Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Post of 2012

As we bring 2012 to a close I have been reflecting on the year that was.  I have to say I am glad to see 2012 come to a close.  This was a year of change good and not so good.  A year of grief for me, grieving not just the loss of my mother, the most significant person in my life, but the loss of a job, which is turning in to a redirection for me. It was not the loss of the job itself, but the way in which it was accomplished. It was painful for me, on top of everything else. 

Now  of not of 2012 was negative, or painful.  I had very positive reviews at my other jobs in Chaplaincy, I had a redefining of what it is I want in life.  Where I hope to go from here, and I began taking small steps in that direction. Its by the inch easier instead of the big steps I try and end up falling.  I lost weight this year which is a good thing, I want to maintain the weight I have and not put it back on.  I am thankful my faith, family, and friends have helped  me through a tough year.

In honor of New Years Eve here is a traditional song

Looking toward 2013, I hope the new year will bring with it a fulfilling of promise and potential for us all.  I look toward beginning an academic program which will lead to a more fulfilling future. The  ability to meet financial goals for savings, and paying for continuing education. I hope for a change in grief toward the new normal I have read so much about.  To have a more even, peaceful life in 2013, with fewer lows. Positive outcomes for us all.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Today is different from any Christmas in recent memory.  Its the first year without my Mom.  Second this year I'm not working, its a much needed break. I think I was starting to burn out.  I missed the Christmas Eve service at my church.  I had a Christmas eve meal with a friend instead. I planned to go to an 11:00 pm service. However, the churches nearby that usually have one did not this year. So I ended up driving around looking at the Christmas lights. A lot of white lights, I prefer the multicolor lights they are more festive.

This is the year to start new traditions not sure what yet but we will see.

For Christmas The Hallelujah - Choir of King's College, Cambridge live performance of Handel's Messiah


Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Medley: Christmas Edition

Today is Christmas Eve!  I hope you enjoy your traditions of the season, and Holiday.  Today I am posting four Christmas songs. Traditional Sleigh Bells, Disney Jingle Bell Rock, O Holy Night. and of course Silent Night.
Tonight I plan on attending service at my Church and an 11:pm service somewhere nearby not sure yet where. sleigh bells a Christmas Favorite  slightly irreverent   O Holy Night traditional Christmas Eve Sung by Kings College Choir Finale Silent Night We always end our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service with this Carol while lighting our candles.

Merry Christmas to all!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Advent Candle and two Carols

4th CANDLE – (purple) THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE – The angles announced the good news of a Savior.  God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17) 

 Carol of Bells:

Angels from the Realm of glory:


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Some Thoughts on Gun Control

Yesterday a spokesman for the NRA made a speech outlining the lobby groups position on gun control laws.  Here are a few thoughts I have on the issue.  First I have nothing against the Second Amendment, or   people owning a gun for hunting and such.  I acknowledge the fact it would be next to impossible to recall every gun in America for a complete ban. It would not work.  However, it has worked in other countries.  There is absolutely no reason for the average citizen to need or own assault weapons.  Be it a rifle, handgun or other assault type weapon.  There should be a complete ban on those types of weapons.
gun violence
There is an idea being floated about arming educators.  That is the worst idea I have ever heard.  It is NOT the answer.  That would constitute a danger to students, what if a gun happen to get in the hand of a child?  Don't say it won't happen, it can and somewhere it would. 

I'm afraid no matter what the law will be guns will wind up in the hands of the wrong person.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Birthday To My Friend Today

Today is my friend and roommates Birthday.  I point out he is my roommate, because I never thought I would share a home with someone other than family.  Then our friends are our family we choose.

How old you ask?   Not gonna say, you don't ask a woman or a gay man how old they are. 

Happy Birthday I'm glad to know you!

Oh today was supposed to be the end of the world...we are all still here.
as the Bible says No  one knows the hour or the day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Medley: O Come Emmanuel

Good Monday.  A week from today is Christmas Eve.  In honor of that I have decided to share with you one of my favorite Advent hymns. I remember  as a teenager, processing with the candle lighter each Sunday in Advent to a stanza of this hymn to light the Advent Wreath.  I also remember, as a young adult singing a solo part of this hymn in the church choir. Gone are those days, but this is one memory of my church life back the I look back upon with fondness.  Advent and Christmas traditions provide wonderful memories.  This year is about the memories.  What good memories of the season do you have?

This year, thanks to my friend and roommate, we have an elegant tree adorning our living room. Please see picture below.  It has red and gold ornaments, its gorgeous!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Sunday In Advent: Candle of Joy

It seems odd to me that after Friday's tragedy to today be talking about Joy. There is nothing joyous about this THING we have experienced as a nation!    However today we come to the third Sunday in Advent The Candle of joy. The angels message was one of joy at the birth of our Lord.
The angels sang a message of JOY! “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:7-15)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Connecticut Shooting.

