I have not posted anything for WEEKS! So, here's an overview of the Top Ten Things That Have Been Keeping Me Busy...
1) Travel. I took a week off to visit my daughter and her family in Gulfport, MS. Always a great treat! It's wonderful seeing how God is using them to build the kingdom in a place that has experienced a lot of pain. I got to spend lots of time with my grandkids. They make me happy in so many ways. Plus I brought a present back with me -- a cat named...
2) Cleopatra! She was a stray cat that showed up at my daughter's home. She was skinny and unhealthy looking, but now - thanks to some tender loving care - she's healthy and happy as can be. She's an illustration of redemption - God taking us on when we're His enemies, loving us when we're unloveable and have nothing to offer, and adopting us as His children. His love transforms us from orphans into sons and daughters. Under His loving eye, what was once duty becomes choice.
3) Ministry. It's been a fun and refreshing challenge to serve as interim pastor at my church while we look for a new senior pastor. I love preaching every week. I love the shepherding role. It keeps me in the Word and pushes me forward in faith. The people at my church are fantastic. They are excited to see what the future holds, and their excitement encourages me to be excited too.
4) Teaching. I teach a preaching lab at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. It's fulfilling helping guys hone their preaching skills. I'm inspired when a guy breaks through the fear and delivers a passionate sermon.
5) Marriage. My wife and I are still adjusting to the empty nest. It's strangely quiet around the house now that our youngest son is in college. We are being challenged to grow and stretch in new ways so that our lives don't lose the energy of earlier years.
6) Movies. I've seen Elizabeth: The Golden Age (beautiful cinematography, questionable history, great acting, sloooooowww story!), Michael Clayton (great story though it took me quite a while to figure out what was going on), Bourne Ultimatum (best action film I've seen in years, and I finally understood a Bourne movie), 3:10 to Yuma (totally engrossing).
7) Facebook. Yes that's right, I'm hooked.
8) FSU. I'm becoming a fan...although it's a miserable season for switching allegiances.
9) Car repairs. Seems that both our cars are choosing to persecute me right now. We had to get a new A/C for our '02 Kia Optima (100,000+ miles) and now the "check engine" light is on...again. Our '95 Nissan Quest (211,000+ miles) is experiencing dementia and arthritis.
10) Friendships. My wife and I are doing a marriage study with our small group that meets every Tuesday night, and it's quite good. I enjoy playing racquetball with two guys twice a week. I meet with a men's group for lunch every Monday. I am getting together often with the elders and deacons of my church and love getting to know them better. I enjoy our neighbors next door, who are also in my small group. And I play tennis sporadically on Fridays with another friend of mine. God has surrounded me with men and women I enjoy knowing and who spur me on.