Saturday, August 20, 2005

A deep breath...

This last week I helped my wife with Vacation Bible School at her church -- and I'm thrilled it's over.

Don't get me wrong, I like kids, but a week of 30 small children (and the majority were closer to 3 than 13) is about all I can handle in one go. I have great respect for kindergarten teachers, believe me! Teaching about Judaism and Jerusalem in Jesus' time was fun, and I'm sure interesting for the older ones (and maybe even good for the younger ones), but I'm not cut out for protracted lessons with groups of small children. For example, I learned this week that while most 3-5 year olds will be glad to sit and listen if asked, their attention span means that this request will be honored for anything from 1 to 4 minutes before a small voice breaks through your next point with a jarring "EXCUSE ME, BUT..." as the small body leaps from its pew onto the floor, hand extended to full body length for best visibility.

Like I said, it was great, but I'm glad it's over -- and I don't think I want to try to do it again, at leat for a year. I'd be glad to take a break, slow down for a few days, but there's a church supper tonight that will need more helpers, and then next week my wife and I will be leaving for her parent's as soon as possible. My father-in-law has been released to home-hospice care and probably doesn't have long to live. My inlaws are not church-folk, and they're having a hard time depending on God in their time of intense need, since they don't really know who it is they should be seeking (at least not very well). Well, in advance you have my excuse for further sparse posting.

So what's my excuse been for the last two weeks? Well, in addition to VBS, a trip to see the inlaws, prep for VBS, candidacy studies (well, not enough, but what I could fit in), my garden (oh, the glory of fresh vegetables... HELP!!! THEY'VE CONQUERED THE COUNTER AND THEY'RE MOVING TO THE WINDOW SILL!!!), and an attempt to get some much needed sleep before classes and work begin in September. I've taken a job doing Youth Ministry, so pray for me and the teenagers as we seek to follow Christ together!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Travel and Travail

The last several weeks have been challenging. My father-in-law is suffering from a fairly rare and extremely virulent form of cancer. Medically, the odds aren't great. About a month ago he had a 3 cm spherical tumor removed from his brain, and is currently in the midst of radiation treatment targeting lesions on his lung and spine. My wife and I spent 8 days with my mother-in-law in their new home (they moved the day after his surgery), and just returned yesterday. Some wonderful people from her church helped us spend that time by making sure the mail didn't explode from the mailbox, and by watering my garden -- it's exploded.

Yesterday, we found a wonderful church not far from where my inlaws live. The people and pastoral staff at the United Methodist Church of Webster welcomed my wife and I and were interested in ministering to my inlaws. That's great! A week earlier we visited another UMC in the area and recieved a less enthusiastic response, so we were exceptionally happy about this experience. Additionally, the associate pastor graduated from ENC (and is a former Nazarene) -- talk about instant connections! The pastors have agreed to visit my father-in-law who actually wants to talk to a pastor... I just wish that his interest in faith had come without the pressures of his disease.

Now, having returned home, I'm tired from a week away, and still waiting to hear about a one of two jobs I'm exploring. I'm convinced God will provide the right ministry opportunities for me. Pray for me, dear readers, that I may live a slightly less exciting life in the weeks to come.