Monday, March 21, 2011

Lent 2 A "Stop Confusing Us!"

Lent 2 A

After reading today’s gospel lesson, you just have to feel sorry for Nicodemus.  He just isn’t getting it, is he?  He is so close to understanding what is happening, but he is missing that little piece of faith that will help him figure it all out.  He is so close to understanding but he cannot let go of the world he sees around him long enough to grasp the world that can be.
Really, we should not be too hard on Nicodemus; we really can’t expect him to be right on top of things.  Christianity isn’t even a religion yet!  He doesn’t have the benefit of the New Testament to help him to understand.  All he has is what he has been taught in the past, all that the world has been telling him throughout his life, all that his colleagues expect of him, all of these thing.  Things he is familiar with and can understand.  But then there are these odd signs he has been seeing.  And try as he might, he can’t seem to make all the pieces fit together.  His teaching, his worldview, and his colleagues, all seemed to make sense.  But these signs, he can see them and they were presenting problems.
I can imagine poor Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a man of God, having a crisis of faith.  He knows what he learned as a child.  He knows what he was taught.  He believes with his whole heart the teachings of his past.  But things have changed.  Things are now different.  Things he had learned in his past no longer seem to fit.  This Jesus was giving signs that seemed to point to him being the messiah, the anointed one, but this Jesus is not acting very orthodox.  He cannot seem to make the situation into one that works with his world view.  Nicodemus would have liked to write Jesus off as just another of the street preachers of the time, but his conscience won’t let him do it.  He would like to disregard it, he may even had gotten a bit angry about all the things happening, not wanting to change; but the signs are just too strong to ignore.
So Nicodemus decides to go to the source (something we should all do) and speak with Jesus himself.  Now, in going, we cannot be too sure what Nicodemus expected.  Possibly he was expecting a rousing discussion and debate between two equals.  Perhaps he was looking for something to discredit this man he was about to see.  We do not know what he expected, but we do know that he was ashamed to be seen with Jesus.  We know this because he would only see Jesus at night.  Nicodemus would not go to Jesus in the day when people could see him.  But whatever he was expecting, I am sure Nicodemus was expecting some kind of respect for his status in society.  So Nicodemus was expecting a discussion between equals, but instead of a discussion between equals, Nicodemus gets much more than he bargained for.
Now the person that I do give credit to in this situation is Jesus.  The first thing Nicodemus does when he meets Jesus is he tries to flatter Jesus by proclaiming him a teacher who has come from God.  But we can assume that Jesus would have seen through the flattery by the sole fact that Nicodemus was ashamed to be seen with him.  Jesus would know that Nicodemus’s role in society would proclaim that Nicodemus was above Jesus but also because Nicodemus is coming to talk at night.  Remember, Nicodemus was a Pharisee, it would not look good for him to be seen associating with the street preachers. 
Now if I were Jesus, I would ask Nicodemus why, if he says I am from God, is he afraid to be seen with me?  If he truly believed I was from God he should be proud to be seen with me!  I would have booted him out of the door.  Good thing for Nicodemus I am not Jesus!
No, Jesus does not boot Nicodemus out the door.  Jesus takes the time to teach Nicodemus.  Nicodemus asks Jesus questions and Jesus answers them.  Now, I am also sure Nicodemus was expecting some straight forward answers to his questions, but that is not what he gets.  Fortunately for Nicodemus, Jesus does not give him the type of answers he is expecting.  Fortunately for Nicodemus, Jesus gives him answers that make him think.  In his response, Jesus is moving Nicodemus onto a different road, into a different way of thinking.  Jesus was moving Nicodemus from just looking at the superficial aspects but to move onto searching for what is deeper.
