog about it because I like to remember my dreams, but they also say that your dreams are your subconcious communicating to you.
So in my dream, I think I was a pastor. I don't know for sure, as I didn't do anything officially pastoral in my dream, but I just think I knew that I was. And I was coming home from something at the church to my house, well in MY dream it was MY house but in reality it is my parents' house. When I got there, on the front porch was a young man about 17 years old, sitting down, leaning against the wall. He was someone that, in the dream, I knew but whom I do not in real life. He was dressed in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, with the hood pulled up over his head. We talked for a minute on the porch, and I invited him in. He was in a weakened state, and I needed to help him up off the ground, and I needed to help keep him balanced as we walked inside. I remember he sat at the dining room table, and I made him a sandwich and some chips. I remember that while he was in my house he had taken his hood off. We were talking all the while, and I don't remember the specifics of the conversation until he mentioned that he was going on a date that evening with his girlfriend, or a girl from school or something, and that he couldn't stay long. I remember wanting to let him know that he could stay at my house and sleep on the couch if he needed to rest, but he said he was fine and needed to go. When he was done eating he got up from the table and seemed in much better shape then when I first saw him on the porch. He thanked me for the food and said that we would talk later, and then he left.
So that was my dream. Now I must be back to work!!!
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
the continued adventures of Captain Procrastination
During my early morning bout of procrastination, I came upon an addition to my previous post on the United Church of Christ's statement of welcome to the poor, disenfranchised (and much abused) SpongeBob Squarepants. It is, my friends, a photo diary and can be seen HERE
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
During the season of Lent, our church participates in a rotation with four other Lutheran churches in the area. So each Wednesday evening, a different pastor preaches at each church. We've agreed on preaching on the Letters to the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation. So, while preaching on Revelation doesn't sound fun, if you think about it, the whole rotation thing means I only have to write one sermon all of Lent. Right?
Ideally? Yes. Truthfully? No.
You see, we have a large enough population of older, retired folks who aren't too keen on driving at night, and so if they can go to an 11:00am Lenten worship service, then they will. So we offer them one. The only thing is, the area pastors do not come to our church and preach at the 11:00am one. That means it is up to Supervising pastor or I to preach. So we've decided that since in the rotation we count as one person (so we alternated preaching on Wednesdays) that whoever doesn't preach that Wednesday evening at an area church will then preach that morning at our home church. So we have to preach on the letter to whatever church that the visiting pastor will be preaching that evening.
Now, all of that said, Supervising is the travelling pastor tomorrow evening. So I have to preach on the Letter to the Church at Sardis tomorrow. Which really won't be that tough. Jesus is telling the church to wake up, they're falling asleep and going through the motions, and on the edge of death. But if they conquer, then they will be robed in white and will not be blotted out of the Book of Life. So, really, not hard stuff to preach on. But I like to procrastinate.
I have it to a fine art. I can find ANYTHING to do instead of what I should be doing.
Take today, for instance, in the office in the afternoon. I knew I should be working on the sermon, but our new denominational magazine came today with many responses from leaders in the church about the Task Force on Sexuality's Report and Recommendations. Maybe I should read that.
Or, maybe I should post the 10(or 11) things that I've done that other people may not have done.
Or, MUST. PLAY. COMPUTER. GAMES. CANNOT. RESIST.
Or, that plant looks sickly. Maybe I should water it. Maybe I should pull off all the dead leaves. Maybe I should clean out that coffee cup. Maybe I should water my other plants while I have the watering can.
Or, I can chat with my friends for a while. It's okay. I don't get to chat with them that often.
Or, it's okay if I watch American Idol. It's only an hour long. Then I can get to work.
Or, it's okay if I blog about procrastination. If I blog about it, then it really doesn't count. Does it?
You get the picture. Although I have about two pages done. Okay, one and a half.
And there is this little voice in the back of my head saying, "If you think about it, you don't have to preach your sermon until 11:00 tomorrow. Really, you could goof around the rest of this evening, go to bed, and then get up and finish it in the morning. Honestly, you could really do that."
