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Monday night while John and I were at Room 5, I wanted a drink but didn’t want one of my usuals like a Black Russian or a Bloody Mary or even a glass of wine. So I decided to make up a drink of my own, with things that I thought would go well.
The “Pink Slip©”
Here it is: try it at home or order it at your local bar.
A splash of Grenadine
and a lime to garnish that needs to be squeezed in.
Enjoy and remember to reference me when you order it. Just give them my blog address.
I began thinking this morning about how we as ministers should live our lives, in relation to time spend at church and time spent not at church. Most of this comes from the fact that I am only 1/2 time right now and therefore will having to be getting a 2nd job somewhere in the secular world.
In full time ministry (correct me if I’m wrong) much time is spent in the office and then partial time is spent outside the office. And when that time is spent outside the office it is usually spent with people in your congregation or group or with other people who are leaders in the church. All this began me thinking about value of spending working time in the secular community as ministers. I know my time spend working at a bank, at Jamba Juice and most recently in an office has provided me with valuable resources and experiences that have challenged me to step outside the comforts of working at a church. Here I really am living and working within the context of “go and make disciples of all nations”. I am being forced to interact with those who do not claim (and even some who do, yet their actions say different) to be followers of Christ. It made me stand and look at myself and ponder whether or not my character and actions truly reflected the Gospel that I preach and teach at church.
While it is one of my main goals to be freed to be in full-time ministry, I have to wonder if I should not keep one of my feet in the outside world among my peers and those older than myself in order to make sure I am aware of the needs and values and mindsets of those who I would like to be able to minister to fully. I guess this is why I need to force myself to do things like watch MTV, watch an episode of the OC, listen to the radio stations my students are listening to, watch what I think are crappy (blockbuster) movies, and the like. So that I can fully be aware of what is going on outside of my own personal scope of ministry and confinements of the church walls. How am I to effectively minister to people who spend 8 hours a day in an office and not know what the culture and environment and challenges are? How am I to minister to students if I can’t name at least 5-10 pop culture icons? How am I to minister to people when I do not understand their day to day needs instead of only ministering to their “spiritual” or “church” needs?
I love the picture Luther paints when he says we must read the Word in one hand and the Newspaper in the other. Ladies and Gentlemen, I suggest we work with one foot at church and another at the bar down the street.
In continuing the discussion on work and work ethics and my personal view on such things, comes the latest installment, subtitled: I didn’t like it anyways.
After getting the job at Canoga Pres I knew I wanted to get a better 2nd job, one that was closer to home and possibly paid a little better. I knew that I didn’t especially like my current job and had pretty much taken it just because I needed to make the money to pay the bills and it was somewhat standable. I soon realized that possibly I couldn’t tolerate this job as much as I wanted to. Then it started to happen, “sick days”. I dreaded going, and it became increasingly hard to show up to something I felt I had no investment in and didn’t feel like it was utilizing my gifts. And having to wake up extra early to sit in a craphole of a commute everyday just to make it to the job I didn’t care about.
And yesterday (Mon) I was let go. This was really no surprise to me since I knew it was pretty much coming, but for one reason or another it just never happened. Until today. I am pretty much ok with the decision since, 1 I am sure that God will continue to provide for me, 2 that this frees me up to spend more time in ministry, 3 I don’t have to do something I really don’t like doing, and 4 that I don’t have to make a 20 mile drive that takes me almost an hour and a half to complete each way.
I do have to gripe though, about the way I was fired. 1 It’s Monday. 2 I got fired 10 mins after I got to work, at least let me finish out the day or call me and tell me so that I didn’t have to wake up all early and drive down there just turn around 30 min later and go home, and 3 it was the day I was supposed to go to half time meaning I would only work Mon, Thurs and a half day Thurs, so I was actually motivated to come to work today since I knew that I wouldn’t have to be back until Thurs. Geesh.
Well I really haven’t gotten to a revelation yet, but the question I really want to post is, do you think it’s ok to get fired when you don’t really like the job in the first place? Meaning I was going to be looking for a 2nd job this week, anyways. I had only hoped that I would still have this job to help pay for the bills while I looked for a job, but it’s just a little harder and more urgent now. That’s the only real difference.
I guess my revelation is I’m going to take this the best way I can, in that I know for certain that God will provide, both emotionally, financially, and with a new job. I also know now that I have the needed time (that I wanted) to pour into ministry and focus on what I feel God has certainly called me to do.
I stayed out SUPER late tonight for the first time in months and I don’t have to worry about not waking up in time to make it to work on time. YES!!!
As I was driving home from Easter Service I knew it would be a good 5 hours or so before I was going over to my friend’s house for Easter dinner so I decided to stop of at Jack In the Box for something quick to eat.
My intentions had just been to grab a chicken sandwich or some 99cent tacos. All to my surprise as I pulled up there was a gleam of hope in a sign that read “Ultimate Cheeseburger 1.99 limited time only”. Oh Joy. Oh Rapture.
I think I will be eating these frequently while this promotion lasts.
Nutritional facts on the Ultimate Cheeseburger:
Weight 314.5 grams
Calories (per serving)945 (I’m assuming there is only 1 serving in an ultimate cheeseburger)
Calories from fat (per serving) 580
Total fat 64.5 grams
Saturated fat 27 grams
Trans fat 2.5
Cholesterol 120 milligrams
Sodium 1525 milligrams
Potassium 480 milligrams
Total Carbohydrates 53 grams
Dietary Fiber 2 grams
Sugars 10 grams
Protein 39 grams
There you have it folks. The Ultimate Cheeseburger from Jack in the Box.
