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.
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.
Feb. 28th– Today I preached the first sermon in a series called Entering the Promise….
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!!!
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.
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.
Tonight I met with Paul; Hackett at the Vicarage to go over the results of my DISC personality assessment.
I am and SC.
Feb. 5th– I have wanted for a while to give everyone an update on my book, Pork Chops With the Sentinels of Azatan. After being released officially by my publisher, I contacted one of my former students who has started an editing business and I have entered into an agreement with her to do the final edits of the book. This time it is happening folks. I am going for the finish line.
Feb. 6th– I was supposed to meet a men’s group for breakfast this morning, but I was so far behind on my morning chores I had to cancel with them. The importance of scheduling and not underestimating the time it takes to do things is going to be very important in the days ahead.
I have learned so much about scheduling and prioritizing over these last years and I sense a new challenge is on the horizon. I feel ready for this challenge.
Feb. 7th- Today was Pastor Dan’s next to last service…..
I have enjoyed working with him and as this next week speeds by I am mindful of the fact that this is an end and beginning all at once.
Feb. 8th- Today was a busy day. I started out by singing a funeral for a very dear woman who was once a member of our church.
After the funeral I went to do some work at home: lunch, laundry, prayer, and writing. I am working on my next book, The Remember Man. While I await the edits on my first book, Pork Chops With the Sentinels of Azatan.
The afternoon was a music lesson and then an impromptu visit with Pastor Dan and one of our deacons, John Russel. Then tonight I met via Zoom with a group of men engaged in study called Jesus Is Not Nice.
Feb. 9th– Final staff meeting with the Lewistons this morning. So much is about to change and my mind is just trying to race to catch up.
Feb. 10th – Tonight was The Wall and Pastor Dan and I shared the teaching space together one last time. I won’t lie there were some tears shed at the end.
Feb. 11th– It was a busy morning. I am noticing that my schedule is experience an uptick in the busyness factor. I am going to have to watch that closely. Tonight I have worship rehearsal, but before that I have quite a bit of housework to do around the Vicarage. It is good I got my errands done this morning!
How do you handle distractions?
What is your favorite household chore?
Jan. 29th– Final day of quarantine! Freedom lies before us…..It has always been within us.
Jan. 30th– Today was our first day out of quarantine.
I did the grocery shopping which was very exciting for me. I love grocery shopping. Then Amanda and I had a meeting with our lead Pastor. He has felt the leading of the Lord to a new church in Tennessee. He will be leaving on Feb. 14th.
Once again I must consider whether the time has come for me to let my name stand for the position of lead pastor of Cornerstone.
Jan. 31st.– Pastor Dan preached the final sermon of the 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer….Souls Saved and Lives Changed…..
Afterwards he resigned officially to the board in the presence of our Network Superintendent. I was asked to meet with Pastor Nick afterwards just to get to know him and to lay out a timeline for the move forward. This is a season of honoring the Lewiston family for their work among us and prayer to discover God’s plan for what is next.
I am sensing this is heading in a certain direction for me. The road before me is set by God who has ordained the path from the beginning. I will walk into His will.
Feb. 1st– Big storm coming in today.
Feb. 2nd– The phone calls and FB Messages have begun picking up with people asking me what my intentions are as to Cornerstone Church. I am trusting myself to the process.
Ray Parker came to help us clean out our driveways……BIG SNOW!
Feb. 3rd– Pastor Dan and I hosted The Wall Prayer Meeting tonight.
Afterward we talked until about 10 P.M. I am going to miss our conversations .
Feb. 4th– Music lessons this morning and then grocery shopping with a lady from church tonight.
Jan. 22nd– The week has been really busy with housework: cooking, cleaning and laundry…. I am realizing that I am allowing the pace of life to steal away from me the important moments of life’s beauty and once again I am struggling with the pull between being a human BEING and a human DOING…..I get lost in the work and forget the beauty…it makes me mad.
So today I decided to be proactive about being by giving space to some art work.I took my phone out when I walked the dogs to find a few pictures and then I gave myself time in the evening to photoshop them.
These are the results of my work. Tomorrow I might try sketching one of these.
Jan. 23rd– Well I never did get to sketching yesterday’s photos. But I did get more laundry done and the dishes and three meals for everyone and almost five hours before the throne of God. This has been a wonderful season of prayer and fasting. The fasting isn’t going so well but the prayer has been amazing.
Here is today’s prayer point….
Jan. 24th– Today was church…..
Jan. 25th– I finished a video Bible study called “Thriving In Babylon today.” It is a powerful word about how to live your faith out in a culture that is increasingly oppositional to it. Here are some thoughts from it.
Jan 26th- Today was my first staff meeting since before Christmas! It was nice to see everyone even if it was by Zoom. Soon and very soon we will have the vaccine and be able to be in the same room!