So, really it's a test of my character to keep this beast called Procrastination in check. Normally, I'm pretty good at it and I always get things done on time (even if in a mad rush right at the end). I have yet to be late with anything, or not have anything done, since I began this thing called internship. And I'd like to keep that track record going. So maybe I'll stop this thing called procrastination and get back to work.
Monday, February 21, 2005
just a little one...
I told myself that I wasn't going to blog today... I was taking a day off from work and from blogging. But I ran across a link that I wanted to share (with those of you who haven't seen it, or didn't post it on your blog for me to find :)
In response to recent accusations and allegations, the Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president, has issued a statement of welcome to SpongeBob Squarepants - and all other animated or children's show characters who might have "experienced the Christian message as a harsh word of judgment rather than Jesus' offering of grace." Click here
for the full article.
Okay, so maybe it's a little on the cheesy side. But it was intended to make you laugh (unlike the even more ridiculous accusations made by James Dobson which inspired the statement of welcome) and I think it's good to have a sense of humor especially when dealing with this thing called The Church.
And this message of welcome piggy backs on the ads that the UCC (United Church of Christ) attempted to put out, but that several tv stations declined to air because they were "too controversial." Because they said their doors were open to anyone. Stupid, I know, but if you think about it, Jesus always got in trouble for being "too controversial." So if your Christian message of radical love and compassion and inclusion is pegged as being "too controversial" then you must be on the right track!
Sunday, February 20, 2005
upon further inspection...
For those of you who have been following on the whole "Tom saga" I found that the entry that you go to if you click on his name in one of my previous posts says NOTHING about Tom... I linked the wrong entry. So if you were clicking on the link and wondering what that had to do with anything, you were probably a bit confused.
for a little background on my experience with Tom.
sherlock holmes and the search for the missing flamingoes
When I first moved here, to this little town, there were five high school girls in the youth director's office, planning the upcoming youth service. My supervising pastor introduced us, and then the seven of us went and unloaded my car (that's all I brought was a carload of stuff). Later that night, as I was wandering around the empty, dark house (several of the lights seemed to burn out that day... and I was still trying to figure out where other lights/light switches were) I saw people moving in my front yard. I fell to the ground behind the couch, a little freaked out, wondering what the heck was going on. I heard some chattering and then some laughter. Upon further inspection I saw the high school girls, along with some other youth, filling my yard with plastic flamingoes. It was quite a welcome to my internship site!
They've only been used a handful of times since then, and the youth director, who used to keep them in her office, has since resigned. This evening in the midst of a Bible study/youth worship service planning meeting we decided to flamingo the yard of one of the high school girls who didn't show up. She's normally a very involved member of the youth, participating in a lot of stuff such as the contemporary worship band and Vacation Bible School and the like. But she did not come tonight because she was "too tired." So we thought it would be fun to flamingo her yard to let her know she was missed, but also in retaliation for her not coming.
Only one problem. The flamingos? Yeah, they're missing.
We searched EVERY ROOM. Even rooms we were sure they were not in. We turned on lights, we looked in boxes, we looked in rafters. We even walked outside in the cold to check the garage/shed behind the church. They were nowhere to be found.
We called supervising pastor. He suggested we try the youth room (we did. not there.). He suggested we try the youth directors office (we did. same story.). He suggested we try the attic (we did. our labors were still in vain.).
So it appears this large box of plastic flamingoes, and several large wooden ones with writing on them, have just decided to use their wire legs to walk off. It's a bit unsettling. So I've decided to put a little "Missing" blurb in our next newsletter. Perhaps someone borrowed them to put them in someone's yard and then they never got brought back. Perhaps if I do the blurb, they'll think "I REALLY should get those flamingoes back to church." Or perhaps they are just gone forever. That is definitely the more unfortunate option, and hopefully the least true. But only time will tell, I suppose.
i've fallen! and i can't get up!
Okay, so the title of this post is to allude to the fact that I am floored.
I just got done blogging about how I thought my sermon was subpar, I likened it to climbing over a pile of rocks - as an obstacle - more than an opportunity for Gospel ministry. I wasn't sure there was a lot of value to be gleaned from it.
