Friday, February 27, 2015

Worry warts and all

Okay, I knew it. I knew it. I KNEW it.

I read this yesterday: The tendency to worry about stuff could be a sign of a certain kind of intelligence, according to a paper in an upcoming edition of the journal Personality and Individual Differences. A team led by Alexander Penney of Ontario's Lakehead University gave 126 undergrads a litany of surveys and questionnaires designed to measure both their intelligence and how much they tended to stress about events in their lives. (For instance, they were asked how strongly they agreed with statements like, 'I am always worried about something.') After analyzing the results, Penney and his team found a correlation between worrying and verbal intelligence.

So, all my worrying is simply a sign of my incredible verbal intelligence. I'm asking that for the moment you forget I don't know what verbal intelligence is and instead focus on the fact that I have it in spades because I'm what my mother used to call a "worry wart."

Again, forgetting I don't know what that means, either.

Let's for the moment concentrate on the fact that the study shows all my worrying is simply a sign of all my intelligence. I'm, as my mother used to say, sharp as a tack (and that's one I understand).

The problem is, all that worrying helps nothing. Nada. Nope. No way. (Just exerting some verbal intelligence there.)

Jesus said it this way: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are they not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

But, er, uh, what about my verbal intelligence Jesus?

Look, scripture is pretty clear about what we must not do (worry, worry, and er, worry).

Philippians 4:6 tells us "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

Now, my verbal intelligence tells me that is hard to do, this casting all my anxiety on him, but the rest of me knows by experience that if I don't, if we don't, there is no peace that surpasses all understanding.

There are plenty of things swirling around (aren't there always?) me, but here's my understanding (verbal or otherwise). The opposite of worry is trust. The question comes down to can I trust, Him (and the comma is on purpose). If I can, then I can give away my worry.

Whom shall I fear. I am His. I can triumph over any worry. And my verbal intelligence is just fine, anyway.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Up around the bend

Every have one of those days?

You know the kind I'm talking about. You get up in the morning, and when you swing your bare feet onto the floor, you step into water from a busted pipe? Or you go to let the dog out of the back door and the door falls off its hinges? Or you try to fix a couple of rooms that need fixing and the more then folks doing the fixing dig into what needs fixing the more dollar signs grow like kudzu on the side of the road.

You know, one of those days.

Happy, happy, happy, we think the scriptures tell us to be. But that's not the way I read much of them, especially the Psalms.

But the writer of one of the Psalms was anything but happy, happy, happy. He is honest and forthcoming and doubtful and weary and worried and filled with anxiety. In other words, he's one of us.

He wrote, "Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life."

Ever have one of those days?

You can't find your glasses, till you look in the fridge and there they are. You look for your keys, and you can't find them till you pick up the garbage to take it to the curb and you hear them in the bottom of the bag. You get out to the car, and it won't crank. You finally get a jump for your battery and you're out of gas.

One of those days.

I have to be honest, as I normally am in these things, yesterday it seemed to me that the world, my world, was teetering on the brink. It was the kind of day that you simply laugh at because so many things were happening all at once and go on from there.

I'm reminded of Job as he railed against God, and then God's answer to the screaming and shouting. God simply asked him over and over, have you done what I can do? In other words, shut up and take it and I'll be there for you in the end. I don't know what's coming around the bend, but as John

The Psalmist writes it this way: So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.

See, the problem with one of those days is when we let those days turn into those weeks and into those years and suddenly we turn around and there is little left to trust with. We are just flat out dismayed and our spirits grow faint.

But there's a better way, and the Psalmist finally turns to it.

He concludes, "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground."

The kids might not always listen. The TV might go out one day. The bills might mount like rising snowmen. The woe and anxiety might simply grow till there is no peace to be found seemingly.

But if, and it's a big ol' honking if, we learn to say, "Teach me your will, for you are my God..." we have more than a chance of doing the next right thing and living through all of those days.

