musings on a Pancake Sunday…

Today is Pancake Sunday… meaning that in place of our regular Sunday a.m. service, we’ve got tables set up all over the sanctuary & we’re making (& devouring) at least 3 different types of pancakes: Plain with Strawberry topping, Chocolate-chip, & Blueberry. Just thinking about pancakes makes me happy.

Why pancakes? No real reason – I think it could be just about any food, but I especially love hot pancakes smothered in butter & just a little bit of syrup… so I can pick up the pancake & eat it as finger food.

One of the reasons we’re doing Pancake Sunday is to put our proverbial Money where our Mouth is. We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of authentic, connected relationships. Every Sunday we spend 10-15 minutes in “the middle” of the morning for connecting & reconnecting – talking & catching up – hopefully getting beyond the “turn around & say ‘hi’ to the person behind you…” knowing that building a relationship, a friendship, requires that we share time, space, & experience… & that this goes beyond sitting in rows looking at the back of the persons’ head in front of you… to facing each other & interacting.

Funny (& true story:) Last week at our Foursquare Convention in Atlanta, one of the speakers was talking about the importance of building relationship & community – he challenged us saying:

If you REALLY want to get to know somebody, you should sit around a table & eat pancakes with them. There’s nothing that brings people together like pancakes. And syrup.

It cracked me up – because it reminds me that the idea to do pancakes for ‘church’ isn’t unique to us… & that there’s a common thread & desire for knowing & being known that is popping up all over the place.

Last night at 10, just as we were headed toward dreamland, we heard shouts of alarm from thePastyOne downstairs. He’d been in the garage creating the usual culinary masterpiece: deep fried chicken, made with his special BBQ Hot sauce.

Turns out the water pipe leading to our water heater burst. Again. Happened last week as well, & fortunately, also as someone was in the garage to see it & minimize the damage.

So, after some trials & tribulation, we were able to get the main water turned off & the plumber called. Hopefully, they’ll be able to get the pipe replaced (again!) & hopefully it will hold for more than a week. And then we’ll have water powering the faucets, shower heads, & toilets…

The momentary inconvenience serves as a reminder to me… that there are a lot of people in our world (& some in our country,) that go without fresh running water every day. Something that can be done about that is to click HERE.

Got to thinking about friendship last week at convention after one of the main sessions… mostly about friendships that have faded, dissipated, waned, &/or downright disappeared. A few names & faces came to mind, & I pondered… with some of the people I know EXACTLY what happened, the very MOMENT the friendship started to go south. But with several others, I have no clue. Zero. Don’t have any idea of what took place (or didn’t…) what led to the drifting apart. The break down. The development of actual animosity even… which is worse than just losing touch… something has happened, some real/perceived violation (or series of violations) that caused a breaking. And I’m clueless.


Yesterday, I had the privilege of doing the wedding for Dave & Kim. I’ve known Dave for 9 years. He lost his 1st wife, Sue, to cancer a couple years back. It was incredibly painful ordeal for the family & for our church family as well. One of the most challenging & difficult seasons of church life we’ve navigated.

I found myself yesterday reflecting on the pain of death & loss. Grief. Confronted, & even surprised by joy. The strange mixture of all of the above. Seeing Dave so happy, absolutely beaming as he watched Kim walk down the aisle to him. I wept as they declared their undying love & devotion to each other, repeated vows, & spoke their thankfulness at all that God has done in bringing them together. So happy.

Dave got a job that will require him to relocate to Sacramento – meaning that the wedding was also a “goodbye.”

Sigh. My heart feels like mush.

musings on a quiet Friday…

Woke up this morning with a start. I think I was responding to something in a dream, a dream that faded as quickly as my eyes opened. My heart thumped & raced for several minutes as the adrenaline push kept me on ‘high alert’ status, while I talked myself down to calmness, reminding self where I was.

Fun way to wake up. Reminds me of the days when our big kids were oh-so-very-little, & they’d sneak into my room on tip-toe, trying to make it to mom’s side of the bed, trying not to wake dad. As if.

Then they’d poke theBean in the arm with their poky little fingers & whisper (ever heard a 3 year old whisper?) Which of course would wake theBean in a fright, (like when we watched the oh-so-suspenseful The Count of Monte Cristo & the over/under of theBean surprise-screams was 10. And anyone who knows her always takes the over. Always.) Which then would wake me in fight/flight mode.

Yeah. It was kinda like that.

