a Monday that reminds me of a holiday, & other musings…

For some reason, today has seemed like a holiday, albeit one that I chose to go to work. Don’t know why… maybe its due to the fact that this is the last Monday before all 3 kids return to school (Pasty to his 1st college semester at TMCC, iDoey to his sophomore year at Reed High, & theWeez to 8th grade at Mendive Middle.) Or it could be the 2 pots of coffee that I & the fam kicked the day off with. More than good coffee at that.

It’s hard not to smile today as well, thinking of the 49er game last night. I know its just preseason, but the more the preseason advances, the closer the REGULAR season comes. Which means about 2 weeks until it’s on. And the NFL season starting seems like a holiday. Hooray. And on that note, iDoey’s JV season kicks off in about a week as well. Good times.


Part of the holiday feeling I know is lingering from theBean & my impromtu vacation travels. I can’t remember a trip where I’ve come back feeling more rested, relaxed, & ready to engage in the world around me. Many previous vacations ended leaving me with the feeling that I needed a vacation… I think this one didn’t because we didn’t pack the schedule with Stuff To Do. Cause I’m not really a Stuff To Do person. More of a cook & chill, sit around by the pool, lounge on the deck, & eat person. And hey now! I am good at that.


It’s 8/23, so today is the day that I submit my grad school application. At long last, I am hoping to launch into continuing education through the LPC starting in January.


Last night, I felt the briskness in the air that indicates fall is just around the corner. Loved sitting on the porch with theBean, under a mostly full moon, thinking of the days & nights when I’ll actually need a hoodie… On that note, I love sunsets. There, I’ve said it. Not so much because they’re Beautiful. They are. But mostly because it means the fiery orb has left the sky for the day, allowing the night’s coolness to come & comfort us from the heat of the day.


Muse-ing.


Broke out my guitar today… haven’t played it in weeks, as it had found its way to Pasty’s closet somehow. Been making do with Brother’s 12-string Takamine/Martin knockoff. It (the 12-string) has an amazing sound & feel, which I’d love to play, plugged in. However, there seems to be an issue with the pickup that will preclude that happening.

I love to sit in the quiet of my office & just play whatever progression comes to mind; sing bits of songs, think & meditate… pray & talk. Sing the Psalms. That & a cup of coffee makes me feel like I’m hanging out with Jesus, spending time together… truly it feeds my soul & rejuvenates even the nooks & crannies of my being.

Deutschland Travels, Spring 2010, Day #7

Woke up around 8:30 to the heavenly smell of coffee & homemade cinnamon rolls; Laura is an amazing cook. Just sayin. Evidently, I’ve taken to saying, “Tasty!” so often in response to our meals that Taylor (6) & Elliot (3) the Dueck’s 2 oldest boys, have started using the word as well. Now just to get Max (2) saying it too…

Sitting around the counter eating, the personalities of the 3 boys come out. Makes me think about how very unique the experience is to be growing up as a pastor’s kid… having people in your home all the time… with church days not just ‘going’ to church but ‘running’ it… I’m reflecting back on my own childhood, growing up ‘in the church,’ & also the experiences of my kids; wondering how & in what ways that has shaped their personalities & life outlook. Note to self.

Different service schedule today at TPLF: 1 song, then some announcements & ‘missions discussion’, followed by the speech – with the last 30 minutes or so being set aside for worship/response. The worship team was led by Kyong-he & Steve G… Kyong-he has got a voice that reminds me a lot of Kate Miner, & she is a very skillful & sensitive worship leader, in that you don’t ever really NOTICE her so much as simply FOLLOW her in worship through songs, spontaneous spoken praise, silence, & celebration. Steve is an Englishman living in Frankfurt, & is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, with a quick wit & ready story. He’s also incredibly willing to help in whatever way he can, & is a great example of how someone with the gift of evangelism has integrated into the ebb & flow of life in & around TPLF.

Today is the last of a 4 week series on the mission of the church – it’s interesting to me to see that though many things have changed, including the pastor of TPLF, the mission statement hasn’t.

    -Living for Jesus
    -Living for each other
    -Living for Frankfurt
    -Living for Germany & the World

The text I spoke from was Acts 8:26-40, about Philip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch/treasurer on the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza. If you’re interested in hearing it, you can try to find it here. What really stood out to me about that portion of scripture is that “living for the world…” doesn’t always mean having to go to the far corners of the earth (ironic, I know, as I am writing this from Frankfurt, about 5500 miles from home.) The story of Philip is an example where the world has come to him – & he (Philip) responds to the leading of the Holy Spirit in starting a conversation with a man seeking to know God, & in turn, touches & helps change an entire nation.

To me, it’s not about aiming for greatness, or trying to be significant, let alone famous… its being available to serve, to obey, to be lead in a simple way to do whatever God puts in front of me to do… whether I can see the “WHY” behind it or not. Obedience is better than sacrifice, & the real joy comes from gladly doing the will & purposes of God.

I really enjoyed having the worship/song/reflection portion at the end of the service – it gave a lot of time & possibility for listening & responding to the LORD… & also felt like a ‘good’ fit for the message & the day.

Its always great to be at TPLF & have the opportunity to renew the acquaintance of old friends, & to meet new people. Today was even better – my dear friend Anja came over from Mainz (about 25 miles away,) & Julia, the young woman from Aachen, Germany that lived with us for 6 months,) made the 2-hour trek by with her sister & a friend to be in the service. It’s hard to put into words the response that that kind of love evokes. What special & dear friends.


After church, several of us made our way to a restaurant just around the corner from TPLF – Koriander (formerly Zimt und Koriander – now under new ownership.) I think that they have great pizzas, so that’s what I got – a personal pepperoni & pineapple, complete with a dark Hefeweizen. Mmmm. That should get your mouth watering.

We walked from the restaurant, talking & catching up on the last few months – & navigated the short distance to Eddy & Laura’s house. They were having an ‘open house’ for any who wanted to come by & sample some of Laura’s baked goods & drink some tea or coffee. The house was filled with great smells, peals of laughter, & good talks. Aris & Steve had us all rolling with their witty repartee.

Too soon, it seemed, the afternoon flowed into the evening, & our friends had to make their way home, especially those that had traveled so far. It brought tears to my eyes to say goodbye to my friends, for whom I’m so thankful.

The family & I spent a quiet evening with a light supper (tasty!) & now the boys are in bed & I’m trying to catch up on the happenings of the day with news from home & Hillside. When I’m here in Frankfurt, I try to be “HERE”; while at the same time, I dearly miss my wife, my family, friends, & church family.