But today, after both Sunday morning worships, I had several people tell me that it was good. In the midst of passing the peace, I was stopped by one of my friends from the young adult group that I'm helping get started, and he said "VERY good sermon this morning!" He's a nice guy, but he's never complimented a sermon before. I had the usual people who feel like they need to tell me everytime that I did a good job, and it's not that I don't appreciate them, but it's when people who don't normally say anything, or who I don't expect to ever say anything, about my sermon make the effort to tell me I did a good job. And there were a couple of them today. So I'm floored, and a bit humbled, that God worked through my words.
And in case you were wondering, during the early service this morning, during the passing of the peace, I made a beeline for "Tom" and shook his hand, and said "Peace be with you!" I'm really trying to be the bigger person here. And it's tough. He read the lessons today, and he always thinks he has to give background (stuff that he knows or has come up with) about each reading. And then I thought that he was reading with a little more emphasis than normal. Like it was almost comical or cartoony in a way. And the mean little voice was sitting in the back of my head saying things like "He wants you to read like THAT? Just let him do it and be the buffoon by himself." But I did my best to silence that little voice and to listen to the lessons. I thought that if I focused too much on that voice, then it kind of shoots to hell all the work I've done in trying to do the right thing, the Christian thing.
Our church had Sunday School Bowling today, and so I went to the bowling alley to mingle and watch. I spent the last 30-45 minutes talking with a 3rd grade boy who was a large chunk of hyper in bowling shoes. Had a great time. And I got to help one of the cutest 4 year old girls in the world bowl a couple rounds.
All in all, a very good day!
Saturday, February 19, 2005
So I grudgingly finished most of the items on the to do list, which was originally intended to help me remember what I needed to get done, but which really turned into a glaring reminder of what I should be doing instead of whatever it was I was actually doing. Those items not yet done do not need to be done until next week. So they'll be a glaring reminder for me when I get to the office on Tuesday.
The top item, and most important for my ability to remain as an intern in this congregation, was finishing the sermon for this weekend, on John 3.1-17. At first I was a bit excited about being able to write about God so loving the world that God sent Jesus, so that whoever believes in him will not perish, but be given eternal life. Because Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be redeemed through him. That is true Gospel, my friends. And I got to preach on it! But then I began to think. John 3.16 is a VERY POPULAR verse. EVERYONE knows it. It is often quoted as people's favorite Bible verse. I began to get a wee bit intimidated by the whole thing. Instead of an opportunity for true Gospel preaching, it kind of became a large pile of rocks in front of me. The goal then became merely to scale this large rock formation, just to get over it and get it done with. Or at least that is how it felt to me, in the midst of writing the sermon. Now I don't doubt God's ability to work through anything, and I hope that God worked through my words. It wasn't a bad sermon, I don't think, just not one of my finer ones, and not one befitting the wonderful Gospel opportunity that I was given with this text. So I'll think about looking at it this evening, but right now I'm kind of mentally tapped, and don't think that any revisions I might make on it at this time would be improvements. So I'll probably preach it again (and again... two services tomorrow) and see how it goes. Won't say that it won't get revised... I have a way of revising as I preach. Although if you asked my supervisor he might think that I don't, because he thinks I'm too dependent on my manuscript. This coming from a man who works out what he's going to preach probably the evening before he preaches and then doesn't write anything down... Of course anything in comparison will be too dependent on a manuscript!!!
So... random interlude here. I was thinking about when I was in college, and this one day I was sitting in my campus pastor's office and I saw a brochure for the Lutheran Deaconesses. I took it off the shelf, and I was looking it over, and I turned to my pastor (who was a raging feminist) and I said to her, "You know, if this were an all male organization, people would be up in arms about the inequality and they'd be trying to force them to open their organization to men." My campus pastor looked at me and said, "That's probably true." So, continuing, I said, "Well, isn't it only fair that the Deaconesses should let men into their community? I think I want to try to become a Deaconess." She looked at me, smiled her smile that always kind of gave me the message that I was being an ass, but that she was getting a kick out of it, and said "If you tried, I would definitely support you." Granted, I never did try to join the Deaconesses. But sometimes I still think that it would be a hoot. I could be the first male Deaconess. And of course I WOULD MAKE people call me a Deaconess. Men have been deacons for centuries. That I know of, no man has been a Deaconess. Of course, I also understand that Deaconesses came about when only men could be ordained, and so the community of Deaconesses opened doors for women to be active and leaders within the church. Now that women are allowed to be ordained in the ELCA, you don't hear about the Deaconess community as much anymore (although two of my seminary professors are members of the community and one fellow student is on her way). So really there is no need for a man to become a Deaconess, because men can and always have been able to be ordained.
