2021 At the Vicarage Week # 15

I am having some frustrations with these weekly posts. I have been trying to post little blurbs daily (that works better some weeks than others), but if I am not careful about the posting time, the blog posts to the day I started it rather than the day I actually posted it. This causes the post to get buried at the back of my feed so no one sees it. Apparently that is what happened last week.

Sadness!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Well we won’t have that problem this week as this has been one of those weeks when I failed to post everyday. So today is the day I do all the catching up of what each day held for life at the Vicarage.

April 9th- Day off and housework day! I got laundry done, folded and some more hung up. HJave I mentioned that we don’t have a dryer at The Vicarage? I got rooms swept and stairs swept and some yard work done. Then the evening was given to sermon practice because Saturday is going to be busy!

April 10th– The last few Saturdays I have been trying to set aside for quiet contemplation and sermon practice. I like to preach through my sermons at least three times before I deliver them. It’s not always possible but I try.

This Saturday however I had to meet with a group of ladies who make shawls for people going through life trials. They are preparing a large quantity of shawls to give to a cancer ward and so I went by to pray with them and over this batch of shawls going out. Then I went grocery shopping.

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

It’s funny how my life ebbs and flows between the spiritual and the mundane without missing a beat. I can be praying and preaching one minute and the next I am figuring out what kind of butter to buy. Life is weird like that.

After I finished with the groceries I had coffee with one of my students who is now a minister in CT.

May be an image of Brad Hackett
Rev. Brad Hackett

April 11th– I was elected lead pastor of Cornerstone Church today. It is kind of surreal. This is the church where I became a Christian. It is the church I have served for the large majority of my time as a pastor. Even a year ago I did not think I would ever be taking this step, but here I am!

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Me leading worship

April 12th– Today was writing day. I also had a committal service at the cemetery, a piano lesson a Five Star Man. Around all of that I managed to get my sermon written, my prayer meeting and staff meeting organized, my goal schedule for the week done, some blogging and some work done in my next book.

I haven’t done an update on Pork Chops With the Sentinels Of Azatan in a while because I am in waiting mode. My editor (who is another of my students) just had a baby and so has had to extend our deadline for the completed edits.

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my editor

April 13th– Today was staff meeting day. I have had the lead pastor’s office converted into a meeting room for staff, pastoral meeting and Bible studies. I already have a beautiful office which was redone just over a year ago and the way we are working now I am not in deep need of an office at the church for everyday use. I work from home at least two days a week and I am on the road a lot more than I was before. So using the big office for me seems a poor stewardship indeed. If it weren;t for the fact that I do music lessons and some of my worship rehersals from my current office I could probably switch offices with my daughter and move to her little cubby hole.

April 14th– Today was our Wednesday night Prayer meeting. I love these meetings even if they are currently on line. I look forward to the day we can gather together again. It won’t be long we just have to create the team which will help us carry out the protocols, to keep our people safe as we gather.

https://fb.watch/4Vrw3LAxtD/

April 15th– Today was meeting and visitation day. It started with a voice lesson.

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I don’t teach many students at a time because of time constraints but over the last several years I have contiually taught one or two the craft.

After that Amanda and I had a meeting about what ” Doing Life Together” means for the next generation ministries of our church. “Doing Life Together” is the new model of ministry we are pursuing for our church life.

After meeting with Amanda I took one of our elders to a Drs. appointment and then finished the day in our new meeting room with our church treasurer preparing for our board meeting and our board staff meeting. We spoke about the launch of Five Star Man as our men’s “doinbg Life Together” model and then we spoke about how to build deeper relationship between the board and staff. I really love strategizing!

Share Your World From 4-12-21

Here is my CONTRIBUTION TO THE SHARE YOUR WORLD CHALLENGE FOR THIS WEEK.

Share Your World is the weekly challenge where our hostess, Melanie, asks us several questions. In answering them we all share our worlds a little bit. The questions and my answers are below. You can see the rest of the sharing posts by clicking on the underlined link above.

THE QUESTIONS:

What would be the worst “buy one get one free” sale of all time?

My daughter Amanda says the worst for her would be…Buy one get one free beach trips (she is allergic to the sun).

Me…. Buy one get one free seminars to become a better extrovert….No thank you I am comfortable in my introverted skin.

Have you ever gotten a really bad haircut?  Do share! 

No. But I have had the barber cut my ear with the razor. Ouch!

Isn’t Disney Land and Disney World (and all the variants) just a people trap operated by a mouse?

Yes but I it turns out many of us love being trapped for a week or two.

May be an image of 2 people, including Brenda J. Lillie, outdoors and text

What if Batman got bitten by a vampire?   What would happen? 

