Sunday, February 15, 2009

A "Special Award"

I'm the most recent member of Small Town's Volunteer Fire Department & Ambulance Service.

Last night at their Appreciation Dinner, I received a "Special Award."

Remember this post?

Yah. When I received my turn-out gear, I put my leather pants on backwards and couldn't figure out what was wrong. Two of my parishioner (veteran firefighters) stood there and watched me struggle. Finally one of them said, "Uh, Pastor Net? The fly goes in the front."

My award? A teddy bear in full jump gear with signs that say "Front" and "Back."

I am loved!

How You Know You've Got Him Trained!

A post for Cheerful Friend who just got engaged!!!!!! Squee!!!!!

You know you've got your Hubby trained when ... you talk in your sleep and he answers (while he's still asleep too!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Church Matriarch joined the Church Eternal and Triumphant yesterday afternoon - a week after her stroke and five days after the withdrawal of life support. It's been a tough week for her family.

Small City Famous Hospital folks were absolutely wonderful. They treated CM and her family with dignity, respect and a lot of care. I am grateful for the compassion and support they gave as the process went and on and on.

I was particularly impressed with the palliative care physician and his CRNP. When it became apparent that CM had a significant brain injury and would not recover, the neurosurgeon called in the PC team. On Thursday, when I was visiting, PC Doc stopped in to check on her. He was gentle and soft-spoken and he won me over! We talked for over an hour about bioethics, quality of life, etc.

His approach is holistic. He was concerned about the family's spiritual needs and told me that in his years of PC, he had never encountered a pastor doing a hospital visit. And when he would call upon a family's pastor for pastoral care, he was told, "I don't do that. I leave it up to the hospital chaplains." Wow. I found that hard to believe. I told him I wasn't like that. I was hands on, purely relational and didn't mind doing visiting.

He offered me a job as the PC Team's chaplain! He's building a team to offer the best PC care at Small City's Famous Hospital. He's in charge of assembling a multi-disciplinary group of individuals to provide the best quality of life for PC patients ... medical direction, spiritual support, masseuses, music therapists, etc. I would love to be working with a team like that!

Unfortunately, I really love where I am at right now. If this offer came at this time last year, I'd be all over it. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I would miss the preaching, the Bible Studies, the Youth Group, the Confirmation Class ...

Yeah, I'm a rural small church pastor. And that's all right.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sad Day

Despite the Steeler's last second miracle catch to win Super Bowl 43, it's a sad day at Chez Grace.

Our Son is losing his job due to state budget cuts. His father reminded him last night that the week before he and Daughter-in-Love were married, they had no jobs, no prospects for jobs and would be homeless. God opened doors for both of them. God is always good.

I'll be traveling to Nearby Small City on a Great Sinkhole this afternoon. One of church family's matriarchs had a brain stem bleed on Saturday. Against the family's better judgment, she was intubated and transferred to famous Small City Hospital. The bleed got worse. Tonight, the last of her family will arrive, say their "goodbyes" and she will be disconnected from life support.

Since I was born and raised in this District, I've known Church Matriarch for over thirty years - since I was in my twenties. Matriarch and I were active in District Activities - she was UMW District President and Hub and I were District Youth Coordinators. She said she was so excited when she heard I would be her pastor. She's a grand lady and my life has been blessed knowing her. God will take her hand and welcome her to her heavenly home and God will be with us. God is always good.