Want to learn more about the Lutheran Deaconess community? Click here
to learn about the Lutheran Deaconess Association, which I believe spans across the ELCA/Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod divide. Click here
to learn about the ELCA Deaconess Community (which is the one I considered joining because I did not know about the other one, at the time.
Anyway, I'm finished for the evening. I think I might go eat some junk food, drink some water (so I can pretend I'm being healthy), continue reading my new book "Bird by Bird," and pretend that it doesn't suck so much to live in a large house by yourself. And also I'll be pretending that I'm not a slob.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Yes, if you must know, I was eventually able to tackle a few of the things on my to do list. Not all of them. But at least it is smaller now. And that is good enough for now.
In other news, since it was a Friday, I figured I deserved to do something outside of the house. So I drove to the nearest big city (Rockford) and went to Barnes and Noble and bought a couple of books. Then I had a grande mocha. I love mocha. Mocha was the drink that helped me survive my summer of chaplaincy. Hospital rooftops and iced mocha. And the company of wise colleagues.
I want to share my new find with others, too. I recently discovered the author Anne Lamott. I bought her book Travelling Mercies
, and LOVED it. She has such a unique insight into Christianity and religion and life in general. She has a "sequel" to that book, but I have only been able to find it in hardcover, and being the poor and cheap intern that I am, I don't want to splurge and buy the hardcover. Plus, I like paperbacks better. Easier to transport and more pliable.
Anyway, I suppose I should go to bed. I have my to do list to work on tomorrow. No rest for the wicked, so they say.
And a closing thought, courtesy of Ursula K. LeGuin:What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?
definitely NOT conducive
So I'm still lacking motivation. My to do list is still sitting on my desk, mostly untouched.
And it doesn't help matters that I am now the only one in the office. Yes, that is right... Today is my supervisor's day off, the office coordinator has called in sick today, and the parish administrator just left for a late lunch with her fiance. So I am now the only person in the office. There is no one to peek in to see if I'm actually doing work or goofing off. I could even take a nap on the couch in my office, and there would be no one to notice. I could be doing all of those things in the previous post that I said I would rather be doing.
But that doesn't solve my problem. They still need to get done.
Well, I suppose I'll suck it up and get started. Ugh.
little old lackadaisical me
Have you ever had one of those days in which you are sitting in your office. The list of things YOU KNOW need to be done is in plain sight. There is no escaping that sheet of paper on which you, yourself, have written a to do list. Each item seems to be calling to you. And despite the knowledge that it is important for you to finish these items, especially if you want to continue your internship, you seem to lack the willpower to do so. You'd much rather sit and stare out the window at the freakishly large squirrels romping in the yard. Or you'd much rather play addictive internet games on the computer. Or you'd much rather chat with friends on instant messenger. Really, anything seems more appealing and fulfilling and life giving than those things that you have written on that piece of paper.
Yeah, so that's me right now.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
'tis the saddest of all days
i have found that, unfortunately, the link to the young man lip synching to foreign opera/dance music no longer works.
Now it shall no longer bring a smile to my face.
Let us all have a moment of silence to mourn the loss.
thought on leadership
Well, I was wrong about Tom. I thought that it was going to be a bad experience to have him come to my office and talk to me. I was wrong.
It was generally shitty (pardon my language).
I thought that he wanted to come and talk about speech and voice projection and what I was doing wrong in that aspect of my job.
Basically, what he wanted to do is talk to me about all the things I was doing wrong in every aspect of my job.
He came with a full page of notes about what he wanted to talk about, divided into three major sections: leadership, worship, and theology. He critiqued everything I do even down to what hand I choose to hold things in. Seems I'm not allowed to hold things in my right hand. A good leader doesn't do that. A good leader holds things in their left hand so that they can salute with their right hand. Well, nowadays it's so they can shake hands. Obviously it's not an option to carry something in your right hand and then switch hands when necesarry to shake hands. That doesn't behoove an effective leader, I guess.