Man- Bat of course!

Amazon.com: Man-Bat (9781779506597): Wielgosz, Dave: Books

What do you want your final words to be if you could choose?

“This was lovely ….really, but I must go now.”

GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)

I am so grateful that the people of Cornerstone Church elected me lead pastor of Cornerstone Church this weekend.

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Welcome Pastor J.

It gives us immense pleasure and happiness to announce that Pastor J Lillie has been unanimously elected to serve as the Lead Pastor of Cornerstone.

We want to sincerely thank all of you who have prayed for God’s direction during this time, and it is a matter of great privilege to come alongside Pastor J as we move forward Doing Life Together. 

As we look forward to what God has for us in the future, we are expecting God to use each of us to help bring many into the Kingdom as we allow Him to use us as He sees fit.

Let us continue to pray for Pastor J knowing that he is on the front line, and a target for the enemy.  

Lord, we ask that as Pastor J is preaching the Word faithfully from the platform You have given him each week You will continue to guide him as a completely sold-out servant to You.  We ask that you empower him this day to boldly proclaim the truth of Your Word.  Help him not to grow weary in well-doing or to fall away but provide grace upon grace.  We are thanking You in advance for what You will do in and through our Pastor this very day, in Jesus’ name. 

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Share Your World 4-5-21

It is time to SHARE MY WORLD WITH YOU. This is the weekly challenge where our hostess Melanie asks several questions and in answering them we all share our worlds. When you have finished learning about me, click the underlined link and go and see how all of her other contributors have answered the questions.

Do you think psychic abilities exist? 

Yes, but those gifts are not what they think we are.

How would you describe peanut butter to someone who didn’t know what it was?

SOOOOOOOOOOOO YUMMY!

Why does an octopus squirt ink?

To provide cover for a quick escape.

Who are two of today’s greatest entertainers in your opinion?  (can be actors, musicians, singers etc)

Oh my! Just two? All right………Let’s see…….

GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)

It was a very blessed Easter Weekend

2021 At the Vicarage Week #14

As we go deeper into this new year, God’s vision for it becomes more clear. I suppose that is as it should be. I see this as a year of aligning vision and beginning its execution. As I prepare myself for the role of lead pastor of Cornerstone I see that much of my work will be about preaching people onto the page God wants to unify us on. The steps to our goal are beginning to reveal themselves. Oh there are lots more conversations to be had around our vision but at least we are talking with the mindset of coming to understanding.

Photo by Zuzana Ruttkayova on Pexels.com

Here are some of the things that God is doing this week.

April 2nd– Today was my sabbath. I did rest. I took a nap. I watched the Falcon and Winter Soldier episode 3 and a documentary on William Wallace. I also attended the funeral of one of our long time parishioners.

April 3rd– Today is my son, Joe’s 32nd birthday. have not gotten to his bank in Keene yet to deposit his birthday check yet….next week. It seems there is not time to do all I want or sometimes even need to do. I think I am really learning the lesson of just how little power I have to accomplish my life. If I am ever to do all God has put in my heart it will only be through total reliance upon Him.

Blog | Sturgeon Valley Baptist Church/SVBC

April 4th– Easter Sunday! We had 110 in service this morning and 30 on line! A Great day.

https://fb.watch/4Hp2fLuK5o/

Then we were joined by the Franklins for Easter lunch and supper. Amanda arranged an Easter egg hunt for Daniella and we got pictures of the girls with Great-Gramma or as Daniella calls her “Grampa”.

April 5th-Mom has developed a bleeding issue. So today was another Drs. appointment.

The lady at the lab asked, “Weren’t you just here?”

Our response, “Just like bad pennies.”

I am not really sure where that saying comes from but it gave us all a good chuckle which Mom was sorely in need of today. The good news was that the lab tech had no trouble finding a vein! So….apparently Mom’s veins were also “bad pennies” today and in this case that was a very good thing.

English Proverb: A Bad Penny Always Turns Up. The meaning, equivalents,  variants, similar, as well as contextual notes. | Idioms and proverbs,  Proverbs, Prose poem

April 6th- Today was staff meeting. We are working our way through devotional conversations surrounding our mission. We are focused right now on Acts 2:42-47: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

That word fellowship is the word Koinonia. It means community and the principles behind it. One of the points we made is that without koinonia you can have an organization but you cannot have a church…..koinonia is what makes a church different from other organizations. Koinonia is what makes the church an organism or as Paul the apostle said, “a body”.

Facing Down the KKK: The Story of Koinonia Farm and Christian Hospitality |  Sojourners

April 7th- Today I met with one of the ladies who is coming back to Cornerstone after wandering around in the world today. Hearing people’s stories is so powerful and I have to say this lady’s story was soooo powerful.

