Your prayers as asked as I begin a two month sabbatical. Today was my last Sunday at Good Shepherd until September 26th.
After 20 years in ordained ministry, I'm finally taking one of these here things. Blogging might get sketchy - heck, it WILL get sketchy.
Here are some of the things I'll be doing:
On the last weekend of July, I'll be at my first parish, St. Peter's in San Pedro, CA. One of my former youth groupers is the groom and he honored me with a request to bless his marriage.
Back from that, I'll be taking the wife and younger kid down to Branson, MO to use a friend's time-share for a week of rest and fun.
The main study piece will be in mid-August, when I'll be in Philadelphia for a Christian Writers' Conference. Author Marlene Bagnull leads the event. Her book (and idea), Write His Answer, have been helps to me over the years. I hope to sharpen my skills and use my writing gift more effectively in God's service.
Back from that, it's time to send the older kid off to college (sniff sob etc.) Will take a run out to Rapid City and then maybe down to the Pine Ridge Reservation to visit some folks after saying "Bye!" to the boy.
The fun 'n' frolic wrap up is a trip to Minneapolis for the USC vs. Minnesota football game on Sept. 18. Trojan Alumni Association party the night before, then a game day tailgate party, then sleep it all off and come home on Sunday.
Like I say, prayers welcome. A big thank you to several folks who donated via the Pay Pal port at the upper right of this blog! Donations are always welcome - the major fees for these events have been payed for (well, not college just yet), but any help defraying expenses is that much less stress on bill payin' days. Plenty of driving so extra gas money is a blessing!
God bless you all. Blogging has helped me keep at a God-given gift while seeking direction as to how it might be used more effectively and abundantly. I know from some kind messages that God has used even this goofy internet habit to bless some folks.
I'll close with I Peter 1:2, a passage I encountered via a Write His Answer reflection, and some of the thoughts I am trying to honor as I sit down to write, stand up to preach, or otherwise communicate:
I am putting out words that will be read by people
"who have been chosen and destined by God the Father"
Whether or not they know it. Some are Christians, some are not. I am not in charge of that, but God has me sharing words relevant to the destinies of some who will be reading.
"and sanctified by the Spirit"
I have to go on the assumption that some who read my words either have the Holy Spirit or are being guided by the Spirit toward new life. They are God's treasure, even if they seem buried or tarnished. I need to find words that unearth and polish the holiness that God has placed in them.
"to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood"
Some will read what I write because they need guidance to do what Jesus Christ wants and also the reassurance of his mercy when - not if - they fail to obey. He's calling them to follow, commanding them to love and consolling them when they stumble on his hard path to "new and unending life."