But yeah, seems I don't stand the way a leader should stand, I don't do announcements before a service the way a leader should do announcements, I don't emphasize words the way a leader should emphasize words. And my sermons don't condemn people to Hell. That's another bad thing. (But really, I suppose I would need to be sure that Hell exists before I start condemning people there... and I'm not sure that I believe that an actual location called Hell exists... so it's tough to tell people that they're going there, if there is no there to go to...)
And it's interesting. To sit there, as someone goes through a list of all the things that they're not happy with about YOU, and to think that the only thing you're required to do in this instance is love that person. Despite the things they say, despite however harsh and mean and hurtful their words are, you are to love that person. However impossible it may seem. However much you may want to take something large and heavy and blunt and strike his head several times, you are called to love him. To look for the best in him.
I'm not saying I'm there yet. Because it's pretty darn hard to get there. It's easier to be angry and spiteful and hold a grudge. But I know that's not good. The mean feelings and angry thoughts I keep inside don't do either of us any good, and in the end I'm the only one that ends up really being affected by that.
So I'm working on it. I'm trying to interpret his actions in the best possible light. I tell myself that, however misguided and inappropriate, he was trying to share what he's learned about leadership with me. That he's an aging man, who was once a pillar of the church and able to contribute in numerous ways, and now he finds himself being slowly edged out by younger and more capable people. So now he's trying to find ways to still contribute, to be relevant to the ministry that goes on at church. And perhaps he thought that a way he could contribute is by trying to help me be a better leader. I'm not saying he went about it in an effective or constructive or healthy way. And I'm not saying it didn't make me angry, because it definitely did that. But at least if I put that spin on it, it makes it a little easier to take, and it really minimizes the urge to grab that large, blunt object.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Ministaz With Attitude
You might be asking yourself, "What's he thinking with a title like that?"
Well, that would be because tonight's Lenten service was STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON!
For our Wednesday night services during the season of Lent, our church has teamed up with four other Lutheran churches in the area, and we have a rotation set up so a different pastor[intern] preaches at each church every Wednesday night.
And tonight I preached in a church in a small town called Compton.
I was a little nervous, I think more about the uncertainty of not knowing what I was doing and thus looking unprofessional. But the pastor from Compton called me and this morning and we went over a few of the things. And then there were a couple women waiting for me at the church this evening, and we went over stuff there, too. So things went pretty well. Except at the very end, when I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do during the closing hymn, and I think I threw the acolyte off, so he didn't know when to come and extinguish the candles, and I wasn't sure when I was supposed to get up and leave, or if I was at all. So I waited until the end of the hymn, then I got up and walked over to the sacristy (definition: a room in a church where sacred vessels and vestments are kept and where the clergy vests [vests is a fancy word for gets dressed, puts on their robes]), but as I looked at the congregation who had just finished singing, they were staring at me in a way that I deemed to be anticipatory, as if they were waiting for a sending, although there was none printed in the bulletin. So from right outside the door of the sacristy, I turned and said to the congregation "Go in peace, Serve the Lord." And they responded "Thanks be to God!" as they should have. And then we went and had coffee and cookies.
I had several people in the fellowship hall tell me that I had a good voice and would make a good pastor someday. Which is always nice to hear, especially when you spend the whole service wondering if you're doing a good job, if the people approve, and if they noticed that your sermon was only six minutes long.
Ironically, after our 11am Lent service this morning at my church, I had a member stop and say that he wants to come and talk to me about speech and voice projection, because obviously they don't talk about that at seminary. It was, indeed, my good friend "Tom
", who already is a struggle for me to like. And I do go out of my way to make sure I say "Hi" and shake his hand before or after services, just to push myself to get over this dislike I have for the man. And I thought I was starting to. But obviously he thinks my worship leadership is sub-standard. Although I keep telling myself that he just wants to help me be a better leader, and so I am going to talk to him tomorrow, and I will listen to what he has to say. We'll see how it goes.
And here is a parting thought:
You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.
- Charles Manson
For some reason I am ready for work already this morning. Usually I'm ready for work somewhere closer to 9:15 (I love that I can come in to work that late!) but I actually got up this morning after only hitting the snooze once, and then I showered and got ready and now I have a lot more free time this morning than I usually do.