Tonight we held Thew Wall prayer service, but we are playing with new names. Tonight we named it The Call Prayer Meeting.

https://fb.watch/4LnbPxIkxZ/

April 8th-Today I had to take Mom to the RMV for a new State ID card. It went miraculously well! Tonight I am meeting with another couple returning to the church.

2021 At the Vicarage Weeks #12 & 13

Adapting to my new schedule as acting lead pastor of Cornerstone has turned out to be quite a learning curve.

Learning curve Vector Images, Royalty-free Learning curve Vectors |  Depositphotos®

My writing has suffered even though I now have a day dedicated to it. This is primarily because I now have A LOT of new writing projects on my plate every week. You may have noticed I am doing a daily devotional video based on my Sunday morning services. This is a first step in helping the church begin to fulfill its vision of doing life together. In the course of pandemic our on-line presence has become more important than we ever dreamed it would and reaching out digitally on a regular basis is absolutely essential.

Anyway these new pieces of life at The Vicarage have required a bit of adaptation, but I am slowly getting there. Here is how it has all gone down over these last two weeks.

March 19-Mom is improving everyday. Friday’s are becoming the day when I attend to the majority of the housework I can’t get to during the week. Things like: cleaning my office, sweeping the stairs and vacuuming the carpets. It is also the day I try to get to extra writing, but today…..too busy with other things.

March 20th– I like to try to practice my sermon a couple of times on Saturdays. This morning I was up at 4 to pray and practice. I got a call for a funeral this morning from the funeral home and called the family this afternoon before I practiced my sermon for a second time.

March 21st– Here is the Sunday sermon Entering the Promise Pt. 4-

https://fb.watch/4D9bLgRaeZ/

March 22nd- Writing day! I am strating to build a new routine: I start by creating my schedule for the week; Then I do my morning video for Facebook which becomes my morning blog; I put together my staff meeting and then create Wednesday night’s Bible study (soon it will be Wednesday night’s prayer focus); The I write sermons. I am in the process of putting together the next 6 sermons in my series. I have the first two sermons pretty well brain written, but the final four, entitled Engaging the Promise, are eluding me.

I find that when I get writer’s block my first step to a remedy for writer’s block is to get my head into Scripture and then into waiting prayer. Then I need to just write.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU GET WRITER’S BLOCK?

Definition and Examples of Writer's Block

I got my sermon for Palm Sunday done and my sermon for Easter blocked out.

March 23rd- I didn’t pray enough today….Things get out of balance when this happens.

March 24th– Over the course of the last three years many people have left our church. One of the things that often happens when a church goes through pastoral transition is some of those people come back. I have set a goal for myself to personally meet with every person who comes back. I met with the first of those parishioners today. It was a very good meeting, after which I had my assistant draft a letter to the parishioners pastor for further conversation.

Here is our Bible Study from the Wall for tonight. It is the final segment of our series on the seven letters to the churches from Revelation.

https://fb.watch/4DaU3U_Kkx/

March 25th-I ministered a funeral tonight. I haven’t had a lot of funerals this year, which is really strange. Before pandemic it seemed like I was “the pastor of death”. I did a lot of funerals! But this year…not so much.

March 26th– Today mom had a Dr’s. Appointment. It was both a follow up from her fall and an annual physical. Mom usually stresses out a lot before these appointments, but this time around she was much more relaxed about the whole affair. I am wondering if it was because we used a wheel chair and so she didn’t feel like she had to walk into the building.

As I have considered mom’s health I am realizing that this fall was probably a long time in the coming. There were little signs all along the way that didn’t look much like signs at the time, but in hind sight explain so much about where we are now in her physical condition.

March 27th– One of the things I haven’t spoken much about is worship leading. Even as I assume the role of lead pastor I am still leading the worship teams. I am singing and playing less and less, but I am still overseeing the worship schedules and practices.

New Music Ministry Schedule - mlpraiseteam

I imagine I will be doing this for a while, and the connectedness between the pulpit and the music is something I want to maintain even as God reveals His next leader for the worship ministry.

March 28th– Here is out service from Palm Sunday.

https://fb.watch/4DbUlL7r8K/

The Franklins were supposed to come out this weekend but the girls were sick…Oh well next week.

March 29th– Another writing day! I finished my sermon for Easte,r although I might need to edit. It seems a little long.

March 30th– Today was staff meeting and then a trip out to Cheshire Medical Center to take one of our elders to a cardiology appointment.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

March 31st– Today was the scheduled congregational Q&A. The meeting where church people were allowed to ask the prospective pastor anything they wanted to know. It was an hour of great conversation. The final vote is on April 11th after service.

