Monday, April 27, 2009

Catching Up

Can't believe that it has been almost a month since I posted. It has been a crazy month, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Holy week was kind of typical of this whole time --- death of a parishioner, with the funeral on the Saturday before Easter, losing the director for LARRI (Lakeshore Regional Recovery of Indiana), and some health issues that I have been dealing with.

The good news (for me at least) is that I think I am getting a better handle on why I have felt like crap since the first of the year. Sure part of it has been trying to juggle the church and all of my community responsibilities (especially LARRI), but that isn't the whole story.

Having seen four different doctors in the last month, I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto Disease (hypothyroidism) -- which is the opposite of Lindsey's Graves Disease. What this means is I will be taking synthroid the rest of my life --- not a real big deal, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will start to get some of my energy back. Still chasing a few other rabbits, but I think this was the big one.

I am looking forward to Haley's participation in the Munster Theater Companies production of Carousel this week. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday afternoon at 2pm. All performances are held at the Munster High School Auditorium.

I have finished a number of books and will try to get them posted later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

12 Life Lessons

I did not have a manuscript for my sermon last Sunday, so if you want a copy you will have to listen to it. I did put up the rest of my notes on the church web site.

A number of you have asked for the list of my 12 lessons. I wish I had added a 13th --- take off your shoes whenever possible.

So here are my twelve lessons that I wish I lived a lot better than I do.

1) Live every day as if it matters – because it does
Stewart’s death had a profound impact on me. I was 25 years old when he died. I didn’t think that 23 year old got sick and died, but obviously they do. I had to rethink my understanding of life. It was interesting because it didn’t make me a libertine thinking that you only live once, so grab all the gusto that you can (boy that would make a great tag line for a beer). Instead I VALUED life more. And as my girls have grown, I sense the hurried pace of life. You see, I don’t FEEL psychologically any different than I was at 25 or 30, but I now understand and appreciate how quickly life goes by.

2) Find something that you love doing – and stick with it.
I have the greatest job in the world – but I also have the worst. I get to be with you when you get married, when you have children, when you celebrate lifetime accomplishments. I get to be a part of all those wonderful moments in your live.

I can’t tell you what a privilege it is to be with you at those milestone moments. And to be able to baptize a child – WOW – I have a great job.

But I also get to be with you when the sky is dark. One year ago, John Mybeck and I stood in the church parking lot crying as he shared with me the news that he had cancer. I have been with many of you when loved ones have died, I have visited you in the hospital, at home and at nursing homes. And it is never easy. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten in my car and cried as I drove away.

But wow – what a privilege. I wouldn’t trade jobs with any of you.
Figure out what makes you get excited and keep on doing it!

3) Be positive and enthusiastic in everything that you do
We all know people who are black clouds. Everywhere they go they try to bring everyone down with them.

Be one of those people who are Tiggers – full of life and joy. Sure you might break a few things along the way – but you will do it with great joy!

4) Be generous

5) Forgive yourself

Girl in my first church . . .

6) Forgive others

Who do you think is being harmed when we hold on to grudges

7) Stop blaming others

8) Don’t journey through life alone

9) Dream BIG --- Dream even bigger!

10) Be bold and courageous

(Joshua 1:9 NRSV) I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

11) Leave things better than when you found them

All I Really Need To Know I learned in Kindergarten – Robert Fulghum
Storyteller’s Creed
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.

12) LOVE and be loved