I still don’t really know where this is all going to lead, but at least I am here for another day of on-line journaling. And maybe that is going to be the point. “Notes” might be the brief opportunity I give myself every day to give myself a moment of context, a moment of putting it all in perspective.

The day started as most days do, walking the dogs, making the coffee, making my breakfast and logging in my calories (well that’s new). I bought myself Noom for Christmas as a gift from my Mom. I have got to drop between 60 and 80 pounds. So of course I set my goal for 85 pounds. Does that make me an over achiever?

Anyway, after that first log in I took a shower and got dressed to go to the store for some new pants for the funeral I had to preach today. I popped the button clasp on my old dress pants (hence the Noom purchase). I went to the store and bought the fattest pants they had in my leg length and got them home only to find that they fit as long as I didn’t have to sit down for any length of time (hence the Norm purchase).

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on

I think though that I have to be careful of not letting the weight thing become too much of a focus. I do have bigger fish to fry this year. As I was sitting in prayer late this morning into the noon time hour I began to hear the voice of the Lord promise me a new level of clarity and power in prayer, but it would only come if I returned to a former rhythm of living within the context of this new wineskin, called lead pastoring. I have a lot to think about during the upcoming season of prayer and fasting (which begins on Jan. 8th). I am thinking by that time I will be moving into that former rhythm within the new wineskin, and the fast will be a solidifying agent for the duration of my ministry prayer life. 

For Christmas this year I bought my mother a subscription to an on line story app called Storyworth. Each week we get a question to discuss and then I spend a bit of time each day writing down her answers. This week our question is, “What was your mother like when you were growing up?” Mom and I have been deepening the answer to this question these last few days. It has been a fun series of discussions leading to conversation about what my mother’s life was like growing up on a small working farm.

After our lunch conversation I headed off to perform a committal at the local Veteran’s Cemetery.

I didn’t know the family I was serving today. Sometimes that happens. When a family does not have a home church or pastor they are connected to, each funeral home has a list of pastors they call upon to meet the need. This particular family was from quite a distance away and it has been many years since I worked with this particular funeral home. But they still had my name and number and when none of the pastors in their immediate area could help they reached out to me. I don’t do many funerals for people outside my congregation anymore simply because of time constraints, but this was a family I could help so….I preached the committal service for them and then went grocery shopping. Ministry is an odd mix of the sacred and mundane. Ministers must minister and ministers must have groceries.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on

I guess maybe that is part of the rhythm/ balance I really need to get back to as I enter this new phase of ministry (new wineskin as God calls it). I have to figure out how do I faithfully live in the space between the sacred and the mundane? How do I emotionally navigate the waves caused by the often violent switching between the two mindsets. I feel like I was doing a better job of it during pandemic. Of course at that point so much of the sacred ministry was actually shut down and now….I hesitate to say normal has returned, but new normal does qualify. Sometimes the new normal does look a lot like the old normal.

I think, it is time to rehash some of the lessons I learned during pandemic especially about prayer rhythms. I need to look into how I am supposed to be incorporating those rhythms of sacred breath and mindfulness into this new context.




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