Jan. 27th– Today was day 18 of our 21 days of fasting and prayer. It was also our evening of prayer at the wall prayer meeting. Pastor Dan shared from Acts chapter 16…..I am two days away from being out of quarantine and am looking with some trepidation to being “back to normal”. I have enjoyed this time of seclusion to pray. I don’t know maybe this is what is normal for me.
Jan. 28th– Today has been a day of family conversations. I got to speak with Melanie and Joe and Kristine for some time today. It was wonderful. Joe and Kristine have just crossed their first anniversary and today they told me they have bought enough land for a house in the Philippines! I am so excited for them!
Melanie and James are still adjusting to having two little ones in the house and their near sleepless schedule.
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.
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!
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.
Jan. 19th– Brenda has gotten so ill that today we had her taken by ambulance to hospital
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.
Jan. 20th– Innauguration Day…..eyes to the Kingdom! Eyes off the world!
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.
SHARE YOUR WORLD is a challenge hosted by Melanie from Sparksfromacombustiblemind. In this challenge, Melanie asks us each five questions, or so, and in sharing our answers we share our worlds. Check it out further by clicking the underlined link above.
Here are this week’s questions and my answers….
Why do we dream?
Dreams are such neat things! Sometimes they are just our own subconscious’ trying to work out life’s puzzles by moving things from concrete images to symbolic. Other times our dreams are connections to the spirit realm and can be messages sent to us by spirits that have influence over our lives. That can be both good and bad. It is one of the uses of the gift of discernment of spirits which Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, that allows us to know the source of dreams….at least that is what I think.
Do you think a person’s name influences the person they become?
Sometimes. Especially if the people doing the naming have taken some time to think through the naming beforehand. Then again sometimes serendipity takes a hand and matches a name prophetically to a soul as it enters the world.
Does hardship make a person stronger? (example: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger)
I think it can. That said hardship can also crush a person and make them bitter. I think it really depends on a person’s willingness to endure.
Why do we judge ourselves by our intentions, but judge others by their actions?
I think we do this because it is easier to embrace our own innate hypocrisy than to rise above it.
GRATITUDE SECTION (Always Optional)
Feel free to share some gratitude in the form of images, photos or writing. Thanks!
I am so thankful that there is beauty in the world which still has the power to undo all the ugliness. I will fix my eyes on the beauty….
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8
Well The denizens of the Vicarage are all in, in more than one way. My sister Brenda has come down with some symptoms that resemble Covid-19 so on the advisement of the leadership above us she is getting tested and we are quarantining.
Today was a busy day getting all the bases covered at church since we will be viewing from home rather than leading from the stage. Fortunately Pastor Dan’s test came back so he is able to preach in the morning…. Here is today’s video and the other way that the denizens of The Vicarage are all in.
So back in a post just after New Year I said….”My goal this year is two-fold: Community and Stewardship. I intend to build community… and I intend to steward all my artistry towards kingdom provision.“
This was in a blog entitled ….You May Have Noticed.
I mentioned in there somewhere that in order to build community I had to write blogs that were better conversation starters. Well in that I have succeeded.
The conversations over the last few weeks have been just awesome. Thank you! Thank you to everyone who has been engaging in this on line community experiment called Lillie-Put 2021!
I feel like one of the things the world needs more of is civil discourse, more community engagement that doesn’t involve shouting, name calling, or armed revolt.
Here are a few of the folks I have been engaging in conversation these last few weeks.
There are others as well, but this is just the beginning of a list showing what a community can be built here in the blogosphere if we just put in a little time working with each other and sharing the love.
Jan. 8th- Today we took ‘Lella home and she got to meet her sister Abigail!
James was so excited to have ‘Lella home he met us half way down the stairs. What a great dad he is!
Jan. 9th- ‘Lella no sooner got home than the Vicarage got busy with ministry work. Saturday was a full day of answering e-mails and Facebooks and getting my powerpoint ready for Sunday morning sermon. I will be preaching a message entitled “Manifest the Mission”.
Jan. 10th- Preaching day. I had forgotten how preaching tuckers me out. It’s time for my Pentecostal nap.
Jan. 11th- Today I did a video on what it means to do life together with other people. Then I took my friend Grace to the bank, the grocery store and the pharmacy.
You can find the video and comments HERE.
Jan. 12th- Today Wendy our church receptionist and I went to help Grace again. Today we were working through some stacks of old mail that were causing some consternation in Grace’s life. It’s not hard to do life together. Sometimes it just takes time and a couple of garbage bags.
Later in the afternoon I went to practice music with Patrick a member of our worship team.
Jan. 13th- It always amazes me how much ministry can dispell an otherwise quiet life. Needs arise and opportunities abound. It is never a question of what to do. More often it is a question of what not to do. Tonight I taught The Wall Prayer meeting. I used the passage from Ephesians Chapter 4: 1-15.
You can find the video HERE
Jan. 14th- Music lessons today and worship theory. I began looking into Green Energy sources today. Had a conversation with a company called Energy something or other. They said our roof is not suitable for panels. I will get a second opinion, but something tells me they are probably right….Maybe we should look at wind power.