Dear Family, One thing ministry has taught me over the years is that there is never a perfect rhythm than meets this lifestyle and stays with it.

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The song of my life and ministry does not and never has conformed to a standard beat. It keeps changing meter and speed and no two days are alike and no two days in any given week are alike.

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Oh, there are standard big rocks which go in my schedule every week: Sunday morning church, Monday Men’s group, Tuesday Morning staff meeting, Wednesday senior staff meeting, but each of those big rocks is effected each week by all the different things that go on around it. Those other things are like the water that moves around and through the rocks.

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Some days the big rocks are met by a trickle and the and the stream is happy, peaceful.

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Other days those rocks are all but submerged in a torrent I can hardly keep ahead of. I suppose it is the same for everyone and my particular experience of life is simply in the context of ministry. But I do think that people looking from the outside in consider that somehow my experience as a pastor is different from theirs and that life for me is one long private prayer time.

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The truth is I do get at least three hours a day in prayer as a general rule. But I have learned that the only way to do that is to make it a big rock and put it at the head waters of each days river. If I choose otherwise my rhythm become a wild dance that ends in a stumble.

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I still stumble a lot. But I am learning more and more how to avoid it and for that I am very appreciative.




  1. Hello J .. or Oz — (can’t recall if I’ve missed the story behind Oz; wonder if it has anything to do with grandkids)

    Today’s notes from the Vicarage remind me of something I pulled together a couple of weeks ago. I did a lot of white water canoeing back in the 1970’s. Learning to read and navigate water, especially rapids, was a pretty essential skill. I also learned to read water and value the need for worthy partners/team members while partaking in ocean sailing and racing in the late 1980’s.

    The topic came up recently of navigating life — I recalled that there is a classification system for rapids that seems quite relevant to more domains of our lives. I googled it and put together what follows below.

    FYI .. at this stage of life, I’d like a nice mix of Class I and II — some R&R and some excitement. And, I do enjoy a good bit of Class III – in those areas where I have years of skills. And, I’m sure there is some toe-dipping into the more advanced Classes – however, best done in the company of others with diverse, complementary, and reliable skills.


    Rapids/Water — Life

    Class A – Lake Water. Still, no perceptible movement (until wind, storm, etc.)

    Class I – Moving, smooth water with small waves, light riffles; clear passages, occasional sand banks and gentle curves. Relaxing way to spend a day. Most rivers have some stretches of calm class I, creating a pleasant break between rapids

    Class II – Moderate. Medium-quick water; easy rapids with regular waves that are readily seen; clear and open passages between rocks and ledges; wide channels that can been discovered without scouting. Some maneuvering required. Best handled by those who can maneuver canoes and read water.

    Class III – Moderately difficult. Numerous high and irregular waves; rocks and eddies with passages clear but narrow requiring experience to run. Visual inspection required if rapids are unknown. Best left to canoeists with expert skills.

    Class IV – Difficult. Long and powerful rapids and standing waves, rapids; narrow passages. Turbulent water that requires powerful and precise maneuvering. Visual inspection a must. Advance preparations for possible rescue work important.

    Class V – Extremely difficult. Class IV and then some. Long, violent rapids almost without interruption. Large waves, complex gushing rapids, twisting and spinning. River filled with obstructions. Big drops; violent currents. Reconnoitering may be difficult. Rescue preparations mandatory.

    Class VI – Extraordinarily difficult. Extreme “un-runnable” rivers or waterfalls. Paddlers face constant threat of death. Navigable only when water levels and conditions are favorable. Only the most expert should attempt. Don’t go here – there’s too much other water to enjoy without risking it all.



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