Yesterday was my internship site visit. It went pretty good. For those of you who do not know what that is, it is when a representative from my seminary comes to visit to see how things are going at my internship site. He (or she, but it was a he in this instance) meets with the intern, then the supervisor, then both together, and then they go out to eat. Then they come back and the site visitor and intern meet with the internship committee. Then it's over.
Things went pretty well. It seems my pastor had some good things to say about me and the work I'm doing here. The site visitor seemed impressed with what he heard all around. The committee always has good things to say to/about me, so it was no surprise when they had nice things to say this time, as well, but it was surprising to hear how nice and supportive they were. So that went well, and I assume he's going to report good things back to the seminary, which is always good.
In other news, today is the first day of our Wednesday service round robin... We've teamed up with four other area Lutheran churches and we take turns leading the Wednesday service and preaching in each other's churches. My supervising pastor and I are taking turns, so one week I go and preach at a church and the next week he does, and so on. This week is my turn, and I have to go to small small little rural church to preach tonight. Kinda nervous about that, but then it's only about a 45 minute service, and I just get there, lead it and leave. So really I think I'm getting nervous about not much, but that is really my way of being.
Anyway, I suppose I will go to work and get started with my day earlier than normal. The early bird catches the worm, they say. But the late bird gets to sleep in longer, and there really has never been a shortage of worms (to my knowledge), and the early bird probably just gets hungrier earlier than the late bird, too... So really, it's a give and take sort of thing. But I think I'm over-analyzing, now, so really I'm just going to go.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
[insert your own title here... i'm tapped out]
yesterday: After 5:30 services, we had a going away "wine-get-together" for the son of one of the members in the congregation. He has a degree in enology (with vineyards and winemaking and the like), and for four months he's going to go work in a vineyard and winery in New Zealand. So they had some people over, most were people I knew from church, and then we split into two teams for a New Zealand quiz. Due to obviously biased judging, my team lost. Although we did have 500,000+ points by the end of the game, the scoring judge favored the other team more. Well, that and I often shouted at him that he was biased and the scoring was unfair. Which resulted in some points being taken away from our team, and the obvious underhanded award of the win to the other team. So we all ended up leaving at about 11pm.
cut to today: church at 8am... I rush over to church about 7:35, and we go through the services, I teach 8th grade confirmation (with cheeseball girl), and then I had a small break in the day in which to run home, make my little salsa/sour cream/cream cheese chip dip, and then put some lil smokies and barbeque sauce in a crock pot so that I had appetizers to bring to our first young adult group meeting tonight. So that went off pretty well, we only had six other young adult types show up, but we came up with some good ideas for future events/ministry, so hopefully the next meeting in March will attract a few more and things will steadily pick up from there. Of course they told me I needed to stay after my internship was over, so they had someone to plan the events. Then I had time, after that, to bring my dishes home and get them a little cleaned up, before I had to be back at church for the senior high Bible study. Only had two high school girls show up for that, so we sat around and talked and joked before leaving early. So all-in-all, my day ended earlier than it was originally planned to, but it was still a really long day. But tomorrow is my day off, and JOY OF JOYS will be spent paying bills. YIPPEE FREAKING SKIPPEE!! And I think next week is also the week I get paid, and most of that money will go to bills, as well. I love the life of a poor intern.
In other news, I've been hearing this little voice telling me that I need to go into some sort of social ministry, like with the homeless. I keep telling myself that we'll just wait on that, and that I need to finish one thing at a time, and I'm not quitting seminary to go running off to save the world one year before I get my degree. But today, after Bible study, I came home and turned on the television and it was Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (quite possibly one of my favorite shows that I never get to watch) and this episode they had built a duplex for two homeless families. And I remember sitting there and thinking, "Hmmm... are they trying to tell me something?"
Anyway, I think I'm going to go drink some water and ponder what to do with the rest of my evening for the couple of hours before I go to bed. And just so you know, there IS a reality show on television and I AM NOT watching it. It is Strange Love featuring Brigitte Nielsen and Flava Flav. I REFUSE to lower myself to the level of that show, no offense to those of you who do enjoy it, but I just cannot stand it. (Although I have to be fair and admit that I DID watch the Surreal Life, which was on right before Strange Love...)
