Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Leap Year #2 - Update

Friends & Family,
This is the second update on the transition that Eileen and I are calling Leap Year! Our longing is to be the people God wants us to be and do the ‘good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’ (Eph. 2:10).

I interviewed with the Board of Ordained Ministry concerning the ‘extension ministry’ appointment as a general evangelist last Thursday.  I am waiting to hear from them. I also have an interview this coming Thursday with Virginia Wesleyan College. They have a part-time chaplaincy position open, which may also fit the gifts and calling that God has for me.

Since my email last month, I met with the Evangelical Fellowship, which is a group of pastors and laypersons within the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. Pastor David Ford graciously gave me some time to share with the group. Their response to my sharing about being a ‘Missionary Evangelist’ were and are a great encouragement to me. They prayed over me and read Scripture over me, which was tremendously affirming.

Two first-rate people have agreed to serve on the Board of Directors. They are Pete Kovalcik and Pastor Bob Weeks. Pete is a part of the congregation at Grace Harbor and is the Executive Director of the Luter Family YMCA in Smithfield. Pastor Bob and I have worked together at our multi-campus church New Creation UMC, for more than 5 years. The initial paperwork for the 501(c)(3) is with a lawyer, who is also a friend.

Thank you so much for your prayers, support and encouragement.

‘May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you’ (Jude 1:2).


Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Grandfather Online Poet . . .

I just discoverd that my Pop Pop's poetry is online.  A friend of his, Harry Wettig, published a book of his poetry after he died.  I had no idea he had also uploaded the book.  Here is the link and a couple of my favorites from Percy below:


You Smiled - a poem written to Rae (photo)
You smiled at me!
And I shall forever be in your debt,
That long ago when we first met
You smiled at me.

Then suddenly my whole world changed from gray
To gleaming gold!
Now all eternity within my grasp I hold,
Because you smiled at me.
Prayer on a Bus

Dear God, forgive that I should be
So blind in faith as not to see
Thy shining presence everywhere I go;
And so,
My humble thanks that I was on
The bus tonight with old blind John.

(The above poem was written before 1940 when Rae and Percy were on a trolley headed for the downtown. The trolley stopped to pick up Old Blind John, who sold pencils on the street corner next to Thom's Drug Store. Percy jumped up, helped Old Blind John to a seat, talked for few minutes and then returned to recite the above Poem to Rae.)

Parson Brown & The Prodigal Son

This is the story of Parson Brown,
A colored preacher in a southern town,
Forced to retire 'cause he’s gittin too old,
With a thousand more sermons still untold.
So the parson took his sermons out on the street
Unloading them on anyone he chanced to meet,
‘Till his friends started shunning
The parson and his talks
So the parson did his preaching on long lonely walks.

This would be a sad story if it ended this way,
But, let’s hear from the parson
What happened one day:
As I was walking down the road
I met a stranger carrying a load.
He said, “Please mister, will you set me right,
I’ve looked everywhere that I could roam,
Please show me the road that leads to home.”

“Well brother.” says I, “Just stand where you are
And gaze in the sky at the evening star
‘Till your sins all melt, run down in your shoes,
And the good Lord above will send down news
Of a road to travel that’s narrow and straight
But leads ever upward to Heaven’s gate.”

“Now listen real good and take a hint,
Home is a place where the heart is content.
Peace can’t be found by a worldwide search,
Just go instead to the nearest Church,
Throw off your troubles and fall on your knees
And ask the good Lord to put your soul at ease.”
Then the stranger laughed ‘till he nearly cried
As he looked again at the country side,
Then he placed his bundle on the ground
And said to me, “Are you Parson Brown?”
I said, “I be, but what caused your joy?”
“Then welcome home,” says he,
“your wandering boy!”

My Name is Thomas
Forgive me, Lord, if doubting is a sin,
But finite minds can only comprehend
What human reason can explain.
I’m sure you know the limits of my brain,
Thou who did the universe design
Must surely know each weakness that is mine.
‘Tis not that I lack faith or love
Just send me understanding from above.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

New Models of Learning

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life By Parker J. Palmer

From an article: When I Figure Out the IPad



COMMENTARY: Seven things I hate about U(MC) - Ted Campbell, Jul 16, 2009

When we critique the bride of Christ, it must be done in the right spirit; that is for her well being and conformity to Christ.  MLK Jr. said it well:

"In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists."  from Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail

So good to hear someone speak up.  Thanks Ted Campbell.