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Showing posts from June, 2010

safe and sound

coming to you live tonight from the air mattress on the floor of my new bedroom, just to let you know that we made it safe and sound to sunbury, and are once again residents of the great state of pennsylvania. i'm not going to lie: there were a few tears in my eye as i left my old new jersey home, but sitting here on this air mattress with my family in this new house, i feel ready to begin a new venture. the first venture will be unpacking all our stuff which will arrive on the trucks tomorrow. thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.


more from maine: random

a few more pics from maine.  this is about all i can sort through right now with the move and all.  as you can tell, the kids weren't huge fans of big al's.  but they did like to play by the water.

future and fortunes

yes, this is our dining room.  full of so much cardboard and packaging tape.  the soundtrack to the last week has been the squeal of that thin plastic tape, wrapping itself around all our belongings: toys, memories, necessities, and several items that shannon wanted to get rid of buy i lobbied for.  i mean, you seriously never know when you're going to need a box of bread ties. 
what?  it could happen.
anyway, there's not a great deal of cooking going on here, as there really isn't anything to eat on/with, so the other night we ordered chinese.  i've resigned myself to always getting the lamest fortunes that the people at the fortune cookie factory could dream up, like, "this is your fortune."  that's it.  thank you very much.  or another one i liked (hated): "things will continue to happen."  i mean, i guess it's slightly promising because if it had foreseen that things would stop happening, that would be truly ominous.  but this week i actu…

more from maine: lobster time

as you can see, we enjoyed some fresh lobster in maine.  nothing quite like taking your food home alive and cooking it in your kitchen.  it has a certain primitive feel to it.  but not quite as primitive as squirting lobster juice across the room when you crack open one of those claws.  it's just a messy dinner, hence the very informative bibs.  hope you enjoy these pics. 
.....we're still packing....

you. are. loved.

this last sunday was my final chance to preach at clinton united methodist church.  preparing for this sermon was rather difficult for me.  first of all you have the overwhelming pressure of trying to prepare something significant and adequate to be a powerful postlude to four years of ministry.  it feels like a much bigger deal than preparing your average sermon.  then there's the question of topic.  what do you talk about?  what becomes the one message that you want to leave people with? 
for me that part was pretty simple.
i once had a mentor who told me that every preacher basically has one sermon, and that you preach that sermon over and over again.  no matter what text or topic you are tackling, you are always still preaching that one sermon.  ever since i heard that, i have found that so compelling, and it hasn't been too difficult for me to put my finger on precisely that one sermon.  it's simple:
you. are. loved.

and so that's what i preached on sunday.  i used …

i love me

well, that may be true to a lesser or greater extent, but i'm referring here to maine (ME), from whence we've just returned.  we had a wonderfully relaxing and isolated 5 days, and i'm glad we took the time to go up, even in the midst of everything that still needs to be packed and done.  it was good for the soul to get away, even to what feels a bit like the edge of things up there, what with all the rocks and the icy ocean crashing itself repeatedly, as if trying to break the world into sand.  i'll probably be sharing several picks from the trip over the next week or so, but here are a few introductory picks from our vacation. 

now only this week remains for us as residents of new jersey.  hard to believe that my 12-year stint in the garden state is coming to a close.  anyway, shannon and i are frantically packing and cleaning and tying up loose ends and trying to get everything done in time for moving day.  i'll be posting some more pics from maine, and possib…

on vacation - out of pocket

i'm in maine.  on the coast.  i'm on vacation.  i get no cell signal.  and an occasional wireless signal.  so basically, i'm incommunicado for a few days.  if you check in here and see that i'm not updating, just know what i'm recharging.  i'll get back atcha when i return to the garden state for my last week as a resident there. peace out.

a new thing

hello friends.  hope you're having a wonderful weekend.  i am writing to you from the inaugural session of the susquehanna conference of the united methodist church.  this new conference is a kind of merger between the former central pennsylvania conference and the former wyoming conference (the part which included northeast pennsylvania).  this will now be the conference which i will be a part of (technically on loan to) for the future.  it is exciting to be here, to be a part of a new thing God is doing in this region, and to begin my journey here.  i know a few familiar faces, and the music is being provided by my friend Mark Miller from new jersey, so it's great to feel that connection to home today.  as i sit here in this conference i feel very much like i'm straddling some border between "here" and "there," with one foot in new jersey and one foot in pennsylvania; one foot in saying goodbye and one foot in saying hello; one foot in fondly remember…

swimming in cardboard

just a short note today to say that this whole moving thing, when added to an already busy mix of graduations, vacation planning, annual conferences, saying goodbyes and, oh yeah, still doing my job, is turning out to be quite a bit more than i anticipated.  so please excuse me if my, um, usual dazzling wit and charming prose is somewhat absent during these days.  in the meantime, i'll be working with this, accompanied by the squeal of packaging tape: 

have a great weekend.