I know. I do this all the time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The strength of weakness

Simon Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, where are you going?'"
Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you can't follow me now, but you will follow later."
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I'll give up my life for you."
Jesus replied, "will you give up your life for me? I assure you that you will deny me three times before the rooster crows."

Have you ever wondered if you are who you think you are? Are you the persons you want to be? Are you done, finished, over, without spiritual work to be done?

If the answer to any of that is yes, I've got incredibly difficult words to say to you this morning.

You're wrong.

Now, we know the end of the story. We know what Peter became. We know what tradition tells us happened to him. We know he was forgiven by a loving God. We know all that, and yet, we still fall in the exact same manner as Simon Peter.

And the manner is (Alex for $1,000), we believe we're okay. We believe we're doing fine. We believe there is nothing that can knock us off our spiritual perch.

And I assure you that you will deny him in some form or fashion before the rooster crows tomorrow.

That's, among many other things, life.

See, what I believe is my biggest problem in my calling is most of the folks I know, almost all of them in fact, are church folks. And of course church folks can't deny, can't fall, can't falter. So, there's no reason to worry. Right?

And, you're wrong.

Church folks fall, falter, fail all the time. All the time. Hear me clearly, all the time.

So, what do we do?

Let's finish Peter's story.

Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel and James and John left Jerusalem broken after the crucifixion and even after the resurrection. In John's Gospel, we read this: Simon Peter told them, "I'm going fishing." They said, "we'll go with you." They set out in a boat, but throughout the night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples didn't realize it was Jesus. Jesus called to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered no. He said, "Cast your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some."

So, long story short, they did. And they caught fish. And when they did, John turned to Peter (because this all seemed so much like the first time they came across Jesus), and said, "It's the Lord.

Peter jumped out of the boat and swam in.

Jesus' only question to Peter, when the fire was going and the fish were cooking for breakfast, was this, "Do you love me more than these."

Three times this gets played out, and each time Jesus said, "Feed my lambs or feed my sheep."

And they were together again. And Peter was forgiven his doubt and denial.

Jesus closes by saying, "Follow Me."

It strikes me that even in our denial, failure, fault and sin, Jesus is calling out to us -- not in condemnation but in love. "Do you love me more than these?"

And if the answer is "Yes, Lord, you know I do," Jesus can keep on molding us, changing us, preparing us and, yes, forgiving us.

When it seems like it's time to buckle, it's time to fall, it's time to give up, you can do one of three things, it seems to me.

You can quit.
That's easy enough. Go get the next drink, or the next bout with anger, or the next sexual sin or whatever it might be.

You can try harder.
Somewhere along the way a coach or a teacher or a parent said to you, "You're not trying hard enough, working hard enough, doing enough." And you believed them. And in some cases, that will work.

But the answer is and must be the third choice. What you must do is surrender. Fall not for good but to your knees.

Paul said it this way, "But he said to me, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Look, when things are falling apart (as far as we can see), we can have our Peter moments and never look for him again. Or we can understand that whatever it is we are going through, it is but a moment in a relatively long life. You, I, we will make it through it.

Again, Paul wrote this about his situation when he was in prison. "Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the things that have happened have actually advanced the gospel. The whole Praetorian Guard and everyone else knows that I'm in prison for Christ."

Bad is gonna come. Storms are gonna arise. Pain and suffering are part of the gig.

It's how we handle it that matters.
Try harder.

That's the way out of what appears to be the hard days. Maybe through it all someone can use what you're going through to help them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Because He lives

For some reason I'm reminded this morning of Gideon and his battle against the Midianites. Maybe you've heard the story. Gideon and his men camped near a spring, south of the Midianite camp. The Lord said to Gideon before the battle, "You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands or Israel would boast against me, 'my own strength has saved me."

Long story short, The Lord and Gideon have a running conversation and from the original 22,000 the number of men are reduced to 300. The Lord wanted to make sure all the men who went to battle understood who was actually going to provide victory -- and it wasn't them.

