Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Death Dreams

I remember as a kid having someone tell me that if you die in your dream that you die in reality.  Well, I am here to tell you that it just ain't so.  I have had it happen a couple of times.

However, I had a few that were odd in that I actually was dead in the dream.  Probably the most terrifying dream was where I was experiencing nothing:  no sound, no light, no sensation at all.  And then the thought dawned on me, "I am dead and this is all that will be FOREVER."

But the other night I had a less terrifying dream, but I still was dead.  I was up and walking around.  My coffin was there, and I was stepping on it and dragging it around.  At first I didn't realize that I was dead, but then I went to take a shower and realized I had been embalmed.  One of the last things I remember about the dream was realizing I had to pee and not wanting to spend eternity with a full bladder.

I wonder if dreaming of death may be something like the Death card in tarot.  Does it predict change instead of actual death?  I know that we have been through a lot of changes lately.  Maybe Dr. Spo has a comment?  I know that the both of the dreams weirded me out when they happened, and the NOTHING dream weirded me out for a long time!  (Still does.)  But the latest dream kind of makes me chuckle.

Don't know.  Just know that dreams or not, we have changes in our future; some things begin, and some things die.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Life Update

Yes!  I am alive!

That is a good thing!  It has been really busy here so posts have not been happening too regularly.  I have had a lot of deep thoughts (Well, at least deep for me!) but have not had the time or energy to post them.  I hope to remediate that, maybe it will help me sleep at night.

The general thing that has been happening has been the transition to a new church and moving.  I still feel a little detached as I am still 70 miles from the church.  But we are moving on Saturday, so that should help.  Moving on the day before Easter with two pastors is probably as close to suicide I hope to come, but all too often the world gives us what it will, not what we will.

The car situation is still on hold.  I have not gotten the release of lein on the truck so I cannot sell it.  In the meantime, the guy who was planning on buying it has lowered his offer.  So I got financing assuming that I was going to have a $1500 down payment.  Now the guy says he will only give me $1000.  So now I have to search to find $500 during this time of high finances.

DO NOT USE BUDGET TRUCK RENTAL!  I was going to rent a truck from them.  I could not get the web site to work.  I was ignored in the store.  I called to complain...

This is a great story!  I called to voice my upset at their location in Plymouth, MI.  The person I was talking to on the phone seemed much more in finding a way to get me to still rent a truck instead of listening to my concerns.  I asked if anything was going to be done about PILGRIM FIRESTONE in Plymouth, MI (yes, they pissed me off!) or if the whole thing was going to get glossed over.  The guy said, "Oh, please hold."  So I heard some clicks and then I heard a recording saying the conversation would be recorded.  Then a woman came on the line.  When I said that I had a problem with a Budget Truck, she started going on about saving me $40.  It sounded like she was reading a script.  I asked if she was going to do anything about PILGRIM FIRESTONE in Plymouth, MI, and she said she could get me a 6 month subscription.  "To what?"  She told me "Traveler's Advantage!  You are not talking to Budget Truck rental."  THE GUY AT BUDGET TRANSFERRED ME TO A TOTALLY DIFFERENT COMPANY!


I am getting a truck from U-Haul.

Holy Week is here, and my secretary is new to the whole church secretary thing.  We are doing a lot of e-mail and facebook communicating.

Probably more later.  Maybe even some of the deep thoughts!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Palm Sunday Sermon

Lent is quite the season of contradictions.

We reflect on our death so we can truly live. We look at those things that hold us trapped so that we may find freedom. We cry out “Hosanna!” at the beginning of a worship service just so we can cry “Crucify Him!” at the end. Contradictions, we are surrounded by contradictions. But it is just these contradictions that help us to grow. It is these contradictions that help us to become mature Christians. It is just these contradictions that help us to see the places in our lives where we are not living; it helps us to see those places in our lives where we are just merely existing.

