2021 At the Vicarage Week #3

Jan. 15th– Pastor Dan went on vacation last week leaving the church in the staff’s hands. Wendy, Carrie and Nancy handled the day to day. John handled the building.Amanda and I, well we managed to get worship, preaching and on line children’s services covered.

Everything is awesome! Everything is great when you’re part of a team.

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Pandemic has made vacationing a more complicated animal than it once was. Quarantining is now required after traveling until Covid tests come back negative. With our State registering around 7,000 new cases a day the labs are experiencing a huge back log and what once took 3-5 days is now something more like 7-9.

Jan. 16th– My sister, Brenda, has had a stomach bug for the last few days and this morning some folks pointed out that this could be a syntom of Covid-19. Of course being in our position as pastors we want to be safe rather than sorry. So we have made the arrangements for testing (Brenda and Amanda first and then mom and I will wait and see how things develop). We have also entered into quarantine pending the results of the test. Sooo…. no worship leading or preaching for me. No Walmart work, church front end management for Amanda. Mom is going to have to go without papers and scratchies for a few days.

Ray Parker was nice enough to get us some of the staples we were missing so we don’t have to go out for the next few days.

Jan. 17th– Pastor Dan preached the sermon at Cornerstone entitled Passionate. I think my favorite thought of this day is that passion is about more than just emotion. Passion is about commitment.


Paul Hackett and Janice Huff helped us out with a few more necessities today. Paul blessed us with grinders and a chicken too!

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May be an image of Janice Huff and smiling

Janice also brought us some of her famous chicken soup!

Jan. 18th– I took Brenda for her COVID test today. She is very ill. Just the short ride to the pharmacy was almost more than she could handle.

Amanda also had her test today.

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Jan. 19th– Brenda has gotten so ill that today we had her taken by ambulance to hospital

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She had xrays which showed a cloud in one of her lungs and she was severely dehydrated. They kept her a few hours for observation and long enough to confirm that she actually does have COVID. As she began to respond to the treatment they discharged her…the hospital is too full to keep patients who respond to the treatment.

So Brenda is back in a bed with clean sheets. She now has meds to help her mend and we are doing a deep cleaning of the Vicarage.

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Jan. 20th– Innauguration Day…..eyes to the Kingdom! Eyes off the world!

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Jan. 21st– Mom and I had our COVID tests today. She has been pretty manic since. She doesn’t know why but she feels a deep need to clean everything now. Amanda and I have been taking turns sitting with her to help her come to some sense of calm. She can’t say it, but she is very concerned about Brenda.

A mother’s love comes out even when it is being blocked by years of self-determined emotional blocking and the effects of dementia.

Before I close out for the week I also have to thank Debby Parker and Sandy Freeman who have kept Mom in papers and scratch tickets all week. Thank you ladies and thank you people of Cornerstone for all your well wishes and prayers! You are really a wonderful example of the body of Christ.

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Debby and Sandy

This Day At the Vicarage 11-23-20

This weekend flew by and was so full I hardly had any time to stop and write. I had my first opportunity to take care of my grand daughter solo this weekend.

Daniella usually comes to our house one a month for an overnight visit. We are getting her and us ready for the day when Mommy (my daughter Melanie) goes into labor.

Generally the lion’s share of the work falls on my daughter Amanda’s shoulders, but as Amanda had to be about some other things this weekend Oz (that is what Daniella calls me) got to do the baby sitting.

We had so much fun! We played piano ( which she loves to do). We read stories. We went to pick up the take out and then we watched Disney movies until it was time for bed time stories and prayers.

I told Daniella the story of , The Giant Thunderbones, which is a story I told my own kids when they were little.

Well there is so much more I could tell, but suffice it to say it was a wonderful and busy weekend…..so today is all about getting back into the routine.

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And everyone knows….I love my routine!

See you tomorrow….PJ

This Day At the Vicarage 11-17-20

Staff meeting was cancelled today. One of our deacons lost his father last week. The funeral is today and so Pastor Dan went to be with the family at the grave side.

I have spent the day in much prayer allowing the peace of God which passes all understanding to possess my heart and mind. In keeping with the mandate from Scripture this requires a thankful heart….And there is much to be thankful for. Honestly the love of God is an ocean and I am surrounded by His grace.

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I am thankful that we had a wonderful week of Indian summer last week. It allowed me time to get the summer things into the cellar.

I am thankful for the birds coming to my feeder on a daily basis.

