First, update on the chicken dinner – it turned out ok, considering I wasn’t too sure about the smell while it was cooking. Everyone loved the chicken. It didn’t need 6 hours, it could have stopped at 4, I think, as it turned out a little dry. But everyone here loves chicken, so they didn’t really care. The potatoes were weird to begin with (I think they were old), so I didn’t get a really good read on how they did. They needed more time, though, as they were still hard in the middle. I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better to put the potatoes on the bottom layer. But then they would be covered in juice and stuff. hmm…
Second – thoughts –
I’ve been doing a lot of random thinking lately. Instead of playing “The Sims” and shutting off my brain, I decided to write down what I am thinking. These are just thoughts – just musings; nothing really fleshed out or complete.
This morning a friend posted a story on Facebook about a pastor pretending to be homeless. Another friend last night had posted that the story was not true, linking to a Snopes article. A friend of hers posted another article about a new pastor of a Methodist church in TN living like a homeless person for a week prior to accepting his new appointment. This is really weird because I actually asked Jeff just the other day (Sunday) if he’d ever thought about “going undercover” and living like a homeless person for a while to see what it’s like. (he said no.) I think about things like this, because I wonder why some people are homeless. I know for some it is a choice, made either by their lack of concern or by substance abuse or by being unemployed. the part I don’t understand very often is why a person wouldn’t live at a shelter or somewhere safe, and chooses to live on the streets. In the article about the pastor in TN, he went to various shelters during his one-week experiment. He said one place only had five people waiting outside, and there was a lot of paperwork to be filled out prior to admittance. Were there only five people waiting because they didn’t want to fill out the paperwork? or were they unable to, due to language or physical barriers? These are things I don’t understand.
In my response to my friend I said that I didn’t think the one article she linked to was real. That got a response from one of her friends – “It doesn’t matter if it is true or not, it is a good reminder. I give money whenever I am asked because Jesus would give it. Once it has left my hands it is no longer my responsibility what it is used for…” This response killed me. I did not respond online because I didn’t think it was worth the effort to get into what was sure to be a fight. IMO, it IS our responsibility to make sure the money we give away – whether it is to a homeless beggar, or some charitable organization – goes where it needs to go. That’s being good stewards of what we have. And to just give money away is laziness – you’re just alleviating your discomfort by not caring what happens with the money. Jesus never just gave away money; as a matter of fact, He often overlooked the presenting issue (e.g. blindness) and spoke to the heart issue (“your sins are forgiven, take up your bed and walk.”). Shouldn’t we respond in kind?
What else have I been thinking about? Let’s see …
talked to another friend about pastors and churches and the weirdness that exists when the pastor decides to leave. From my experience with my father, he never told anyone until he was ready to leave – only ever giving them a month or so advance notice. I never did understand this, and even questioned him about it (a rare thing for me, the peacekeeper) when Jeff and I were in IA for Spring Break. He basically said they didn’t need to know until later. Did Dad not want to deal with the flack he might get, or the hurt feelings of people? I have seen other pastors do the same, or even worse (one pastor left on a sabbatical and never returned – totally used the church [they were still paying him, and they shipped his furniture to him].) and my question is why? Shouldn’t there be open communication between pastors and their flock? shouldn’t the church know that the pastor feels that God might be directing him elsewhere? And why are Pentecostals so dead-set again the whole method of appointing pastors like they do in Episcopal (and other denominations) churches? Doesn’t it make more sense to appoint a pastor? Electing a pastor gives the church a whole lot of power over the pastor, but also allows the pastor power in his own right, in that he becomes kind of what the church is all about, or the driving force of the church. Appointing a pastor means the pastor is simply an employee doing a job. Is church supposed to be about the pastor, or is church supposed to be more than that – a body of believers working together?
See … my brain just goes everywhere! My friend Kristi talked to me this morning about how we as Christians tend not to know how to quiet our minds like they do in Eastern religions. The psalmist David talks about meditating on the law day and night. What does it mean to meditate on God’s law? What does it mean to long to be in His presence? Do we do that? Do I do that? Would my life be different if I did?
Why am I learning all that I am learning now, rather than before or later? What does it mean to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? Am I bringing glory to God? I sure don’t feel like I am when I yell at the kids or am rude to my mother-in-law. Does glorifying God require you to be a doormat, or to not speak out, or criticize or to be an enabler? I don’t think so. I think God wants us to help others, to encourage and exhort each other to life and godliness. But what does that mean?! How does it look, how does it play out in real life? the early church was persecuted all the time – really persecuted – hunted down and fed to lions – and yet people came to know Jesus in swarms.
So, I’m still thinking, and ruminating, and pondering all these things (and more). But I will stop here, in case anyone is actually reading this, and take a break. Time for a walk with my hunny.