And then…

…the announcement that our pastor is resigning.

The new pastor. Who started in September.

Who replaced the one who resigned LAST February. (What is it with February?? At least this one didn’t tell me on my birthday but I think that was the week he told our Bishop.)

He’s only been with us since September but due to a variety circumstances, he’ll be moving back to Arizona in May.

He told me this morning because it was going to be announced at the end of service. We went into the kitchen during worship and he told me. I walked out of the sanctuary and into the ladies room to cry. Not because I’m sad that he’s leaving (I am but not the way I was with our previous pastor who had been with us for nine years) but because I am tired. And I know what the search entails and the time and energy it requires.

But our church will survive. I believe that God has great things in store for us. I believe that this pastor was with us for this time for a reason – maybe while God prepared the next pastor for us or us for him. I cannot begin to know the mind of God, nor do I even attempt to. But I know he is working things for our good, even when the plan is unclear to us.

And so I will again pray and do whatever is necessary to facilitate this process. And if you are of the praying persuasion, please pray for us as well. We are headed down a difficult road, again. Please pray that our leaders would remain steadfast and unwavering in the face of this temporary difficulty and that the Lord would bring us the right person for our church.

Thank you!

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Because I Love Them

We just returned from a weekend youth retreat. It was great – there were about 275 kids from different churches in our conference in attendance. Awesome worship and wonderful speakers (check out http://www.maddogsenglishmen.com) more than made up for the two hours of sleep I got and my distress over one of the kids dislocating his wrist and PUTTING IT BACK IN HIMSELF.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love these kids. I really, really do.

Mystify Me

Blue Sloth has organized an assignment for us…to describe something that mystifies us. I’ve gone back and forth for a few days thinking of all the things that mystify me: Britney Spears. Anna Nicole. How someone can get back in a racecar after sliding across the finish line on his roof in flames. The inherent oddness and unpredictability of the moods of teenage boys (yes, BOYS). Why airlines find it acceptable to leave customers on the tarmac for hours on end and won’t return to the terminal. How a state can leave 50 miles of motorists stranded on a closed highway for over 24 hours with no assistance…on and on my disjointed thougth process goes.

But what is mystifying me most this week is my beloved Norman. Yes, again, the boy is using my spare room as his own personal litter box. I’ve tried everything. We’ve shampooed the rug repeatedly. I have multiple litter boxes which are scooped twice a day. I bought a litter locker to reduce the smell. I have feline pheremones being diffused into the air. I’ve taken samples to the vet to make sure he is not sick. I’ve taken HIM to the vet to make sure he is not sick.

He is not sick.

I am completely bewildered and confounded by this creature – so beloved, yet so bizarre. Right now, he is alternating between tackling his stuffed catnip eggplant (yes, you read that right) and slamming it and himself into the bedroom door so it slams against the closet door with a resounding boom and clotheslining himself with the lapttop power cord repeatedly until it unplugs and I have to get out of the warm bed and plug it back in before I lose everything.

He is lucky that I love him so.

Check out others and their mystified-ness:

kmsqrd

Jen Mathis

Alley Katt

Ziji Wangmo

Hooray For Saturday

Tiggermn

Groanin’ Jock

Blue Witch

Tim

ally bean

Rayne of Terror

BD

Dan

Mary

Tish

Phil

MsShad

Giants

I had some of my senior girls over tonight to watch Facing the Giants. If you haven’t seen this film (and you probably haven’t – it was apparently only released in a certain number of theaters), I so highly recommend it. Even though we knew what the outcome would be in most areas of the storyline, we were all cheering the characters on throughout.

I’ve been feeling very discouraged about many things as of late (this morning, in particular, my discouragement hit me head on). I’ve been trying, as I often do, to figure things out and to decide what I need to do to make things better…and, or maybe or, what others should be doing. But really, I came back around to what I should come to in the beginning ALWAYS instead of the end. God is in control and I need to give these things up to him.