I am thankful for friends who took Amanda and I to dinner the other night.

I am thankful for the supernatural provision God brought in to pay my bills this month.

I am thankful for every day with Mom.

I am thankful God is providing the next step for Brenda’s mission.

I am thankful that the church is triumphant.

I am thankful that God is establishing His Kingdom in our midst.

I suppose the world is also full of problems. I could focus on them I suppose, but I will not!

I am thankful! I am thankful! I am thankful!

What do you have to be thankful for today?

The Day At the Vicarage 11-16-20

I think I crossed some kind of invisible threshold last night. I am suddenly desirous to celebrate the holidays. Yesterday….nothing. Today I have this desire to decorate for Christmas and bake fruit cake (no kidding I really love fruit cake).

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Today Brenda and I went out to do some Christmas shopping. Mind you I am not someone who can bear shopping for a long time even when I am in a celebratory mood, but I did pick up a few things that were Christmassy in the hour given me by the shopping muse.

Brenda and I were talking about the way God seems to be working in our lives right now. He is using a wait…reveal…step…complete…wait…reveal… process this year. It is a new level of faith He is building. The waiting phase is a lot like the season running up to the holidays. It is full of anticipation and preparation. The reveal phase is like opening a present on Christmas morning. The step phase is like the process of assembling those gifts on Christmas day, and the completion phase is the process of actually learning to use the contraptions you have built from the directions ….which were mostly in Chinese.

While God’s methods can be a bit frustrating they are always worthwhile in the end. The harvest of the process is always better than I could have hoped, at least if I walk it all the way through to completion.

Are you going through a similar process right now? If not How is God working in your life?

This Day At the Vicarage 11-14-20

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The Lord told me at the beginning of the this year that the months of October, November and December would be “months of finishing”. They have been that indeed!

For the last several years I have been working towards a lifestyle of slow. constant intentionality using a scheduling system I felt the Lord had given me. The ability to live that schedule to the fullest has been alluding me until this year. This year, I have given myself permission to change the things that needed to change in order to fulfill this goal and it has worked.

The changes involved:

1. Giving up my salary and learning to live a life of financial faith.

2. Learning to work as a volunteer and ask myself the hard questions about what was really my ministry to do.

3. Realizing that my ministry was about bringing something to the people which could only be formed in prayer and study of The Word.

4. Realizing that it was not other people’s job to understand or even support the call of God on my life.

5. Giving myself permission to do what God was calling me to do and to begin to say “No” to what people expected of me.

6. Realizing that good things were different than God things.

Anyway. learning to practice in this new paradigm has helped me to become far more effective with my schedule.

Here is what has gotten done….

1.Several projects at the Vicarage are done or in process: The roof. The dormers. The dead tree removal. The set up of new gardens.

2. I am literally days away from being finished with my novel.

3. I am meeting my goals for prayer and study, exercise, writing, reading, household work and relationship building on a weekly if not daily basis.

4. I am mostly OK with the fact that I am not meeting everyone else’s expectations fully.

All in all 2020 has been a horrible year of great accomplishments….. Maybe being stuck inside is good for me….I think there is something to that!

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Well, it is time to get few more pages of the novel edited before I have to start supper.


This Day At the Vicarage 11-2-20

4 A.M. comes early even after you turn the clocks back. This has been my normal time of rising for the last several months. I usually start my morning with what I call basking prayer. I sit with the Lord and just listen and I let the Spirit within lead me to truth and to petition.

This morning I keep hearing that God is moving to extinguish pride, luxury, and extravagance in me and in US and in the U.S. Maybe it has something to do with the Bible reading I am doing this week (The Book of Revelation today I started with chapter 17-19). Maybe it has more to do with the fact I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with worldliness I see around me. Something in me longs for a simpler way of life.

I’m not talking about a return to the good old days. I am talking about moving into something new, a place that enhances Kingdom advantage but despises gaudy entitlement. That last line probably needs more development, but it will have to wait for another day.

This morning I have to go to one of our elder’s homes and help him take out his air conditioner. After that I will probably be rewarded with coffee and a donut and some conversation around the Bible.

When I get home I have to shovel some dirt into the foundation to cover up some holes chipmunks are now using to access burrows along the Vicarage foundation. The dirt also needs to be moved because it is blocking the end of the drive and we may need to pull our cars in so people can park behind us.

The Lord has told me to prepare for visitors. He has not yet told me who the visitors are.

Well, on that note I had best get a move on. There are more blogs to write.