Planning my 1st trip to catch some Ace-ball this coming Wednesday – the first day game of the year. TheBean got the day off from work, so she & I, Brintus & Meekus, will be soaking in the rays & enjoying baseball. Hmmm. Can’t wait.

This last week, my dad’s aunt passed away. Which meant that Tuesday was a family graveside ceremony & Thursday was a public memorial. Which meant time with family & friends, many that I haven’t seen in a while.

Which makes me see the benefit of a family reunion. Never thought I’d be contemplating putting one together. But I digress…

Standing graveside, I wept. For so many reasons. When someone you’ve known, & has known you for every day of your life passes, there is a shaking, a bit of a tearing, in the fabric of life, as though a well-loved & favorite pair of pants develop a significant rip along a seam, a seam that can be patched, but that will forever be different & less-than-whole.

The woman I knew as Dottie, my Grandpa Locke’s sister, & her husband Bruce had been the ones that had prayed with my parents 40 years ago, & had led them into relationship with Jesus Christ, an event that has forever shaped our family & altered my destiny.

Thinking of the influence of one person on another, & the long lasting & multi-faceted ripples that touch so many unforeseen people & places. Makes me want to be a better man.

I hear people apologize for crying all the time, as though the revelation that GASP! their emotions have moved them, & surfaced in the form of tears is a violation of an unspoken social contract.

Crying, weeping, happen because of the circumstances of life. Joy. Grief. Disappointment. Fulfillment. Hope. Loss.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 ESV

More coffee, & I contemplate the spectrum of experience this week. Aunt Dottie’s funeral & memorial Tuesday & Thursday; & Matty & Nicole’s wedding Saturday.

I’ve known Matty since he was about 9, when his world revolved around Batman, baseball, & cheese & crackers. (Now that I think about it, not much has changed… ) The joy I feel at my friend stepping into this marriage relationship, especially with someone as wonderful & incredible as Nicole, brings tears to my eyes.

Seems that tears will always be a regular part of the human experience, especially where your life touches & is touched by others in meaningful & significant ways. Which means being vulnerable. Risking. Persevering. Stretching. Hoping. Repenting. Forgiving. Living life well.

Gymnasium is calling, singing the siren song of the Kettlebell.

I’m coming, I’m coming!

Saturday-ness in the Inclement Weather…

Just got in from shoveling. Again. It’s like a competition. This bout with the shovel was the best, because it was raining. Truly. Nothing like it, especially with the promise of more snow for the evening. Ahh.

I got to perform a wedding earlier this afternoon. Right before I went into the sanctuary, I stopped to look through the foyer windows & out into the world – amid the falling snow, I saw sun. Little blue sky. Rays sparkling off the plentiful snow piled on the ground. Beautiful, like myriad diamonds. What an environment to do a wedding in, I thought.

After the wedding, I was lurking outside the room where the pictures of the bride & groom & their families were being taken… thinking about the weather, wondering when in my life I’d learned to hate snow. Don’t know. At some point, the sheer joy that falling snow would bring had been replaced by a dread, a tangible negative response in my gut. Tried to pin the time down, but nothing came to mind. It’s fear.

Fear? Of snow? Why? Hmm.

Weez - 01/2005 SnowstormIs it from worrying about having to transport youth group kids from home to Camp in the mess of snow? Worrying about theBean traveling from Sonora to C-town when we were dating? Getting stranded during my Domino’s delivery days? Or is it more recent, from the blizzard of 2005?

Why fear?

Something comes to mind: Danger. Separation. Isolation. Being without. Lack.

Hmm. Not sure why, but the realization & beginnings of identification with the pit in my gut makes me feel better. I pray. Ask for a new way of seeing snow. For comfort. Truth. Confidence in my God’s care & provision for me.

I look outside again & see that there is a backhoe in the Church parking lot. Scraping the snow off the lot & the driveway. It’s Rod, a guy from Church – he found out we didn’t get the lot scraped after the big snow Monday & borrowed the backhoe from his workplace. Then, he came up on his day off & spent a few hours plowing & scraping the residual snow & ice from the lot. Went out & talked with him. He was beaming. Glad to help, to do ‘his part.’

I wept…

Now, it’s later, & I look at the winter wonderland that has enveloped all I can see around me. Flakes the size of Silver Dollars (remember those!?) are falling. I sense awe, & wonder. Ponder the beautiful blanket of snow that makes everything it covers a work of art. Amazing.

I want to go shovel again… maybe later.