28 July 2005

prayer for kelley

today i visited kelley mcdonald in the hospital and i just wanted to encourage all of you to keep her in your prayer this week. she was admitted yesterday, but the drs still don't know what's wrong with her.

her mom is with her and is keeping updates flowing as things happen, but please just stop and say a prayer for her when you get a chance.

gracious God, your hands are powerful and they bring healing. please pour out your healing presence upon kelley and her family right now...let them know that your love is showering upon them and that they are being lifted up to you as they search for answers...and God i pray that you annoint the hands of the drs, nurses, and hospital staff that will be working to find out what is wrong with kelley...may they draw upon your strength to find the answer to what is making kelley sick...we pray this in jesus' name...amen!


27 July 2005

the news these days

have you noticed that the "top stories" on the news each day all involve someone dying, someone missing, or someone being tragically injured? i was getting ready for work this morning and had the channel 4 on, and when they were rattling off the top stories, each of them had somebody who wound up dead - whether that was thru a car-jacking, bombs in iraq, bombs in london, or highway accidents. it was utterly depressing!

it makes me sad to think that humanity has screwed up so badly that the only things that appeal to our senses anymore are images of death and destruction. i admit that i occasionally "rubber-neck" at a car wreck, but for the most part, i try not to stare b/c i know that i wouldn't want to be stared at if i were in their shoes. i know that sin is a constant problem that humans must deal with, but it irks me that we are subjected to the vilest displays of sin in the media each day - as if our own struggles with sin were not enough to deal with!

personally, i am glad that jesus shed his blood for me on the cross, so that i do not have to pay the penalty for my sins, but i wish there was a way for christians every where to translate that gospel to a hurt, broken, and dying world that would end the downward spiral of violence and hate. it seems that current methods of evangelism/church growth are not adequately meeting the needs of the emerging generation.

we need a new way to be christ to the ppl in our world who need to know christ!


26 July 2005

project transformation

if you have never volunteered at pt during the summer, i highly recommend doing so. the kids that participate in this program are so cool - they just can't believe that someone wants to come and spend time with them during the day - whether that is helping them read or just playing games with them on a hot summer day.

i went down to kirkwood umc in irving today and read with 4 boys under the age of 10 for a couple of hours. i want you to know that those boys had more energy in their little pinky than i do in my entire body! they were jazzed about reading (well three of them were) and they were asking questions about words they didn't know and would answer questions that i asked about difficult words in their books. one of my boys, jonathan, read a scratch-n-sniff book about popeye, but he said all the stickers smelled the same because all the scents had worn off. he said they all smelled like old paper! i couldn't help but laugh a little.

as i think about caitlyn getting to the age when she can read for herself, i wonder if she is going to be as in to reading as i am. i was talking with jessie and carleen yesterday about the fact that i am currently re-reading a tale of two cities for the fun of it. they both said they had to read it in high school (as did i), but that they had never thought about picking it up again after that. i guess i am just weird like that - i loved the classic novels that i read in hs and look forward to trying to read some of them again, now that i don't have to be tested on them or write papers about them!

enjoy a classic today! (or at least help make reading fun for a kid!)


25 July 2005

entering the final stretch

on friday, debbie and i went to the doctor to get another sonogram of caitlyn to see how she is doing. i'm happy to report that she is growing on schedule and is completely healthy! we were initially worried because we were referred to this dr because he is a specialist in the area of fetal abnormalities. when we had a sono of caitlyn at 20 weeks, our regular dr found a "bright spot" on her heart - indicating a possible problem. however, when we went to the specialist, he did not find the "spot" on 2 separate occasions!

as we enter the final 10 weeks of our first pregnancy, the nervousness and the anxiety level has increased tremendously at our house. we often fear that we will not be ready in time or that she will come early and have to stay in the hospital for a while (luckily not a baylor hospital!).

debbie is having her shower in a few weeks and i am sure that from that point on our home will never be clear of "baby stuff" - much like this bedding that will grace caitlyn's crib once she arrives. i know her aunts and friends from san antonio are looking forward to seeing a "pregnant debbie" at the shower, but i am a little worried about her traveling on an airplane at 32 weeks - i will be praying for her safe arrival and return the entire time she is gone.


21 July 2005


why must there be a million different baylor regional medical centers here in the metroplex? it's not like they aren't close to each other or anything! i spent two hours today driving around irving, dallas, coppell, farmers branch, lewisville, and flower mound trying to find one of the baylor regional medical centers.

i normally don't complain about having to make hospital visits because it is part of my job, but today was just not a good day for me to make this hospital visit. don't get me wrong, the man who i visited in the icu appreciated my visit, but getting there was no bueno.

before my 70-mile round-the-town trip to the hospital, i had a great lunch with one of my most dedicated ya volunteers - david taylor. i enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him a little bit better as well as find a new place to have a great lunch - the village grill. he has terrific insights into the history and the future of ya ministry, as well as a heart for the kids. thanks for lunch david, and thanks for your ministry to the yas of tmumc!


19 July 2005

What a rush!

after preaching to more than 1k ppl on sunday, i am not sure what the next milestone is. i feel like i did a good job, but i know that i could have done better. the biggest accomplishment that i completed on sunday was to preach three sermons with only an outline, while still delivering approximately the same sermon at all three services.

i went to lunch afterwards at cracker barrel and debbie and i were approached by members of the church we had never met, but heard the sermon that morning and wanted to say that it was especially appropriate for what they were going thru in their lives right now. it was at that moment that i realized that i am a pastor at tmumc, not just a staff person or a minister, but a pastor. it was really cool!

also, while i was shaking hands at the sanctuary door, another church member told me that he and his wife nicknamed their oldest daughter penny-el (if you heard the sermon you understand the reference) and therefore their peniel was in their daughter.

i look forward to more experiences with my new trietsch family in the future!