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Seven Years of Marriage

Today is my seventh anniversary. I’ve kept with tradition and had a church meeting out of town.

This is the sixth of. Our seven anniversaries that I have not been around. We celebrated each and every one, just not on the date of our wedding. We’re flexible like that. Maybe it’s because we really love each other.

Hauerwas says repeatedly that people do not come to pastors to get married because they are in love. They are in lust, but love? He contends that we won’t know if they love each other until they die. Marriage is hard he continues.

I don’t know if he is right, but I know that Courtney and I have learned to love each other more every day of our marriage, and I plan on keeping it up, as hard as it has been to go through seminary and being broke together, we’ve made it, and being with Courtney has left me feeling blessed.

Courtney deserves better than I’ve given her so far, but each year gets better, and I’m always thankful for her and for the two wonderful girls we have!

New Years Resolutions, Wesleyan Perfection

We’ve reached that last point in the year, and some of us are scrambling to find things to resolve to do better next year. New years is a time for us to reset and rewind and take up anew the things that we tried last year or to have a celebration over all the little victories won. On New Years Eve, we come either triumphant from last years wins or resolved to try again. 

Just like everybody else, I join in trying to find ways that I can better myself. I get down to taking a stark look at my life to figure out where and how I need to improve. The process of self examination is uncomfortable because it admits what most of us are pretending isn’t true.

We aren’t perfect.

I’m not anyways. 

But we all want to be. We all want to be better, happier, more complete from the most light hearted to the most painfully introspective among us. When we get satisfied or we are already making progress “pressing on towards the goal” it’s easier to be light hearted. When we are struggling with things at work, in our families, in our friendships, or anywhere closer to home, the brutal honesty comes out, and we start reaching deeper in.

I think this is where Wesley’s idea of perfection really helps me sort myself out. He makes it clear we aren’t going to be without temptation, nor are we going to be without disease, and we can’t be the hero. Perfection for Wesley is all about love, we are being perfected in love. Wesley believes we will “grow in grace unto eternity”.

This is a powerful image for me. First, we can be confident of one who began a good work in us to bring it to completion. Second, that growth, that exploration of love, that finding meaning, all go on forever. They will always be showing us a new face a new facet. 

What ever your resolutions are this year, I hope you do them out of a love that draws you in deeper. A love that draws you to get to know your significant other a little better, your parents a little better, your kids a little better, your God a little better, and yourself a little better, strangers a little better, the world you live in a little better. Because there’s always more to love and more to learn in how we love. 

Moving Day

Three days ago, friends came down from Henderson and up from Cary and loaded us into our truck in two hours. Courtney’s mom had even flown down a few days earlier to help with the packing. During the madness of packing we mourned the fact that we have not lived in one place for more than a year since we were married nearly three years ago. Durham put up a good fight but lost in the end. God directs our path, and we hold on for the ride. God willing this new place will be our home at least these next three years, until I finish Seminary.

Two days ago, Courtney and I were greeted by a host of volunteers whose help could not be appreciated more. Complete strangers helped unload a 26′ Penske truck on one of the hottest days of the year.

How long Courtney and I would have struggled to unload the truck by ourselves we are glad not to have found out. The people of Sander’s Chapel UMC and First UMC Pine Level managed the feat in 45 minutes. Although, it may not seem a Herculean task, no horse stalls were washed out by the changing of the course of a river, anyone that has moved recently can tell you that  a little help is always an incredible blessing. A lot of help is a lot to be thankful for!