Friday, October 14, 2011
Well, well...it looks like we have finally come to the end of a really long day. And what an interesting day it was. I just completed a two day seminar called Trellis and The Vine which was focused on promoting and growing discipleship within your church community. I attended with the majority of our church leadership including the pastor and 4 of 6 Elders plus one of the Deacons. I really enjoyed it and far from ruining my impression of the leadership, I respect those fellows even more. I really learned a great deal and had the opportunity to meet Colin Marshall, Co-Author of the book: Trellis and the Vine.
All in all it was an enjoyable day. Unfortunately I am beginning to discover much to my dismay that my health and physical condition is obviously going to continue to bother me and create some limitations in what I am capable of doing and for how long each day .
i have some very serious bladder issues...these were thoroughly checked out went I spent a couple weeks at the Mayo Clinic. The diagnosis was this was a result of damage done over the years and I just have to live with it. It is nearly debilitating and it is an obvious problem so people who are around me realize I spend a great deal of time in the bathroom. I am always experiencing pain from my back, neck legs, feet knees but it has really been accelerated these past three months or so.
I also have issues/side effects related to the medication I take and that causes me issues as well. I get very tired and as a result drink a fair amount of coffee...clearly this complicates the bladder issue: I have to really go but physically my body won't always let me urinate...it's a real struggle. But I have commitments in the community to visit nursing homes yet I have all this stuff I have to do and bring to accommodate my physical limitations. It's a cross that I am going to continue to have to bear... probably to the end of my life. And I accept that...really I accepted that a long time ago. I just try to do the best I can and communicate my limitations to others who may be affected by it as well...so far all is working pretty well.
All in all it felt good to get out and learn some new things, meet some interesting and highly learned people: Physicians, clergy, authors and so on so it was well worth any hassle I had to put up with to get there and stay all day. As is typical after sitting for long periods of time: I can barely walk at the moment...and-whew, that really hurts!
Spending two days with the church leadership was impressive in that they asked for and I obliged by giving them my opinion on a variety of matters. There was not a single discussion that I was excluded from and trust me...I certainly would have understood if I had been. I respect anyone who seeks information any way they can get it if it may improve the situation they are responsible for.
It also gave me the opportunity to hash out more details about the next step in the "face to face out-load Bible Reading Out-Reach" I have piloted at one of the Nursing Homes and proposed to Leadership to bring one evening a week to the church. There seems to be a good amount of support for it from the Elders with three of the six (including the pastor) seeming pretty enthusiastic and the other three supportive at least though I do not know those gentlemen as well so it is hard to really judge. But all have signed off on it...so the ball is in our (mine and God's) court.
So that is really encouraging...often I cannot believe that I...of all people, am actually actively involved not only in a church community but in Christian Outreach to the Elderly, to Inmates at the Branch County Jail and so on. That fact completely BLOWS my mind...
I don't want to sign off tonight though without mentioning a something that is on my heart as I write. I have a couple of friends, including a blogger who frequently reads this blog who are really going through some Sh*t right now. I don't think any of them would appreciate being singled out in any way here publicly but they would know I am referring to them if they read this. Folks you are on my mind tonight and I am thinking and praying hard that you find some resolution for the pain you are feeling and the heartache that one of you (and your family) are currently going through.
Back in the day i would tell you that I didn't like people praying for me...but deep down the truth was I was flattered, amazed and yes...grateful that people actually cared enough to do it. I was also intrigued and part of me really wondered if prayer worked. Today...I am a huge believer in the power of prayer and believe it or not...that belief actually pre-dates my conversion to Christianity. Before that I believed in a generic all powerful CREATOR and would freqently have conversations (read: PRAYER) with HIM all the time and it brought great comfort to me. I truly believe that I at least partially "prayed" my way into a belief in Jesus as my Lord and Savior...Nope, I'm not kidding...I really did.
I suggest it to anyone as well. If you feel lonely or helpless tonight, just pray..it doesn't even have to be addressed to anyone in particular or it could be Creator or God or Whoever...yes, I even used that line for a while: "Dear whoever you are....please give me the strength to stay sober one more day...." Even though there were times I felt like a loon and a hypocrite...the truth is I felt so much relief when I did it...as if perhaps there really WAS something out there and just perhaps...it would help to do it...so I continued to pray.
I know...that sounds crazy as hell but what can I say...I have come a long, long way and something had to change so if things really are hurtful, lonely or just plain sh*tty in your life right now...give it a try. What do you have to lose....except maybe your pain and heartache?!
(Painting by Claude Monet)