Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We are back from MO. Our rear ends are a bit sore from long hours driving home. All in all, it was a really good conference.We heard from several of our AG leaders, all good, and Alton Garrison (our new assistant general superintendent) was terrific and very funny (to my surprise). I am so happy with our present leadership and have great hope for needed fresh perspective and change. One might not think so, considering that our leadership is not young--but their vision, passion, and insight was so refreshing. We were encouraged and challenged. We ate too much southern food. We heard and we sang lots of good music. We did not sleep all that well. Oh yeah, we hung out with chaplains and their spouses. It is always interesting to do that.

The crowd at the AG chaplain's conference is unusual in terms of both genders being represented among the ministers present, racial diversity (black, white, Asian, Pakistani, Hispanic and others), and the banquet is always fun in terms of dress. The military chaplains turn out in their dress uniforms, the rodeo chaplains wear cowboy hats, the biker chaplains wear leather vests and boots--the only ordinary-looking chaplains are usually the health care or corrections people. It is a rather remarkable group of unusual, wonderful, dedicated folks who often are isolated, unheralded and unknown (except to God).

The first night, Ken wore my favorite tee shirt. Hee hee!

We have heard some very interesting comments about this shirt. Just for fun, here are two from a while back--and they are remarkable in how they demonstrate that a woman minister is apparently an impossibility in some minds:

Two young men stood behind us in a restaurant line. They did not realize we could hear them as they discussed the shirt at length. Eventually one said, "Well, I'm just completely confused. Do you think he is saying he's gay?" (This in spite of the fact that the two of us were holding hands.)
A realtor was showing us a model home and she kept glancing at the shirt with obvious puzzlement and curiosity. Finally she asked, 'Uh, so which one of you is the preacher?" I managed not to say, "Did you READ the shirt?"
This trip, someone came up behind Ken and said, "So I take it you aren't Baptist?" LOL! At least that made some sense. (Sorry, all my wonderful egalitarian Baptist buds.)
This picture is me (the round one with her eyes almost closed) and Amy Maxwell (the tiny, young one): wife, mommy of two, seminarian at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, blogger, fellow REV GAL, and Army chaplain in the making. Isn't she cute? We ate (sorta) Mexican food at Chipotle and talked for over two hours. We could have talked longer. It was so nice to meet you, Amy! You can visit her at Gentle Whisper.com.

This morning I visited my mom in the nursing home. I took along a vanilla shake, knowing she loves sweets and also knowing that she is growing dangerously thin. She drank the whole thing, but it took about an hour of help and coaxing. I am frightned to see that swallowing is getting almost impossible for her. I'm not really sure she knew who I was. Then I was off to my church office to open mail and answer phone messages. While I was away a single mom and her baby were in a horrific auto accident that could well have been fatal. She blacked out, hit a post, rolled over once or twice and then hit a culvert and flipped end over end three times! The car is totalled, but mom and baby are all right. I hear that yesterday fourteen teenagers headed off to camp, and a phone call today let me know that good things are already happening there.

Thanks be to God--life goes on and among all of it we are assured of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Oh, I almost forgot! I LOVE my new GPS! Much2Ponder, we will never be lost again! Woo Hoooo!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

LoieJ said...

Welcome back home, although now I'm not "there" any longer.

My mom's nurse said she lives in your town, but drives all that was so she can work full time. She is terrific, fortunately, and not rattled by the demands of the job: the only nurse to a three story building!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for lunch! I loved getting the chance to meet you in person.

Lori said...

I love that T-shirt! And those comments are priceless.

Amy can't be a grown up. She looks 16!

Theresa Coleman said...

Love the shirt. The Loving Husband needs one...

And the shakes can be life savers ... literally. Also trying the thickening agents for thinner liquids (like broth). They begin to forget how to swallow thinner liquids. ANYTHING to get calories down is the key.

Thinking about you and praying for you on this journey.

Rev Kim said...

I love that shirt! I need to get one for Dave!

Jeni said...

I'm all for tee shirts with a great message -and that one definitely has a great message! I got a tee shirt last summer with the intent of giving it to my son for his birthday as he loves tees with a good message too. This one said "You are in the presence of genius." Now, anyone who knows my son would see the humor in that being applied to him but the more I thought about it the more I figured no, not giving it to him, but instead, kept it for myself because it definitely gets a rise out of everyone who sees me wearing it!
I see someone else had the same thoughts about your RevGal friend, Amy -sure doesn't look near old enough to be married, with two children, a minister and all the other things you mentioned!
And as to your Mother, will still hold you -and her -in thoughts and prayers. I know it is not a pleasant nor easy thing to cope with there.

Truth said...

Sounds like things are busy, but going well. That is a great shirt. Isn't it funny that someone would think he was gay before they'd think of a woman pastor.

Glad to hear you mom drank the shake. It must be hard to see her in that situation.

Oh, and I checked out gentlewhisper.com She has the same photo, except your eyes are open!

Crimson Rambler said...

I hear you about trying to get nourishment into your mom. I wonder about dementias and the persistence of some kinds of memory -- do you suppose "favorite foods" is one of them? My last visit with my Dad...the ward-aide came by with the coffee cart and offered a choice of cookies or jelly-roll. There was no doubt or hesitation, jelly-roll was STILL his #1 choice. I took a ridiculous comfort in that, I remember.
Sounds like a great, great conference -- welcome home!

Deb said...


OK, I think I have to get one of those Tee shirts for my beloved. (Except his has to say "I'm proud to be a Preacher's Wife."



Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

Auntie Knickers said...

Good to catch up with all that's been going on with you and yours. Great photos too! I also like the new appearance of your blog page. And the title of your post is exactly what my mother used to say (and then I said it when my children were growing up) when we arrived home from a journey short or long.

Anonymous said...

Eventually one said, "Well, I'm just completely confused. Do you think he is saying he's gay?" (This in spite of the fact that the two of us were holding hands.)

had to laugh (but probably should have cried) at this one!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the only reason they would wonder if Dad was gay, is because it would never occur to them that there is a problem with women preachers. That is sort of a Duh! to them.

I am making a T-shirt for you and me mom... It is going to say.
"I want to be the kind of woman that when my wake up and my feet hit the floor, Satan says, 'Oh Crap! She's Up!'

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Hee hee! Much2Ponder used to say that to me, without the "oh crap".

Mitch said...

I *loved* the T-Shirt! I linked to it from my blog:

I think that people who don't get it... don't get it. The concept is so foreign that they can't possibly understand.

It's just like the old riddle:

A man is hurt in a car accident, and goes to the hospital. The doctor started to work on the man, stops, and says "I can't operate - this man is my son". The doctor is not his father. How is this possible?

Some people just can't grasp the concept that both men & women can have certain jobs....

Anonymous said...

Two questions:

1. Where in Wisconsin are you; and

2. Where on earth did you get that shirt?

I am in Kenosha - I'm an A/G children's pastor whose husband is NOT credentialed, and would love to get him one (and he'd wear it proudly, too!). It would be awesome to get together sometime...