I believe Jesus answered Nicodemus in the way he did so as to engage Nicodemus.  Nicodemus was a man of thought, so if Jesus had just answered straight out, Nicodemus would have made a decision, judged this street preacher and that would have been the end of it all.  But Jesus gave Nicodemus a puzzle.  Jesus gave Nicodemus something to think about; something to get stuck in his head and make him a bit uncomfortable.  And it is this sort of frustration with the answers that plants the seed of faith.
Are we frustrated with life?  Are we feeling like we pray for answers but all we get are riddles?  Are we feeling like life just isn’t going the way it should and God is doing nothing to help?  This can be frustrating!  When we pray, we want answers.  We want Jesus to tell us what the signs mean so we can judge them and be on our way.  If we know what the signs mean, then we feel we can control them.  But so often Jesus will not give us the meaning we are looking for.  So often when we pray it feels like all we get in return is just a bunch of random mumbo-jumbo.  When we pray, we probably often feel a lot like Nicodemus must have felt.
But let’s not lose track of what really happened in this encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus.  Jesus didn’t give Nicodemus the answer because Jesus wanted Nicodemus to move in a new direction, Jesus wanted Nicodemus to travel down a new road.  Jesus wanted Nicodemus to stop and think about his life and to ponder the answers he did get from Jesus.  Jesus wanted to nudge Nicodemus out of his complacency and get him moving.
We know this method of Jesus’ did, in fact, work.  The next time we encounter Nicodemus in the Bible, it is day.  Nicodemus is now publicly defending Jesus when the Pharisees want to arrest him for speaking in the temple.  Nicodemus has gone from seeking Jesus in the night to defending him in the day.  That is quite a change.
The final time we hear of Nicodemus, he is helping to care for Jesus’ body after Jesus was crucified on the cross.  This was not just some social nicety.  Nicodemus was threatening his whole way of life by caring for Jesus.  He was giving up his position of power.  He was a Pharisee caring for an executed criminal.  Our friend has gone from seeking Jesus in the dark, to defending him in the light, to publicly honoring Jesus through ministering to the dead. 
We are not told whether Nicodemus and Jesus ever talked after this meeting in the dark.  All we know is that in allowing Nicodemus to struggle with the answers to the questions, his faith in Jesus grew immensely.  He went from worrying about himself to placing his life, or at least his livelihood, on the line for Jesus.
It is frustrating when it feels like our prayers are going unanswered.  It is difficult when it feels like all we get for our faith in God is some twisted riddle or convoluted pathway.  We get tired of God being hidden.  We may feel like Nicodemus and feel like we just want to know the answers.  Like Nicodemus gong to Jesus, we may feel that when we go to God in prayer that we are batting around ideas with an equal.  We may think we know the way of the world; we know what we have been taught.  We know what God should be doing.  But God often doesn’t seem to want to play by our rules.
What I wonder is, can we let the words of Jesus make us uncomfortable enough to deepen our faith?  Even if we don’t readily understand what is happening in our lives, can we trust God to lead us down a new road to a deeper faith?  Can we continue to be faithful even when things look dark?  Can we trust, knowing that in the end, the Lord of Light will reign victorious?  Can we use the dark times in our lives to strengthen us to proclaim Jesus in the light of day? 
Unlike Nicodemus, we have the Bible to help us.  We know the story and how it will end.  We know that God will reign supreme.  Christ will be Lord of all.  And even though we know this, we still become lost.  But we can rest assured.  Even though we may feel lost, even though we may not see the way, we know we can trust that where God is leading we can follow.
We, as a congregation are moving into places that are confusing.  We may not like the answers that we see before us.  But we are challenged to trust in God and struggle with the answers.  We are challenged to look beyond our own understanding and place our faith in Christ.  We are being prodded to travel down a new path, to where?  We don’t know.  But we can be assured that no matter where God leads us, Christ has already traveled there first.