Once again tragedy has struck in the form of a mass shooting.  This time 26 people, 20 of them children.  How horrible is this? Very!

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, how this changes their lives, how this changes everything for them! As for the rest of us, it impacts our lives in many ways. It seems we can not go anywhere this kind of thing can not happen.  Not the mall, a movie, out to eat, it can happen anywhere, anytime.  This brings the questions how do we cope? Other question is why? 

First, Why? There is no good answer to this question. I certainly don't pretend to have the answer. We live in a world filled with disease mental and physical. We live in a world that is filled all manner of evil.  Spiritually speaking, we live in a world that is fallen and sinful.  So this is part of living in that kind of world. People make choices that impact those around them.  Often we may never know the exact reasons for the choices they make.  All we know for certain is our world has changed.

How do we cope?  first for those who are angry with God.  Good for you! Its ok, He understands.  Being angry with God is an acknowledgement of the hurt experienced. The Scriptures teach us to be angry and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger.  So talk to God!

Second, do your best to take one day, one issue at a time. Try not to allow this to keep you from living your life.  I have speak to myself here, since I have not been to a movie since the theatre since that shooting. Just try to keep things as normal as possible.

Third talk about your feelings, your fear, or concern with those you trust, who will listen and not dismiss you. If needed seek counsel from the EAP at your place of employment, or other counselor.  This is important for healing, peace and is cathartic.

I hope this helps!

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's A Date!

Last night I had a dinner date!  With a guy who responded to an ad I placed on Craigslist.  We had been exchanging emails, then texts and phone conversations.  We met at Ruby Tuesday for a nice meal and conversation.  I think it went why am I not more enthusiastic? 

Well I had the feeling he was not that comfortable, in our conversation he revealed that he is a preachers kid. So I felt comfortable telling him what I do for my living.  He did not appear freaked out, which is a big positive.  We had talked about our hope of finding someone special to be in our lives.  So we decided to explore the possibilities. He is 35, and a bookkeeper, has an established life, never been married. His father Pastor's a church locally. Thing is he made the statement that he wants a boyfriend on the "DL", I understand not being out to his family in his situation, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the whole DL thing. I need to talk with him further about this.  He said he is not out, which I understand.

I guess my concern is, I spent so much of my life uncomfortable with my sexuality, that I'm not sure I want a relationship that reminds me of those days; Or puts me back in the closet in anyway.  Not that I want the world to know, its not their business any way.  My impression is he does not want me around, if anyone he knows is nearby.  I don't want to close the door on him, so I will be available to explore the possibilities, ask my questions and discuss the issues.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Medley: Beauty and a Beat

Good Monday to you, hope you had a great weekend.  Yesterday, I participated in the Annual Memorial at the Hospital, it was nice.  I thought I might have a hard time with it since there has not been a service for my mother yet.  However, I did not, and had several things to do in the service so I think that helped.

This Monday I have shopping to do, among  the things to purchase will be a phone, I am deciding between Samsung Galaxy S III, or Samsung Note which has a much bigger screen but also costs about $100.00 more but it might be worth it.  Plus some things to get for Christmas.

Today I have been debating whether to share Christmas music or something else.  I think with all the Christmas music being played around, I'm not going to add to that yet.  I will wait closer to Christmas.  Today I'm sharing the song Beauty and a Beat for Monday Medley.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Sunday in Advent: The Candle of Peace

Today we light the Second Candle of Advent, the Candle of Peace. We remember the prophets who spoke of the coming of Christ, of how a Saviour would be born, a king in the line of King David. The prophet Isaiah called Christ "the Prince of Peace". They told us how he would rule the world wisely and bless all the nations.
When Jesus came he taught people the importance of being peace-makers. He said that those who make peace shall be called the children of God. When Christ comes to us he brings us peace and he will bring everlasting peace when he comes again. We light the Candle of Peace to remind us that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that through him peace is found.
Today i participated in the Annual Memorial Service at the Hospital,  One of the things I did was to pronounce the Benediction.  In my prayer I wish the people to be blessed, may God's face shine upon them may He give you His Peace.
I wish you all Peace this season of Advent and Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dear Santa: My Wish List 2012

Christmas 2012 Wish List

Dear Santa,

Its been a long time since I have written you, years in fact. This year I have a list of wishes and hopes for Christmas and 2013.  Its been a rough year, I hope it gets better.  I think it will, time does heal or actually helps to create a new normal from the grief or the grief changes to something else.  Not sure what though.  Don't worry, I'm not going to ask for world peace, or to win the lottery or anything like that. Although your a Saint, and have the ear of a certain someone.

