Friday, December 19, 2003

Now that I am the official "Teaching Pastor" at FBC I am learning all sorts of new things. Like for instance ... oh ... this person mentioned today that I am speaking out of Luke 2 during the month of December. They noted that they have heard many sermons out of Luke 2 previously this time of year. Yeah. Well. Is this a shocker to anybody? It is Christmas, after all. Does anybody really expect me to teach out of the book of Job to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child? I'm thinking the deacons or the leadership team might want to talk to me about that. Luke 2 it is. Deal with it.

And then there is the whole counseling thing. I'm a lousy counselor. My wife disagrees but she is wrong. I really am bad at it. It's not that I don't care about people or their problems. I do. I just think that most problems would, you know, go away if people would just pay attention. It isn't that hard. Now some people have REAL problems and they really need advice. And I wanna be there for them. If I can't help, by golly, I'll find somebody who can. But some people ... I mean, come on. Life DOES come with an instruction book, you know. That is what the Bible is. Read it, for cryin out loud. It might answer your questions. And if it doesn't ... well ... why don't you ask God about it? He's a lot bigger and smarter than I am anyway. So go ahead and ask Him first. It isn't exactly a toll call. If God chooses not to answer then you probably shouldn't expect too much out of me either. But if you think He's answering and you just can't hear Him or figure out what He's saying, maybe I'm your man. I hear pretty good. God doesn't speak that loudly but I've finally learned to shut-up and listen-up. It took me 47 years to manage that. But I finally think I have got it down pretty well. Somedays better than others, of course. But that's the key. Shut-up and listen. As a matter-of-fact, that is the key to much of life. It's right up there with "read the instructions" and "chew 15 times before swallowing." Have you noticed that most old advice is good advice? There is a reason why it has lasted so long.

Ok, well, that's about it. I stepped in Beagle doo-doo twice today. Once with each foot. It happened about 5 minutes apart. The net result is that I have clean feet, chapped hands, and the dog is in bed early. I'm learning to stare at the carpet while I walk and she is learning how to get locked-up ahead of schedule. It could be a long 15 years.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Aww, geez. (It seems that I'm using that exclaimation more and more lately.) I just noticed that it is December 18. That means one week from right now we will be celebrating ... Christmas. The birthday of our Lord and Savior. And actually I am just a little bit jealous. Seven days before His birth He didn't have to worry about gifts and ornaments and parties. All He had to do was lay there, absorb nutrients from His mother, and sleep. Can you picture that? God sleeping inside of a human tummy? (Ok, womb. Don't you dare get technical on me.)

Contrast that to the situation I am facing today. I have not entered a shopping mall since, ohhhhhh, October. October? Yeah, I think I picked up some kind of halloween trick to use on the person I share "the big bed" with. She didn't laugh. Another ten bucks down the drain.

The point is this. I haven't purchased any Christmas gifts yet. None. Zero. Santa's bag is empty. And I have one week left. And my calendar is not "shopper friendly." What ever happened to those services that you paid to go out and shop for you? Are they still out there somewhere? How do you find them in the phone book? Are they listed as "Shop for You" in the yellow pages? Or maybe, "I'll Bail Your Lazy Butt Out You Bum?" I need those people now. Still, Bethalto is not a hot bed of cutting edge societal evolution. The closest thing we have to a coffee shop is McDonalds. God help you if you want hot cider with a hit of cinnamon or carmel. Back to the point ... no gifts.

Oh, wait. I did make one purchase! I got what the kids wanted the most. (By the way, the "kids" are 18 and 21. But how do you say "I got what the mini-adults wanted?) I was tripping through Petsmart one week ago today and happened across a woman pushing a shopping cart full of ... Beagles. Baby Beagles. All of them were sold, save one. She was the runt of the litter. She looked so sad ... her face wrinkled and her tail quivering. I looked at my wife. She sighed. I bought the dog. She is now known as "Bailey the Killer Beagle." The only thing she has killed thus far would be dust mites in the carpet. She has drown her fair share of them. No, not with drool. There are other ways a puppy puts moisture in the carpet. Don't ask.

Now that the adult-kids have a dog they don't seem so anxious to claim her as a Christmas present. Ha! Like they are going to get away with that. Not happening. I'm tying a red ribbon around Bailey's little neck and hanging her from the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. I might use a "noose knot" if she doesn't stop killing the dust mites.

Well, it feels good to be blogging again. Hope somebody is still out there reading. Either way, I have to go now. The malls are opening but there is no time on my calendar for it until tonight. Maybe I'll pick-up a parakeet.


Monday, December 15, 2003

Well, blogger fans. It has been way too long since anything has been posted here. Since October 27 (the last post) the world has changed. If you know me personally you are aware of that. I hope you won't give up on this spot and I long to begin recording history for posterity sake in this little corner of the web. Be patient. check back occasionally when the urge hits.

Can't wait for sanity to reign supreme once again...