Today we are confronted with one of the most jarring of the contradictions: We are faced with the people doing a complete “about face” to Jesus. When our service started, we experienced the crowds shouting “Hosanna.” But this is at the beginning; this is when things are going well. However, when the times started getting difficult, the people stopped shouting “Hosanna” and quickly change their tune. The people went from shouts of “Hosanna” to screams of “Crucify Him!” I would suggest that this is possibly one of the most jarring changes in the whole lectionary.

Now, of course, we know that if we were around in Biblical times, the words of “Hosanna” would never leave our lips. We would continue to proclaim Jesus as Lord no matter what was being said by those others. We know that we would never add our voices to the chorus of “Crucify Him!” And we can say that because we have 2000 years of perspective and interpretation behind us.

But have we really learned much in those 2000 years? In what ways do we as people, as a faith community, and as individuals cry out the words “Crucify Him!” when we should be singing out “Hosanna?”

We cry out “Crucify Him!” whenever we choose the way of our comfort, pleasure, or security over the vision of Christ for the world. We cry out “Crucify Him!” whenever we choose to let others take the blame for our failures, shortcomings and mistakes. We cry out “Crucify Him!” when we choose to exploit the shortcomings of others for our own benefit. We cry out “Crucify Him!” when we fail to honor and celebrate the Christ that is in every individual we encounter.

Our culture cries out “Crucify Him!” when it can justify giving multimillion dollar bonuses to employees while taking trillions of dollars from taxpayers who are having difficulty just paying their mortgage. (Remember when “trillions” was a nonsense word?) It cries “Crucify Him!” when those in the positions of power and majority actively work to take rights away from those who are weaker and in the minority. Our culture cries “Crucify Him!” when it sees other peoples and cultures as just a means to boost its own standing in the world.

It is harder to see how we as a faith community may be crying “Crucify Him!” This would seem totally at odds with what we would think. We would think that, as people of faith, we should always have “Hosanna” on our lips. But to think this would be naive. Church history is full of stories of one group attacking another group because “They don’t follow the true faith.” Even various groups who claim to be Christian have been known to attack each other; just look at the Protestants and the Catholics in Northern Ireland. Look at The Episcopal Church and the Southern Cone. And just the other day, I had a Pentecostal person ask me if Episcopalians were even Christians.

And, of course, we personally cry “Crucify Him!” When we fail to recognize the dignity of those around us, we crucify the Jesus that is in that person. When we belittle or gossip, we crucify the Jesus that is found in each person. When we take our family and friends for granted, we call for Jesus to be placed on the cross just as the crowds did so many years ago.

Man, this can seem really depressing! But I believe that it is only in seeing how we have fallen short of the ideal that we can fully comprehend the immense gift we have been given in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ! If I have so many houses that I cannot remember the number, the gift of another house will hardly register. But if I am living on the streets, the gift of a bed for the night can be miraculous! If we believe we can do no wrong, then the gift of forgiveness is just and empty box. But if we realize that we are capable of sin in so many different ways, then the gift of Christ on the cross takes on its full significance.

That is the miraculous thing about the Passion and the Cross: Jesus remembers our “Hosannas” and forgives our cries to “Crucify Him!” Jesus lifts up our strengths and places our weaknesses behind us. We are loved as a parent loves a child, and are forgiven and guided into the way of righteousness.

I am sure the calls of “Crucify Him!” were painful to Jesus. I have to wonder why Jesus didn’t just give the whole thing up and “poof” back up to heaven. If I were Jesus, I would want to say, “People, I am doing this for you! Can’t you have a little gratitude?” But Jesus didn’t. Even while the people were calling for his crucifixion, Jesus was willingly going to his very painful death for just those people. For just those people, and just for us!

And even though we, as a people, as a congregation, and individually continue to call for Christ to be crucified, Christ still gives us the gift of forgiveness and asks us to share that gift with those around us.

