Thursday, December 16, 2004

Well, it’s official as can be now. Our church planting efforts in Georgetown, DE have come to an end. All that is left is for the voters of the mother church to formally approve the cessation of activity. If you don’t mind, I don’t really feel like talking about it right now. I’m all talked out. Perhaps I’ll dwell on it here some time a bit later.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Been thinking lately about commitment and about God’s leading. These two can be tricky things to put together sometimes. I can be quite committed to a project and still at the same time be unsure if God is leading me in that path.So what to do? . . . what to do?Well, I suppose I could lay out a fleece--you know, say, “Well, God, if you want this, then X has to happen . . . but if you want that, then Y needs to happen.” Not particularly useful most of the time, and not exactly Biblical, even if Gideon did do it. Still, there I am. Stuck. So I wonder, is the most important thing accuracy . . . or faithfulness? Is it most crucial that I “do God’s will” or that I do what I believe He is calling me to do, and do it faithfully? Sure, you can get into trouble pretty quick if you take this line of thinking wrong . . . but is it valid just as it stands? I think so.I mean, God’s whole plan of salvation isn’t going to come crashing down because I make the wrong choice . . . can you just hear God saying, “Oh, MAN!! Troy went and bought the GREEN car, not the red one! Now I’m gonna have to start all over again!” Would be rather odd indeed.But ministry’s not like buying a car, and there’s more at stake than what color I’m going to pick. People’s lives hang in the balance sometimes. I just want to be sure I’m following where’s He’s leading. That can be tough.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Been busy. Right, like you didn’t know that when you saw the website hadn’t changed for something like three months. Oh well.Boy, that District Conference was torture, though. 85 degrees and sunny in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Had to take a pleasant stroll down through the resort to get to the white sand beach and wade in the ocean. Torture, man. Pure torture.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Wow. Holy cow. Man. Nearly TWO MONTHS since I’ve blogged? Must have been busy!Well, I have. Starting a church is no easy thing, you know. There’s been quite a few ups and downs, lefts and rights, so on and so forths. Just didn’t realize I hadn’t been here in so long. Oh well. I’m not going to spend the whole day blogging, though. Though I might finally modify the site a bit, add some new pix, and then hang w/ the family before I go off for a few days on a district conference.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Bad day today. Tension headache, too much stuff on the daily planner’s list, been absentee Dad for a few days now. Type of day that makes me not like myself very much . . .I’m realizing now that perhaps more people read this than used to. Maybe some folks might get alarmed at my honesty, I don’t know. But I know two things: pastor or not (mission planter or not, vicar or not), I’m still woefully human. I’ve got my own share of scars and hurts and worries and pains . . . and I’m not the type to just stuff them down and put on a fake shiney smile. That’d be worse, for me. But even if today is a bad day, I’m still moving forward. Even if I feel like I can’t handle one single more thing, even if I feel like I can’t even handle the stuff I’ve got going on now, even if I feel like I’m just not the guy for the job (ANY job!) . . . I’m still moving forward. I’ve got a task to do, and it’s not my strength or might or wisdom or spirituality or anything that will get it done. It’s not as though I have to like myself all the time, because frankly I’m not really likeable all the time. It’s not as though I have to be on top of things all the time, because frankly I get swamped. It’s enough for me to know today, right now, that God is working in me, through me, and for me. I can live with that.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Been thinking in just the few hours past about Jesus and the extent of His mission. How He was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish bringing us back to God . . . about what the cross really meant to Him and to us. The enormity of the cross’s bitter, gruesome reality weighs heavy on my heart like the oppressive air of a pre-thunderstorm summer. Strange how the best thing that ever happened to me can at times seem like the heaviest burden.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Rather than follow the Great American Multitudes and watch the Super Bowl, I’ve decided to head to the seminary library and work on some homework. I realize that this choice puts me at odds with most of my friends and seemingly all of America, but I’m just not much of a football watching guy. Too many grown men seem to live vicariously through the lives of their favorite sports teams, with their moods and conversation ever dictated by the actions and on-field performance of a few incredibly over-paid yet highly gifted athletes.It seems to me something of a historical anomaly. I could be wrong on this, but my understanding is that the great athletes of the past were more than “just” athletes, but warriors. Did the Greek games feature men who did nothing but practice their particular sport all year long, or did the participants come from military backgrounds? I’m not sure, but I think it’s the latter. In any case, I remain fairly positive that modern culture has given birth to the concept of “professional athlete.” Whether that is tainting the notion of a given sport’s purity is up to you. As for me, however, the Typical American Male’s obsession with professional (or college, high school, etc.) sports remains a profound mystery, a sealed room with no keyhole through which to peep.