why i am not a hunter

as some of you know, there is no great love in me for squirrels.  next to wasps, they are my least favorite of God's panoply of created animals.  they are basically tree-climbing rats with bushy tails, and, in a former living situation, they enjoyed terrorizing me. 
thankfully, that stage of my life is over because i'm not sure i could handle another squirrel pooping on my bed or jumping out of the garbage can at me everytime i go outside to throw something away.  during that stage of my life i tried various methods of the troublesome varmints, but everytime i got close my guilt overwhelmed me.  what can i say, i'm a lover, not a squirrel-killer. 
a story from last week illustrates the point well.  i was driving down a road very near my house and i could see something on the road ahead of me.  as i approached i realized that it was a holy moment.  someone had made roadkill out of a little gray furball, and as it  lied there, a hairy gray pancake drizzled…

my son graduated (from preschool)

i'm pretty sure when i graduated from eighth grade, i got a little certificate and a small ceremony in which the principal mispronounced my last name.  that's it.  no fanfare.  no pomp.  no circumstance.  just a pat on the back and a "now go to high school and get 'er done." 
but things have changed, it seems.  two weeks ago my 5-year old finished his second year of preschool.  preschool.  the very word gives you a clue here: he hasn't even gone to school yet!  it is PRE-school.  but, he graduated, had a program, got a diploma, and a luncheon.  some of the other parents brought their children flowers and gifts, which made us feel like total loser parents, but the more i thought about it, the more i was okay with our lack of excessive behavior.  i mean, it's preschool, for crying out loud.  he got a report card and his lowest grade was in "skipping."  so my son can't skip.  he can, however, write his name, draw a line, count to 17 and listen…

taking you with me

it feels a bit strange to write this morning, because i don't often go this long without posting more, but i was at annual conference without a satisfactory connection to the interwebs, and then when i got home i was preparing for the acoustic orange show and then spent all day yesterday recovering from it.  but here i am: alive and well.

it's been a very rich weekend, as this whole season of my life has been.  thursday was the yankee game, and it was an absolutely gorgeous day just to be sitting in yankee stadium, enjoying a baseball game in the gorgeous june sunshine, among the faithful, sharing in the occasional high five. 

from there i drove south to valley forge, pa, for the annual conference of the greater new jersey annual conference of the united methodist church.  normally this is a weekend of business and presentations, votes and worship, and reconnecting with old friends.  and while it was still those things, it was mostly just alot of goodbyes.  i have so many col…

annual conference

hello friends. i'm blogging from my blackberry, because i'm at annual conference and can't find a wireless signal for my laptop. so while I wanted to tell you how great it was to see the yankees sweep the o's at the stadium yesterday, and how exciting annual conference is so far, this will have to suffice for now. you can follow the proceedings on twitter. peace out for now.

going to the cathedral

today i am going here...

to hopefully see this guy...

do this...

the yankees have won four in a row, and need to keep the trend going against the orioles today, to finish up the series sweep.  a wonderful friend from church invited me to the game this afternoon, which means i get to see cc sabathia hopefully straighten out his recent troubles and have some fun with the orioles anemic offense.  i also hope to see cano continue his incredible hot streak, the cisco kid hustling down the line, gardner beating out an infield hit, and the captain just being the captain.  i'll be the one wearing his #2 jersey, appreciating every moment in the cathedral of baseball. 
last night, in anticipation, i watched this dvd:

and, among other things, it reminded me of the absolute thrill of walking into a ballpark.  i have written about this before, but i still remember the first time i walked into a ballpark.  it was three rivers stadium in pittsburgh, and it literally took my breath away.  i thought …

acoustic orange: the farewell show

hey soul sisters and brothers, if you live in the area and would like something to do on saturday night, then come on out to the friendly grounds coffeehouse in flemington, see acoustic orange (me and Justin Mehaffy) do our thing and help support the fight against cancer at the same time!  all proceeds go to the acs relay for life.  as you can see from the poster, we'll be covering all sorts of artists, including death cab for cutie, train, jack's mannequin, tom petty, steve earle, stevie wonder, and many many more.  justin plays the guitar and sings wonderfully and basically carries us.  i sing harmony mostly, and then tinker around on various instruements trying not to get in the way too much.  somehow, it works pretty well, but this is sort of our last show, since i will soon be moving to pennsylvania, although plans are already in the works for an international reunon tour.  i will also have some of my collages there for sale, so definitely come check it out.  we'd love…

bad haircuts (for a laugh)

everybody needs to laugh.  one good way i have found to make that happen is to do a simple google image search for 'bad haircut.'  when you do so, some of the following gems show up.  thankfully, my 9th grade school picture does NOT show up.  otherwise, it would certianly make this list!  please laugh freely and without inhibition.  thank you and have a nice day.