Where have you been?

Can I just make it as short and sweet as possible?  I have 2 kids…it is the fall…school/sports/band/etc.  

First, I have been holding this in for as long as possible and it is driving me nuts.  I have not told my wife, my kids…I can’t tell my church or even post it to my Facebook account because I would NEVER hear the end of it.  The news?  I VOTED FOR OBAMA!

I know, no biggie for a lot of people, but this is huge for me.  I have been a registered republican for 20 years now and have towed the party line more often than not.  I did vote in the GOP primary and picked Ron Paul, not because I agreed with him but because his name caused me to throw up in my mouth the least.  And when Romney finally got the nomination, not like there was going to be any doubts, I began to doubt that he was getting my vote. 

I have been very critical of President Obama, and just about any democrats or liberal for that matter, to the point that I was just a jerk with a bad attitude.  So, as I considered which 3rd party I would support I decided to give the President an open and honest look.  I don’t agree with him on all things, I am still very pro-life (so much so that I want to see troops pulled from overseas, I want the defense budget cut, I want to see an end to the death penalty, and I hate factory farming and I am also a vegetarian!) so I don’t see any middle ground there.  I’ve also become more accepting of of gays and lesbians and more open to marriage equality, and I’m really softening on that.  But I also realized that we were in the crapper financially 4 years ago and we are doing a hell of a lot better today and there is a chance of improvement.  

So, I did it.  I overlooked all of the hatred and voted for my President, Barack Obama.  And when Ohio was called on Tuesday night I quietly celebrated and went to work on Wednesday with a big smile on my face thinking the sun was shining a little brighter!

Hopefully one day I can share this with someone other than a really good friend from college whose political and theological leanings have moved more mainstream in recent years.  

I will hopefully get an update on here soon about where I am at spiritually as well.  Thanks to those who have checked on me, it is appreciated!

Trying to get back

I just realized this morning that it has been 6 weeks since I last posted…and the 89 emails in the account attached to this blog backed up that fact! 

A lot has happened, at times it has been 2 steps forward and 3 steps back.  I’ve felt my faith increase and I’ve seen my lack of faith grab hold of me and shake me down pretty good.  I will get an update up as soon as possible. 

Thanks to the new followers who joined in spite of my lack of activity!

He still doesn’t get it

As a alum of SBTS I do have the utmost respect for Dr. Al Mohler…but once again he is showing in this blog post that he doesn’t really get it. Attacking those who are struggling with unbelief and faith will only push them/us further away.

Still here…

Last week I was playing catch up from my week a way and now I’m preparing for my next week away when we take our youth to camp.  In the past I’ve always looked forward to this event, now I’m sort of second guessing me going.  Hopefully I will make the most of it and maybe even get a bit more clarity. 

I hope all is well, and thanks for your well wishes!

Worth Watching

If you can get past the dryness and the sarcasm, well worth watching:

From Christian to Atheist


A much needed week away

Last week I took my family and we went on a mission trip to a very poor and depressed area up north; we spent 4 days in one of the poorest and most neglected areas of a pretty good size city.  We worked with a church that we helped with in the past and is active in working with the poor and homeless…while their ultimate goal is to see a conversion take place, they focus on the immediate needs as well.  I needed this.

I think part of my problem as of late has been frustration with the church crowd.  While I still have my doubts, I can trace many of them to the fact that so many who claim to be “born again” and “christian” behave and act anything like that.  They claim to want to see lives changed but do nothing but gripe and complain about what the pastor and others aren’t doing to achieve the said goal.  To call it maddening would be an understatement. 

On this trip I was able to get away from the typical church people, get immersed in a culture that I’m not really used to and simply reach out to people and help them.  We gave mats to sleep on, food to eat, water to drink…we even ran to walmart and bought bug spray and anti-itch cream for one couple simply because they needed it.  Basically we did a lot of stuff that the church should be doing. 

While I’m not sure how much this will help in my faith issues and my doubts, it did my heart good to help others.  So much so that I’m really looking at what I can do to begin some of that some work in the area I live in.  Maybe I will once again find god in doing this; hopefully I will at least. 

I suppose this would best end with a “to be continued…”

Just read your bible!

