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As I prepare my “sermon” for May 21st I keep coming back to the Three Amigos (“Sew very old one. Sew like the wind!”), future King David hiding in a cave, and the book of Jude*. Really? We’ll see.
*Jude is a book that will blow your hair back when you really dig in to what it’s saying. Don’t mess with the Jude.
When I met Nikki I knew what I wanted. One of the quickest decisions I’ve ever made.
The slowest decision I’ve ever made? Every other stinking one.
Nikki balances my self-criticism by saying that once I do make a choice I am unshakeable. Maybe.
All I know is when you are called to take a big leap of faith yet struggle with making day-to-day decisions, the conflict in the mind is unkind. The two extremes sort of go together like beef-cola.
We have the seniors studying Ecclesiastes for the next couple of weeks. As their safe high school bubble of security is about to burst their world is about to get a lot bigger.
They need to come to the conclusion, much like the Preacher, that very attractive things exist in this world which they will discover are very meaningless. It’s a scary thing to realize, and once they do they will have a life-changing decision to make. They just need to make the decision and locomote. God will do wonders with people who move.
We once again listen in on the speech from William Wallace, “Sure it seems impossible, but what happens if we don’t at least try? Nothing.”
(*any day which includes an excuse to type the word “Twinkie” is a good day.)
“A person who…does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of donkeys and the grunting of hogs.”
— Martin Luther (my favorite reformist monk I’ve never met……yet)
We hosted a prayer service on 1-22-11. It’s easier to talk about our dreams, make plans in our minds, and visualize the future than it is to take action. It was good to put feet to faith.
God has put forth a large amount of change in our professional lives and now is adding personal change to our docket. Adding a child and a home by the end of the year is a possibility.
We have been looking at homes. We’re thinking long-term livin’. The Lord may move us once again but we are going in with the idea this is the home we will raise children in, it will be the home we create many family moments, and it will be the home with the living room in which I will sit with my shotgun, and various weapons, as I await meeting our daughter’s first boyfriend.
We feel like we are ourselves for the first time in a long time. When I was on a church staff I didn’t quite feel myself which in turn made Nikki not feel much like herself. It was a weird time. We now work in the very same building but it has a much different feel. We want to continue to be who the Lord created us to be as we continue to move forward with “our” ministry.
In an attempt to continue being such a positive person I will now unveil the top nine things I am thankful for on Feb. 1, 2011……
1. A day off of work watching the trees in the park receive a healthy dose of powdered sugar.
2. My wife. (I already covered why my wife is #2 in a previous post.)
3. Difficult people. My sandpaper. You know who they are. If we’re honest we would realize we are someone else’s sandpaper. What? Me? No way! They keep me praying and they help reveal my own weaknesses.
4. The ability to sing off-key. It’s a talent. (I can sing on-key, but it would rob my lady of much pleasure.)
5. Nightly re-runs of The Wonder Years
6. Like-minded spouse
7. Chicken bog (oh hot sauce, where is thy sting?)
9. Something to look forward to…..
I smell chicken bog. Goodbye.
Sooooooo……..you wake up and realize it’s 2011. I remember welcoming in Y2K like it was yesterday and quickly realizing how stupid “Y2K” sounded when I said it, and then I realize the seniors we are currently teaching were in second grade in the year 2000. What?!
In the Akridge house 2010 was good for concerts and not so good for films. We enjoyed Inception and The Fighter and a few other smaller films, but overall it was a weak year. I remember when we would go to the movie theater every other week and now we’re lucky to see a movie every month or two.
We enjoyed The Dead Weather who aren’t for everyone but we were blown away. We got our yearly Over the Rhine fix, and greatly enjoyed The National and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. On a whim we saw Alice in Chains and a friend was able to move us up close and we lived to tell about it.
We feel somewhat at home going to concerts. We seem to always meet a stranger and “connect” with them. (Isn’t that one of the new church buzzwords I’m supposed to be using?)
In 2011 the Lord is going to give us many more opportunities to meet a stranger and not always at a show. We have been moving toward starting a ministry and 2011 seems to be the year for the talk to turn into something tangible. January 22nd is the date stuck in our minds.
As for our family, we have discussed adding to our number. Since we don’t have a company to pay for our health insurance we took a step of faith to begin paying into maternity on our own, in preparation for the possibility. Who knows?
We enjoy where we have lived for the past 2 1/2 years but it’s time to find a bit bigger place. It will be interesting to see how God provides it. He will.
How was your 2010? Good? Bad? Regrets? Successes?
Life is like a salad one day and a triple-cheese-baconator the next. Some days I feel like I could take on the world and other days I want to fall asleep resting in a Twinkie coma. Mmmmm….Twinkies. I’ll be right back.
You keep hoping this year will finally be the year you “arrive” and then you realize what Lester Bangs once said is true, “Well, one day we’ll all meet each other on our long journey to the middle.” The ups and downs of 2010 remind me that true Arrival won’t happen until I’m dead.
Such is life. We were never created to be beings who knew how to handle our existence or to make any sort of sense of it on our own.
In the movie “Reality Bites” Troy Dyer (Ethan Hawke) has a father who has just passed away. While sitting on a beach waxing nostalgic he says among other things, “….so I take pleasure in the details. You know…a quarter pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment when your laughter becomes a cackle… and I sit back and smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt.”
We ride our own melt. God never intended for us to try to temper Him.
How about we end with a “things I’m thankful for” list? Non-churchy version. Let’s go with 10.
1. Peanut butter. Nothing like a scoop of peanut butter to kill the hunger. I’m still trying to figure out how not to waste the tiny little bit stuck to the very bottom of the ice cream scoop.
2. My wife. (Second to peanut butter?! She appreciates me being random and not worshiping her, so peanut butter is number one. Move on.) I have a true partner. She inspires, encourages (with love most of the time), passionately shares in love of music and film, loves God more than she loves me, rarely laughs at anything I do keeping me humble and persistent, and lets me open jars to make me feel manly.
3. A job that allows us to work together and show 100+ teenagers what a good marriage looks like.
4. A job that pays so little we have no choice but to look to the Lord to financially make it every month.
5. Our couch reclines and I’m never going back.
6. Space heaters
8. Diet Mountain Dew (My lady demands and expects to see a perfect physique every day when I enter the kitchen for my morning coffee so I drink the diet instead of the regular. Did I mention that every year I update her David Beckham calendar collection for the fridge?)
9. A reason
10. Passing second grade.