April 1st-I was doing the dishes this morning and God downloaded the next four services for the month of April through the first of May into my heart. I love it when He does that.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Well this is has gone on twice as long as usual….sooooooo.

Bye for now!

2021 At the Vicarage Week #11

The weeks are whizzing by faster than I seem to be able to live them, certainly faster than I can write about them. This last week has left me very little time to blog, but one thing I have learned over the years is that blogging and living seem to have some sort of seasonal relationship (at least in my world they do). There are seasons of intense living and then there are seasons of quiet reflection which lend themselves to blogging quite nicely. What I have learned about the seasons of living is that I have to ride them like a surfer rides a wave, and then I need to take a rest on the shore. Every bit of water I ride on my way to “the quiet of the beach” requires me to maintain a balance of tensed muscle and relaxed heart. This last month has been a lot like that.

Photo by Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola on Pexels.com

March 12th- Today was my day off from ministry. So Brenda and I met with Sandy Freeman who is coming on Sunday to sit with Mom while we are out at church. Mom is getting much better. I think this might be the last week she needs somebody to come and stay with her while we are away at church. She is still using the walker but I think that might be the way things are now. She seems much more comfortable with it than without it.

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Sandy is a member of our church and one of the artists in our artists community.

March 13th– Saturdays have become a day for housework and review for Sundays. I am currently teaching a series on Sundays called Enter the Promise based in Joshua chapter 1. This week we are talking about dealing with the mindset of discouragement so I spent some time reviewing my sermon notes and making sure everything was ready for Sunday morning.

March 14th– Sunday!

https://fb.watch/4mhopbXXog/

Melanie James and the girls came to visit after church. I had a board meeting, but they got to visit with Mom and Brenda and Amanda while I sat with the board for the second part of my interview for the position of lead pastor of Cornerstone Church.

Then I got to come home and hang out with the newest addition to our family, Abigail!

March 15th– Writing day! I put together my daily digging deeper video and then I wrote my sermon, my Wednesday night Bible study, organized my thoughts for staff meeting on Tuesday and organized my weekly schedule around my appointments. Then I taught a music lesson and attended a DLT (Doing Life Together) Group for men. I really need to figure out how to get my business writing done and then spend some time doing some blogging and novel writing. I know I will figure it all out I just have to be more disciplined with my schedule.

March 16th– Today was our first in person staff meeting since last year! We social distanced and what not It was nice to just be in the same room! his afternoon we had my good friend Jody out to coffee at The Vicarage and then tonight I had worship rehearsal. It is not back to normal…I am not sure what we knew as normal is coming back….I am less sure it should. Jody wore his mask into the house this afternoon. Our team sang with masks on as we worshipped tonight, but we were together!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

March 17th– The Wall tonight! We are almost finished the letters in Revelation 2 and 3!

https://fb.watch/4milF7NrqF/

March 18th– Today was office paperwork and pastoral meeting today. I met with some congregants and then got a chance to sit for an hour with Jon and Angela Bauver who are the founders of TWR House Of Prayer.

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Tonight the church board met and voted unanimously to recommend me for the position of lead pastor of Cornerstone Church. The official announcement comes Sunday morning and then we will have a congregational Q&A and a vote at some future date yet to be determined. God is in control. I am at peace.

2021 Home Photo Challenge 3-15-21

The Home Photo Challenge was fun for me last year. Since I do not think much is going to be changing for me in the way of travel this year, I am going to continue the challenge for myself into 2021. This year I am going to add a little twist. I will give a brief description of each photo I take and write a Haiku to go along with it

IF YOU WANT TO JOIN IN THE FUN.JUST TAKE A PHOTO IN OR AROUND YOUR HOME AND WRITE YOUR OWN BLOG AND POST THE LINK IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.

No description available.
Our cat, Picasso, likes to perch on Amanda’s shoulder like he is a parrot.

He thinks he’s a bird

But he can’t fly. No wings

Carry him skyward.

2021 At the Vicarage Week # 10

It is hard to believe we are 10 weeks into this new year. It is true what they say, “The older you get the faster the years go.” So much has already happened this year and there is so much more in store!

March 5- Cinquo De Marzo. I am still sleeping downstairs to help Mom, but she is needing less and less help. Soon I think I shall buy a baby monitor and return to my own bedroom. I am also thinking of a Life alert System so that we can begin leaving Mom alone for brief periods again.