This is the miracle, the gift and the challenge. The miracle is that the one who was truly God and truly human would suffer on behalf of those who so very often and so easily turn their back on him. The gift is the full and total forgiveness that the cross and resurrection brings to us. This forgiveness is a gift that allows us to move boldly beyond our shortcomings and to move boldly into the world. And the challenge is to take this gift of forgiveness and extend it to all those we encounter. To realize that as Christ looks beyond our sin, we, too, should look beyond the sins of those around us. That as Christ give us total forgiveness, we are called to extend that forgiveness to others.

Knowing that we have the forgiveness of Christ should not become an excuse to wallow in our shortfalls. Knowledge of our forgiveness should become our challenge! Can we go out and love as Christ loved? And even if we can’t, we know that we will be welcome back to hear the message, to be fed at the table, and to be sent out again.

We can bear to have a time like Lent because we know that the stumbling blocks we find in our lives are already forgiven by our God. God knows our shortcomings and loves us and forgives us anyway! Even when we may be saying “Crucify Him!” with our lives, God hears the “Hosanna” that we sing in our heart.

Our Lenten journey is nearing its end. But we are not at Easter yet. We still have Good Friday and the grave. But we can courageously walk this path because we know that our Savior goes before us to lead the way. And we know that even if we fear to follow, our Savior is there to forgive us, to renew us, and to encourage us.

Contradictions: Life from Death. Forgiveness from Humility. Strength from Weakness. Our Lenten journey continues. But through it all, we know we have a Savior who will not leave us stranded on the cross.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Am I Doing This?

Why am I saying anything about the Health Care Bill? Am I a glutton for punishment? What can I add to the conversation that has not been screamed from television sets and headlines? Possibly nothing.


I guess being the psych person that I am, I am going to wade into the mess anyway. I am not going to say anything about the bill, itself; I don't know enough. But what I will talk about is the behavior I am seeing surrounding the bill.

I am so frustrated with our system of governance right now that I really want to move to a different country. We all realize that our health care system needs help but the career politicians are so busy worrying about what Fox News is going to say that they can't do anything. The Republicans look silly because they could not do anything that would resemble compromise without having Glen Beck shrilly screaming about how they have turned traitor to the American people.

Then we hear the Republicans saying that they were not part of the process. THEY HAD EIGHT YEARS TO DO SOMETHING AND THEY DIDN'T! And whenever anything was proposed, the assumed answer was "No." It doesn't matter if it was a good answer or even one that the Republicans had suggested in the past, it was summarily rejected. That is so childish!

I am not saying that the Democrats are sinless in this process either. Both sides have their problems. But from my point of view, it just seemed like the Republicans were acting like spoiled children (or fundamentalists!) who didn't get their way so now they were going to do EVERYTHING in their power to halt the system. Doesn't matter that they were elected to help the people. They appear to believe that they were elected to advance their own careers.

And what is up with Newt Gingrich? Civil Rights destroyed the Democrats? Do we really want to go back to a time before civil rights? Possibly if we are an old white guy.  (With a trophy wife, long live sanctity of marriage!)  And he is using that argument to say that the Health Care Bill is bad?  I don't get it.

Our law makers have gotten so out of touch with what is reality in peoples' daily lives.  Previously, I could afford insurance, but then I could not afford the co-pays.  If I really needed something, it was off to the ER, and that is sooooo cost effective to the country.  My costs were eventually paid by the insurance companies anyway.  Hospitals just passed it on to the people with insurance.  And I guess for some people, that was ok.  But instead of ignoring the problem, isn't it better to call it want it is and FIX IT?

This rant was brought to you today by the American Government System!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

What Does Jesus Smell Like?