The TV Meme

 Stole this from Cubby at Patently Queer who borrowed it from Hanuman Das over at Ashram at Pooh Corner.

Back in the Day — 5 TV Shows You Loved As A Kid
The Brady Bunch
Lucas Tanner
Space: 1999
Johnny Quest (The old one!)

That’s Hot — 5 TV Characters You Would Do
Michael Weston (Burn Notice)
Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Jack Harkness (Torchwood)
David Tennant (Dr. Who)
Noah Wyle (ER)

“Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs” — 5 TV Theme Songs You Know (and Love) By Heart
The Flintstones (and the line is "Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet")
Gilligan's Island
The Brady Bunch
All In The Family

Meh — 5 “Hit” Shows You Never Could Get Into
Two and a Half Men
Mad Men

The Starting Line-Up — 5 Channels You Go To First When You Sit Down to Watch TV

“That’s What She Said” — 5 Quotes That Still Resonate
Saturday Night Live
Chevy Chase: "Jane you ignorant slut."
Diff’rent Strokes
Arnold Jackson: "Whatchu talkin’ ’bout Willis?"
Flo: "Kiss my grits!"
Many Characters: Oh my God! They killed Kenny! You bastards!
The Simpsons
Homer: [to Bart] "I always knew you had personality. The doctor said it was hyperactivity, but I knew better." 

“Gimme More” — 5 Shows You Can Never Get Enough Of
Burn Notice
1000 Ways to Die
RuPaul's Drag Race
Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Congregational Meeting

Well, the congregation met and voted unanimously to close the congregation.  There was some discussion of how we could find ways to keep the congregation going, but in the end, it was decided that anything we could think of would only be a band-aid.  To truly make changes, we would need  much more money than we could raise.  So, sadly, the vote was taken and we will be closing.

The soonest we would be closing is three weeks from now.  The congregation wants to go until Easter, but that would be very difficult.  It would also be dragging out the process for a long time.  If I learned anything from the closing of Nick's congregation, it is that dragging out the closing process is not generally a good idea.  But the congregation is saying that is what they want to do.  We did not follow this train of thought too long, instead reminding people that it is quite an emotional vote and we will discuss closing dates after we receive more information from the Bishop's office.

Friday, March 18, 2011

News on Dad

Dad is doing much better!  He is supposed to get out of the hospital today.  Thanks all for prayers and well wishes.

Now for Something TOTALLY Different

Enough of the downer stuff.

I could look at Bradley Cooper all day.  He is gorgeous!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Move Starts

We have the Christmas closet cleaned out and moved to the storage unit.  We have boxes everywhere.  We have some major furniture that needs to get moved.  (On a happy note, the furniture is PAID FOR!!  This is another of the things that was left from the last time I had church problems.)  We have about a month left before we have to leave, so we can take some time to get the stuff in storage.  But we do need to get some of the big pieces into storage so we can pack around them.

Hopefully, we will be able to have professional movers move it from storage to where ever.  But this is just a hope.  Right now, the work is going into closing the church here.  I will be meeting with the board on Saturday and with the congregation on Sunday.  Then we will be looking at Easter Sunday as our last worship service.

News on the family:  I have been in contact with my family, my father went into the hospital with an extremely low blood pressure.  I still am not over being pissed, but I will not let my pisstivity get in the way of dad's health. There will be plenty of time to deal with my siblings abandonment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lent 1 A

