We are finally back in our house! We've been displaced for about 2 weeks while they've been removing mold. Joe and Julie Wilson were kind enough to open up their home to us while they were in China. Though they have a beautiful home (and I became particularly fond of Joe's recliner), the whole time I just wanted to be in MY house sitting on my couch, watching my TV, showering in my bathroom, sleeping in my bed, etc... We finally were able to move back in today and it somehow feels different. There's a faint odd odor and the air seems a little stuffy, but our dog is very happy we are back. Cleo was caged in a 10'x10' pen in our backyard the whole time. She only received daily visits when we fed and watered her. So her standard of living has greatly improved today!
Recently I read an excerpt from a book by Eugene Peterson that I was considering purchasing. He was commenting on the office of pastor in modern America. He stated that until the last 30 years or so the primary responsibilities of a pastor included 1) studying and devoting oneself to spiritual disciplines and 2) serving as a spiritual guide to the congregant so they might also achieve a greater spiritual maturity. He then stated that the modern pastor is more of a program director and marketing exec than pastor. I think he's right. I'm so tired of planning programs, and events, and advertising, and banquets, and other crap. Who am I personally helping to become closer to Christ? Who am I meeting with and encouraging and challenging and such? How much time am I spending in spiritual disciplines so that I am personally equipped to lead people closer to Christ-likeness? I have bought into the megachurch dream and sacrificed the important things. Not that the megachurch thing is all bad - it definitely has caused us to shift our focus to evangelism. But everybody I know is scratching their head just like me and asking "How do I do discipleship?" Something's got to change.
I bought my first MP3 player recently and it was finally delivered today. I went with the Creative Zen Sleek Photo instead of an iPod. I am very happy with it. It was about half the price of the equivalent iPod and has alot more bells and whistles (FM Radio, syncs with MS Outlook's calendar, voice recorder, etc...). I'm lovin' it!!!