First District – and then Pastor, and those two alone usually are thought- provoking and information-filled. Wanting to be about “gittin ‘back in the saddle” again. I mean, retirement per se has its positives, but I have spent more time in the Polyglot and trying to justify the efforts of my long line of Exegetical professors, and in the gift from a dear friend my new BoC (Rev. McCain, CPH – kudos for a excellent effort!) which my friend also got with premium cover and my name, rank and serial number embossed in gold on the front! Styling, Bubba – styling. I’m already trying to beat it up with use, but then again, that was the purpose.
So – it shall be most interesting where the Lord will lead this Irishman on the new journey. I did my number one pastoral task in the world and in Heaven, I saw my beloved wife into the Heavenlies. But I know she wanted me to go back at it – she knew how restless I was, and how much I needed it.
Ya know – when I was at Sem, there was an old saying floating around:
“Some guys go into the Ministry to save themselves.”
Of course, we said that back when we thought ourselves theological geniuses . . . 40+ years actually in the saddle and we have long ago repented of the saying and our over-inflated egos. The Holy Ministry will make or break a man – Christ called none of us to a picnic when we took those vows. Of course, our only grace at the time was – we didn’t yet know WHAT we didn’t know! I think most of us have had our egos caged for a long time.
But it is, I confess, addicting! Some might frown on me putting it that way, then again, a lot of folk like to frown, so I guess saying what I said helps them. I mean to say that while I’ve done several funerals and covered vacations and the like – but they are few and far between. I’d prefer, it seems, the old adage to be true of me:
“Old preachers never die, they just preach away, and away . . .”
Ya gotta be there to get it, Amen . . . I guess.
So the paperwork – tomorrow. Review with Pastor Sunday after Voters’ – always worth attending!). Called District, the Boss – the DP’s secretary (she is so wonderful and delightful), told me no problem mailing it Wednesday when my SS check arrives. Phase I.
Phase II – waiting. the hardest part. It may help that my spiritual Boss (no doctrinal corrections, please – it’s a term of endearment), my Pastor, will review my SET with me Sunday. Him being the Circuit Counselor – Visitor of our Circuit, I have a leg up somewhat. Of course, asking his review may afford him more fun than he has had in a while, but hey! – I know that going in. I know how it works, and have long ago come to terms with it. In terms of Pastoral responsibility, I expect him to be checking me out regularly. Radical though I can seem to be at times, Pastoral responsibility is one of the lynchpins of the Holy Church, and were that it were done more often! No problem with that from this Ole Son!
Phase III will be either “within driving distance” or renting a small U-Haul. But since the Lord has yet to EVER send me His schedule, I best not think that far ahead.
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Regarding my exegetical profs – Dr. Jakob Heckert, my first exegetical prof at A2, was the first prof I met when he and his wife sat in the grass on the commons next to my family at the then annual “Back to Class” picnic in August of 1980. Like we had known each other forever. I am glad I have known such a fine man!
I received news yesterday that he has stage IV lung cancer, a most insidious tool of the devil, and shall sooner than later be sainted among the Great Assembly who joins and sings with us at the Eucharist on Sunday. A kinder, more “Christian man” you could not meet, and we used to think he thought in Koine Greek as if it were his first language, and English second. But he could teach, and will have the testimony of the many Pastors he taught on the Last Day. May the Lord of all mercies care and feed his soul!
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But also, I am doing that “gittin’ old” thing – reminiscing! Which always puts me in my story-telling mode. Getting there a lot these days, what with My Love’s death and the move and back with our first flock, and of course, as mentioned above, getting back at what I know and do best. It’s quite a confluence of events that have happened, are happening, and will happen again soon. My dreams are getting really weird again. Not being too much of a mystic, that most often precedes something big-time happening. Good, I could use the excitement, and the challenge.
I am still in the writing mode, but I needed this one as a break – a comma – in matters. I mean, I am always thinking about writing – I compose whole sermons in my sleep! Unfortunately, I forget to leave an outline on the bed-side table for the next day. In writing this one I can sip my coffee, pet mah Pug, chill, and let the feelings flow. As always, the best I can do in the end, is set the table. The Lord is “in the kitchen,” so to speak, so I’ll have to be patient until dinner is served. For those that know me, no small task, but I keep trying. Y’all have a good ‘un!