Well, it’s been a while since I blogged last. I’ve been journaling more these days. I don’t know how much of my journaling to share online with you folks. Not because of any secrets I’m hiding but because I’m not sure that it’s all that interesting or useful. I guess I’m assuming that what I have posted in the past is useful.
For the past week I have been praying the daily office (or liturgy of the hours), minus the midnight prayer – I’m not that disciplined or holy yet! Matins and Prime (midnight and morning prayer) is at 6:00 am and Vespers (evening prayer) is at sunset. In between there is Terce, Sext, and None prayer (9:00 am, 12:00 pm, and 3:00 pm). These are much shorter times of scripture reading and prayer than morning or evening prayer. Then before I go to bed I practice Compline (or night-night prayer). I know that to most people this sounds way too structured to be called prayer or spiritual, but I find it very life giving. I am a very structured and disciplined person by nature and I find this system life giving.
What I enjoy most is that I get to plan my day into three hour blocks that begin and end with time in God’s word and God’s presence. I would never tell anyone that this is how it has to be done, but I am enjoying it!
On the ministry side of life two of my associates are gone. Bryan and Maureen finished up two weekends ago and moved back to Indiana. I have now taken over their responsibilities and am quickly trying to build some systems and teams to get the work done. I’m sad that they’re gone. Not so much because of what they brought to the team (though they were very talented individuals) but because of the death of what might have been. Alas, they have many more “what ifs?” ahead of them … and so do we.
Speaking of death, I’m not really sure where I stand with my brother’s death. Every once in a while I still get sad and miss him deeply, but those times are fewer in between. I think I have just been too busy to sit with my sadness. My week is regularly full to the brim. Sundays – prep, Discipleship Class (Sunday school – I’m teaching a class on cults), gathered worship, lunch with at least half the body, and my weekly summit (2-3 hours of preparing for the upcoming week by calendaring everything I have to do and praying over it). Mondays – Sabbath rest (although, yesterday I repaired a lawn mower, did a bunch of yard work, fixed the shower knobs, cleaned the car, took Crystal on a date, and did our taxes!) and hanging out with the family. Tuesdays – lots of meetings, teach a Bible study on Hebrews, and teach kids’ jiu-jitsu and adults’ jiu-jitsu. Wednesdays – chapel, more meetings, meet with my pastoral coach (she’s pretty cool), and teach kids’ and adults’ judo. Thursdays – read, study and teach kids’ and adults’ jiu-jitsu. Fridays – chapel, sermon prep (Saturday and Sunday), and home group (we’re studying the body of Christ). Saturday – 3-4 hours of cleaning, maintenance and landscaping, more sermon prep, finish whatever didn’t get done, Saturday Night Life (gathered worship).
So far I am still alive and still married. However, Crystal and I are having some serious talks about how much we are all doing. Simplifying one’s life is not that easy.