I said on Ash Wednesday how I really didn’t like Ash Wednesday and how I really didn’t like Lent.  And having said that, I have continued to think about it.  I am a priest!  These things are part and parcel of what I do!  I should be looking forward to these events.  Yes, I like Easter and all the cheer and smiles and fun that comes with it, but I really don’t like having to go through Lent to get there.
While writing this, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just board a plane on Transfiguration Sunday and fly over all the nasty stuff of Lent right to Easter?”  It would be nice!  No Ash Wednesday, no Good Friday, no fasting, no repentance.  Just a quick jump from one happy event to another.  It sounds like it would be nice, but would that really be helpful to us? 
About seven years ago, I drove, alone, from Iowa to Spokane.  As you can imagine, it was a very long and a very tedious journey.  There were times while driving through Wyoming and Montana that I thought I was going to go totally crazy.  Mile after mile of road, and the only thing to keep me company was the radio and my own thoughts.  It was long and it was tiring, but it was not a totally bad thing.  Actually, there were some very interesting things that happened.  I met people who I probably would never have met.  I helped a homeless man get a step closer to finding his estranged son, and I even got to sit in a small town in Wyoming and chat with the locals as my flat got fixed.  (Having a Saturn with metric tires is NOT a good thing in rural Wyoming!)  But mostly, I had time to think, to pray, to contemplate what was going on in my life and to think about what I really wanted to do with my life.  Granted, I could have flown out there and had gotten to Spokane much faster, but taking the time to drive was really a very good thing.
Anymore, in life we like to avoid the difficult things.  I think this ability to avoid the difficult has made Lent even more tiresome.  We have so many things to help us avoid the unpleasantries of life, why should we have this 40-day stretch to remind us of them all again?  I think there is a temptation to just avoid all the nastiness of life and just focus on the good things.  But I think in doing that, in giving in to the temptation, we deprive ourselves of the possibility for some radical, life changing, events.
In our gospel reading for today, we have Jesus being tempted by the Devil in the wilderness.  Now, we need to remember what has happened to Jesus; he was out in the desert for 40-days, which is “Bible Speak” for a “Very Long Time.”  I am sure he was very hungry, very thirsty, and very tired.  Oh, and he was alone during this time.  My trip across Wyoming and Montana only took about a day and I was a bit crabby, imagine 40 days of this!
So, after being out in the wilderness for a Very Long Time, the Devil starts to tempt Jesus.  And the Devil is very crafty about how he goes about doing this.  The first thing that the Devil does is tempts Jesus with food.  (Seems logical.)  After food, the Devil tempts Jesus with power.  And finally, the Devil tempts Jesus with being able to show off just how much power Jesus actually does has.  These would be difficult temptations in and of themselves, but to be tempted with them after being in the wilderness for 40 days, well…  But Jesus does not give in; Jesus stands firm and emerges victorious.  Jesus goes through the wilderness and emerges, perhaps a bit worn, but successfully emerges at the end.  Jesus does not avoid the temptations and difficulties of life, but proceeds through them and is stronger for it.
Now, one of the easiest ways to disregard this whole wilderness event is to say, “Well, Jesus was the Son of God.  He knew he was the Son of God because he had just had it broadcast from the sky.  He really didn’t suffer that much.”  But that would be to disregard the fact that although Jesus was the Son of God, he was also fully human.  And I am sure that the fully human Jesus was sorely tempted to make a couple of loaves of bread for himself.  However, to have done that, to have given into the temptations, would have been to use the power Jesus had been given for the wrong purpose.  In traveling though the wilderness and fighting off temptation, Jesus, the Son, learned that he could, in fact, rely on God, the father, to care for his needs. 
If Jesus would have just taken a direct flight to the end of the story, I can’t help but wonder if Jesus wouldn’t have always had questions as to his ability to resist temptations when they would be present.  The human Jesus may have always wondered if he could do it.  But having gone through this testing and having emerged victorious, the human Jesus could have confidence not only in his own abilities, but also total confidence in the promise of God.
I am pretty sure Jesus would have like to avoid the whole roaming in the wilderness and avoid the whole being tempted by Devil thing, but it was these experiences that helped to prepare him for the other events in his life.  It was in passing through the difficult parts of the journey that gave Jesus the strength and courage to continue on the path the God had set out for him.
Our trip through Lent is very similar.  Granted, we probably won’t be wandering in the wilderness for a very long time.  And we probably will not have a face-to-face encounter with the Devil, but the disciplines we participate in during Lent give us the courage to trust in God and to trust in ourselves.  Avoiding the quick and simple ways to Easter helps us to truly understand the gifts we have been given in this life.  And sometimes when we take the way that is more difficult, we are gifted with something truly miraculous.  And then when we get to the final destination, it is that much more enjoyable.
When we skip right from Transfiguration to Easter, we are missing the work that goes into the journey.  We fail to appreciate the price that Jesus paid for our salvation.  When we make that jump, we experience what Dietrich Bonhoeffer would call “Cheap Grace:” The grace is given, but when we avoid the discipline, we really don’t know what to do with the grace.  Just like playing an instrument, if we don’t take time to practice, we are really never going to sound good.  Lent is one of those times that we set aside to practice our faith.
It is also appropriate that we are looking at the future of our congregation during Lent.  We can face our future honestly and humbly.  We can face our future as Christ faced his future; truly trusting in God.  During this time of Lent, we can look at our congregation, our whole lives, and our time together with the strength that comes from faith, but also with the trust that comes from knowing that even in this, God is in charge.
Yes, we can fly right to Easter and pretend that Lent never happened.  Yes, we can bypass the tough decisions and the tough realities.  Yes, the promise of Easter will still be there, even if we don’t go through the depths of Good Friday.  And yes, we can try to avoid the time in the wilderness, but we do it to our own detriment.  Jesus shows us the way of faith and the way to trust.  Jesus shows us and begs us to follow.  I may not like Lent, but I have come to appreciate the journey.  There may be faster ways to get to the end, but when we follow the way of Jesus, the gift we receive is so much richer.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Chapter 5: In which our hero loses his job

