Sunday, August 28, 2005

One down, two to go

My wife and I had the privilege this weekend of taking my daughter to college. It was a nice weekend with just the three of us. Actually, my little girl drove her own car and we took our vehicle for the four hour drive. We spent the night at a hotel a few minutes from the campus, ate dinner out, and laughed and joked.
The next morning, we pulled into the university parking lot and the adventure began. The staff was friendly and helpful. In fact, I spent a lot of time making mental notes of principles for children's ministry while I was there. Most of the morning was spent in line. Most of the afternoon was spent hauling my daughter's stuff up three flights of stairs! Fortunately, there were some strapping hunky college men around to carry the refrigerator, microwave, and other heavy items. I assured my daughter that this would be the last time I would feel comfortable with her receiving such attention from college boys.
A chapel service was held and then came the goodbyes. My wife and I left for the four hour excursion home, without our first born.
If this blog seems overly void of emotion and descriptive feelings, it's because I need to type quickly, lest the emotion and descriptive feelings keep me from finishing my first entry in about two or three weeks!
I'm proud of my little girl.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Camping Inspiration

The weather here in the great Pacific Northwest has been rather warm lately. So my family and I took off for a weekend of camping. Call me crazy ("your're crazy!"), call me strange ("you're strange!"), but when I go camping, I like to take stuff to study. Oh sure, I also take stuff for pure entertainment ( a favorite novel or CD) and I do "woodsy" kinds of things (great trails around the campgrounds). But I love to study in the forest! No television. No phones (believe it or not, I do not own a cell phone). Very few distractions apart from the occaisional mosquito. I can spend an entire hour in uninterrupted concentration on systematic theology, history, or whatever interests me at the moment.
My kids don't understand my joy of studying while camping, but that's okay. They still equate "study" with "school work", something they wish to blissfully repress for another 26 days, 8 hours, 12 minutes, and 45 seconds. Me? I love to learn. I am still patiently waiting and working toward the financial opportunity and time to complete my graduate studies with the ultimate goal of earning a doctorate. In the meantime, I am engaged in self-study for enrichment, ministry, and pure joy.
I spent a little more time on this camping trip in prayer for inspiration, and motivation regarding the ministries in which I am involved. Wow! Talk about clarity of thought. I almost filled a yellow legal pad (which I now buy in bulk!) with ideas for a new handbook, volunteer placement, and involving older kids in service. Much of this was stuff that was swirling around in my head, but it wasn't until I could study, read, focus, and pray without civilization encroaching upon me that the thoughts crystalized and finally got down on paper. I almost couldn't wait to get home to type it all up and show it to my children's ministries secretary (who would probably be stunned to see how organized I really am!).
Well, I am now back in civilization with all its challenges. I'm still typing. I'll let you know the outcome of these "deep thoughts", brought on courtesy of camping!