Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last day of 2008

I was so busy this morning with my 6am meeting and getting to work where things were already happening that I had forgotten this was the last day of 2008. I mean, I new it was New Year's Eve but it didn't really register that this is the last day I will officially write 2008 on anything.
I've been reflecting on the year and overall its been pretty good. It is hard to believe that it is gone and another starts tomorrow. Of course the older I get the faster they do seem to go. And thinking about this year, I can honestly say its been a positive one for me overall with some bumps in the road.
I have made a lot of new friends through civic functions, this blog, and I am also on Facebook (as my real self and not NPP) for the first time this year. I got to spend a lot of time with my family. Went to Galveston Island before the hurricane hit, went to Boston MA which I enjoyed alot, went to San Antonio Texas and to SeaWorld with the kids (you may remember my post about that little trip), Austin a couple of times where I always visit with my brother-from-a-different-mother Rick Diamond who is pastor of JOURNEY Imperfect Faith Community in Austin Texas We were blessed with good health overall and enough food and finances, which was more than a lot of folks.
I witnessed a truly historic presidential election which shows how far this country has come in race relations. I got a new senior pastor after my numerous petitions to the Lord and after a long wait in the desert He finally delivered.
It has been a while since I blogged anything but I wanted to do so on this last day of 2008. I felt like I should have at Christmas, but you know what? I actually tried to just slow down and enjoy it and not feel pressued to have to do anything. And it worked for the most part. So I didn't blog. Didn't have anything useful to say.
I have some thoughts for 2009 that I have already jotted down to blog about, so I will start working on those.
Wishing all of you a Great New Year and many of the Lord's Blessings,

Friday, December 19, 2008

night and day

i have a new senior pastor. as you recall, the former senior pastor and I had differing opinions on, oh, just about everything that dealt with people and ministry. He left and we got another.

and thank GOD for that. this guy is total opposite of the last guy. humble, mild, personable, not pious, people person. Like i said, total opposite of the last guy was was passive/aggressive, control freak, arrogant and condescending... and some other descriptors i won't put here.

and you can tell it is more than just me. the whole church has a different feel about it now. the staff are actually smiling. people i haven't seen in ages are coming back. their is laughter.

so last saturday night myself and one of the associate pastors take the the 6th grade confirmation class to the Catholic Cathedral to attend a mass service. The new senior pastor goes as well. he went with us as we visited the jewish temple several weeks back. after the "fun" of doing that, we take all the kids to CiCi's pizza to eat...

and the senior pastor looks right at me and says....

"I'm sorry that I couldn't make it to your sunday school class' christmas party". Kinda caught me off guard and I replied, "I didn't know anyone had invited you". Not mean like, just off comment. He responded "well, no one did". So i was honest with him. Told him "well last time we invited a senior pastor to the christmas party - they showed up!" He laughed. He got the joke! wow! i was impressed.

I told him we like to actually enjoy ourselves at our socials and we have some adult drinks and a little wine and lots of great food and he said that was fine with him. Didn't bother him if people drink or not in social settings. So we got into the moderation topic and a whole lot of other stuff, like divorce and forgiveness (we had just come from the Catholic church so guilt came up as well). and i actually enjoyed the visit. Sat there for an hour with them while the kids ate pizza and played video games.

finally. maybe, just maybe, we have a pastor again.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wisdom from Kung Fu Panda

Well I got the all clear from my Cardiologist. There is nothing wrong with my heart. Yes, for about two months I was having chest pains and was thoroughly convinced that I was having heart problems and that the doctors were going to crack my chest open and do bypass surgery and I would never be the same again... I had stressed myself out so much about it that it actually made things worse.
Now, to be quiet fair about it, I was under a lot of stress at work and other places anyway, so that brought on the chest pains to start with, but was not the underlying cause.

But for some reason I could not put it in the hands of God (as many suggested) and continued to stress and worry. Not so much about dying over it (well, maybe a little) but leaving behind a family and kids and whatever. I also have "whitecoat syndrome", which is a fear of anyone wearing a white coat who says they are a doctor. Can't stand medical stuff.

When faced with real, scary medical stuff, I crumble. I can't just give it to God and go on. I worry. And I also live in the past at times. If I had done this or married her or said that or went into that occupation. And I stress about the future: How do I afford college for the kids, when can I retire, Will we have enough income, blah blah blah.

So I'm watching "Kung Fu Panda" with my family last week, and in one scene the Kung Fu Master (wise old turtle) says, "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called a present". Wow. Such wisdom from an animated movie. And its pretty funny on top of that!

Yes indeed. Today. Its all we are assured of. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow, or heck, even the rest of the day the way some of us drive. And I started appreciating each day even more. And I tried to not worry. And the words of Jesus in Matthew came to mind (Mt. 6:34). "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Sure enough, he knows what he is talking about. It certainly does have enough troubles all its own.

So I am trying to take things more leisurely. And to put the past where it belongs (behind me), the future where it belongs (wherever) and just enjoy the day I have. It'll be hard to do. Harder than writing this post, but I'm giving it my best.
Thanks for listening, today, to this.