29 April 2006

Tidbits from the Past Couple of Weeks

Holidays -- being a pastor ruins holidays; Easter, Xmas, and the rest are major work days. Uggh. I am glad Easter is over. There is still great hope for Pentecost, luckily marketers and families haven't realized the potentiality of this day.

After Easter I went to Rochester for an Alumni/ae Executive Council Meeting (more about this later). We had reservations at a Residence Inn, we were supposed to have two beds and a non-smoking room; we had one bed with cigar reek. So while I went to the front desk the family stayed by the first room guarding our stuff. When I came back the wife and the boy were outside but the girl stayed inside. I asked why? She said because there was a wild animal outside. What? Yes, a baby lion she said. The wife pointed out a mangy old yellow and white cat. In Providence a kitty; in Rochester baby animal. Oh well.

Proof that there the world is not founded on justice. More than anything I would like to grow a beard, but I cant. However, my nose hairs grow at such a rapid and thickening rate that they are almost out of my control. Justice? No way.

18 April 2006

Easter Beauty

Creative Donut Adventures

The other day while going to the VA to visit a church member I needed a cup of coffee. I stopped by the old DD in Warren only to find 10 cars in the line, I backed out and went on down the road. As I made a few turns to get onto Metacom Ave. I noticed this place:

Now from the outside this looks like your average donut shop, uh-huh! I walked in and looked at the menu, all your regular items donuts, coffee, juice and get this: cigarettes @ $6.40 a pack. Coffee and cigarettes, they go together but cigarettes and donuts? I dunno bout that one.

By the way, our VA homes and hospitals are a joke. I may be a pacifist, but anyone who is willing to sacrifice their lives for this country at least deserves the best care available.

06 April 2006

Why I am a Pastor, at least a couple of the reasons

As you know already the position of pastor does not register high on the well paid categories of Forbes or Money magazines. However, there are some fringe benefits which seem to almost ameliorate the low pay. Lemme give you a couple of opiate examples.

The other day we arrived home from a day of errands to find this box on our doorstep

It was a box of fresh Florida oranges. They beat anything you can get at the market by a mile. We made fresh juice ate them whole and had a wonderful time (still are actually) partaking.

A couple of weeks ago I initiated an experiment on the power and influence of the church. I have almost officially fallen to addiction of Dunkin Donuts. What keeps me from getting on the wagon? They dont have a chocolate coated old fashioned. So I called up DD and asked how one solicts a new donut idea, response: you dont. They do not take solicitations. Okay I thought, I will use the power of influence and persuasion: I will, via email, ask church members to write letters to DD demanding a chocolate topped old fashioned. Within minutes I received recommendations of better donut facilities that carry exactly what i was looking for. One in particular was some 40 miles away. Two days later a man from the church arrived with a white waxy coated type bag from the far away destination of donut ecstasy with three of these in it:

I am sure other professions get this type of treatment, but I like to think they dont. These small blessings sometimes get me, or me and the wife and kids, through the day.

I still believe that if you truly love people it will gradually wear down their numbness and translate into genuine acts of kindness, mercy and justice.

05 April 2006

I dominate the dojo

This evening I begin my fiddle classes at the Blackstone Valley Theatre. I am quite excited about this six week beginner course; one cavet: the class is for 12 and up. I feel a bit like Kramer dominating the dojo episode. I'll have to keep telling myself, "We are all at the same skill level."


Recently my reading and thinking have been swiriling around the topic of evangelism; if mainliners are ever going to bounce back with any kind of vitality and health we have to do a better job of evangelism. The evangelism here at the L. R. Baptist seems to be going well; last year we had 13 new members and look to have possibly another 11 after Easter. The new members are folk from other churches either dissatisfied, moved to the area or who knows, a reshuffling of the saints so to speak. The church seems very happy to continue this style of evangelism: the stumble on in approach. I would like to see us take a more strategic approach to attract younger folk.

When I came here I had visions and dreams of creating a place for folk under 40 but instead the exact opposite is true: since i've been here the median age has rose not dropped. All of our new members are boomers +. Oh well, see the ball, hit the ball.

I am going to try and get a basketball goal put up in the parking lot this summer. If so, I guarentee to start and build a youth group that way. For the record I am terrible at basketball but enjoying playing. I am hoping that my size will intimidate the junior highers into thinking I can actually play. Stay posted.

Life Lessons from Billy Donovan

Monday night after an exhausting deacon's meeting I came home, had some ice cream, watched the end of the first half of the NCAA championship game, then went to bed. After WVU lost I really didnt have much interest in the tournament. I did, however, have a slight connection to Florida: the coach Billy Donnovan.

One day my buddy Ole Philsy and I were walking through the basketball coaches offices as a shortcut to the racquetball courts. Standing outside the offices were Billy Donnovan and John Pelphrey. O.P. was a crazy UK fan and immediately knew who they were, me no clue. Later on that day we saw on the news that Billy the Kid was going to be MU's new bball coach.

This brings me to my life lesson. During the course of his two years as the coach I went to several bball games. The life lesson involved one game in particular, against who I cant remember. I remember the Henderson Center being very hot and rowdy; it was a close game. During the second half I noticed that the dapper dressed coach wore a blue dress shirt with cuff links that was well startched. I was impressed by this at the beginning of the game but by midway of the second half the shirt was drenched with sweat, coming from pores I didnt know men possessed. I left with a life lesson: on hot days, or steamy meetings always wear a white dress shirt.