Monday, May 17, 2010

My youngest...

My youngest is a bit silly and has a pretty wicked sense of humor. 

Today when I walked into the house after my middle daughter's softball practice, Ains greeted me as Lady Gaga in her big (est) sister's snow boots, crazy hair, and a skirt used as a shirt/mini-dress singing "Rah-rah-ra-ra-ra" with some crazy dance moves.  It was pretty darn cute.

Like most 8 year olds she still stalls when it's time for bed.  Tonight she brought me a note from her teacher.  I then proceeded to read it out loud "Ainsley is getting one of the special awards...she does not know she gets one."  She burst out laughing.  I asked if her teacher had told her not to read the note.  Her face lit up as she said, "No!  She didn't say a word!"  She had already read it.  Too funny!  It wasn't taped together or anything.  I guess she'll have to act suprised on Friday!

Another

This morning I found out that another member of our church has passed away.  This will be 4 funerals in 2 weeks.  That's a new record for me.  One I'd rather not have.  I realize I need to stop being whiny.  I'll work on that!

Another wonderful person has left this world for a better place, place where everyone is whole and in the direct presence of God.  That's a beautiful thing but it's a bit much for those of us who are still here.  I was looking forward to this person's return and getting a hard time from them and some direction with my preaching.  This person really listened and gave me real feedback--not just, "that was  a nice sermon, pastor."

They were well loved by our community and their family and will continue to be loved through stories and memories.

Peace be with you B.  Say hello to Jesus for us!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I pushed the button

I pushed the hot-button issue today in church--I cowardly did not take "a stand" but said that we are a church and that as a church we welcome all people no-matter what.  Really not very radical at all but in our little corner of the world saying homosexuality in church might be enough to get in hot water.  I say that all the time--church is for everyone--no matter what, today I just mentioned homosexuality with it.  At the small church it was fine--heads nodded right along with me.  At the city church it was pretty quiet and no one even mentioned it.  I'm not quite sure what that means.

On a completely different topic--I bought a fabulous new luggage bag!  FABULOUS!  It's a Heys USA Exotic in Black and White Zebra stripes, 26in and so it will have to get checked but that's ok. 
Cool, eh?

Friday, May 14, 2010

RevGal Friday 5: Family Tree Edition

Daisy Belle Greeve & E. Robert Yockey
1. Do you have any interest in geneaology? 
Yes, I like getting the stories behind birthdates, weddings, and deaths.

2. Which countries did your ancestors come from?
Holland, Germany, Scotland, & England (there are some rumors about American Indian bloodlines but I haven't seen that verified)

3. Who is the farthest back ancestor whose name you know?
Off the top of my head it's my great-grandfather, Casper Yockey (now, my hubby could probably name off someone much further back in my family cuz he's the one who does the research!)

4. Any favorite saints or sinners in the group?
Daisy Belle Yockey--my grandmother who is definately both saint and sinner!

5. What would you want your descendants to remember about you?
I hope to live a life worthy of the names Christian and pastor.  I hope that people can honestly say that I loved like Christ.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Liturgical Snobbery

I am a liturgical snob.

We buried my grandfather today.  The pastor used the time to do an expanded altar call rather than celebrate the life of my grandfather or to offer any words of comfort whatsoever.

I thought that surely he would offer some traditional prayers at the burial--you know, some ashes to ashes, dust to dust, recieve this man into your open and loving arms, comfort this family, something!  I must admit--he did ask God to comfort us but that was it.  I wanted to hear about my grandfather being received/admitted into heaven, being made whole through Christ Jesus.

I did not want to hear that it was the time to decide whether or not to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I did not need to hear that  going to church, belonging to a church or denomination did not guarantee me admitance to the afterlife or that heaven is a litural place somewhere in the sky/up above. 

I've been to one other funeral that totally upset me as much as this one did.  That was for my cousin, Doug.  That pastor, different man but same denomination, also used the funeral for an extended altar call rather than offering words of comfort.  I was 16 at that funeral and it bugged me then! 

I wanted to hear about a new heaven and a new earth, about my tears and pain being wiped away.  I wanted to hear about my grandfather being made whole and resurrected through Jesus Christ.  I wanted to pray for God to lovingly receive him into God's arms.  I wanted real words of comfort.

I wanted to hear ashes to ashes, dust to dust, from God and returned to God. 

I did find that I have a pretty hilarious family.  I received a disk of pictures of my grandfather that I will cherish forever. 

Now I need to let myself feel the pain and sadness that keeps threatening to leak out.  It began to sneak out but I pushed it back.  I guess I need to pray for the strength to feel. 

That said, it's got to wait till Thursday.  I will be honoring the life and faith of a wonderful woman and friend on Wednesday.  I hope we'll have a break from death for a long while--we've had too much of it in our church this past year.  I know others who've experienced much more than I have but I'm really tired and need to rest in the Spirit.

Speaking of rest, good night and sweet dreams.  God bless.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

welcome to ministry

this week has been one of those "welcome to ministry" weeks.  it seems as if there are certain events/times/whatever that one "truly" gets introduced into ministry--sometimes they are wonderful and beautiful like when i was honored to baptize a little guy on Easter morning.  more often it/they are the moments that sear with pain and confusion or insane business.

yesterday was a very emotional day.  this week has been a heavy one. 

a wonderful and beautiful man passed away on Sunday, we'd been waiting for him to let go for some time.  he was also a man of devout and inspiring faith so while it was sad to lose it, it wasn't a horrible shock to the system.  he had a long and good life filled with faith and love.  i hope to die like that too.  his wife has been amazing and strong--she is an inspiration.  her faith is immense and beautiful to see.

this week begun with a mix of sorrow and inspiration.  then my grandfather had a stroke.  my grandfather who chewed on Swisher Sweets because my grandma didn't like the smell and the smoke.  i can still see his big smile as he teased me and my friends with one of his cigars in hand.  he was a tall man so his knees and legs were crunched up in his hospital bed.

for many years of my life i saw and hugged him every day.  i'm sorry my kids won't have that with their grandparents.  but for the past 23 years i've hardly seen him at all.  my kids have met him all of two times that they can remember, one of which was just a day ago.  i  was scared to go see him because it had been so long, probably 6 years or so.  but his smile was enormous and his eyes shown with love.

a woman who i love and adore, whose mother just passed away a few weeks ago, is probably soon to meet her mom.  her battle (for she has most certainly battled) with cancer is coming to an end.

the good news has been that i have the honor of baptizing a gorgeous little guy on Sunday.  funeral on Friday, baptism on Sunday.  and now probably a funeral on Monday, and another will be quick to follow.

my grandfather died in his sleep this morning.  yesterday he was facing the decision as to whether or not he would have feeding tubes placed in his body or to die.  it's really quite wonderful that he was able to pass quietly in his sleep (though i do have questions about how quiet that might really be) and he did not have to suffer and starve to death--which is truly an awful way to go.

so this is my week, yet another intro to ministry moment(s).

peace be with you Grandpa, i love you and am thankful i got to see you and see that smile of yours once again.  i love you.