I ran across something while do research for this sermon that really got me thinking.  The question the author of the article asked was so off the wall that it just grabbed my attention and made me chuckle.  And what was this question?  Well, are you ready for it?  It was:  “What did Jesus smell like?”  Or maybe the better question should be:  “What DOES Jesus smell like?”
You know, smell is one of the most powerful senses we have for bringing back memories.  When I walk out onto our parking lot, I am reminded of hot summer days spent at various amusement parks.  When I walk past a freshly mown lawn, it reminds me of summer afternoons with nothing to do except mow that huge hill in the back yard.  Freshly mown lawns remind me of a simpler time.  And possibly a more strange one is the smell of sulfur of a match being lit.  That smell will always remind me of my grandma, not in a bad way, but she always smoked Lucky Strikes and I will always remember the smell of her lighting a match.  I grew up Roman Catholic so the smell of bees’ wax candles is just the way a church should smell.  And incense will always remind me of funerals.  I think you could blindfold me and take me to a Catholic church and I would be able to tell you where I was.  Possibly not the name of the church, but that it was a Catholic church.  Smells shape our lives.  Some of our strongest memories are attached to smells, so I guess asking what Jesus smells like is not so strange after all. 
In the gospel reading for today, John makes a point of telling us that the house was filled with the smell of the perfume.  Why would the author of the gospel add this little account?  It could be that he was just adding color to the account, but there is probably more to it than that.  One thing that we shouldn’t for get about this story is the people who are sitting at the table.  Of course we have Mary and Martha, but we also have Lazarus, the same Lazarus, who, just a short time before, was in a tomb.  This would also be the same Lazarus of whom, Martha, his sister, said there would be a stench if they rolled the stone away from the tomb.  So, upon hearing about this episode, we should already primed to think of death as something that is, if not bad, then at least something that stinks.
But when Mary puts the perfume on Jesus’ feet, we are told that its fragrance filled the whole house.  I don’t know about you, but when I hear the world “fragrance” I think of something that smells good.  So the author of John is making sure we have this “image,” for lack of a better word, of a wonderful fragrance filling the house.  However, the next thing that Jesus says is so very jarring; Jesus says that Mary is preparing him of death.  (I would love to have the sound effect of a car skidding to a stop right here!)  A wonderful fragrance in preparation for death?  Didn’t we just learn a few chapters ago that death was something that was full of stench?  If death and the tomb stinks, then why would Jesus talk about his death while being surrounded by the fragrance of perfume?
Well, Jesus is giving us a new thought, a new feeling, a new smell for death.  Jesus is changing our thoughts about what death is.  We have already been primed to view death in a new way with Lazarus being at the table.  Just having him sitting at the meal should clue us in that things are changing.  The man, who was dead, in the tomb, stinking of death, was sitting at the table, dining with those around him.  The view of death as a final end was being broken.  Now, this wasn’t the final breaking of death, because Jesus had not yet risen to never die again, but it was foretaste of what was to come.  In Lazarus sitting there, the finality of death had to be questioned.  And it is in this questioning of death that we find the sweetness, the fragrance of the perfume.  What once was thought of as an eternal end has changed.  The stench of a final end has been changed to an odor of sweetness.  The chains that were to be our final end had begun to break.
As we move through Lent, we are coming to the time when we start looking forward to the great celebration of Easter.  We start smelling the perfume of Easter lilies, honey-glazed ham, and chocolate rabbits.  We start thinking of Christ and his resurrection.  We start to live our lives in the joy of our sure and certain forgiveness.  And this is not a bad thing to do.  I am sure Jesus would want us to revel in the gift of forgiveness and life we have been given.  But when it comes to the season of Lent, we are not quite yet to the Resurrection.  We have a bit of a ways to go yet.  We still have Good Friday to go through.  We have the sweet fragrance of the resurrection, but just like Mary, we need to be preparing for Christ’s death.  We need to realize that the gifts that we receive were bought at a price.  Just because the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume does not mean that Jesus does not have to die.  Christ still goes through death and is placed in the tomb.  But he does not stay in the tomb; he does not rot in the tomb.  He is raised from the dead and it is this, Christ’s resurrection, that the sweet fragrance of the perfume reminds us.  It is this joy after the sadness of his death, the fragrance of perfume after the stench of the tomb, the gift of forgiveness after the strictness of the law, which should impress itself on our memories. 
Mary’s extravagant gift of perfume left a lasting memory on those in the house.  Some like Judas would say that she went too far.  But Jesus says that it is a good thing that she does.  When we encounter the world, what impression do we make?  Does our witness of Jesus to the world leave a fragrance of life and forgiveness to those we encounter?  Do we show to the world the extravagant love that we have received, even if some may say we have gone too far?  Or does our witness of Jesus just leave people with the stench of death and the tomb?  Do we believe more in the ways of the world, the ways that leave only the stench of the tomb, or do we place our faith, our trust, our very lives, in the care of our savior, Christ?
I would hope that the fragrance of Mary’s perfume fills our lives.  That the fragrance would not only remind us of the death that Christ endured, but his glorious resurrection that brings us eternal life.  I would pray that we remember the gift that is given to all of us.  I pray that the fragrance of Christ’s love can fill our nostrils and fill our lives.  I pray that the fragrance will be there to remind us of the promise that has already been fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.  I pray that that fragrance is so imprinted upon our lives that just one whiff of it transports us into Christ’s presence in the same way bees wax reminds me of churches or the sulfur of a match bring up the presence of my grandma.
You know, I just realized that I haven’t answered the question that I asked at the beginning of the sermon!  Well, I asked some friends what would Jesus smell like, and I think a good friend hit it right on the head:  She said that Jesus smells “like home.”