Well, not me, but Nick.  Yes, the temp job Nick has had for about 2 years had gone away.  I feel like the Fates are laughing.

Thankfully, we are not out on the streets, but we will not be interacting much (if at all) with my family.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Futzing in the Dark

How did life get to this point?  Am I really as big of a baby as my sister said I was?  Why should I associate with these people who only seem to cause me distress?  I know that cut-off is not a good thing, but is interaction with disrespect better?

When I wanted to share that Nick and I might get married due to the change in Iowa laws, did we find joy in my family?  No.  I was told, "You will kill Dad."  Not that Nick has never raised his voice to me, never struck me, never cheated on me, nor ever needed treatment for drug addiction.  No, my siblings' spouses, all of whom have fulfilled these criteria are met with open arms and lavish parties.  When I want to share my joy, I am told that I will kill Dad.

When my world is collapsing and I am losing all visible means of support.  When it looks like we will have to move and have to worry about paying bills.  When it looks like the only way to keep our heads above water is to spend a couple of months in my folks basement as Nick and I search for new calls, is this ok?  No, it will kill Dad.

My siblings are very fond of telling me that whatever I do, whether good or not so good, is going to kill Dad.  I have to wonder if "Going to kill Dad" is actually code for "We don't want you in our lives"?

There was no concern as to why we needed to move into mom and dad's basement, just that it was going to kill dad.  No thought that maybe a 46 year-old and a 62 year-old might not really relish the thought of living in the basement.  No help with possible other ideas.  Just the tirade of my lack of consideration and the "fact" that it will "kill dad."

So after being told by all three siblings on my voice mail that I am selfish and inconsiderate, I choose to tell them (not on voice mail) that I will be removing myself from their lives, I am called childish and that all I do is pop into their lives and then leave.  Do they not remember that I live about 400 miles away?  Am I supposed to move there so we can "bond?"

I guess it is good that one cannot wish oneself away.  Or maybe it would be a good thing.  IDK.  I do know that I am stronger than I had ever though because as soon as I feel like I am about to implode, something else seems to come along and up the ante.

Sorry about the rant, just seems like the head moves faster at night.


