Saturday, June 23, 2007

3 Monsoons & a Tornado

Yet again, it's been a little while since I posted. I'm rife with excuses - which include being away & preparing for a move, which is what I wanted to share. I have literally traveled through three monsoons and experienced a very real, yet very figurative tornado. Let me set the scene:

Last weekend we were in Canada for my step-dad's graduation & a family reunion. It was all a lot of fun and hopefully I'll get a chance to post on the photo album some pictures from the trip. On the way home we stopped in Syracuse for the night and a day and then ended up at home Sunday night. Then I rented a car and headed out to Columbus, OH for my examination before Presbytery.

The examination went very well. While I was bumped in the docket from before lunch until after, all of the questions asked of me were very cordial and it seemed like no one was fishing or baiting me into anything. None of them waited around for a follow-up to clarify and after I was asked a second time my opening question, this time by an older gentleman who was either out of the room or just missed hearing it the first time, they moved to arrest questioning and within about five minutes I was asked to return with applause where they had accepted me unanimously. But that's where the fun began...

I headed out after coffee with my Sr. Pastors and maybe that's where I should recap. I drove 4 hrs (Cambridge-Syracuse, NY) Saturday, 4hrs (Syracuse-Princeton, NJ) Sunday, 7 hrs (Princeton-Columbus, OH) Monday and now am embarking on a return - 4 days and 22 hrs of driving after it would be all said and done - or so I thought...

I headed out of Columbus, where it had been mostly a sunny & warm 20 hrs (little rain in the morning). But now, I headed straight into monsoon #1. I could see 10 ft in front of the car with the wipers going full speed, driving 32mph - putting a slight damper into getting home in 7hrs. It cleared up about an hour later and traffic picked up as well. But by West Virginia (I was traveling 70 to the PA Turnpike) I hit monsoon #2. Not quite as bad as #1, but when a transport truck passed me, making my visibility nearly nil, it was pretty insane. Wipers were still on full speed and it was a little stressful. But again, things cleared up and within an hour it looked like I had finally hit the other side of the storm. This of course was not quite to be. Because somewhere around the time I got to Philly or just outside, monsoon #3 hit and lasted until I got home. Again, not quite as bad as the first one, but the wipers were going full speed and the water shooting over the median from transport trucks making me hyrdoplane precariously close to other cars.

Those were my monsoons - but I survived. Then the tornado hit - our movers (packers) came yesterday. AMAZING! This was pretty much everything I prayed for when we moved in here three years ago. I just wanted someone else to pack & move us. It happened. We have to live in box city for the weekend until the movers load the truck, but if that's the only problem we have, I'll be excited. They were one in about 4 hrs - three guys and a ton of boxes and four hours (plus their lunch & breaks) later and almost everything was packed. There's a few minor stuff left for us to do (food & some clothes & bathroom stuff - we have to be here a few days ourselves still) but they did a fantastic job.

I may post once before we leave, but at the rate I've been posting, the next post might be from Ohio...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Puke City

I have to say, I love kids and I ESPECIALLY love my son. I love hanging out with him and it's been an especially neat opportunity that I've had this past year and a half to be his "primary" caregiver as Bridgette has worked full-time to put me through seminary. HOWEVER, I have to admit that i don't think I'm entirely cut out to be a "house husband." And days like today are a reminder of that.

Brennan woke up fine today (unlike yesterday when he woke up around 4:45am and was awake/asleep for the next three hours before he finally took a real "nap"). But after waking up and having a bottle and pooping up a storm, which I changed, at 7:30am Brennan proceeded to vomit up his ENTIRE bottle which resembled runny cottage cheese much more than the whole milk he had consumed not twenty minutes prior. So today, the day Bridgette had scheduled a BBQ birthday party with all our remaining friends here at PTS, I spent the day in various stages of lying around, soothing, cleaning vomit and attempting to get Brennan to sleep off his apparent virus.

It's truly hard to believe that a kid that cute could be that smelly and un-cool, but sickness does that to you, even if you ARE the cutest kid in the world. Anyway, that's how I've spent today, that and acquainting myself with this whole "Facebook" thing. Not sure if it's going to burn out like pogo-balls, blow up like the dot-com craze, be superceded like MySpace or be the real deal for years to come. We'll see...

Monday, June 04, 2007

It's Official!

First of all, I apologize for all of the lack of posting and cryptic news that I've been putting up in the last couple months. As I've come to discover, this whole process of finding/negotiating/receiving & finalizing a call is both long and tricky. Since the first interview it has been a 10 week process - and that is short. But yesterday, June 3, after preaching at the church for the first time, the congregation voted 172-3 to extend me a call as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship of Liberty Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio. GO BLUE!

First, an aside about those 3. At first, I was hoping for that wonderful "unanimous" stamp of approval on the thing. And when I heard the official vote read, I was a little disappointed. "You mean, there are at least three people who DON'T want me here? Who AREN'T happy with me, with my sermon, with the brief moment we shared yesterday morning at the meet and greet?" And then I was reminded of a very simple fact - 3 was the perfect number to keep me humble. Every time I think I'm cruising along, and everything is turning up daisies - or is it roses - who knows... I can look back at those 3 and remind myself - I'm not perfect. It's not about me. There are always going to be people who aren't going to appreciate what I do, or me as a person. There's always going to be people who don't like my style, my sense of humour, the fact that I'm Canadian or a Wolverines fan... So, I think those 3 no votes were perfect. It's no secret I need to be kept humble.

Anyway, by Wednesday we should be able to decide on a moving company and it looks as though we'll be heading out somewhere between June 22-27, the dates we close & take possession of our new house. I'll blog more on that later. We're REALLY going to miss our friends here at Princeton, but we also recognize what an amazing opportunity this is. We're actually moving CLOSER to my family in Cambridge, ON, Canada. We'll only be about 6 hours away - you can only imagine how excited my mom is to see Brennan more. The church itself, is pretty neat. Their sanctuary is an enormous Amish-built Barn. It's gorgeous - all the beautifully stained wood, the tree-stump pulpit... The Senior pastor - or should I say Senior PastorS - because they're a married couple who share, so co-pastor - are wonderful. It's going to be a really neat experience working in that kind of context. Ever since the news has been leaking out that this was looking like a serious possibility, once being extended the call from the nominating committee and on through, everyone I've talked to about this church and these pastors have been so excited for us. It just seemed like confirmation upon confirmation that this was a good place - a good call. And with Sunday's vote, it's confirmed.

The next steps for me look like this - for those of you keeping score at home: July 1 is my start date. I'll go to the floor of the Scioto Valley Presbytery for examination June 19. And I'm currently floating July 22 & September 9 as possible ordination dates back in Los Angeles at Bel Air Presbyterian Church. Then, we'd probably be looking at a service of Installation at Liberty In September or October. The sooner the better because John & Becky (co-pastors) want someone else who can perform the myriad of weddings that they have at Liberty - you know, with such a beautiful sanctuary, they're literally coming out of the woodwork to be married there.

So, I promise to keep you all more abreast of developments. The big reason that I haven't been posting a lot recently is simply that this stuff has been on my mind mostly, and I wanted to be careful about how much I put online without things being official. That's always tricky. Because once you hit "send" or "post" it's GONE. And you can't take it back. That's that but keep checking back in - as soon as I have the revisions made to my sermon digitally that I did by hand, I'll post that and I have at least one post to make about our HORRID experience traveling home yesterday/today. Aggrrhhh! And of course, we'll post info about our new house & all that fun stuff too...