Sunday, March 22, 2009

Visitors at the Parsonage

Since Joanne has not been able to join me on Sunday mornings, I have been leaving earlier and stopping at the parsonage for about half an hour. I sit in the living room, turn on the gas logs to warm the room, and take some time to review the sermon. It is usually a very quiet and relaxing time. This morning I heard this strange loud noise outside the house. When I checked, I found about a dozen wild turkeys making their way across the side yard.

As I watched them move off into the woods, I was reminded of one of the reasons why I love coming to the country each week. It gives me a sense of perspective, balance, and peace. While that isn't to say you can't get those inside the city limits, its just different and I try to appreciate those moments.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Should Have Known Better

Providence UMC is my second of three churches that I serve each Sunday. Last Sunday was one of the few times that I arrived early from my first service. We had about five minutes and we were making some small talk when I noticed a newspaper cut out on the pulpit. I picked it up with a glance and got ready to put it in my notebook, saying, "Is this for me to read later?" Tammy Daniels told me that I could read it now. Since we had a few minutes I decided to read it out loud for everyone to hear.

About Those Church Hymns
A minister decided to do something a little different one
Sunday morning. He said, "Today, in church,
Iam going to say a single word and you are going to help
me preach. Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing
whatever hymn that comes to your mind.
"The pastor shouted out "CROSS."
Immediately the congregation started singing in unison,
The pastor hollered out "GRACE."
The congregation began to sing "AMAZING GRACE."
The pastor said "POWER."
The congregation sang "THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD"
The pastor said, "SEX."
(AT this point I felt my face start to turn red and my pulse increase. I started sweating, with a trickle slowly going down my back. It was too late to stop so I continued reading.)
The congregation fell into total silence.
Everyone was in shock.
They all nervously began to look around at each other
afraid to say anything. Then all of a sudden, from way in the back of the church,
a little old 87 year old grandmother stood up
and began to sing "PRECIOUS MEMORIES."
With those last words, I and everyone in the church broke out in laughter. I'm still not sure if the laughter was for the story or the awkward look on my face. But, I had been gotten. It was one of those moments when I wasn't Reverend Johnson or Pastor Charlie; I was just Charlie and they weren't my congregation; they were just my friends. We were just a bunch of friends having a big laugh. It was wonderful. It was a moment when I see again how blessed I am to be serving as pastor here.
But, next time I'll read things silently first, before I them read the out loud. I really should have known better.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Update on Joanne's Post-Surgery Rehab

Since her surgery Joanne hasn't been able to do much with her hair. My help has been extremely limited. I can get her hair back in a ponytail with much difficulty and little success. I decided to take her to get her hair done. I told her we had some reservations, but didn't tell her where or for what. A friend of ours, who has been doing Joanne's hair for longer than I can remember, Rita Mattox, has a hair salon on Lakeside Drive called "Style Pros". (She cut my hair at one time, until it started falling out.) I called her, told her what I was planning, and told her to do whatever Joanne wanted, as long as it was something she could take care of herself without to much difficulty. When we pulled into the parking lot Joanne knew where we were heading. I took Joanne into the salon and told them to call me when finished. When I came back, Joanne had her back to the door and I didn't recognize her. Her hair was straightened for the first time in years, but that will wear off in time. When we were leaving and I was getting ready to pay, Rita wouldn't allow it. She said, "Come back and see me after Joanne goes back to work." Where do we find friends like that.
I will readily admit that I'm not the best nurse Joanne could have but, for the most part I'm all she's got. We both appreciate all the help and kindness we have received; the meals, cards, calls, words of support and encouragement, and of course the assistance with the transportation to the doctor and physical therapy. It has all been quite overwhelming. We are blessed.

Friday, March 6, 2009

To Millie's Rescue

I mentioned a couple of entries back how we got a boat load of snow and how Millie was not fond of the white stuff. More to the point, her short legs and plump body couldn't squat in the snow when it was already half way up her body. It is also against Millie's genteel manners to make yellow snow. But, tiny body equals tiny bladder. Well, Daddy can't stand to see baby in discomfort. So in addition to shoveling the driveway, I went to work on clearing her a path and some space in the front yard. She was very appreciative, Millie loves her Daddy.

The things we do for our children.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snow Report from Java

Tammy Daniels and Donna Adams sent me some pictures of the snow from Pittsylvania County and the community of Java. I'm glad they did, because by the time I get down again it will all be gone.

It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who likes the way the snow looks on the trees.
Doesn't this third picture remind you of the scenes from "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe"? I almost expect to see the lamp post shining in the middle.

This is Providence United Methodist Church in Java. I'm sure the parking lot will be clear and dry by Sunday, since they are saying the weather will be turning unseasonably warm by the weekend.

Thanks for the pictures ladies.

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Like A Lion

Well, here it was the first day of March, the first Sunday of Lent, and we get the biggest snow storm we have had in central Virginia in more years than I can remember. Not that I'm complaining, I had Monday off from the doctors office and it was beautiful to look at.

That having been said, our dog, Millie has no love of snow. She is a dachshund, which means short legs, and she a bit on the hefty side, so her tummy drags through the snow. Now, just a word about my girl's weight. She's 13 years old, which is 91 in human years. So, I don't consider her fat, she's matronly.

She let me know at about 4 this morning that it was time to go out and take care of business. It didn't take long after getting outside for her to realize that it was a mistake. She does her business on the grass, not on the snow. No yellow snow for Miss Millie.
It was still snowing when we went out and you could still see the bottom of the car.
My azalea bushes looked more like mounds of shaving cream.
Millie got tired of waiting for me and headed back inside.

At four in the morning it was all soft and quiet.
By 11 o'clock in the morning the sun was out and we had 10 inches of snow in the backyard. The birds were busy at the bird feeders.

The Blue Ridge Mountains were breathe taking in the afternoon. The temperature barely made it up the freezing, but the sun was bright.

Joanne and I took a ride to get a better view of the mountains after her doctors appointment. We stayed on the roads that had been scraped.
The Peaks of Otter, Sharp Top to the left and Round Top to the left.

It was the month of March coming in like a lion. The weather forecast is that we will have temperatures in the 60's by this weekend. The snow will be just a memory.