There is a man in our church who has a brain tumor. Tomorrow, he is having surgery to have it removed. And we gathered, after service, to pray for his surgery and his ultimate healing. As we stood, the majority of our small congregation, together in a circle, holding hands, lifting our brother up in earnest prayer, I was struck by this. That this kind of corporate prayer is unusual, unique, moving, to me…what does that say? I handle the prayer list at church,taking requests and sending them out to the list via email. I know that people are praying – some may read and plan to pray later; some praying right in that moment. But to stand together, side by side, and lift up concerns like this, maybe even hopes or dreams, therein lies a different kind of power, a movement of the Spirit that is palpable.

Castaway

I’d never seen Castaway so when I saw it was on this evening, I decide to watch. I had to go do something else during the scene when the plane was crashing and I found the middle while he was on the island to be a bit long and tedious (as, I suppose, I was supposed to – as it was meant to be long and tedious and give a representatin of what that must be like). But the end…aren’t there any movies anymore with a happy ending? I know, I know – it’s happy that he was rescued and all that. But it was so sad that even though in her heart she knew he was still alive, she listened to everyone else and moved on with her life. It just about broke my heart when she told him that he was the true love of her life but she had to go home.

GOSH

Three posts in one night.

I’m on a roll.

So, I have a maddening addiction to peanut butter. PETER PAN reduced fat peanut butter, to be exact. I slather it on things. I glob it on chocolate. I’ve even been known to eat it right out of the jar…because I CAN. I keep a jar in my desk at work and in the pantry at home. And had eaten most of both before learning today that BOTH are from the lot that people have been getting salmonella from.

Ahem.

Both are in the trash and I am in serious withdrawl.

Seriously?

Ok, I love Grey’s Anatomy. They had me at hello, so to speak. But tonight…well. (Stop reading now if you Tivo’ed the episode – it’s a spoiler!)

It started off well enough. I cried some ugly tears when Meredith went under for the last time, when Izzie was scared and trying to figure out how to help her patient, when the little girl pointed Derek to the black, cold water.

I was on edge as Derek worked on her and as everyone was being paged. I was moved by Bailey and the Chief and even Addison. McSteamy brought tears to my eyes when he came and simply sat by his friend.

But I SERIOUSLY could have done without Izzie’s monologue, especially when she told George he made a mistake marrying Callie. And then the closing scene with the bomb squad guy and Denny…seriously.

Did Grey’s Anatomy just jump the shark????????? I hope not but can’t say for sure.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Reasons I Blog

1. I love to write. And even if it’s only little dribs and drabs about my every day adventures, it’s still writing.
2. I always liked to read other people’s blogs and thought it was a neat way to keep in touch.
3. I’m terrible about the phone. There are only a few I talk to for any length of time. I’m much better about writing…back in the day, letters…today, the blog.
4. It’s a great way to share photos.
5. It gives me an outlet to vent.
6. It gives me an opportunity to share things I might not otherwise…a degree of separation. It’s easier sometimes to say something to “the internet” than it is to say it to a real, live person.
7. It keeps people I don’t see or talk to all the time current with what’s been going on in my life.
8. It’s been a neat way to meet other people. There are a lot of cool folks out here in the blogosphere – who I never would have encountered otherwise.
9. There are a lot of bloggers who inspire me and I hope that in some small way, I might someday inspire someone else.
10. I’ve gotten involved with some online activities that I woudln’t have otherwise, like reading the Bible in 90 days along with some other great bloggers and a new online book club.
11. I’ve been encouraged by people’s comments, understanding, and support.
12. Prompts like Thursday Thirteen and Friday’s Feast make me think and write about things I might not otherwise.
13. It gives me something to do besides watching tv : )

Birthday Tea

Since last year’s birthday was quite a bust, I decided this year to take matters into my own hands. A local tea room was hosting a Valentine’s Dessert Tea, so I reserved a room for my nearest and dearest pals.






It was a wonderful night but we learned a very important lesson – don’t bring BOYS (even 30 and 40+ year old ones) to you tea party! I love them anyway but they really didn’t “get” the essence of the tea. And they set stuff on fire. Which is generally frowned upon in tearooms.