Name The Car Contest!

Well, this is the new (or at least new-to-me) vehicle!  I like it!  Because of financial situations, I will not be able to take possession of it for about a week or so, but that is ok.  It is mine! 

Now I have a difficulty, I need a name for it!

This is where you come in!  NAME THE CAR!  Come up with a name and let me know.  The winner will receive your own special Indulgences!  Offered up by yours truly!  In addition, if you are ever around, you will receive a free ride to the bar of your choice and one free round!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Life as WE know it.

Well, last Sunday was the first Sunday at my new congregation.  (Boy, do I love the "New Church" smell!)  It was very nice: a wonderful celebration.  Unfortunately, Nick and I were not able to stay long because of all the driving that we had to do.

We had planned to have me go to my church, do the whole potluck thing, and then head home.  Nick was going to stay home and then head up to his congregation for a board meeting and worship.  We didn't think this was the best, we wanted my congregation to meet Nick, but considering the driving times from home to my church to Nick's church and back home (almost 300 miles round trip) we figured this was most sane choice.  However, when the truck died on Thursday night, we realized Sunday was going to be the "Tour of Michigan."

My congregation was wonderful.  They were very gracious to Nick and to me.  I don't think the gay thing is really going to be a problem as I have found that the former priest was a lesbian.  She was an open secret there.  Well, with me, there will be no secret!  I have trouble being in the closet.

It is going to cost around $3000 to fix the truck.  The resale value of the truck is about $3500.  And I don't have any credit cards to max out.  When I look into my crystal ball, I see a "new to me" vehicle in my future.  The problem is that we were counting on the truck as a major part of the move.

Speaking of the move, we still need to find a place to live.  The rental market in the Detroit suburbs is really hot.  Finding a rental is almost a game of chance.  And trying to find a place that will have enough room for stained glass is difficult.  I may need to put the glass thing on hold for a while.  I am not a fan of that, but reality is reality:  It is hard to do glass if you do not have a place to live!

To add to the whole thing, Nick has been working more and more overtime.  He is in a difficult situation:  He works temp but the want him to put in 10 hour days.  Of course, if he says, "No" they just say, "Bye."  They want total commitment from the temps but the company does not want to give any commitment in return.  It really sucks.

We won't even discuss payments to the IRS! 

