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My Summer So Far

I'm unapologetic about taking blog breaks — especially in the summer. I enjoy Internet discussions — ideas and questions and challenges I discover online — but there is more to life than the Internet. And, in the summer I enjoy doing some gardening, I more often preach on Sunday mornings. We get away more. It's all good.

So, between general real-world busy-ness, and my ongoing health concerns (
dizziness which affects me particularly when I am on the computer) I haven't had the time for much blogging. It is not that there haven't been things to talk about — interesting articles I've read, the disbanding of ex-gay organization Exodus International, passages of Scripture I've been pondering — it's that my time and attention has been elsewhere. And, some days when I have the time I'm just not feeling well. 

And, time away from the Internet is fine.  I sometimes wonder if God is nudging me toward something else — but since I don't know what that is yet, I'll continue to come back to this. 

Last week I was preaching in the evenings at the Family Bible Camp at
Albright United Methodist Camp in the Reed City area. In many ways, it was a good place for me to be. This camp still tries to be like an old fashioned camp-meeting — and camp-meeting was important to me in the earliest days of my faith. I came to faith through camp-meeting.  I sometimes tell people "I'm a Methodist throw-back." I still think the revivalistic impulse is at the heart of what Methodism was in its most vital days. In a way, it doesn't matter what I think — those days are gone and hardly mourned.  But, for a while I was among a group of people who want to keep the whole thing going, so I felt right at home. 

I based my messages on the Sermon on the Mount. I had been pondering John Wesley's extensive use of the Sermon on the Mount in his
Standard Sermons and in this own preaching ministry. I wondered if I could preach a series of camp-meeting-appropriate messages, just based on it. I guess you can. Really, because I only preached for 5 nights, I never got out of Matthew 5 — but that was plenty. 

This Sunday I am preaching at the
Wyoming Park United Methodist Church

I am not as busy with the preaching this summer as I have been the last two years. But, that is fine, also. Maybe Robin & I will have some time to get away on a weekend or something. 

I enjoy gardening. This year, in addition to the flowers, I added a container garden in the back yard for vegetables. I also planted some grape vines (which I'm sure will do well in this Kentwood clay) and some blueberry bushes (a bit more of a gamble with this soil, but we'll see). 

And, of course, I keep adding more flowering plants, as well.

I thought Alan Chambers' statement on the closing down of Exodus International was a good one — quite well stated. And, the closing down of that ministry was a needed step. The problem (to my mind) was the whole ex-gay message: the spreading of the idea that same-gender attractions could be eliminated either at will or by intensive therapy. People change in many ways, but promising such a change is mistaken — and pressing for such a change is psychologically oppressive (and most likely counter-productive, I would think).

I've been feeling tired and dizzy the last two days, so I've been staying away from the computer. 

But, in case you were wondering, I am alive and keeping busy. 

I'll talk to you later. 

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