Here's a great article by blogger buddy Ronni. By great I mean, "my feelings exactly".
Here's a great article by blogger buddy Ronni. By great I mean, "my feelings exactly".
We live in a life-care community that features independent living, meaning that we live in a Casita, a free-standing very nice home that is almost identical to what we lived in before - except we don't own it. We have a life-time lease on it - plus all kinds of privileges regarding meals (if we want them), special events, magnificent swimming pool and other recreational facilities plus life-care benefits. It is a bit of heaven and costs a tad less than what we used to pay for home ownership and independent living just a few miles away.
One of the nice features that goes along with our community is the worry free maintenance of the property. No lawn to mow, snow to shovel, repairs to make or appliances to repair or replace. It is all taken care of for us.
Why bring all this up? Yesterday we had an interesting experience. Our microwave oven began making strange, groaning sounds. Jo Ann made a call to the front office and reported this (plus a sluggish drain in the bathroom) about 1 PM.
By 4 PM the microwave was replaced with a brand new one and the drain was fixed. No cost. Included in the plan.
We're both extremely pleased as you might imagine. We shake our heads at what we would be going through before we moved to Colonnade some 3 years ago!
The in thing since the ancient days of Dale Carnegie has been positive thinking.
Nothing takes the wind out of my sails more consistently than hearing reminders of the vital importance of constant positivism. I've never believed that. There's more to life than pretending you're happy when you are actually urinated off about something that you feel strongly about.
Ronni, in her wonderful blog, Time Goes By has a good one entitled "Grumpy is Good For You." I think you will get a kick out of it!
Will Willimon is Bishop of the Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. His blog had some interesting comments about the future of the church and ministry today. Should give us some things to think about.
The pastoral ministry in mainline Protestantism will continue to experience numerical decline as well as be pushed to the margins of this culture. The mainline is old-line that is becoming sidelined.
The pastoral ministry in mainline Protestantism will need to lead the church in redefining itself in the light of the spiritual needs and aspirations of people under 35 or else will continue to decline because it has limited itself to the spiritual affairs of one generation.
The pastoral ministry in mainline Protestantism will need to find a theological way through the intellectual death of theological liberalism (“Progressive Christianity”) and the cultural compromises of traditional evangelicalism (the IRD and evangelical Protestantism’s alliance with the political right).
The pastoral ministry in mainline Protestantism may recover the joy of denominational identity even as denominations are dying. (The Wesley Study Bible’s enthusiastic reception by the church may be a sign that Wesleyans are joyfully recovering their roots.)
The pastoral ministry must be supple, adaptable, and willing to experiment on the basis of biblically supported leadership styles.
The mission of the church will take precedence over internal maintenance, real estate, fellowship, therapy, pastoral care and other factors that have driven the church in recent decades and have contributed to our decline.
Methodists will either become engaged in the mysterious, relentless growth of the Kingdom of God or they will continue to decline. Growth is our most needed focus.
Ministry will be energized by theological refurbishment and a recovery of the theological rationale for ministry. Ministry will become more dependent upon a theological construal of the pastoral ministry.
The pastoral ministry will recover the oddness and the excitement of salvation in Jesus Christ.
The pastoral ministry will either find a way to attract and empower a new generation of pastor’s critique and reconstruct pastoral ministry or we will pass away with this generation.
Posted by William H. Willimon at 4/24/2010
"You're looking better today!' OR "That was a great sermon, Bishop."
It wasn't until recently that I became aware of chronic lies and liars. Folks who do it as a way of life, without any twinge of conscience or recognition of the fact that it has created a persona of its own - and that everybody sees it and learns from it. This person is not to be trusted. That's a big price to be paid for whatever momentary advantage a liar might assume he/she has gained by exaggeration, deception or deceit.
I know. This is life. This is people. Even the Bible is full of stories of people who stretched the truth a bit or a lot.
I hope none of us ever comes to accept lying as a normal part of living. There's a considerable price to be paid for that.
Lat week I grabbed a quick lunch at my favorite restaurant. It was pretty crowded. Several families with little kids. The food was fine and I was enjoying life.
Then this guy came walking into the section I was in - had a holstered gun on one hip and another gun stuck into his belt on the other. Rough looking dude.
This was disconcerting to me. Legal in Arizona now, but I couldn't help wondering why he would need 2 guns to complete his day. There are so many maniacs running loose these days from the U.S. congress right down to the local "tea party" crazies; full of themselves and trumpeting their freedom to dash civility to the ground and express themselves fully, anger and all.
Was this guy going to open up on us and if so would I be crazy enough to go after him or would I hit the floor?
I'll never know. He glanced around menacingly before moving into the next section. I never heard any shots or read anything about it in the next days paper.
I just ate the rest of my cheeseburger and left feeling a bit uneasy about life in these United States.
Zina Bennion introduced me to a singularly lovely blog by a friend of hers who has stretched my mind considerably and graciously. Male or female, it is worth reading and subscribing to!
Let me know what you think.
For several weeks now, we have been picking beautiful tomatoes. Most of these are heirloom tomatoes and the dozens of little cocktail tomatoes aren't in the photo. Living in Phoenix allows a gardener to carry over the fall crop until May or June, when it gets too hot. Then I wait until August 1 when I plant a new crop from seeds. Jo Ann freezes what we don't eat sliced. I must admit that we were very lucky weather-wise this year. They are out of this world.
I'm not sure why people ask me about the secrets of happy retirement. Probably because of my former occupation which supposedly qualifies me as a bona fide "wise man", though, if truth be known, I don't know much more than the next guy.
Anyway, I usually give the classic new age reply; "follow your bliss" - but with slightly different wording. Many of my former parishioners advised me during my final year of work, "learn to say "no", then say it. Very good. Very wise. But not always that easy to pull off.
But those are the two principles I have followed in the "golden years". Bliss and thoughtful discipline.
As far as the bliss part is concerned, I have been blessed with several passions that consume my waking moments. Home and family come first, and easily so. Church, of course, remains vital, though I find it easier now to pick and choose when and how I participate. Very nice!
Writing, making pots, cooking good stuff, reading, photography and exercise are consuming passions that jostle each other for a portion of my soul and daily schedule. Not a single one of them fails to create excitement and fascination. They do have to take turns. I'm a bit like a hungry mule standing in a barn between several bales of hay. My chief problem is which bale to nibble on.
As far as the saying "no" is concerned; this is complex. I've never known an activity or a passion yet that didn't want or sometimes demand your whole loyalty. Communities are notorious for claiming to be "family" and setting forth agendas that subtly require one's presence and loyalty. The key guilt producing phrase is "I haven't seen you lately!"
Then, aging itself builds certain demands into one's life. Doctors appointments, forms to be filled out, strategies to be revisited, contacts to be made. Examinations and treatments, of course. Getting old isn't for sissies and one must keep those demands in some kind of balance as well. A huge percentage of one's time can be spent on the whole matter of getting old!
Balancing the positives and negatives. Keeping a sweet spirit while coping with the reality of life's negatives. Living with other people's expectations without losing one's soul. Being able to converse with people without fixating on one's health problems. Staying out of arguments about politics, even when you have strong political leanings. These are just a few of the elder's challenges.
Then, sometimes we just get tired.
Oddly, I've found these days to be the happiest of my lifetime. Appreciating the past, enjoying the present and joyfully anticipating what comes next, whatever that may be - that's the best I can do with the aging riddle.