Just Thinking... So Many Things...



Just Thinking...

My brain is overrun with an assortment of thoughts today.

I think I must have been the only one not able to attend the Fresh Expressions event on Wednesday, February 25th. There was so much excitement, so many posts on Facebook and Twitter sharing the amazing quotes and comments from all the participants. I realize that with only 250 (plus) in attendance on Wednesday, some 1,000 of us UMC pastor need to sign up for the next offering. Until then I look forward to learning from you who were blessed.  I might add a column here on the This & That for personal words.

My DMin project is nearing completion. I have done so many revisions of the paper that I can hardly stand to read it anymore. I've created my Scholar Blog, and I have worked on my final project. They keep adding some final thoughts and touches to the syllabus, so again more revisions. I have enjoyed the journey and have learned so much, but I am ready for it to be completed. I have been blessed to journey with a great cohort and also with each of you. My final paper is due March 13th, the Blog on March 27th, and the presentation on April 24th. I don't want rush the days, but ....

On the Cabinet, we are working on the Master Lists for our work on appointments. We will begin February 20th. There are lots of ideas, guesses, speculations, and thoughts on the upcoming moves. While it is fun to play "kitchen cabinet," please remember these are the lives of our sisters and brothers, each one sacred and special to God. I hope that we are praying for everyone whom we think is moving and that we are asking God to guide the Cabinet and Bishop Sue in this journey. Remember as you make your predictions and share your thoughts with friends, to be mindful of Mr. Wesley's words, "Do no harm."

I'm moving in June so there is much to do, and Sally and I don't know where to begin. We need to declutter and start packing soon. We need to consider travel patterns and the best way for her to get to work as well as for me in learning to be patient in 5 pm traffic. Will I fit in at OMS? Will I be able to minister in a way different from being a BOM member or a Cabinet Rep?  How will I stay in touch with the local parish and keep my preaching fresh? Thoughts within thoughts…

Yet, in spite of all the crazy and jumbled thoughts, I find words of comfort from a book called, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. On January 22nd,I read these words,

"Strive to Trust Me in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges embrace them, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in the difficulties." ... "Trust is like a staff you can lean on as you journey uphill with Me. If you are trusting in Me consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed. Lean on, trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind."

I think I might have a new scripture verse in my life as the Holy Spirit keeps on putting Proverbs 3:5-6 in my path. One day very soon I hope I get it and start listening. Do you also have days like these where your mind is filled to overflowing with thoughts and with thoughts within thoughts? Maybe you can lean with me on this staff, and together we can honor God in our ministry.

I am praying for you ... please pray for me,


P.S. Starting with this issue of “This & That,” Teresa will be creating the body of the email. I will continue to write my blog for you, but time and transition is requiring I give some things up. If you have articles to share, prayer concerns for the clergy and their families, or news items, please send them to Teresa by Thursday morning of each week.

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