Home Away from Homes…

I am an avid reader.  If you have any doubts, check out my book list on Goodreads.  (One of these days I am actually going to scan in all the books in my library, go through my Kindle and list every book but the list their now shows that I just love to read.

My Newest Book

just waiting to be read!!

Today I got a new book.  Haven’t even had time to “break it in yet” but did take the time to make sure it is going on my “First Edition” shelf, probably right beside Stephen King’s “The Stand.”

I think that one of the main reasons that I like to read is that a good book will carry me someplace other than the place that I am in right at the moment.  Rowling’s books on Harry Potter did just that.  King’s “The Stand” is one that I re-read quite often because it can take my imagination places I can never get to on my own.

For me, reading is part of the creative process.  It helps me be creative in ministry but more importantly, it helps me be creative in life.

Sometime over the weekend…I don’t know when exactly…but sometime, this little gem will get in my hands and begin to carry me somewhere else.

But I know…it won’t be far from home.

PS – One of the readers of this blog sent me this picture.  LOVE it!!

There’s No Place Like…

A Whirlwind

And so it happened. They were walking along and talking. Suddenly a chariot and horses of fire came between them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven.
2 Kings 2:11 The Message

The past seven days have been something of a whirlwind for me.  I haven’t really had much time to take a breath and seriously think about it but I know that in the midst of this latest busy trek on the path to home, I have experienced the very presence of God.

I knew that presence as I sat next to a colleague who just six months ago gave me some of the greatest words of support and encouragement that I have ever received.  I still carry that note with me and it will always bring me joy!

I knew that presence as I sat at lunch with a colleague who has prayed for me and my family during a time of transition…One who calls me “Scottie” and gets away with it…Who insists on hugs every time we meet and I don’t mind a bit.

I knew that presence as I sat in continuing education sessions with a colleague who has supported me in a Covenant Group for several years with prayer, encouragement and accountability.  He is one who knows my sense of humor and appreciates it always.

I knew that presence when I ate dinner with a colleague who helped my daughter through a very special time in her life and we shared with each other about our “other” homes.  I know that I will be praying for him and his girls even as he prays for me and mine.

I knew that presence as I worshiped with clergy from all over the West Virginia Annual Conference at Cedar Lakes and felt their affirmation as I stepped into a new role and a new place I will call one of my homes.

I knew that presence as I met with my Clergy Covenant Group at the best place in West Virginia to enjoy crab cakes – Crabby Patti’s in Ripley – and we shared our joys, our worries, our hopes, our struggles and our dreams in the midst of much change in our Conference “home.”  I know I am praying for them, but probably not as much as they are praying for me. And yet I know they still love me.

I knew that presence as I ate dinner with my Mom and Dad, and Mom’s Aunt and Uncle and then visited with them even more that evening and the next morning.  I heard stories I had not heard before and heard others that triggered memories long ago set aside as we shared about family.  I felt connected to generation after generation of my family and I felt the presence of God.

I knew that presence as I shared a lunch with a friend who I not only still trust with my health care but is one that anyone can trust.  It was great to spend time with one of God’s healers who is still humble enough to live into their humanity.

I felt that presence as I was reunited with my family after a few days away – laughter, stories and great donuts made for good times!  “Friday Night Lights” with the Princeton Tigers and their wonderful band and a fifth quarter at the church that went on till Saturday.  (A soft bed made for a good night’s sleep as well.)

I felt that presence in the moments – that came quite often – when I thanked God for the great staff members who were caring for everything at First Princeton UMC.

I felt that presence as I worshiped with my newest church family and felt their grace, prayers and support after a long week.

I felt that presence as I watched the churches of the Princeton Parish (UMC) unite with community members of Princeton to serve those around us by cleaning up two local parks and a fountain area downtown.

Ah…the whirlwind…I felt it.  And even though I know these recollections don’t come close to naming every moment I felt it, I know that it is carrying me closer and closer to home.

photo credit: *nacnud* via photopin cc

Rainy Days

Yesterday was a perfect rainy day to get some special projects done around the house…

Rain

photo credit: VinothChandar via photo pin cc

And I took that chance to get several projects done – hanging some shelves in the girl’s bathroom, fixing some mini-blinds, putting up some stuff on the walls for Pam and even doing a little vacuum cleaner maintenance.  (I still have a pesky stairwell light to change, but that will have to wait till another day.)

When it was all done, I was just a little bit tired and Pam and I were talking about the accomplishments.  I started to say that it was “the little things that made it feel more like home” but I stopped myself and said, “You know, this place already feels like home to me.  It’s where I find you and the girls and where I find peace.”

I know “home” for us as Christians is much more than a house…even a house of worship…home for us is where Jesus is leading us.  Sometimes that leading is to service, sometimes it is to prayer, and sometimes it is just to mundane things of living.  I am never quite home, but always, always close.

“They Ignore Me”

You really need to have this song on while you read!

Recently, my family – the one with which I share a house – and I sat down to watch a movie from the 1980’s. Erin and Allie had seen a spoof on this particular movie that was done on a television show that they watch, Victorious. Although they thought the spoof was funny, they really didn’t get all the jokes. So, Pam and I found this as a good excuse to relive some of our high school days by showing them the movie.

Continue reading ““They Ignore Me””

Four Bishops and a Baby

Yesterday morning I sat with my arm around one of my “babies.” Okay, Erin is sixteen now, and much older than that in her mind and actions but when Daddy is around, well, she is still one of my babies. Besides, when I am giving her driving lessons, I can’t sit that close and can only barely remember the days that she used to fidget on my lap when we went to special worship services.

We participated in worship as three new bishops were consecrated into service in The United Methodist Church. She had been with the NEJ all week and got to see the whole process unfold in their selection and was just bursting to tell me so many things. However, we were in worship and she decided it would be best to contain herself. (I gotta say, the drive home was information overload for any Dad!)

Even though she participated and was quiet through most of the service there were four times she couldn’t help but speak to me.

When we began singing a song written by Bishop Grove, she pointed to his name and then said, “He was so very encouraging to me this week AGAIN. I just love the way he treats me.” I smiled and went back to being the good, quiet worshiper a Dad is supposed to be.

When Bishop Steiner Ball – our soon to be new Resident Bishop in the WVAC – was being prayed over by the College of Bishops, Erin said, “I did get to meet her as well and she was also very encouraging to me.” I noticed the tearing up in her eyes and did my best to keep my eyes dry as well.

When Bishop Bickerton joined those who were praying for the new Bishops, Erin leaned over and said, “I didn’t realize till this week that he used to be your mentor! He is such a kind man!” This time I fidgeted a little, and told her that yes, he was my mentor and he is a very kind man.

And finally, she just couldn’t stop talking about Bishop Webb, another one of our new Bishops. She told me how he was so excited about a few little words of encouragement she offered to him that he brought his whole family over to meet her and really made her feel accepted and loved. By this point, I know I had quit worshiping on “my own” and had somehow got caught up in the Spirit moving in this sixteen year old and I saw everything around me differently.

Four bishops and MY baby.

I am glad we have women and men like these in leadership in our church. Leaders who do not overlook the youth that are around them and who I trust will be praying and working with these youth to bring the Kingdom news to their friends.