Transfiguration Year A

I don’t know if anyone famous said it, but if not, someone should:  To be human is to fear.  It makes sense.  We are fairly fragile critters.  We have lots of soft vulnerable parts and there are a lot of things out in the world that can hurt us.  We can be bit by a snake.  We can be crushed by rocks.  We can be stranded in the wilderness without food, water, or shelter.  There are lots of ways that our world can get to us.  Since we are so vulnerable, we have developed various ways of staying safe.  We build buildings.  We wear clothes.  We have ways of protecting ourselves.  We gather together in communities as a means of staving off dangers and as a means of staving off our fear.  Our fear keeps us alive, really, so fearing is not necessarily a bad thing.  Actually, having no fear at all is a great way to die early.  So, yes, to be human is to fear.
But the ironic thing is that while fear can keep us alive, fear can also kill us.  If we are so afraid of the world that we never go out, we will starve to death.  If we are so afraid of others that we never interact, we will we will slowly die until we are just a shell of a person.  If we fear being expelled from the group, we will sink to the lowest level of the chain and eventually be trampled.
So fear can keep us alive but also fear can lead to a life that is not worth living.  It is the balance of fear to living in our lives that make our lives fulfilling.  It is having a healthy amount of fear but not too much fear that keeps us not only alive, but living and thriving.  It is this level of life that Christ is calling us to.
Again, this week, we hear Jesus telling his disciples to not be afraid.  The disciples had just experienced something that was totally beyond their understanding.  Let’s face it; it is beyond our understanding, too!  The disciples had just seen Jesus become blindingly bright and was surrounded by Moses and Elijah.  Then they had heard a loud voice proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God.  Some pretty frightening stuff if you ask me!  But when the disciples become overly afraid, Jesus gave them the words of assurance, “Get up and do not be afraid.”  This was not a rebuke but the loving words of one who cared.  Jesus was reassuring the disciples that as long as Jesus was present, they would be kept safe.  Even when things looked scary, the Shepherd was they to keep the sheep safe.
We have been having some frightening conversations lately.  We have been stepping out into scary territory.  And I will say that many of my first responses are to be afraid.  I am scared about what is going to happen here at St. Swithin’s.  I am afraid of what is going to happen to the people here.  I am afraid of what is going to happen to Nick and me.  The road ahead of us is anything but obvious.  And it is this lack of clarity that often leads to fear.  But it is in this time of fear that we need to most remember that Jesus tells us to “Get up and do not be afraid.”
We may wonder why this whole Transfiguration thing had to happen.  Why did Jesus have to change?  It obviously was not for Jesus sake, but for the sake of the disciples.  This happened so the disciples could know that the one they called “Teacher” was not just a huckster of a teacher, which were very prevalent in Biblical times, but was a teacher in the tradition of Moses and Elijah.  Jesus wanted to show the disciples that even in the midst of the strange happening of their time, Jesus would see the disciples through, also.  Moses and Elijah were great and revered teachers in Jewish tradition, and for them to stand beside Jesus, in a very concrete manner, shows that the teaching of Jesus is in line with the teachers of the past.  The disciples can look to how God had worked in the past and trust that even though they may fear, Jesus would not abandon them.
But also, the event of the Transfiguration leads beyond a tendency to look back and can only be fully understood by looking forward.  The disciples would not have understood the significance of what they were experiencing because they had not as yet experienced the resurrection.  They had not experienced the Glorified Christ in their midst.
We have the luxury of time to see the hand of God at work throughout all of this.  Epiphany starts with the story of Christ’s baptism and God’s words, “This is my Son, my Beloved.  Listen to him.”  Now again, at the end of Epiphany, we hear these same words, but in a different context, the context of Jesus going toward his eventual crucifixion.  But we are to lean on the promises and listen to thing one, this Son of God.  And finally we can see how the Christ’s glowing face and clothing points us toward the resurrection.  We are pointed toward the resurrection where even death will be destroyed and fear can be finally released.
Jesus, in his glorified state, walks up to the frightened disciples and raises them up and tells them not to be afraid.  It is as if the teaching of Moses and Elijah are rolled up into the glorified Christ and promises of history brought together in the Son of God.  And it is in the Glorified Christ that the disciples are told not to fear.
We are the children of the resurrection.  We have the promises of the Glorified and Risen Christ.  The promises that were made to the Jews are rolled up into the Glorified Son and have been handed down to us.  It is with this whole background that Christ then reaches down and touches each of us and tells us to “Get up and do not be afraid.”
Just like the disciples, we may not know what all this means or where it is leading, but we are told to have faith, to not be afraid, and to believe.  When we look to the Glorified Christ, not only do we see the love and forgiveness, but we also see Moses and God leading them through the desert and God giving the people the law by which to live.  When we look at the Glorified Christ, not only do we see our Good Shepherd, but we also Elijah and the prophets speaking the truth to the people, even though the people may not have wanted to hear.  We see in our Savior, the teachings of the past, but also the promises of the future.
As we venture forth, this is the image to hold near.  We may want to hide in fear, but Christ tells us not to fear.  No matter what lies in store, we can step out in faith, knowing that through the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are not alone.  We may be overwhelmed by what we see around us, but we are not left to parish; the God of our ancestors and the God of our future is still here.  It may not feel like it at times, but all we need to do is look to the Glorified Christ to show us our way.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Chapter 4 in which our heros find aid from a friend

