Flashback Fridays

Yes, this one goes back to 1980.  It’s been interesting to find this old stuff on You Tube.  This is the music of my college and young adult years.  Enjoy Time by Phil Keaggy.

Mosaic Update

Tonight’s update will be short.  We had a good night again.  It seems the students are really beginning to enjoy the worship, rather than just enduring it.  It’s been a two year journey though.  We had some technical difficulties with the projection software, but when I rebooted at home everything worked fine.  We had twenty students and seven staff, which is a little above our current average and a little behind our yearly average.  Rebecca taught the high school tonight for the first time.  Tonight was one of those nights I hoped something that I taught sunk in.  The middle schoolers were a little wired.  The hit of the night was the pigs-in-a-blanket and potato chips and dip.  Unlike two weeks ago, the ride home was uneventful.  Thank you Lord, for letting us minister to the students of Martinsville and Henry County.

A New Milestone

Pam and I are getting ready to enter a new phase in our life.  Tonight, we took James (and the two girls) to Middle School for a getting to know you night.  When James enters Middle School this fall, this will be the first time since Rebecca has been in school that we will not have an elementary student in our family.  It looks like James will be in the band next year.  6th grade band is for beginners and since you have to play a wind instrument first, we’re hoping he will play trumpet (and follow in dad’s footsteps.)  Hopefully, he will be a much better player than I ever was.

The interesting part of the evening is when we were led on a tour of the school by Middle School guides.  It was one of the most disorganized tours, but we did actually learn something from it.  This will also be the first time we have a middle school student (Rebecca and Anna when to Junior High while we were in New York.)  So look out, here comes Middle School

What I am Learning

Several weeks ago I was reading the book Reformers and Revivalists, I was thinking what the founding fathers of the Wesleyan Methodist and the Pilgrim Holiness Churches would think about the churches they founded.  Would they be surprised that women would have difficulty becoming pastors?  I know that I have faced some opposition and so has Rebecca as we work toward ordination.  There are several young men who go to college with Rebecca who dislike the Wesleyan’s view of women in the ministry.  Interestingly enough, they are from a non-Wesleyan background.  They would also like to see us Wesleyans change our viewpoint.  From my perspective, it’s also interesting to note that on the local level the most opposition comes from those of the same gender.  Which is interesting because some of these ladies hold high-level positions in their companies that at one time would have only been held by a man.  Dale has spoke on the great legacy of “Wesleyans” like Orange Scott, Luther Lee, Adam Crooks, and others.  They believed that all humans were created equal.  Paul writes in Galatians 3:28:

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,[a] slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

“True” Wesleyans fought for against slavery in the 1800’s.  These same Wesleyans also hosted the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY.  In addition, these early Wesleyans fought other civil injustice.

Yes, I know the slippery slope arguments, but we are not going there.  Wesleyans have been ordaining women since our inception.  In fact, 40% of the clergy in the Pilgrim Holiness Church in the early part of the 20th century were women.  Wesleyans are not “Johnny-come-lately’s” to the ordination of women.  This has been part of our heritage from the beginning.  While there is opposition, the tide is turning.  Why do I say so?  It appears to be a real possibility that we will elect our first woman General Superintendent this summer.  I know there is underground support for it and even some above ground support.

There are also encouraging signs elsewhere.  The Wesleyan Women WILD conferences are highlighting women in ministry and  is teaching women in the local church the history of women in ministry. The religion departments at our various colleges are helping to educate in this area.  In our district we have a woman on the DBMD (District Board of Ministerial Development.  This board supervises the education and development of potential pastors in our denomination.  It is great to have another woman in the room with me.  Then there is FLAME, which also supports women in the ministry.  It is a safe place for women to talk about their experiences.  Houghton College has recently appointed a woman to serve as its president. We to continue to see doors opened which were closed to female pastors in the Wesleyan Church.  Maybe, there will be a time when this will no longer be an issue.

Monday Night Bowling

Yes, it’s been several weeks and I bowled like it had been several weeks.  Everything was out of sync.  I ended up with a 333 set, which works out to a 111 average.  That was the worst I have bowled since I started on a regular basis almost three years ago.  The team lost 5 and won 2.  Looks like we’ll drop at least to 5th place.  I think it would have been better if I hadn’t even shown up…but you have days like that.

Farewell, Larry Norman

larry-norman-only-visiting.jpgThis morning as I was checking my regular blogs, I learned of the passing of Larry Norman. For those of you new to Christian music, Larry was a pioneer. Anyone who plays or sings contemporary gospel music owes a debt of gratitude to Larry. Some of the songs he wrote are “I’d Wish We’d All Been Ready,” “Sweet Song of Salvation” and a whole lot of others. Even though it’s been years since he’s been in the limelight, he will be missed. Here is Larry’s farewell to all of us who are “only visiting this planet.”

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God’s hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I won’t be here much longer. I can’t do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I’d like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.