Monday, May 12, 2008

A May Potpourri

A few random thoughts on a number of different issues:

Evidently, to be seen as a credible political candidate, you have to "denounce" your preacher.

Recent admittedly inflammatory, if not conspiratorial comments by Rev'd Dr. Wright have demanded a response from the political candidate who used to call him pastor, or spiritual advisor, or person he only sorta once knew. It all gets to be a bit much after awhile, doesn't it? I'm the first to make it clear that we clergy are not perfect and that some of us relish our "humanity" a bit more than others. Some of us heed well the maxim of the great Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther, who said that if we were to sin, then "sin boldly."

I'm not going to parse what Dr. Wright said or didn't say. Frankly, I was surprised he was silent as long as he was, but when he spoke, brother came out swinging, didn't he? Think about it - would you want the sum of your professional life reduced to a few words?

But one word of caution - it is easy to dismiss larger truths when they are wrapped in what appears to be rambling, if not at times irrational rhetoric. One thing's for certain, he didn't need any help from the YouTuber's who looped sound bites out of context - he can get it plenty stirred up on his own in context. But as I alluded in a previous post, to dismiss the prophet completely is to dismiss what the prophet points toward.

So if any of my congregants run for office (again), I give you blanket permission up front to "denounce" me if it helps the cause. But if denouncing me helps your cause, I have to wonder if your cause is one I'd want to be a part of anyway.


The first of the month brought with it an anniversary. We passed the one year anniversary of my intentional efforts to get my weight down and live a healthier life. For about six months, I was a “JC”man - right there with the girls from "Cheers" and "One Day at a Time."

And I hated it.

Nice enough folks, to be sure - but in the end, the issue with JC is the cost against the basic tenet they preach. It's not nutrition so much (although that's there), but portion control.

During that time, I logged my progress on this blog. I did it as much as a means to make me be accountable at a time when it was clear that I was not able to do it on my own. I've appreciated the words of encouragement and support that helped assuage the powerful self-loathing I was experiencing for allowing myself to get into such a mess.

Since October of 2007, I've managed and progressed on my own. I've not weighed in some time. My guess, based on how I was charting before I stopped weighing weekly, is a total loss thus far of between 45-50 lbs. But the measure I go by is how I feel, and the daily-ness of being aware of what I'm eating. A regular day for me has me eating 1,750 calories. A splurge is 2,500.

And then there's this -

Today, Kristy told me to go into Andrew's room and pack up some clothes he can't wear anymore to take to Neighborhood Centers. In that stack was a pair of short that he wore last Summer for our family portrait on the beach. 34" waist. I figured, what the heck, let's see what happens. I had already achieved one goal and made it so I could wear 36" waist jeans again (I'm wearing a pair even right now as I write this). So, with the shorts, one leg in - so far so good, the other...uhh, a bit snug but they're on. And now, the moment of truth --yes, I fastened them. No, I can't wear them out of the house. I won't wear them in the house, not yet---but those shorts are not going to Neighborhood Centers. Nope, I put them in my drawer. August, 2008. That's my goal.


And speaking of my beloved Andrew...
guess who's driving now on the streets of Memphis and Shelby County?

One more rite of passage to be sure. It's fun watching him transition from utter fear at the prospect of driving at all to asking virtually every time we get into the car, "can I drive?" Funny how one goes from willingness to receive any and all instruction to looks of dismissal at the very notion that we, the experienced drivers have anything to offer.

But watching him drive (and, by the way, he drives more with his mother than with me - wonder if that means anything?) it occurs to me that my family is growing up - right in front of my eyes. And I wonder how am I growing as a man, a father and husband - how am I growing as a pastor, now over 20 years under appointment? To stop growing, or even to try to be more than what we were is to be complacent with what we are - and no where in the Gospel do I get the indication that Jesus gives us room for that.

One more step on the journey.

This day.

Every day.

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