Thanks to wonderous friends, we have a place to move to for at least a couple of months.  It is only a stop gap, but at least we will not be living on the streets.

Chapter 3 in which we find our hero homeless

It had been said that God gave us families so that we could learn to deal with people we don't like.

Although my Mom said we could live in the basement, my sister has decided that for us to move into their basement would kill my father.  My brother agrees.  Now granted, my father is going to be 90 but if you remember, the concept of Nick and I getting married was going to kill my father.  Not that my sister and her boyfriend didn't live in the basement in years past.  Not that my brother has not taken loans and pirated cable from my parents.  Not that anything that I am asking pales in comparason to what they have asked.  No, I am going to kill dad.

Now, of course, we cannot go there because if anything were to happen to Dad, it will be my fault.  I know that break-off is not a good family dynamic, but I am so tired of anything that I will do being the impetus that will kill Dad.  Yes, he worries, but he worries at 6 am whether the sun will rise or not.

This really sucks.

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Dreaded Late-Night Post

It is raining outside, I guess that is appropriate.

It looks like we are going to be moving in with my parents.  Yes, at 46 and 62, we are going to be living in my parents basement.

I am so angry.  I feel betrayed.  I feel shafted.  I don't want to move again.  I don't want to go through all the shit I went through 4 years ago.  I am finally getting my credit repaired and getting my credit rating back up to something respectable.  And this is not my fault!  I feel horrible.

I know Nick is getting sick of moving.  And I am sure he is just loving the idea of moving in with my parents.  I know the why questions are totally unproductive, but WHY?

I know, God will work through this too, but there comes a time when the narrative begins to wear thin.  When it seems that everything in your life breaks when you touch it, you have to wonder:  Is the world that fragile, or are you that big of a klutz?

Sorry about the pity party, but honestly, there has got to be a point where it is realized that the common denominator to all that is happening is me.  Do I bring this stuff on myself?

Ok, I want to get off the ride now...

Just heard from the Bishop's office, there is no severance.  There are no places here that I would be appropriate.  I will get a good review, but I have to go out and find that call!

So, after getting bashed, berated, slandered, and generally attacked, I get to put on a happy face and start asking for a job.  No severance, no unemployment.  "Thanks and didn't you have somewhere to go in the morning?"

If I had known this, I would have worn a cup.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Stress Levels and Other Things

Well, as of right now, I have no idea what is happening. 

Are we closing?  Probably.
When?  Elephino!
What am I going to do afterward?  Elephino!
Will we have to move?  Elephino!
Will we have to break our lease?  Elephino!
How are we going to pay bills?  ELEPHINO!

I think this  is time the when the pastor has to truly step forward, but it is also at this time when the pastor wants to just jump in the car and drive south.  I am so incredibly stressed at the moment that I can barely function.  I don't know what is happening both in the church and in my life.  Depending upon what is happening in the church, our life could take some completely different turns.  I have been in this situation before, and I really don't like it.  The congregation is losing their church but for Nick and me, our life is in a tailspin.  The concept of making any kind of plans feels like an exercise in futility.

I will be getting into contact with the Bishop's office, so hopefully there will be some answers.  But I just want to sleep until this is over.