Okay, I'm done. Good night!
Friday, February 11, 2005
sorta cool, in a loser-ish sorta way
So I was watching VH1 tonight, and they had Best Week Ever, which I enjoy, and one of the things that they talked about on the show was THE FUNNY SINGING FOREIGN BOY
which I talked about in a previous post.
I felt as if I was on the cutting edge of pop culture cool. If only for like 3 seconds.
And no, creepy anonymous person. I will NOT tell you where in IL i am... especially if you won't even tell me your name. So there.
oh how my popularity wanes
Well, it was inevitable. After that whole brouhaha revolving around the picture of alcohol and my comment on someone else's blog, and then him referring to my blog, with a link, and then visitors to my blog reached an all time high... I think 40 in one day... and then, slowly, things have returned to normal. And my blog has become, once again, like that little diner that attracts the "regular crowd," and most people just kind of drive by, and barely notice that it's there.
Of course, it could be that I have recently been sick, and so my commenting has been random and sporadic, and I haven't posted the usual of at least once a day. But then again, things haven't been that exciting lately, either. And things haven't been that easy to blow out of proportion, which is really where I get most of my material for my blog, anyway. Even the turkeys have been scarce, so they haven't chased me, or been chased by me, or stood outside the front door of the church cursing at people who were trying to get in. I was sick a week ago Tuesday, and so I couldn't go to the last Lutheran Men in Mission breakfast, so I have no stories to relate of those loveable old curmudgeons. I haven't had to do any funerals since the last two, so there's no reason for me to freak out about something like that, either. So really, it's just been kind of a boring "get ready for the weekend" sort of week.
Although the one bit of blog-worthy news is that February marks my sixth month of internship, which means I am over the hump and on the downhill slope. Six months from today I'll be blogging about getting ready to go back to seminary, and the insanity that comes with packing and saying goodbye to the people I've grown attached to here... although I am extremely looking forward to the boost to my social life that moving back to seminary will provide.
Oh yeah, and next month is my one year blog-iversary. As of March, I will have been a blogger for a WHOLE YEAR!!! It's FANTASTIC! Maybe I'll promise to have my one year blog party, just like I've promised to have my 200 and 1000 visitor blog parties, and then they haven't ever shown up on my blog. Although the post for my 1000th visitor blog party, affectionately called the "Blogstravaganza" is still saved in draft form on my blog. I have yet to finish it. And I'm lacking the motivation. Anyway, I have some fried cheese to finish eating, so I will blog to you all later.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
to whom it may concern;
i am, indeed, still alive. I think it is safe to say that I have finally recovered from a sickness that (pardon my french) KICKED MY ASS! I pride myself in a fairly high immune system, and I don't get sick too often, but this time laid me flat. I was out of commission for several days, and spent some quality time with the porcelain god.
But things are better, and I've been to work for TWO FULL DAYS, and did three Ash Wednesday services today (including one at 7FREAKIN'INTHEMORNING! Which I think is just way too early to be about doing anything other than sleeping...).
Not a whole lot of excitement, because it's hard to come about anything exciting when one's life is spent on the couch and in the bathroom and in the space somewhere between the two.
So when I was sick, I had been waking up at intervals throughout the night and thinking "Man, I feel like crap." and then tossing and turning for a while before falling back to sleep, only to wake up at about 5 in the morning with the urge to purge. So I figured last night I would circumvent all of that and take some nyquil to get rid of the flu-like symptoms and allow myself a good night's sleep. So I took some at about 9:30 last night and by 10 I was feeling as if I was wrapped in a fine layer of fuzz. So I figured that was a good time to go to bed. I did wake up several times throughout the night, but most of my time was spent thinking "Am I floating?" So I got a pretty good nights sleep, but it was still a medicated sleep, and not as refreshing as a real night o' sleep. So hopefully tonight I will be able to go to bed sans medication and get a good rest-full sleep.
Anyway, now that I have significantly bored everyone, I will sign off for the evening. Hopefully my entries will once again rise to the sub-par quality that they had once achieved prior to my illness.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Thoughts? Questions? Concerns?