Last night my brain was so full of Vicarage needs and ministry possibilities, I got up to pray at 12:30 A.M. and finally got to bed at about 2:45 A.M. Was up for the day at 4. God told me this was part of the new mantel He is resting upon me and that there would be many more nights spent in prayer, but that He would give me the power to run in this deeper race.

Photo by Maksim Romashkin on Pexels.com

March 6th– I made up for last night’s sleeplessnes. Mom and I slept through until 7:30 A.M. this morning. The dogs didn’t even stir.

Today Mom and I folded and put away clothes from the week’s laundry. Then I started cleaning my old office upstairs. I don’t know what we will turn it inot yet, but I am determined not to let it become the junk room again. Admittedly that is what it is now, but not for long!

March 7th– Today was part 2 of our sermon series Enter the Promise. Today’s topic was “entering the promise by building a mindset of honoring and obeying the Word of God.”

https://fb.watch/499WpKY7BZ/

After service I met with the board for our 1st official interview conversation. We went from 12 noon to about 3 P.M. It was great conversation. The pathway is opening up before me and us I think.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

March 8th- This was writing day and I wrote and wrote and wrote.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

March 9th- I led staff meeting today. Our staff discipleship question today was….

What are the characteristics of a person who is coming to know Jesus?

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

March 10th- This has been a busy week, meetings everyday…. but I am learning this new pace. This morning I had a meeting about our practical philosophy of prayer as a church with one of our prayer warriors. I know that we must give a place of honor to prayer in our community. Our corporate prayer life must deepen.

Going forward the lead pastor of Cornerstone will have three top priorities, whether that person is me or someone else the prioroities will be the same…

  1. Leading the vision and mission of the church
  2. Leading the prayer life of the congregation
  3. Overseeing the discipleship and equipping of the saints

This is our prayer/ discipleship meeting from tonight.

https://fb.watch/4cxCFC-16q/

March 11th- Today lacked personal balance. I did not give myself enough transition time between events and I did not close my night with enough prayer. It left me feeling a little catywompus on the inside. It makes for bad dreams.

Photo by Plato Terentev on Pexels.com

2021 At the Vicarage Week #9

The purpose of these posts is to give you a quick glimpse into our lives at the Vicarage.

Feb. 26th– Today we met with Tamie Charbonneau a lady from the church who is going to come and sit with mom while we are at church on Sunday. Tamie is a member of our church and an EMT. I am thankful she has offered to help us.

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After she left I finished writing my sermon for Sunday. I have not actually blogged at all in a few days. Sitting down to do anything more than ministry writing has been out of the question.

When Amanda got home from work my friend Ray and I headed up to Cheshire County Medical Center to pick up our elder friend who was just being discharged today after a week in hospital.

Feb. 27th- Saturday. I don’t think I have mentioned it before but Brenda has been away this week house sitting for one of her supporters. It has been good as Amanda and I are discovering what it is going to be like when Brenda goes back to The Netherlands working our schedules around Mom’s needs. I know it has only been a week, but I sense that perhaps we are not going back to our old normal where mom could get up and around on her own. I am beginning to plan for the long haul here. My friend Ray reminded me just yesterday that I had to be sure (especially if this was a long haul ahead) to give myself time to be a human being not just a human doing.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Feb. 28th– Today I preached the first sermon in a series called Entering the Promise….

https://fb.watch/3XLK_ghIpb/

March 1st– I have decided Mondays will be writing days. I have had Carrie (my secretary at Cornerstone) book them in my calendar. I am working on several writing projects this week…sermon for Sunday…. Bible study for Wednesday…. a list of questions for the board, and at last I have gotten back to blogging. Yay!!!

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

March 2nd– Staff meeting today. We have been having a conversation about our purpose, mission and vision. Today we spoke about genuine life change.

DO YOU THINK PEOPLE CAN REALLY CHANGE?

March 3rd– Today I had an appointment with one of our elders to meet with a nursing agency which is going to help her around the issues of aging.

This evening was our on line prayer….Bible study to discuss the letters to the churches in Revelation. Our subject tonight was the letter to the church in Thyatira.

https://fb.watch/43A0BG2QFc/

March 4th- My day in office is such a busy day. It is admin and paperwork and people contacts. Aside from Tuesday staff meeting it is the one day the staff can really grab hold of me in person. The rest of the week I am prepping for sermons Bible studies meetings and doing visitations.

While I met with staff in office today, Brenda was home introducing my mother to Carol Marion who is coming to visit with Mom while we are all away at meetings on Friday night.

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Thanks Carol!

Tonight I met with Paul; Hackett at the Vicarage to go over the results of my DISC personality assessment.

I am and SC.

How the DiSC Profile Can Help You Be a More Effective Retail Leader - MOHR  Retail