It’s been too long since I’ve posted anything. I had a couple of drafts…but just couldn’t get myself to post them. Spent much of the past week away from my study. Mon-Wed Cindy ad I were at Seaside- the Northwest Baptist Convention OASIS event- an annual retreat for minister’s and wives. We heard Tim and Amy Gardner speak (check out his website at He didn’t say anything I hadn’t heard before (which he told us upfront) but his style and demeanor were refreshingly honest and candid. He and his wife speak at marriage conferences and the like around the country- and if he is ever in your neighborhood he is worth the time to listen to.

Probably the best part of being away was simply that- being away. Different scenery, different schedule, different opportunities made the few days away worth the drive and the effort.

Cindy came home Wednesday evening while I stayed with our daughter in Salem for a meeting of the Oregon State Commission on Children and Families Budget Workgroup for 2011-2013. I know, it is as exciting as it sounds 🙂 It is an interesting mix of paid staff and a handful of folks like me- volunteers in the state commission system – who are trying to maintain the integrity of a valuable service while cutting budgets to bare minimums. I never intended to be a budget kind of guy- but have been serving on school district budget committee’s and other budget committees for several years. The challenge is to not get lost in the details but to focus on the underlying philosophy that drives the budget numbers. That is a discussion for yet another day. Then, Friday Megan drove me home so I could co-lead a memorial service for one of our deacon’s mother (she passed away late last week). Of course there were the normal phone calls to return, and a few minor crisis that apparently only a pastor can manage…

So, here it is Saturday. I just finished the powerpoint presentation for Sunday morning and am still a little unclear about the central idea of my message for tomorrow morning. Hmmm. Though I’ve not had all the time I would have liked to focus on the text (Gen 32:24-32) I am persuaded that God is actively pursuing some of the folks that will be here on Sunday- much like He pursued Jacob. I am convinced that God is still working at transforming my character. and that I have given up far too easily far too often when God is working. I surround myself with distraction after distraction and wonder why I seem to experience no significant transformation. Like Jacob, I need to put myself alone with God- and just focus on what is going on as He works.

Well, I have some time so I will get back to clarifying tomorrow’s message…



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