Here's my testimony this morning. I am incapable of doing the job I've been given. I am incapable of changing lives. I am incapable of growing a church from scratch. I am incapable of, well, anything good.

And it is that crushing but somehow liberating thought that gives me hope this morning.

Matt Maher writes it this way:
I believe in the Son
I believe in the risen One
I believe I overcome
By the power of His blood

Amen, Amen
I'm alive, I'm alive
Because He lives
Amen, Amen
Let my song join the one that never ends
Because He lives

In a meeting last night of addicts that I'm currently involved with, a newcomer told his tale and his story was so familiar I wanted to cry. He was having trouble with the why question. Why is God allowing this? Why have I lost my job? Why am I struggling with these problems? If God loves me so much, why?

I have no answers for such questions, but I am in the process of understanding (after 20 years) that has no function in God's world. I don't have to know. What I have to know is Him. He loves. He saves. He raises.

Can I fix the situation I'm in? Nope.

But He can.

And I believe that He wouldn't bring me here to leave me here. I just have to figure a way to surrender all of me, not good portions of me but all of me.

When and if that happens, then we can discuss Wesley's Christian perfection.

Till then.

Amen. Amen.
Because He lives.

Monday, February 23, 2015

When the mountain won't move

What do you do when the mountain won't move?

I am beginning work, or continuing work, on a sermon for Sunday looking at time in the Garden. I am struck by the fact that Jesus, my Jesus, my Lord, "came to a place called Gethsemane." He told the disciples to sit while he prayed. "He began to feel despair and was anxious. He said to them, 'I'm very sad. It's as if I'm dying."

Imagine that. Imagine that.

This morning my family missed their flight from New York to New Orleans. Instead of a three-hour direct flight, they will be in half the airports in America before landing tonight at 7:20 p.m. PM. Dark time. Tonight.

The skies are the color of charcoal and it's dropped 25 degrees overnight. I got to the church at 8:30 a.m. to find we can't park in front of the church because a tree service is cutting limbs up and down our street.

We are mediating mold in two of our rooms in the church, and it looks like the Tasmanian Devil has come for a visit in our hallways.

I could go on and on. It's Monday. All day.

But at no time have I felt "despair." At no time have I felt as if I'm dying. Not really.

Have I mentioned that this was Jesus?

He went a little deeper into the garden and he prayed that <"if possible, he might be spared the time of suffering. He said, 'Abba, Father, for you all things are possible. Take this cup of suffering away from me."

He prayed the mountain move.
And the mountain stayed right there.
Didn't move.
Circumstances didn't change. Negative didn't become positive. Suffering didn't go away.

So what is a Messiah, Son of God, God himself do, say?

"However -- not what I want but what you want."

Get that. The mountain didn't move, the request moved. Not what I want, but what you want. Not my will, but yours.

I am sitting on top of a big ol' pile of pain and fear that I can't really discuss, but let's just say I'm not winning at what I need to be winning at.

Yet, not what I want but what you want.

I wonder can we really say this and mean it? Can we just put down the problem and pick up the prayer? It seems to me the difference in the humanity of Christ and the divinity of Christ is that moment in the dash. "However -- not what I want but what you want," Jesus said. In that moment, the moment of the dash, the moment of the thought, Jesus' divinity flared. He went from the thought that Abba could make this all go away to the thought of let it come on.

Pray with me this day, the first Monday of Lent, "Father, Abba, let me be a person who understands the challenge ahead and says 'let it come on' anyway. Let me accept the challenges as what life is. Let me simply be a person who understands that your will is vastly more important than mine. We surrender, O Lord, to your will. This day. Prayerfully in the days ahead."

Friday, February 20, 2015

A wild and old guy

So, I've been away. I haven't written in a week. I don't know why other than I'm old.

I figured this out this week.

Here's my evidence. My wife is gone for a week to New York City. I've been batchlering it. I have gone crazzzzzyyyyy. I bought whole milk the other night. So I could have Frosted Flakes. Which I've had at more than breakfast. There. Crzzzzaaayyyy.

