Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Cup Seems Half Empty Today


It’s funny how sitting at my desk working feverishly trying to get things done, and an old song comes on the radio and I’m filled with melancholy. (I should clarify that I have Christmas music playing on my radio so you know most of the songs are filled with memories anyway.)

It has been such a stressful season of life. People are less and less able to keep their frustrations and emotions under control. It’s just the stress of the time, and what it’s doing to our families and marriages and communities. I greatly fear what will happen to the morale of the general population if they are told they can’t celebrate Christmas with their Christmas traditions.

I’ve been living too long unable to catch up. I simplify and simplify as much as I can the work that I do, and it’s not enough. I wonder if we’re trying to do the old ministries in new ways, rather than just adjusting and doing new ministries in new ways. Whatever is going on beneath the surface, I am just, tired.

So a song comes on the radio that our children used to sing and I look over to my left where the pictures are on the shelf. I see the children, from babies through to adults, and I am so pleased with them. But I miss them, and I miss those simpler days. I don’t know how to get back there, and I suppose in that way, I am a little bit lost.

I know it’s been the year, and it’s absolutely been the stress and the work hours, I know it’s all that. I know that it looks like nobody will be home for Christmas. I know that Advent won’t be the same, I know that there won’t be the normal singing of the carols. I know I won’t see friends I normally see in church week by week.

I know all that, but suddenly it catches up to me, the emotion the sense of loss, the separation. It’s all there mixed in.

But I renew my focus and I keep going because I don’t know what else to do honestly. And being miserable won’t help me one bit. You absorb the loss as much as you’re able, and you add it to your history, a collection of the things you’ve lived through.

Yes back to work, I need a sermon for Sunday, and I need to record it on video by tomorrow. God I will need your help again this week, not just for sermons but for strength and hope as well.

This is going to be a very long, very short season.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Brunch, with love

It was in college when we were dating and one weekend we went to my aunt and uncles place. They lived close to the college, only hours away.

I remember the Saturday morning, Lauralea had been up long before I was and she was in the kitchen helping my aunt make brunch. It was waffles and a smooth custard sauce with raspberries on top.

There are some meals that families hold as a part of their history, and this was one from mine. That Saturday morning in autumn in my aunts kitchen, Lauralea was introduced to it too. She loved it, and I loved her.

Through 35 years of marriage and a family, it’s always been a treat. Now though, she is unable to eat it because of her own health challenges. So sometimes she makes it just for me. And when she does make it, like this morning, I remember how well I am loved. 
 


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

When a woodpecker is trying to dig a hole in your office

Yes, a woodpecker.

These daily videos can be a challenge, especially when the phone rings or a txt comes in, or someone comes into the office. I have learned to stop, hold my place without moving, and then its easy to edit later on.

But this, this is a whole new level in "I never saw that coming."

This is the new pastoral work.
 




(I wonder if Paul ever had to fight woodpeckers)





Friday, September 25, 2020

Hague Hardware Store

 



There is a hardware store in the town of my great grandparents that has been serving people for many many years. Probably served them 40, 50 years ago.

But today Lauralea and I stopped in there and took a look around. It still is classic old town hardware store.

Oh yes, nails and saw blades and a few power tools. But also dishes, table clothes, closet hardware, hooks, irons, and soap. Toys and games, puzzles and books, stoves and fridges, axes, bobby pins, thermometers, thermostats, thermoses. And women’s clothes, for town women, regular sized women actually.

We bought Lauralea a beautiful sweater, and some canning lids for her pickle jars.

It was, wonderful.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Staying Well

 I am tired now, and tomorrow I am going to stop for a while.

Stop work and stop doing and just stop. 

Next weekend is Hillary's wedding and we are going to help them get ready for the big day, and then celebrate well what that day means for Hillary and Dave and all of us. Its is going to be a great time. 

Then a few weeks vacation to try and get our footing back.

Probably return amidst a big second wave with new restrictions and all. But we shall worry about that then.

For now the trick will be to stop working and start vacationing and NOT get a cold or flu as I normally do when the adrenaline of work stops flowing through my veins.

Stay well.



 The Smiling Blue Breasted Pastor, a rare sight to see on any day.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

24 weeks later and we are inside.


We've been meeting outside all summer but this is the land of the snow, so you know we had to move the gathering inside at some point.

Today we gave it a trial run and it seemed to go well, in spite of all the weirdness and all.

There are still many from our number who are not comfortable meeting inside yet and we respect that. So if the weather remains warm we will try to gather outside for a few more weeks until we just can't any longer.

Nearly 70 of us there today. A simple service but relaxed and very informal.

It was a good day.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Using My Words

I’m not highly trained in writing and unlike a good friend I don’t have a degree in English. He is my go to for the proper use of apostrophes and semicolons and such. But I still search my public writings to see if I used lose or loose as I tend to use one in place of the other frequently.

I began to write in this space in 2002 and the discipline required to do that turned out to be quite a good thing in my life. I gained a lot of practice working with words, exploring them, playing with them, just enjoying them and the power they carried to communicate. It was a very fulfilling time.

As a result over the years I received more and more invitations to write for publications. Our local city paper was open to publish any article I would write. Denominational magazines would invite me to prepare articles for them. I was able to sell a few pieces, even to a national newspaper, which puffed me up considerably.

I always wondered if I had a book in me, and then I would read a book written by some fellow which would convince me once again that there were too many books in the world already. I didn’t want to add to the book noise out there and the thought of another tree giving its life so that an inexperienced writer wannabe could fulfil some sort of unrealistic dream, well that filled me with dread.

So I write here, and occasionally on other online places. I write sermons and church constitution changes. Brochure information and signs, motions and the like. I write letters of release, letters of reference, and simply letters to others. It’s a part of my work here now. It’s good challenging work, but not always inspiring.

So when I am invited to write for magazines etc. I usually am quick to say yes to the challenge.

This photo is the result of my recent invitation to write. The topic was how we as people of faith, can bloom where we are planted. (The July/August 2020 copy of the Recorder) It was a good challenge this summer and my live in editor (Lauralea ever since college) helped it read even better.

It’s still an enjoyable exercise and a wonderful discipline for me and there are still things to say. So for now we carry on.