Archive for October, 2009

61 and 25

October 26, 2009

My parents have been married 61 years this weekend. My dad was a navy vet and working in the family furniture business. They would meet at the local fountain shop and have a coke or ice cream. My mom was a senior in high school and a promising musician, already proficient in playing the pipe organ and piano. My dad’s army buddy, Joe Jr., introduced them and soon they were engaged.  They had a huge wedding and settled down in their first home, an apartment on the east side of Birmingham, Alabama. They had three sons, a beagle, numerous rabbits, several parrakeets and hundreds of guppies and goldfish!

Their marital record is 61 years of fidelity, love and arguments, making up and laughing. seasons of sickness and health, wont and prosperity, blessings and challenges. My brothers always knew we could count on them to be at ballgames, concerts, teacher conferences, graduations, weddings, to welcome grand-kids and listen to our woes. We also knew they would tell us what they believed, pray for us, take us to worship, brush our teeth, respect our teachers and open the door for ladies. Our family was not idyllic or perfect – far from it. Yet through it all, we have always known we are loved, encouraged to be our best and never compromise our dreams, our values and our hopes.

On October 13, Meri and I celebrated 25 years of marriage. I think my kids would repeat almost all of the accolades I state above. They would probably add that we are too “huggie and kissie” around them.  That we love to take them to playgrounds, on hikes, to Disney World and the beach. That we enjoy doing strange things together like yard work, errands, long baths, Broadway plays, redecorating the house, grocery shopping and praying at meals even in a Chinese restaurant! That we are already looking forward to having grand-kids someday and sitting on the porch at our dreamed about lake house watching the sunset. Yes, I think they know that I am still crazy about their momma —  just like my dad is still crazy in love in my mom!

Life is good! Thanks, Lord. You are really good…



October 4, 2009

Sometimes I feel so inadequate. Like the time I decided to hang a new door on our back porch. I had to enlarge the opening and rehang the door. I did my absolute best and thought I had succeeded. When I tried to close the new door & it did not fit on any side! Meri called a pro and they charged us $600 to make it right! They said, “Next time your husband starts to fix something, call us first and it will cost you less. I don’t try to preach and he should definetly not do home repairs!”

I often feel inadequate as a husband. My wife deserves someone who is not preoccupied with work. Yet this is a pastor’s disease I have to fight every day. I can feel inadequate as a dad. My kids are now young adults and their questions and challenges are huge and life shaping. I wish I had more answers.

I often feel inadequate as a pastor. People have such deep problems and doubt. The church is complex and ever-changing. Folks are hard to please. And the church’s mission is so essential to the community. Then I hear those wonderful words of Jesus, “My grace is sufficient.” And I hear the Psalmist saying that God works best with broken and contrite heart. That’s me.

And this is Good News. In our weakness is God’s strength. In our utter reliance on Him, we discover his power and unconditional love. He works best with a humble heart and a mind eager for transformation. Now I can look forward to another week. But I still won’t try to repair our rotten dormer – I know my limits!