I need to blog. No that's not it. I should blog. It's been a month and my last blog was just a quick update on the family. I could blame it on supply preaching the 5 of the last 6 Sundays, but that should have given me fodder for the blog not kept me from blogging. So I'll try and dig up some insights to share and then fill you in on the family again.
COMING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN
The sermon I used for two of my assignments was based in Matthew 9:9-13. Jesus calls Matthew and eats with tax collectors and sinners. I talked about the real presence of Christ in that meal - the up close and personal contact with God incarnate. Then I went to the communion liturgy (both were communion Sundays) and talked about "Pour out your Spirit on us gathered here and on these gifts of bread and wine that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ so that we may be for the world the Body of Christ redeemed by his blood." I went on to ask with whom are we called to be at table?
I am leading the weekly communion service at the office for the month of July. That's the conference office, so I am leading people who have been preaching and leading worship for decades including the Bishop. I had planned to recycle a shortened version of above message this past week. On the morning of the service, I had a dream. I was serving communion in the chapel, but the altar was on a raised platform. The Bishop was, for an unknown reason, in a powered wheelchair. He kept trying to get to me on every side of the platform. I had to come down from the platform to serve him. In the introduction of the earlier sermon, I mentioned that chapters 5,6,and 7 of Matthew are the Sermon on the Mount. In chapters 8 and 9, Jesus comes down off the mountain and touches people with more than words. There are healings and dinner with sinners... So my questions to myself and to the leaders of the conference (and the support staff) were, "What is the mountain we are standing on? Who do we need to get off the mountain to serve? Why aren't we doing it?"
OPENING THE GATES
Psalm 24:7 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
The weekly Psalm in my devotion book was Psalm 24. This verse gave me a wonderful mental image of two large wooden gates opening - one on my head and one on my heart - and felt the King of Glory enter in.
Okay that's it for insights, so here's the update.
Gifted and Talented is over at Dogblogger's as the band prepares songs for a Nov. 1 concert that will raise funds for the church. He purchased a new Gibson Les Paul guitar a while back and has been searching for the right amp to go with it. It seems he has found just the thing. He spent the afternoon testing out all (okay some) of the 400 preset sound combinations that change the way the guitar sounds. Even I admit it's pretty cool. The really interesting thing was 200 of the presets are based on classic songs from various rock eras. I was amazed as he would suddenly be playing a few bars of at least 1 out of 3 songs he scrolled through. He's amazing. I tell people that, but they say, "Yeh, yeh." Then they hear him and say, "You didn't tell me he is this good." Well I did, but no one listens because I'm his wife and I have to say nice things. Right?
manBoy left today for the youth mission trip. They are going to repair houses in another state. I've been nagging him all week about gathering up the stuff on the packing list. Yesterday, he finally got started. He told me he was done, until I asked about silly things like towels and sheets. Oh yeah. Last night I asked what he did about a water bottle? Is that on the list? Oh. Yeah. Generally though, it's been a good summer with manBoy. He's growing and maturing. He's getting lots more muscles! As he puts it, "I'm filling out my t-shirts more." Soon, I will have to change manBoy to Manboy. He's talking a lot more this summer than last summer - hooray!. I hate when he communicates with grunts.
manBoy's latest aquisition is a road bike (light weight, fast, lots of gears...) that he's been saving for for a long time. He's had it a week and he's already gone on two group rides with folks from the bike shop. He did the starter rides - 18 miles - ugh! The first night, I called DogBlogger and said, "What have I done? I just sent my 15 year old out on a bicycle ride with a bunch of strangers on dangerous roads? Pray!" Then it started raining. An hour and a half later (there were 5 flats in the group, none for manBoy) he came back soaked and happy. We met some of the other riders, who seem nice enough and had kept an eye on him. One of them worked at the hospital while I was doing CPE. We bought a flat kit and an extra tube the next day. Ride #2 went better.
As for me, I feel like I'm kind of muddling along. I have several projects at work, but I'm having a hard time getting moving on them. I loved the supply preaching, but showing up somewhere new with only verbal directions about the order of worship is somewhat stress inducing. Many of my closest to Christ moments in the last month have been at the beginning of the service when I let it all go and trust the Spirit who was going to take care of it whether I let go or not.
Last week was a two point charge - two different churches in one morning. The first one was a cute old white building. There were 7 of us including manBoy, G&T and myself. I was grateful for G&T's singing voice and manBoy's assistance with the offering.
I am preparing to go to my high school reunion. I have interesting thoughts about that, but I'll probably blog about it afterwards. I am assisting with the planning and leading of a memorial service. Some 42 out of about 500 classmates have died. A few died before we graduated, but most since then. It seems an awfully high number for 30 years out. I am putting together a powerpoint with their yearbook pictures and getting white roses for each one. I'm not sure what other roles I'll play in the service.
Now see Rookie, that wasn't so hard was it?