I got a piece of mail from the Greenwood Funeral Home. I did this because I was born before 1955. It tells me that I was born before cable TV, personal computers, the Internet, moon landings and credit cards. I was born before McDonald's and Disneyland, much less Disney World was opened. I remember when Elvis and Chuck Berry and the Platters and Bill Haley and the Comets were creating this thing they called Rock and Roll. I was born before eight tracks. There. I'm old. I got it. So they tell me to save my family from making decisions at the most difficult time of their life, and pay for it in monthly payments and I figure that I will probably do that.

I'm old. I figured it out this week when my wife was gone and I fell asleep with the TV on at 8:30 in my recliner. Old.

Old as the hills from which my strength comes.
Old as someone who once held a book in my hand and checked it out from the library and was quite happy to do so. Or on occasion, I checked out several books at a time from the mobile library. I spent hours in the Meridian (Miss.) public library. I was partial to the crime section or the missing persons section or certain sections of the fiction departments. I spent time almost every day there, and would eventually have in my house one of its fans.

Oh, I'm old enough to have lived without air conditioning. With three channels. Without color TV for years. I'm old enough to remember Lassie as my favorite program both in black and white and later with color and Timmie. I'm old enough to remember the beginning of Gunsmoke, to have had a Palladin gun and holster set, to have played war in the yard with friends.

Or went to the movie every day for less than a dollar. Or played ball with just three or four persons. Or have believe in the Bible as written and not improved on.

I'm old. I know this because everything in changing and I'm not a part of it any longer. I'm old because I can't shake colds or the flu and I can't quit coughing, and I can't imagine quickly enough.

I'm old.

My wife is out of town, living it up in Central Park and in Times Square and I think I'll go for ice cream.

Just a wild and crazzzzzzyyyyy guy. That's me.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Treasure the gift

The morn dawned in ever widening streams of brightness, like a worn and frayed brush wiping away the clouds, doing the deed as if God himself was responsible. As the sun crawled from gray at the bottom of the world to the very top of the morning, the beckoning brightness shook the sky, shattering the stillness, alerting God's quiet creatures as if they had been awaiting some shrill sound only they could monitor.

God's Psalmist writes of such moments: "God thunders across the waters. Brillant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness -- God across the flood waters. God's thunder tympanic, God's thunder symphonic. God's thunder smashes cedars; God topples the northern cedars."

My, oh my, what a beginning to the new day. What a beginning to this new day. God's power and might have called forth a new day. From dullness and calm, God thunders, and God speaks and it is good, again, and again.

God thunders. God shakes the world. God streams brightness, and a February day is created anew. Perhaps it was mundane; perhaps it was routine, but with God, there is nothing mundane or routine any longer.

The sun shines amid the darkness, and the creamy texture of love is lathered onto cloud and sky. That's the God who created us, who shapes us, who paints on the canvas of creation.

The Psalmist writes, "I give you all the credit, God -- you got me out of that mess, you didn't let my foes gloat. God, my God, I yelled for help and you put me together. God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down and out. All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face."

This morning, we were part of something spectacular, something new, something beautiful and creative and beyond norm. We were part of creation this morning, as sky touched earth and a day was created just for you and I.

"I yelled for help," the Psalmist writes," and you put me together. God, you pulled me out of the grave, gave me another chance at life when I was down and out."

Lungs are filled, and lungs are emptied. The rhythm of life carries on.