My wishes for this Christmas:
First I ask for a position with one of the Hospitals, where I have regular daytime hours and BENEFITS!
Second, I ask for the funding to finish my graduate degree.
Third, I ask for my friend to be cancer free for the rest of his life.
Fourth, I ask for a boyfriend under my tree.

Now for other things.
A new Galaxy sIII would be awesome
A new suit
A new pair of tennis shoes by Nike
Casual shirts, jeans, slacks,
Cruise Control for my car.

My hope for 2013
 Not falling off any cliffs!
A more stable economy.
DOMA over turned.
Gay marriage in my state
 So Santa can you come through one more time?  Anything on this list would be wonderful.

Thank you and I will leave milk and cookies  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Master of Theological Studies

Well I have spent time reading degree programs online, trying to find a degree I can do online. I found two programs that offered most of what I need and want. I decided to work on the application for a Master of Theological Studies.  The school is a two hour drive from here, but offers online options for study. This school is a Baptist School but affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Alliance of Baptists.  Both groups are more moderate and promote equality for sexual orientation. I checked the Mission Statement and Covenant, the Student Handbook and saw nothing that concerned least thus far.  The application requires 2 references, I have not seen anything about church endorsement.  It also requires a 1000 word essay answering questions about what the degree will help me accomplish, and why I chose this school. An interview with faculty is also required. Something I like about this particular program is it offers 3 elective course opportunities. There is a course elective that is a Pastoral Counseling Practicum I would love to take, it offers a course in crisis intervention as well. Those would be two practical electives.  One thing I don't like is the Biblical Language requirement, at least it just requires one language in a  two course sequence. However, it will be to my advantage for any further work I might wish to do. Still I would prefer to use those hours toward pastoral counseling or theology. Unfortunately, I am told my Clinical Pastoral Education will not transfer into this program.  Below is the breakdown of courses

One of the following two course language sequence in the Biblical studies area:
MAB1121 introduction to Biblical Hebrew I
MAB1122 introduction to Biblical Hebrew Il or
MAB1521 New Testament Greek I
MAB1522 New Testament Greek ll
Required courses in the Biblical Studies area:
MAB1111 lntroduction to the Old Testament I
MAB1112 lntroduction to the Old Testament ll
MAB1511 lntroduction to the New Testament I
MAB1512 lntroduction to the New Testament ll
Required courses in the Historical/Theological Studies area:
MAHT2111 lntroduction to the Christian Tradition I
MAHT2112 lntroduction to the Christian Tradition ll
MAHT2311 Christian Theology I
MAHT2312 Chriistian Theology ll
MAHT2410 lntroduction to Christian Ethics
MAHT2650 World Religions 

One the following courses in the Biblical studies or Historical/Theological area:
MAB1070 Models of Biblical lnterpretation
MAB1OSO Topics of Biblical interpretation
MAB1091 Biblical lnterpretation in the Church
MAHT2312 Theology of the Church
MAHT2411 Christianity and Culture
MAHI2622 Perspectives on Global Christian Movements
MAHT2652 Jesus in a Pluralistic Age
Three Elective or specialization courses from the M.T,S. program options:
MAXXXX Electives
MA4090/99 Thesis or Comprehensive Exam
Total semester hours required for degree program completion: 51 semester hours. With what I have that will transfer in should bring my required courses to I hope 14.  This looks like a good program.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Medley: Don't You Worry Child

Its Monday again.  The first Monday of December with 22 more days until Christmas! There has been a lot on my mind the past few days, weeks even. Not just about academics, but things in my professional and personal life.  Its seems often no matter how I try, the personal and professional seem to intersect in some way or another. Just have to minimize and live with it.  Yesterday's work was like book ends, started with a crisis, normal work during the day, a long drawn out crisis in the evening ending with a crisis early in the morning. Typical day for me I guess.

I have decided the school I am going to apply to, I will share more about that later.  The program is much better in so many ways than the one I had wanted to apply to.  I still need to reread the mission statement, and check the schools policies. I think it will work out, its not online, but some courses can be online.  There a few things I am concerned about, the cost, travel, transferring credits, and so forth.

Well here is a song I like, Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia


Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday in Advent

Many churches follow a tradition each year of lighting candles on an Advent Wreath. Each Sunday during Advent, a different candle is lit along with an explanation of its meaning. By the fourth Sunday in Advent all color candles are lit, then on Christmas Eve the center candle or Christ Candle is lit. See picture below

The first candle lit on the Advent wreath is called the Candle of Hope. The Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ brings hope to all human kind.  Jer 29:11 God has a plan for each of us, the latter part of the verse state the reason "to give us a future and a HOPE" This was to remember the fulfillment of the prophesy given in Issiah 9:6
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

So today we lit the Candle of Hope