So, we need to move.  We need to move soon!  We need to get the money to put down a deposit.  I will finally get a check from the church.  (I hope!)  We need to get a vehicle.  We need to start packing here.  We need more time!  And I need to pay attention to my own preaching about trusting in God.  (But it is HARD!)

Sorry for the pity party.

UPDATE:  I just spoke with my financial adviser and we have been able to pay off the last two payments of the truck.  So at least I am not paying on something that is non-functional.  Not a whole lot of good news, but good news all the same.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lent 4 - The First Sermon

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Wow!  Did you hear that?  In Christ there is a new creation!  What a great promise to hear on this day!  We have this great promise in scripture.  With all the changes that are occurring, it can become easy to feel lost and uprooted.  With all the changes that that are going on around us, it can be easy to become discouraged.  But with the words from our Epistle reading for today, we can take comfort in knowing that what we currently see is not all there is.  From the words of our epistle reading, we can be sure that in Christ, there is so much more:  In Christ there is a new creation!
Now all this promise of a new creation sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it?  But we really need to ask ourselves a question: “What does it mean to be a new creation?”  In being a new creation, does that mean that what has happened before was in some form “bad?”  Does it mean that what had occurred in the past was terrible and that now our life is going to be sunshine and roses?  Does it mean that as long as we remain in Christ, that nothing terrible will happen?  Or conversely, does it mean if we run into problems in life then we have been, in some form, unfaithful?
Well, the answer to all of those questions would be “no.”  Being a new creation does not negate what had come before.  Being a new creation does not mean that life is going to suddenly become all kinds of wonderful.  Being a new creation does not mean that bad things will no longer happen.  What it does mean, though, is that we are never apart from God’s gracious and abundant love.
The gospel reading for today is one that many of us are probably very familiar with.  And at the risk of doing a major disservice to the reading, I want to boil it down to one point:  The whole conflict in the story of the Prodigal Son is caused because the brothers have forgotten that the love of the Father is abundant beyond comparison.  The younger brother wants his share of the inheritance because it might otherwise be gone; and the second brother is upset because he is afraid that the first brother is coming back to get even more of the inheritance.  But the Father knows that they are both silly because the Father’s generosity is more than sufficient for both of the brothers.
When we seem to get caught in life is when we forget that there is an abundance of God’s love for all people.  We believe that if God’s love is showered on some, then that leaves less for everyone else.  The older brother thought that there would be less inheritance for him because the younger had already taken a big chunk and seemed to be back for more.  But the Father was there to reassure him that not only was there enough for the younger brother, there was always plenty for the older brother too!
When we look at becoming a new creation, we need to look at it through the eyes of the generous, loving Father -- a Father that wants the best for his children.  When we look at becoming a new creation, we need to look at this as something that has been in process since the beginning of time!  When we look at becoming a new creation, we need to look at this as the greatest gift we could ever be offered!  And in Christ we ARE a new creation!
Day by day we are being formed into a great work of art, an invaluable, precious gift!  With each new sunrise, God’s promise of abundant life is once again renewed for each of us!  With each new day, not only are we being created, those around us are also being created anew!  And as a congregation, a community with Christ as our center, we continue to be formed for the work of God in the world.
Paul tells us in the epistle reading that we are to regard no one from a human point of view.  We are not to regard the outer shell as all that there is.  When we look out into the world, we are to look upon those who surround us, and upon ourselves too, with the eyes of God, the eyes that see everyone as wonderful works of art.  We are to see all of humanity with the grace and compassion of God, the grace and compassion of the one that would send his own Son into the world to bring the world forgiveness.  We are to look upon each other with the same grace and forgiveness, as we would wish for ourselves.
And when we do fall short of the mark, which we will do, we need to remember that we can always return home.  Even though we may feel that we do not deserve to come back, we need to remember that the Father will have been waiting for us and will be there to greet us.
As we begin this time together, I pray that we can keep these points in mind.  I pray that we can always remember that in Christ we are a new creation.  Both as a congregation and as individuals, Christ is at work in each of us, using our pasts to bring us to this present, and finally forming us into wondrous creations.  In Christ we are able to do so much more than we ever thought possible.  In Christ, we are not as the world would see us, but ARE the wondrous creations the God would have us be.
And we also need to remember that no matter where we are, we can return home.  The gifts of the Father are so much more than we could ever hope.  God’s love is the “welcome” that we all want to hear, and the table is where we can still be fed.
And we need to remember that, like the older son, those who have stayed to take care of the Father’s estate, are no less loved by the Father and are called to celebrate with joy the return of those who have been gone. 
We will be going through some times of transition.  I am hoping that this will be a time of excitement, a time of insight, and a time of fun.  But I am also guessing that there will be times of frustration, times of anxiety, and times of hurt.  It is especially during these times, times when things are not going so well, that we need to remember that God is at work with us, making us into new creations.  It is also at times like these that we need to remember that Christ is at work in those around us as well.  We need to celebrate those around us as new creations.  We need to give to others the grace and forgiveness we would hope for ourselves.  As we give, we will grow.
This is a great time to be the church and it is a great time to be St. Swithins in the Swamp!  I am excited to see what God has in store and I am excited to be traveling along with you!  And in all things, we always need to remember, In Christ, We ARE a NEW Creation!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Report From the New Job

