Rhythm Over Schedule

In my post from a few days ago entitled NEW DIRECTIONS, NEXT STEPS, I used the phrase, “I have shifted from a life schedule to a life rhythm.”

I want to camp there for a few moments and explain what I think is the difference between a schedule and a rhythm

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I was taught the importance of writing and keeping a schedule almost twenty years ago. Since that time I have always kept a day planner and I set aside time weekly to create my schedule, to plan my calendar.

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This has been an important aspect of becoming effective in my roles as a human being. I will continue to plan a weekly agenda going forward. I need to do that so I don’t miss meetings because I was busy watching television!

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In spite of its importance I have learned that rhythm trumps schedule every time. I have learned I can make and keep a schedule and still lose my effectiveness if I do not consider and surrender to my created rhythm…hmmm. I think that’s a term that will need some explaining….I sense another post coming on this subject.

If I do not plan and practice my life rhythm, schedule takes over. Much of our world has fallen victim to this issue. As a result we have become a culture of racing activity junkies tied to calendars that other people have made for us.

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Three years ago I was there. I was living by my schedule, made for me by other people, without my life rhythm. I had lost my individuality, my divine spark and sadly much of my usefulness to the community I served. The sad thing was I was so busy, so tired, I didn’t realize it.

But God….

The last three years have been painful as God stripped away all my schedule (all the things I and others previously thought were important). The last year has been my full acceptance of my life rhythm and its practice.

Today I still keep a planner. It still holds all my meetings (though fewer they be and of a far different nature). But now my day planner intentionally displays my life rhythm. I follow that rhythm now as doggedly as I ever followed the schedule. The schedule serves the rhythm now…and that has made all the difference.

where do you stand in the process between schedule and rhythm?

A Very Lillie-Put Christmas


I struggled with my list of who to send out my family and friends Christmas letter to this year. I did the same thing last year and by the time I got done creating the send list it was St. Patrick’s Day and the point was moot. So rather than make the same mistake this year I decided just to make my letter a post and anyone who is a follower on WordPress, Facebook, or Linked In can read about the past year in Lillie-Put if they care to.

So 2016. What a wild and crazy year Ay? As my lead Pastor would say. It was full of busyness and blessing.

The kids? They are all doing fine.

Joe continues to teach in South Korea


He is travelling between four schools and teaching English and Western culture to children from elementary through High School. He loves it and is finding a home there. I do look forward to having him home for a week in January. We have some fun plans!

Amanda is living here with me in Winchendon MA and is working at a Dayhab in Ashburnham, as a one to one aid. She also got her certification as a minister with the Assemblies of God and is praying about her next steps in ministry.


She was also just given the post of Vice President of the Special Touch Ministry REACH New England chapter. She will be working with the leadership of this group to bring ministry to the disabled population of North Central Worcester County.

Melanie and her husband James continue to work  and minister in their church in Saugus MA. Melanie is the Children’s Pastor and James is an assistant to the lead Pastor there. Both also continue to work in youth ministry and hold down full time jobs. They are very busy people as you can imagine.

End Time project

My sister Brenda has returned to the Netherlands, her mission field, and is continuing to work with the theater ministry out of Ichtus Church in Zaandam. She is also going to language school and now sometimes when she calls she forgets I don’t speak Dutch.

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She has a beautiful little apartment on an island farm on the outskirts of Zaandam. Amanda went for a visit last summer. I hope I get to visit before her job requires her to move.

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Brenda’s Apartment

As for me…I continue to work as the assistant pastor of Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA. Amanda and I live with my Mom in the house I grew up in. Mom just turned 80 in September and is still pretty spry. I have to watch her or she’ll start shoveling the drive or lugging wood from the wood pile. She does let me cut the lawn and do the grocery shopping and the lions share of the cooking but she still insists on doing the laundry and the dishes and God forbid I should try to vacuum the rugs downstairs!

This year was a really busy year in ministry, especially the fall. In August I led worship for a week in Berkshires for Special Touch’s New England getaway. In September I was privileged to be a part of planning and running the Toy Town Fall Fest. We had about 3,000 people in attendance on the newly acquired Ingleside property. This was a culmination of three years of work on behalf of our committee to buy and create a makerspace in the center of Winchendon.

One week after the Fall Fest I was a presenter at our church network worship conference where I got to explain our artist’s collaborative to about 50 worship leaders from the Tri- state area. From there it was a mad dash to get ready for C.cada’s ( our artists collaborative) fall art show in October. We hung over 100 works by our collaborative, presented an evening of music and held several workshops for the public.

Finally in November Cornerstone opened its doors to Special Touch to do a regional Disability Training Conference. After that it was an end run to Christmas and here we are. The season has been full of parties and concerts. Tomorrow night we are having our annual Christmas Eve service and then on Sunday we have my favorite service above all other services. Christmas Sunday. It only happens once every seven years and while I am not sure why it is my absolute favorite service period!

The church is fully decorated. My teams are rehearsed. The special music is ready. All my Christmas food is bought. Now I just have to wrap presents.

To you and yours Lillie-Put wishes you a very merry Christmas!


The Quiet Life Of A Country Pastor Pt. 10

It has been weeks since I have had an opportunity to write about my “quiet life”.

 I have had so many wonderful opportunities to share faith with people these last weeks it has just eaten up my time.

I have run  staff meetings and taken phone calls. I have attended prayer meetings and shared biblical principles for living with troubled souls. I have preached and I have led worship. I have attended planning sessions for future ministry and future town projects. In all of it I have seen the hand of God moving mightily.

I was honored to perform a wedding for a young couple I once had in youth group.

I was equally honored to lay to rest and offer words of comfort at the graveside of one of God’s saints.

I attended a baptism.

Then  i traveled to the Berkshires to do lead worship at a camp for the disabled and to care for one of the guests who needed some one to one care.

I was privileged to be the pastor appointed to pray for the cities of the North at the Worcester County Prayer day this last Saturday.

 Then yesterday after Sunday services I attended a thank you luncheon for our worship and arts teams of the church.

My life my not be externally quiet but the blessing of it leads to a deep inner calm that restores the soul. As the writer to the Hebrews says, “There remains a Sabbath rest for God’s people”. It may not come in the way we think but the rest God gives is the best there is.

How do you find rest for your soul?