23 January 2006

Getting Ready for P&Q

In one week I will go before the Board of Ordained Ministry for the North Texas Conference and by the end of the day, it will be determined whether I will be going on to commissioning or whether I will have to wait for another year before proceeding in the process of ordination.

I can't really express how nervous I am at the thought of being grilled for 2 1/2 to 3 hours about all matters theological, doctrinal, worship, and more. I am hopeful that the newly instated "retreat" format will make the process a little smoother/less nerve-racking. I've never gone through the previous format, so I really have nothing to compare it to, but I have heard horror stories about the pressure cooker that forms when its just you staring at 15-18 people who are trained to pepper you with questions about your written work/sermons/Bible study plan/Discipline.

Unfortunately, Debbie won't be able to come with me (its at Lake Texoma) because month-end is her busy time and she can't get away. My candidacy mentor will be there for support, but she will only be able to pray for me during my interviews, not sit in on them. I would ask all of you who read this to do the same - pray for me between 1:00 and 5:00pm on Monday, January 30. I would covet your prayers in this matter because as much as I know God has called me to the ordained ministry, it is up to me to spend 3 hours convincing a panel of my ministry colleagues.

Ok, that's enough of that. Have a blessed day!


20 January 2006

Post-Christmas "Blahs"

Have you ever noticed how deeply people's spirits dip after the holidays? It's like they were elated to celebrate Christmas and New Year's, but now that we are a full three weeks into 2006, the thrill is gone. I wonder why that is. Is it because we build up the holidays as a magical, enchanting time of year - full of wonder and possibility, but then January 2 rolls around and the festive twinkle in the air goes AWOL. No one walks with a spring in their step. We just simply try to make it to the next holiday.

What a defeated way to live - from holiday to holiday. Living like that just seems depressing and worthless - I mean, Christ calls us to live lives of empowerment, not entertainment. It seems that living for the "high" of the holiday (and I use that term loosely around Valentine's, St. Patrick's, and other greeting-card-fueled days) would lead to bottoming out during the off-peak times, with the possibility of listlessness and feelings of impotence during the stretch from MLK to VD (almost a whole month!!).

This phenomenon was demonstrated clearly to me last year when Debbie and I went to Fredricksburg for our anniversary in early January. I want to preface this story with the fact that Fredricksburg is a very popular tourist destination in Texas, lots of local color, lots of history, and many, many, many great B&Bs. We only stayed for a short while, but we wanted to soak up as much of the local culture as we could before heading to San Antonio for a few days, but half (if not more) of the places we had picked out to visit during our stay were CLOSED for at least the next 10-14 days! We called a nice restaurant in town to have dinner - closed for another week. We stopped by a chocolate factory for a sample - closed for another 10 days. We walked up and down the main drag in town - at least one out of every 3 doors had a "closed until..." sign on it. We ended up having dinner at a local Italian restaurant and there were only two other tables occupied by patrons during our 90 minute stay. On a brighter note, the B&B we stayed at was WONDERFUL - the owner served a delicious breakfast in the morning and was a great conversationalist. I would recommend her establishment to anyone who needs a place to stay in Fredricksburg. One caveat remains - go during the summertime, much more to do/see/visit and the peaches are in season too!

Ok, all that to say that I hope you are not suffering from the "blahs" this January while you wait for the next holiday "high". May you realize that we were meant to live for more than just what this life offers - we are meant to go beyond and to live in eternal relationship with Christ.


09 January 2006

New year brings new opportunities


Sorry I have not updated in a few weeks - the holidays and visiting families can do that to a person, but I have tried numerous times to get an update on here, but only managed to update the devotional site.

Caitlyn's first Christmas was filled with love, presents, and grandparents. She made it through about 20-25 minutes of opening presents before losing interest and needing a nap, so we didn't make her "unwrap" any more presents, but let her sit in Debbie's lap and watch us have fun for her. What a trip! She doesn't have a clue about what was going on, but we treated her like she was totally into it.

New Year's was good - I actually made it all the way to midnight before passing out from exhaustion (first time in four years!). I woke up Debbie, kissed her and Caitlyn, then fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Another year began and I can only hope that 2006 brings as much joy into our lives as 2005 did.

Debbie and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on the 6th with presents, flowers (for Deb), and dinner - without Caitlyn. We also spent some time with friends of ours who live in Frisco and have a 2 year old son. It was nice to talk to each other without having to worry about whether Caitlyn was awake, sleeping, fussy, or content - we could just have a conversation and focus on each other. Although we were very excited to get back to see Caitlyn once our outing was complete.

The next day we went a looked at houses in several different parts of the metroplex - without too much luck, but it is early in our search, so we have some time to look and find the right place to live. I think we ruled out building a house at this point, merely for the fact that we have to make about 1,000 decisions about flooring, carpet, tile, windows, paint, fixtures, and on and on. It was exhausting just looking through the showroom of possible choices!

I guess that brings you up to speed with what is happening is my world. Best of luck for the Spring semester to all those who are studying to better themselves! Let me know how I can help you.