OK…

“Before you offer commentary on Biblical stories, you should probably spend some time actually studying your Bible. Of course that can be dangerous to your Christian faith. Reading the Bible has probably produced more atheists than any other activity.” -Patrick Quigley

Thanks to my friend at The BitterSweet End blog for this one!

A Second Effort

This past week was my denomination’s annual meeting, and for the first time in my ministry I actually attended part of it. I didn’t stay for the meetings, mainly because I despise meetings, but was there for the pastor’s conference that kicked it all off.  Thankfully I was able to witness some of the good side of being in christian ministry during those couple of days without seeing the ugliness that comes when agendas are all that matter when the meetings begin.

I went in with an open mind, and hoping to hear something, anything that would hit me where I am.  To be honest, it did, but it was a struggle.  It didn’t take long for me to recognize the mental and even emotional disconnect I once had with hearing powerful preaching and participating in “soul stirring” worship.  I found myself having to make myself sing the songs about the greatness of god and digging deep to say “amen” to a point I might have once proclaimed as truth myself.  Before the 2 days were up I was finding myself softening up a bit, but still the disconnect remains.  Obviously this can’t be a good thing. 

Over the next few weeks things will really get busy for me, so I’m not so sure how much blogging I will do.  We’ve got our vacation bible school followed by a mission trip and then youth camp.  These are things I have always looked forward too, and I still do, but there is the concern of being disconnected that worries me.  I’m not very good at wearing a mask and I’m not so sure if I’m in a right mindset to really participate like I want too.  My heart is there, my mind though…not so much.

I will try to give it a 2nd effort.  I bought a new bible at the conference in a translation I once loved and used all the time.  I stopped using this particular translation because the other bibles I had like it fell apart way too easily and I wasn’t big on spending that type of money ever few months (bibles can be expensive!).  In my heart of hearts I’m hoping that spending some time reading this translation might help me “return to my first love” like we read about in the book of Revelation. 

I’m also going to really, really, REALLY work on trying to pray again.  Maybe it is nothing more than childlike wishing, but I would love to get back to being where I once was spiritually. 

It is Wednesday my friends, I hope your week has been grand and the remainder of it flies by.  Thanks for popping in and giving me a bit of your time!

Those weird chills down your back…

Last night I walked into our living room where my daughter was watching the DVD for our Vacation Bible School (VBS), learning the music because she is also helping another church with their VBS this week.  The music is always a cute combination of faith with dance motions that will get the kids excited and hopefully help them learn the lessons that they are tied into.  I’ve been doing this since before I started pastoring, no big deal, another year, another VBS…not really.

She was listening to one of the songs that slows things down and really makes the participants think and when I heard the lyrics to a song called “Worthy” which proclaims how jesus alone is worthy; something I have preached time and time again, as well as professed belief in as well.  For some reason when I heard “bow down”, I had weird chills run up and down my back…and not the good butterflies in the stomach type.  I was sincerely creeped out by this!

Should be interesting since we have our own VBS in a little over a week. 

Hoping for Rain

It is raining here…I’m really hoping it continues for very selfish reasons.  We do have church tonight, the aforementioned Wednesday night prayer meeting; but that isn’t the real reason.  On this particular Wednesday night we follow that with the all important monthly business meeting (insert sarcastic tone). Rain usually keeps people home.

If you are not familiar with baptist polity, each church is self-governed, meaning the members make the decisions locally than some far off hierarchy making the calls.  This can be good…and bad.  The bad part is what you deal with in these meetings; pointless committee reports, a lot of griping and the occasional ass being shown who will be quickly forgiven for attacking anyone and everyone they feel is responsible for their self induced problems, usually beginning with the pastor.  Thankfully the worst for me in the last year was being called unethical.  Of course, this was from the man who was claiming his wife should be payed for playing the organ even when she wasn’t playing the organ, and also get paid vacation on top of that (organ players actually work less than 1 hour a week in terms of playing in most churches). 

Anyway, I’m hoping for rain because hopefully people will stay home and I can get home quicker.  I doubt it will happen because this is the highlight of the month for most of these people since it makes them feel so important.  Maybe if they were as dedicated to the prayer meetings as they are the business meetings I wouldn’t grip and bitch so much. 

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