Sunday, April 29, 2007

Pastors Are Dorks

Pastors are dorks. Did I seriously need to tell you this? Unless you already are a pastor, or married to one, did you disagree with this statement? Well, I’ve never been on a crusade about letting the world know this, in fact I never really gave much thought to it. However, there must be something really ingrained deep within me that witnesses to this truth. How do I know this? Because the overwhelming thought that kept going through my mind (besides the emotion of excitement) when I found out that I would be pastoring a church is that I’m not nearly dorky enough to be a pastor. Mind you, I have no illusion that I’m not already dorky. I’m very clear on the fact that I am a big dork. Even with that being said, I have a hard time getting over this deep seeded stereo-type about not being dorky enough to be a pastor. I suppose in theory I am ready to give up some things that might define my coolness until now. I mean it is probably time to stop buying funky colored sneakers. As I shop for a new car I will resist getting something fast, and lean more towards practical, although I refuse to get a minivan. It may be about time to retire the disc golf, but I’m not so sure about that. I don’t plan on giving up going to the Little Cinema for interesting thought provoking movies (that may be borderline on the cool/dork scale anyway), and I actually hope to see more live music than I have recently, but in club settings as good music was meant to be heard not some big arena. I have also been giving very serious thought to pulling the trigger on a new tattoo of late.

Overall I imagine that I won’t change much in this new switch. In my high school years I was definitely on a crusade to show that Christians could be cool, but I’ve been over that for a long time now. In fact, if I somehow got to be known as “the cool pastor” I think I might puke. If coolness or dorkiness are what define me as a pastor, or even as a Christian for that matter, than I have failed in living a life that points others to Jesus. But in defense of many of the younger pastors I know, very few are total dorks. Maybe it’s something that comes with time. Something to look forward to!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Big News

Alright, so Bishop Fisher has appointed me as the pastor of Honeoye Falls United Methodist Church. Angie and I are both really excited about this and feel like it will be a great fit for everyone. We’ve known for a week now, but have had to keep quiet about it until it was publicly announced at the church first. In that time excitement has been my main emotion, I’m sure the weight of the responsibility will hit me soon, but for now I’m just going to enjoy it. I’m resisting jumping in with both feet for now. My start date is July 1st and from that point on it will consume a large part of my life. While I will be using the time between now and then to prepare some things and start meeting more people from the church I won’t be devoting all my non-work time to church related issues. I will definitely spend a lot of time between now and then with Jesus and making sure that my heart is inline with his and seeking his face for the sake of the congregation that I have been called to serve.

One thing that I have thought a lot about in the last week is all that God’s Grace has done to and for me. I just keep thinking back to how I was as a middle school kid and the pain I was to pretty much everyone and how God so chased me down that I finally said yes to him and have been chasing him back ever since. It still amazing me the depth of the change that God has worked in my life, the way that Jesus takes that which is seemingly valueless and busted and says, “This is my treasure and I will use it for great things.” By the standard of the world I really should have ended up fairly messed up from the experiences I had as a kid and the path I was heading down as I began to make my own choices about life in adolescence. But that was not God’s plan, and while it somewhat oversimplifies it to say it this way it really is true, all I had to do is say yes to that plan again and again. Jesus has wrecked my life past the point of recognition since I agreed to be caught by his love and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

Jesus, thank you for never giving up on me and for calling me to help others find you in the depths of this messiness that we find ourselves in. May I be true to you, may my heart be your heart, and may I find myself among those willing to have you wreck their lives too. Amen.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Angie my wife, who is a woman all unto her own, is so much more than just a girl that married me. Angie is one of the most amazing people that I have ever met, and I am honored to share this life with her, as we both uniquely contribute to what make us an “us.”

You see, Angie was a little upset with me that I refer to her in my blogs only as “my wife.” As if I view her spousal role as the only thing that defines her, which I know she knows isn’t the case in reality, but she felt that way because of my references to her by her marital title. This has been a conscience choice of mine, to not use her name that is, but mostly out of fear of some weirdo on the web knowing more than he needs to about the woman I love so much. But the reality of it is, unless it is an extremely unintelligent weirdo, it would probably be easy to put two and two together and figure out that the link to Angie on my blog is to the woman I am honored to be the husband of.

So just to put her mind at ease, I want to let her know and the whole world (or the half-dozen or so that read my blog) to know exactly what I think of Angie. Angie is truly one of the most unique and spirited people I have even met in my life. She truly is my soul mate, which among other definitions I would agree with Robin Williams’ character in Good Will Hunting where he describes a soul mate as “someone who challenges you.” Among Angie’s considerable talents are that she can read really fast and cares for others far more deeply than she likes to acknowledge or let be known. She can be very funny, often gruff, and enjoys the finer things in life such as Starbuck’s Mochas and my cooking. As tough as she is inside and out she has a very tender, one might say squishy, soul. This is most readily seen in the love she has for her good friends, siblings, extended family members, dog, amazingly handsome husband (who doesn’t at all mind not being referred to as Matthew), and Jesus.

Forrest Gump said the he and Jenny where like peas and carrots. I think Angie and I are more like gum and long hair on a hot day. There are very distinct things about each of us, and there is no mistaking which is which, but if you think you can separate the two, forget it. Angie is most certainly a she and a we, and any future mention of her in either category is not meant to be limiting to any extent.