Each year when I am away during July, I tend to reflect on my life and the way things are at this point. Maybe it's having a birthday during the month that encourages this. I really don't know.
- I think about which way my life is going.
- I think about my ministry and what is happening there.
- I think about the church. As a result, I sometimes feel encouraged and sometimes feel discouraged.
- I think about what I am doing and why I am doing it.
I have seen far too many ministers (and many other people as well) who lost their fire and passion a long time ago. Now, they come to work, go through the motions, and say or do whatever seems to make people happy. Just putting in the time.
I just refuse to live or function like this.
How boring! More importantly, this is not the kind of person or minister I am or have been called to be. How can a person be fully alive in Christ and yet choose to shut down long before his or her death?
Life and Air Conditioning (I hope)
I went back to work today after being out during July (vacation and then a study break). I opened the main doors and felt a blast of hot air. (By the way, it was 105 yesterday afternoon.) Not good. The church is getting an entirely new air conditioning system this week. It is supposed to be ready before Sunday.
Anyway, the offices are on a separate unit so everyone was at work. I went to my desk and there were several nice cards that a few people had left. A few e-mails came today welcoming me back. Several friends called to see how my first day was. I am blessed.
Last Sunday--The Potter's House
This past Sunday, Jamie and I drove to Dallas and visited the Potter's House, a 30,000-member church where T. D. Jakes is the pastor. A huge sanctuary. Predominately African-American but also had a number of Hispanics and whites present. About ten different youth groups from all over the nation were introduced that morning. All of these groups were in Dallas for one reason or another and all were visiting this church that Sunday morning.
Unfortunately, Jakes was out of town. But--we enjoyed being there anyway. Two things struck me: First, I was impressed with the overall friendliness of the church. We felt very comfortable. Second, I was impressed with the organization of that church. The parking attendants, ushers, greeters, etc. all seemed very helpful and friendly. Yet it did not feel "slick."
The assembly was a little longer than what we normally experience. The assembly began at 11:30 AM. Two hours later (yes, that's 1:30 PM), the sermon had not yet begun. Not exactly what we experience at our church each week. :)
What I'm Reading
Right now, I am reading Darryl Tippens' fine book Pilgrim Heart: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life. Tippens is the Provost at Pepperdine University. His training is in English Literature. This is a good read. I recommend it highly. I will probably be using this in a class I teach at church.
I will soon begin reading The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann (1973-1983). I know nothing about the book except that it was recommended by a person for whom I have great respect. At one time, Schmemann was Dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.
This time of the year, I always keep an eye on the Dallas Cowboys training camp. Been a Cowboys fan for many years. This year the Dallas Morning News (print edition) has the "T. O. Watch." What is that? Oh that is about reporters keeping an eye on Terrell Owens to see what he is going to do or say next. Unbelievable! Have we lost our minds?
Anyway, it is a nice diversion.
Right now, I am trying out FeedDemon which is a wonderful tool for keeping up with many blogs. If you are interested, they offer a free trial period before you have to purchase. This may interest some of you.