Wasn't it special to be a part of it all this morning? Feast at the table of the Lord, saints. Let us, this morning, treasure the gift, for it is as wonderful as it gets.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Religion and violence, part 2,000

            I’m late to the party, I reckon, being sick for a week and such, but this whole President versus Christianity thing still is worth discussing.
            You couldn’t have missed it if you’ve been on social media, at all. At the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, Obama said that Christians, as well as Muslims have at times committed atrocities.
            His words: “Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
            I’m not certain, but the high horse comment might not have been the best use of the language. Condemning ISIS for burning humans alive or beheading them hardly seems like a high horse no matter what side of the aisle one comes from.
            Then the Internet universe imploded.
            Just as some examples, Jim Gilmore, former Republican governor of Virginia said “The president’s comments … at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve heard a president make in my lifetime.”
            Erick Erickson at wrote, “Christ himself is truth. When we possess Christ, we possess truth. The President is a moral relativist.”
            Things got so crazy, some were defending the Crusades and the Inquisition. Bill Donohue of the National Catholic League said, “The Crusades were a defensive Christian reaction against Muslim madmen.”
            Donohue also said the Inquisition only killed 1,394 people, so how bad could it have been?
            The right accused Obama of empowering ISIS with his words, despite the fact he hammered ISIS as the murderers they are.
            Here’s the absolute truth as I see it: We have been grappling with these questions forever. We, Christians, have done some awful things in Christ’s name.
            But picking a fight at the National Prayer Breakfast wasn’t the time nor the place, it seems to me. For the life of me, I can’t see what was to be gained. I don’t think, for the most part, any of us, Christians, think all Muslims are bloodthirsty characters any more than for the most part, any of us, Christians think we are all perfect.
            As Robert Jeffress, the pastor of a large church in Dallas says, “When Christians act violently, they are acting in opposition to the teachings of their founder, Jesus Christ. They cannot cite a single verse in the New Testament that calls for violence against unbelievers.”
            According to one Website I looked at, the Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they are hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called hypocrites and warned that Allah will send them to hell if they do no join in the slaughter.
            Now, the Old Testament of the Bible is just about as graphic, (ask the Amelikites if you can find any of them), but the difference is the verse of violence are mostly open-ended, meaning that they are not restrained by the historic context in which they were written.
            But it goes even deeper than that. In Dissent magazine last week, Michael Walzer concluded that Obama’s point 2as an intellectual one, not a jab at Christianity.
            “If I say that Christianity in the 11th century was a crusading religion and that it was dangerous to Jews and Muslims, who were rightly fearful … would that make me anti-Christian? I know that crusading fervor isn’t essential to the Christian religion.”
            Even secular commentators had issues, though. “We are all descended from cavemen who broke the skulls of their enemies with rocks for fun or profit,” wrote Jonah Goldberg, senior editor of the conservative National Review. “But that hardly mitigates the crimes of a man who does the same thing today. I see no problem judging the behavior of the Islamic State and its apologists from the vantage point of the West’s high horse, because we’ve earned the right to sit in that saddle.”
            Look, I no earthly idea why Obama’s people thought this was a good idea, as almost a spanking of the right at one of “their” events, but other than some yakking back and forth, nothing has come from it. I can’t imagine that was the idea was in the first place.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


"And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness." Mark 1:12

Lots of things are happening here, but the thing that strikes me the most is the notion that the Spirit of God DROVE Jesus into the wilderness.

I've seen that wilderness. It's so dry you think you've left this world. Mile after mile of what we would call mountains and they call hills, but they're desert hills, the kind of hills you wouldn't walk up on a dare.

And God the Father sent his Spirit to MAKE Jesus go into that wilderness down South of Jerusalem somewhere near Jehrico. Amazing.

What are we to think of that?

Only this: God does cause and allow difficulties in all our lives. Why? What did Jesus get out of 40 days of nothing but Satan hammering him with thoughts of getting out of that literal Hell-hole?

Preparation, I would think.

Preparation for the next spiritual step. Preparation for the hard times ahead. Preparation for the worst of days.

I remember playing football often. The smell of freshly cut grass. The notion that I could hit folks and get away with it, even be cheered for it was outstanding. But before we ever played a game, there was about a month of blazing temperatures, heavy humiity and something called grass drills. In those drills, one would run in place, then fall prone to the ground, get back up and do it all over again many times. I HATED those things. Saw no reason for them.