For an article on this picture, go HERE
It's an all women version of the last supper... Although there is one man, and according to the article: One man, John the Baptist, sits on a woman's lap, his torso bare and jeans riding low.
So apparently John the Baptist was now at the Last Supper. Interesting, since he would have been beheaded by then, right?
It's a pretty cool picture, though, despite inaccuracies and perceived heresies....
and is anyone else troubled by the fact that they're sitting BUT THERE ARE NO CHAIRS?!?
Friday, February 04, 2005
what, exactly, is my damage?
So as I mentioned in the last post, I have been kinda laid up the past couple of days. I have missed work more than I've been there, this week... Monday was my day off, and I was feeling fine. Tuesday I woke up and felt questionable, and I called church and said I'd be a little late. So I came in after lunch and tried to make it through the day, but ended up taking some work home, and came over later that evening to lead Bible Study for one of the women's groups. Wednesday I was better and spent a full day at work. Thursday I woke up a little after 5 and spent the first portion of my day in the bathroom having a conversation with the toilet... I won't expand on that anymore. So I called in sick to work and grabbed my comforter and pillow and trudged down to the couch and spent most of my day there. By Thursday evening I was feeling better, and figured that I would be going into work on Friday morning. Well, different day - same routine. I woke up at about the same time, and spent about the same amount of time in the bathroom. Although I did make more visits to the bathroom today. But finally about 5pm or so this evening I thought I was finally feeling better. So I decided to go take a shower and wash the sick off. So as I was stumbling around my room I noticed the light on in the top floor of the church next door and several 7th graders racing around the youth room. "Oh yeah," I thought to myself. "It's the weekend of the 7th grade retreat, where I'm supposed to talk about the significance of the Passover." So as I showered I debated in my head whether I should just hang out at home and finish getting better or go over to the church and fulfill my duties for the evening. Well, that darn thing called guilt got to me, and so I walked over to the church to do my part... Wasn't sure it was the smartest thing to do as I trudged across the driveway, but I'm back and I survived. I even ate a couple of Gardettos
, but not before thinking "You might seriously regret this in a few moments." But I managed to be okay. And I still am. I think I might even have it within me to lead worship and preach tomorrow evening. If I finish the sermon. So I should probably stop blogging and continue working on that. That would be the logical thing to do. But I've never been known for being logical. Why start now?
dose of randomness
so yeah... been sick the past couple of days. not a whole lot of energy to do much more than sit on the couch, wrapped in blankets and watch Primetime in the Daytime on TNT. But I did manage to get pointed towards THIS
which lightened my mood sufficiently.
I hope you enjoy.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
if i were a hunter, i'd think about shooting that groundhog
In case you haven't heard, Punxsutawney Phil did, indeed, see his shadow. So that means six more weeks of freakin' winter. Can't say I'm entirely too happy about that, since I am a big fan of summer weather, but I suppose I will survive. I guess I shouldn't really complain because this winter hasn't been too terribly cold. At least not for extended periods of time. And in the long run, six more weeks of cold and snow are no match for some of the weather conditions other parts of the country and world have endured this year. So maybe I should stop whining. And the death threat to the poor groundhog in the title of this post was also a bit extreme, I suppose. It's not Phil's fault he saw his shadow. I've just become a mean, bitter man, I guess.
But I also am somewhat vindicated. In an earlier post I thought it was inappropriate for JCPenney to already have their summer clothes out on the racks. This whole six more weeks of winter makes that seem a bit more ludicrous. In my book anyway.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
there are no words
do you like llamas? sure, we all do.
so go here.
in other news, people can be judgmental and mean, and set expectations and standards for leaders in ministry way too high. People wonder why we have a pastor shortage or burnout after a few years. Do you think maybe it's because we place inhuman expectations on human people? Right, we're sinful humans, we make mistakes, we have bad habits and succumb to unhealthy vices, we make bad choices, we say hurtful things... but the minute your butt goes to seminary, don't even THINK about doing any of that stuff, or even hint that you're thinking about doing any of that stuff. Because we don't tolerate that kind of behavior from our spiritual leaders.
Bitter? Maybe. Indignant? Perhaps. Sinful? You betcha. Thank God for GRACE!
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