I have truly come to the conclusion that the world does not know how to deal us who are introverted.  I want to say, "Just the facts..."  I don't need to get EVERY detail in the first day.

I don't want to sound negative, but... I don't know.  I think it again comes to people trying to make me feel comfortable but getting too wound up in their own "stuff."  I need time to get used to my place in things and not have everyone immediately pressing upon me.  I have already been told that the Youth Group wants to meet with me this Sunday.  This is my FIRST Sunday!  We will have plenty of time!

But also, this helps me to know what has been happening.  I would assume that it was hard to get an "audience" previous priest so everyone wants to make sure they get their face-time.

There just seems to be a lot of anxiety floating around there.  I experienced this in my last place.  I just need to be sure to set up proper boundaries.  Some people will not like that, but that is their problem.

In general, I am looking forward to being in a new place.  I am also looking forward to some longevity!  This moving every year is getting really old.

But...On the way home last night, the truck started making some really horrible noises.  Now it is sitting in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart about 30 miles away.  (Who said Wal-Mart was good for nothing?)  Nick got to get out of bed and drive, through the rain, to pick me up.  Now there is another bill we weren't counting on.  Oh well...

Life goes on!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Deep Thoughts

"Bud Light is to Beer as Tofu is to Meat"

Friday, March 05, 2010

My Wife and Kids


I have to write a "getting to know you" piece for the bulletin at new church where I will be starting next week.  I HATE writing these things.  It is not that I can't do this, it is just that we have the "wife and kids" thing.

Do I not say anything?  Well, that is a red flag 'cause everyone talks about their "Beautiful Wife and Three Awesome Kids."  (Doesn't anyone have an ugly wife and mediocre kids?)  But if I say, "I have a wonderful partner of 4 years.." immediately, some people are put off and I am not around to do any damage control.

I always wonder why it has to become such a big thing.  Granted, I am gay, but it is not the ONLY thing in my life; it is not even the most interesting thing in my life.  But the moment I say it, it becomes the thing people latch onto.  And if I don't say anything about it, people accuse me of "trying to hide it because I am ashamed of it."  Neither of these are true: it is just part of who I am, like I have brown hair and a paunch. 

I don't know.

The picture at the beginning of the post is the new piece I just finished.  I kind of like it!  But do you know how hard it is to find male nude patterns?  Female nudes are everywhere, but men are mighty sparse.  And then again, comes the whole thing on the appropriateness of a priest making nudes.  I don't know if I would feel the same way if this were a female nude because those are accepted by society.

I am probably just overthinking everything.