Till we played a game, and somewhere in the fourth quarter, when someone blocked me and I missed a good hold on a running back and I hit the ground and I bounced back up and took off after the running back, perhaps it hit me. All those grass drills, and running and practice was but preparation for those moments that were the hardest.

God prepared His Son for the days to come. His angels, the scriptures say, made sure He made it through, but it was all on Jesus. His humanity needed sheltering, but his deity understood.

So must we be. Our worst moments are preparation for our best. The thing we must do is simply hold on, then continue on.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Rise up

Years ago, eons ago really, I was about to be a junior in high school. My parents decided to take a late, very late summer trip to West Virginia to visit my uncle and aunt. It was our normal summer vacation, but this one was incredibly late, so late that preseason football had begun.

I was about to be a starter on the defensive line, perhaps the smallest such being in the country, and I was hot. I didn't want to go to West Virginia. I fought tooth and nail, but my parents insisted because they said it would probably be my last (of very, very many) trips to Fairmont. Turns out they were right.

I promised my coach I would run every day of the week we would be gone. I ran the first day we were there. Oops.

When I got back, the first day of practice in the blazing Mississippi summer sun was deadly. We were running a drill, throwing ourselves on the ground, rolling, rising, throwing ourself on the ground. I was dying. I finally, after showing what I perceived to be much heart, had to pull myself out.

And in front of God and everyone, I threw up. Hurled. Blew. Collapsed into a heap.

My coach was all over it in a second, leaning over me (who was very sure he needed an ambulance), screaming at me, letting me know what he thought of my work ethic. One week and I was somehow less than I was. One week and I wasn't able to cope with all those who had been running in the heat and blazing sun while I lolly-gogged in the West Virginia high country.

I didn't start the first game of the season, taking that long to get back into the good graces of our coach.

I write all that to write this: Today is much the same. For a week of flu, a week away from the daily grind, a week away from writing, teaching, speaking to humans in words they can actually understand, and I've found myself struggling to, er, do anything.

But I will.

Singer/songwriter Matt Maher writes it this way:
When you see the road ahead
that you've been down before
when you're half way to no where
and you can't pay the toll
You're hanging onto mercy
withered on the vie
with your feet on the ground,
your head in the clouds
and your heart on the line
open up your eyes
You've got to rise up
when this life has got you down
you're got to look up
when you search and nothings found
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the love that's here and now
It's coming down, so rise up.

Trying is worth the effort, even if you can't get all the way back up.

Friday, February 6, 2015

A lost week

Well, where were we when the world began to swirl?

It's been a week ... a long, long, sick week. It all began at the Super Bowl, or at least the Super Bowl party. I could tell I had a scratchy throat. By the end of the night, I was sick, sick. Actually I felt it began the week before when my dear Mary was sick. I thought she had a cold all week, but it turns out she simply was her silent self. She said she didn't want me to worry.

Funny thing was I had taken all sorts of vitamin C, all sorts of Inborne, all sorts of stuff. And none of it mattered.

I went in for about an hour Monday, though I was sick, to read and study for three Bible studies. I would wind up doing none of them. Things got worse and worse. I lost function in my body, hurting every place I could hurt with most of it concentrated in my hips and my knees and the always hurting back.

I went to he doctor yesterday, got some meds, and things began to turn. Should I have gone earlier, yes. But I figured this would be gone and I could do Bible study on Wednesday and Thursday night. Didn't happen. My throat hurt so bad I stopped eating, losing eight pounds according to the doc's scale.

The point, as I write for the first time in a week and (believe it or not have my first cup of coffee since Sunday) is that none of us are irreplaceable. I missed a report I'm supposed to do. I missed three Bible studies. I missed everything one could miss including playing and singing for some senior citizens who I pray were able to have a successful party without the party crasher.

I basically broke down, and I'm getting put back together. As my dear friend John says, blow your nose, brush your teeth, say your prayers and move you. You're a preacher, move on.

Time to move on. God is good but the flu stinks.