After a final four hour delay in Manila, Brenda and I made it to IloIlo City., We discovered I am severely allergic to volcanic ash though, I was miserable during my time breathing the air of Taal Volcano. I was fine as soon as I got on the plane.
Well this week has been a week of preparation for our 10 day journey to the Philippines for my son’s wedding. It has run like most trip prepapration weeks I have experienced. You know what I mean, I got all the bills paid up to date. I have written the “how to operate the Vicarage manual” for Amanda and Melanie. I have done the grocery shopping for the time I am away. I have made sure Mom’s meds are ready for the time I am gone. I filled the sand bucket in case of snow and bought a new shovel to replace the one I broke. I stocked up on dog food and bird food. I have packed ans repacked for the trip. I schedule blogs ahead for the time I am gone….and…and…and….Anything that is not done at the house at this point is just going to have to wait.
Getting ready for this trip though has been different than prepping for others I have taken. In times past it was all about the jobs I had to get done before I left. This time it has been about the people I had to reach out to before I left.
There were the post Christmas letters I had to write and the thank yous. There was the dinner I had to have with the deacon and the friends I had to have coffee and prayer with before I took off. There was the show I needed to go to and the people of the church I had to enjoy it with. There was the stop off to see my friends at Special Touch Ministries and then of course there was coffee with the staff one last time before I hit the blue skies. Finally just this morning as we went up to Keene to put my son’s wedding money in his account there was the final coffee with my daughter at Starbucks.
Over the last two years something in me has changed. Maybe it’s my age or the time of life I am in. Maybe it is my spiritual growth. I am finding that the jobs I do are not as important as the people I do them with.
As I head off on this little adventure, it is not the job I am going to miss. It’s the people…people…people. The preparation I have done has helped me to be able to take them with me in my heart.
Well the count down has begun! We are now just over two days from our trip to The Philippines to take part in Kristine and Joe’s wedding.
The preparation to leave has our heads spinning. I typed out the list on how to manage the house for Amanda and Melanie who will be caring for Mom Jacopo, Mercedes and the Vicarage while Brenda and I are away. I have sat with the families from the church who will be helping them out during our away time. I picked up Mom’s meds, did some grocery shopping, got money out of the bank for their needs while I am away, bought the dog food and the bird food and the cat food. I still have to clean my car, do the bills, pack and clean my office.
But as the time approaches Brenda and I are reminded that our leaving for there does not mean life stops here. So much is going on this weekend and in our absence.
Meanwhile our church is getting ready for 21 days of fasting and prayer. I feel like this is one of the most important moments in our church’s history.
Today after we open the 24/7 prayer and fasting I am heading off to Special Touch Ministries for our monthly gathering in Westminster. Then I have the 11P.M. – 1A.M. shift at prayer
Tomorrow, Brenda is preaching in Taunton MA and I am leading worship at Cornerstone and then Amanda, my Nephew Tyler and I are heading off on a little journey to wrap things up before Brenda and I take off on Monday for…
The Vicarage is what we call our home. We call it that because it is a place where we three ministers of the gospel live. I know…I know…we are not really vicars but I couldn’t bear the thought of calling our little cottage the parsonage. It just doesn’t ring right. It is not just the place where we live though. It is the place where we ministers have grown up. Actually there have been Lillie’s on this block in our tiny town since the year 1940. From my back yard I can see the house where my father grew up.
But the Vicarage is not the Vicarage just because we live there. This old house has housed ministers of three different churches over the course of its life. God keeps putting His men in this house and I have to believe there is a reason for that. We have a purpose here in little Winchendon. We have a job to do which has been assigned by God. He has provided us a space from which to do it. The present troubles facing us do not compare to the power of the promise we have been given.
When last we spoke, one of the things I told you was that Brenda was put on sabbatical after her conferences in August. Her leadership told her she needed to take off through the end of October. I was relieved because she was emotionally and spiritually exhausted (and anyone who has ever done the work of full time ministry knows how difficult spiritual exhaustion can be).
During her time away from the itineration trail Brenda sought spiritual guidance and spent a lot of time praying. The Lord led her during that time to write a one woman show based on the life of Corrie TenBoom one of the 20th century’s great heroes of the faith. Corrie Tenboom’s name rises to the level of Graham, Bon Hoeffer, Elliot and Mother Theresa.
That show is almost ready to go up. The first production will be on January 10th. I have sat through two workshops of the play and a few rehersals. It is gripping.
As Brenda once again hits the itineration trail she is offering the show as an outreach to churches and civic groups. Here is a snippet she did for our church during the month of November. She was out of costume but worked it into a presentation she gave to our church. The full production is being hosted at Cornerstone in April.
Brenda is travelling across Southern New England with the show and is also looking at a tour in Michigan. She is wiling to tour your area as well and will come for the cost of travel and a love offering. If you would like to book her contact me in the comments section below.