Friday, January 30, 2004

I KNEW IT! Today I had to go fishing some of my good junk out of the back of the van, where it was destined for the thrift store! This is worrying me--I mean, if my stuff has so little value . . . then how far can I be from being chucked into the dumpster, too? Guess I’d better work on cleaning up my act and becoming a little more helpful around here. I’d hate to end up in the nickel box at the next garage sale . . .On a more serious note:God proved Himself trustworthy and faithful to me yet again today . . . and I feel that I was just the opposite to Him. I don’t understand the way He works or the choices He makes, or even why He bothers to put up with me. Yet again and again He shows me that He is diligently working behind the scenes, even when I’ve drawn the curtain thinking the last act had played out. I’m so thankful that He lets me play my part, and doesn’t demand that I step aside and give the understudy a chance. I am continually in awe at the way the author and perfector of my faith directs the path of my life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

My wife has discovered and is on a rampage of “decluttering” our house. I’m afraid . . . very afraid. I’m going to have to hide all my good junk until this storm blows over. I mean, I NEED all those computer component boxes under my desk, right? And how could I live without my rubbing of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s gravestone? And I might need those old pocketknives someday.Maybe it’s time for men to unite. It’s time to get our good and valuable stuff out of the garage and back into the home where it belongs! Away with frilly curtains! Down with doilies! Up with duct tape and hunting tropies! Get those lacy things OFF my stereo speakers! Move your teacup collection and make room for my beer steins! And what the heck are those stupid little lacy pillows doing on the bed?Then again, I suppose I would rather be married to my lovely wife than buried by her in the back yard. But I still demand at least the garage for myself. (Sigh) Now I just have to wait for the day when I’ll have one again . . .

Monday, January 26, 2004

Pet sin of the day: sloth

Snow and ice and a weekend have created a big, fat lazy seminary student. That’s really too bad, since I was so bummed out last week that my work suffered. Now, when I really need to get cranking, I’m spending more time online than I need to be! The good that I want to do, this I do not do . . . or so says a friend of mine. On the upside, however, spent a decent amount of time today alone with my old prayerbook. I forget how refreshing it is to spend time with God until I’ve forgotten it for a while. Now, that prayerbook is neat. First, because it has some just amazing prayers in it. Second, because it’s from 1926, with a little note in the front from the pastor who gave it to the original owner. I like stuff like that, stuff that has a spiritual history to it. It helps me feel connected to the Church that spans the breadth of time.

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Talked to a good friend, a man I really trust, about the problems in the above post. He wisely pointed out the issue, that “Grace is a wonderful thing. The flipside of that is that it means we have to be helpless.” So often--especially this past week--I want to be in charge and give God the blessing to do what I want Him to do. This is sin--the sin of self-idolatry. Praise God that He is God, and not me . . . and that He forgives me even when I want to be Him, or try to usurp His role in my life.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Lately I have been feeling a sense of displacement, that I’m not sure where I’m going or what I’ll do once I get there. Cognitively, I know that God’s plan is in action, that He is holding us in His hands, but deep in my gut I rebel against that, wanting to be in control myself. It’s hard to learn all over again the basic lesson of faith: God is God, and I’m not. If only the future was more certain, if only things had worked out the way I planned, if only, if only, if only . . . . So often lately I’ve been living in the “if only.” I suppose that someday God just may say to me, “If only you had asked Me, if only you had trusted Me more, I could have been your comfort and guide.” The hard lesson won is the lesson longest remembered, or so I have learned in the past. I guess I need to learn it all over again. (sigh)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Reconciled with a friend today. Realized how much the strife had been affecting my mood and self-image. More than that, though . . . I am thinking about how God chose to reconcile Himself to us. I wanted to avoid my friend because of the conflict I perceived between us, but we worked it out. It feels much better now that it’s out in the open and our misunderstandings are discussed.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Spent way too much time working on a simple little problem on the website--this blog entry, to be exact! So much to learn that I don’t already know. I wonder if this site will EVER look the way I want it to . . .I wonder, too, if my instructors will be able to appreciate the reason I’m not prepared for class. I guess I had better get back to work on my assignments for tomorrow
Greetings and salutations!First, a disclaimer: I am NOT a Reverend, a Pastor, Moslem cleric, Shaman, or ordained minister of any type. What I AM is a seminary student preparing to enter the pastoral ministry of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. As such any references to “Reverend” such as the website name, my “Right Rev” tag, etc., are strictly pre-emptive and anticipatory of entering the ministry. Just so’s you know . . .Second, thanks for coming and checking out our website! I’m new to this website thing, and welcome your comments and/or tips and hints. I hope you enjoy the site and come back and visit again! God’s blessings to you and yours.The “Right Rev”