In other news, check out this new Burger King Sandwich.
I don’t think that anyone in ministry would disagree that ministry is taxing on the soul and the spirit as well as the physical. I am feeling tired. Not burnt out, but truly weary.
How do we function in a world that is constantly expecting us to live a high energy, vivacious society, that keeps us going from the moment we wake to the moment we fall over exhausted?
Does Christ ask us to continually give so that we have little left? I think he does and he doesn’t. It boils down to how we give and what we give. Truly we can do anything through Christ.
When I begin to think about my weariness, I begin to realize more and more that the times I am truly weary feeling totally void and empty, it is more often due to the fact that I am overextending myself trying to compensate for what I think that God isn’t doing. Instead of allowing myself to be consumed by what God is doing and how I am to be a vessel for that work. Spending countless hours at work putting together flyers and postcards, making phone calls, staying up all night, all of these things can be very draining on us. Though they need not become an avenue for our downfall of slumber, we must be sure that we are not tricking ourselves into thinking that what we are doing is absolutely necessary. Christ was very particular in what he choose to participate in. While we do not have records of his day to day activities, we can clearly see that he often retreated spending time connecting with God, to insure his motives were correct and he was attending to the things with the greatest benefit.
While I have been eager to devote all of my time to ministry, especially since I’m still stuck at 1/2 time, I don’t think I can fully say that the cause of my weary state is no more than myself. Are you feeling worn out? Is it because we are allowing ourselves to be overrun by trying to accomplish what we feel is best or most needed?
It’s my hope that even after a long week trying to get things in order to start the new job and spending over 15 hours in 2 days trying to prepare for our above mentioned mission trip, I can find some respite while serving. I must say that I do not think that these last few days planning have totally contributed to my oversense of weariness, but I do think that because I had been trying to work too hard on something that I have no control on. While this trip will be physically demanding I hope that I can report back to you that this week was so much of what God wants for me. That through my work, through my relationships with students, through my “vacation” I will be able to find the rest and rejuvenation I so desire.
What a fragile thing it is the desire for us to feel rested and ready for the work that God has called us to. Let us find peace in our busy lives allowing God to push us from our daily lividness, into a complete consciousness in which we are fully aware of God’s limits.
As I knew that during Holy Week I would be in Mexico building houses with church, I knew that I would most likely be stopping my fasting early as it would probably not be a wise idea to fast while working manual labor for 10 hours a day.
My Lenten commitment officially ended yesterday at about 9pm. 9pm you ask? Yes, yes I broke down and was eating at around 9 last night.
Let me explain myself.
A quote I posted last time was from Lauren F. Winner stating: “We fast during Lent because fasting gets our attention. It is a necessary tool for rousing us from our day-to-day sleepwalking.” This was no longer holding true for me. For the majority of Lent this was true. Recently though, I really found myself not absorbed by the attention of Christ through fasting. I only saw fasting as an obstacle towards food and satisfying my hunger pains. My own pride and desire has truly shown that I am incapable of living up to a standard that I placed for myself. I lost sight of the only standard that matters: God’s. God does not care if I actually make it through the day without food, or if I cheat and wait until Midnight to eat. He only cares about my attitude and my reasons for fasting, which I must confess for the last week or so has only been to be in compliance with my commitment, instead of my devotion.
It was my devotion that started me down the road towards fasting, hoping that it would be a great reminder of trying to “rouse myself from my day-to-day sleepwalking”. Yet it only proved to be a nagging bladder rousing me only long enough to desire the warmth and comfort of sleep again. While I am not torn from the idea of fasting and find it of great value, I do believe that the extended period of Lent is possibly not the best arena for this discipline (at least for me). I do hope to keep it on the forefront of my mind, and continue to practice it on a regular basis, yet not quite as frequent as twice a week.
The trouble comes, as in many things, that I am making sure that I am doing it for the right reasons and that it is affecting the correct response of prayer and devotion and deprivation of self. I do also think that it needs to occur in the right setting. A busy office is not the correct place.
I recall an episode of the old TV show Northern Exposure, where the character Joel, (who is Jewish) is celebrating Yom Kippur. He is sitting on a mountain in Alaska and finally breaks his fast by eating an orange, after explaining the reason for the holiday and the fast.
While my season of fasting is over, I truly have gained much from the experience. There were those days where I truly felt connected to why I was doing what I was doing. The pain reminded me of those who had less, it reminded me that Christ suffered, it made me take a moment out of my day and pray. All these small things God looks down and says thank you for that, and some how, by grace, he overlooks those times I failed, I ate or my thoughts turned to the amount of time it would be before I ate again. Thank you God. What I did (although sometimes poorly), I did it for you.
For those of you who may still have a week left or have found yourself not holding yourself to your commitment, I urge you, re-evaluate as to what this season is about and continue to find joy and God in what you are doing.
I challenge you to take some time to reflect on your Lenten commitment and post about it (leave links to your post).
Second, sorry for the few days I went Hobo.
Fourth, readership (or at least hits) is up so I’m feeling more and more pressure to produce quality blogs. Hopefully there will be more discussion around here about ideas. I still feel (even though there is nothing there) like I want to gain the notoriety of Adam’s blog.
Sorry no post today…busy and tired.