There is no sermon message for July 24. Not because I didn't write one. Simply because the one that I wrote was for a youth retreat where I was the Spiritual Advisor, and it's not typed yet. Thanks go out to Howard Cassaday for filling in for me at my churches this past weekend. I spent the weekend running around in the woods with 22 teenagers in high Point State Park. I'm sore! Obviously, I'm still too out of shape to be running around in the woods. If I get the time this week I'll try to type up the message from the weekend and post it here for anyone to peruse. In the mean time, I've got VBS this week and I'll be teaching at Delanco Camp next week. With what's on my schedule right now, if I'm still posting here by the second week of August it means that I'm still alive and that I survived the most hectic part of my summer. Keep watching.
Was just thinking about all that I've got on my plate for this Summer and it's got me feeling a bit overwhelmed. Some folks think that pastors just take off from June to September like schoolkids. Nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from the fact that we still have church every Sunday and those sermons don't write themselves, Vacation Bible School at two churches, visitation, and preparation for starting up regular programs and Bible Studies in the Fall fill this pastor's summer schedule. Plus, this year I've been asked to be the Spiritual Advisor for a youth retreat held annually by my home church, and I'm teaching a study on The Gospel According to the Simpsons at a Jr. High camp this summer. But, as the kids are know to say, it's all good. I wouldn't do those extra things if I didn't really want to. Even though I'm the "Senior Pastor" now, my roots are in youth ministry and I still love the opportunities to relate the Gospel to youth and children. There's no greater joy than seeing a kid that you've been working with suddenly light up when they "get it." Yeah, I might have a full plate, but it's all good food and it won't put any more weight on me either. So it's all good!
The other day I was in that half-asleep-not-yet-quite-awake state when I had an interesting thought/epiphany. I wondered what I would say to myself if I could go back in time to when I was 14. I thought about how my life now would be different based on what I told my younger self. Would I still be a pastor? Would I have been a pastor sooner? Would I have gone whole-hog into the medical field? I came to realize, in my half-aware state, that I really am content with where I am now and how I got to be here. No, I haven't done everything right. In fact, I've messed up a lot! But the mistakes that I've made have made me who I am now, and that's a good thing that I'm not willing to muck with. I think the only thing I would tell my younger self is to avoid a relationship with Sue, the girl from grade school that's going to come back around when you're 18. She's nothing but trouble that you just don't need. That, and lay off the fast food, it's going to make you fat!
Just getting over my first day back from a long weekend spent with family and friends. I always feel so run down and wiped out after spending time with the family. Why is it that family wears us out more than any other relationship? Is it because they know us best and can push our buttons better than anyone else? I don't know, but I'm beat.
Been thinking as well that this might be a good place to post my sermons for folks that miss a Sunday to read them. Maybe I'll start this in another post.
OK, so this is my first post to my first blog. By way of introduction, I am Don. I'm just over 40 years old, and I'm the pastor of two small churches in rural America (It's not where you might think!). If you want to know my interests, go read my profile. The only thing that I really didn't put in there is how much I like movies. I like movies a lot. I especially like finding a nugget, a scene in a movie that I can use to illustrate the Gospel when I preach. That is something that I will probably comment on a lot I suppose.
I've started this blog as a way for me to think out loud and get some feedback on my thoughts. Be as blunt or critical as you like. I'm a big boy, I can take it. Well, that's all for now. I'll be back soon.
In the last year or so I've come to focus more on looking for God and Christianity in popular culture, so that's what you're going to find here. I'll write about my impressions of movies, television, popular music, books... really anything that is in the news or the popular consciousness. I'm not always on point, so to speak, but I am always willing to hear a differing opinion. So feel free to comment on anything that I post.