Doubts About Serving?

Our church is getting ready to begin a new season of leader enlistment and development. We plan once again this spring to conduct a workshop called Design 1.2.3. This involves matching the gifts of potential leaders with a place of meaningful service. Letters are sent out to several individuals that the Nominating Team may consider new to the church, on the fringe of involvement, or otherwise underutilized. In many instances, these individuals are ready and even eager to serve the church in some capacity, but have not been asked and trained for service. Design 1.2.3. is simply the first step in the process of ministry deployment.

In the invitation letter to these potential servant leaders or mentees, we indicate what we plan to accomplish during a couple of hours on a selected Saturday morning. In the first hour, we give out a self-scoring gift inventory that identifies what the individual is interested in as well as any demonstrated skills that could match with a particular area of s…

A Lifestyle of Fitness!

I had a friend who recently credited me with his renewed commitment to regular exercise. I was surprised by his compliment, but as he explained the context for this admission, I remembered some of the specifics from that beginning conversation. We were doing some business during dinner and talking about a basket of very cheesy biscuits that had just been delivered to the table by our server. I think my friend and I speculated how many of those delectable carbohydrates we could ingest if calories didn't matter. I confessed that for me such "carbs are a killer!" The friend agreed!

I then began to share how at the beginning of 2011 I made a decision to get myself in shape for a trip to the Holy Land and other biblical sites of the Middle East three months later. I have a close friend who chided me, "You need to get yourself in shape! I'm not carrying you up Mt. Sinai!" Imagine how ambitious, if not audacious, my plan to reverse fifty years of no exercise and b…

Pray, but see your doctor too!

Monique and I have had several medical visits in the past 12 weeks. I always wondered what retired people do and have found that some of our "extra" time is spent going to the doctor or dentist! In total, we have had two colonoscopies at the clinic, one prompt care visit for a sinus infection, a yearly physical exam for blood work and meds, and a molar tooth extraction. That is TMI for most of you! "Too Much Information!" About those first two "scrubbings" at the clinic, we learned that the preparation for a colonoscopy gets harder to endure with age. There is redemption though in the saying, "This too shall pass!" You get to eat a "monster breakfast" afterwards without concern for calories!

One other necessary thing that you learn to endure in every medical case is the pre-procedure interview in which the staff of nurses asks you the same questions over and over again. I feel like they think we are senile and maybe we are! They even a…

What's in a Name?

While Monique and I were self-checking out at the local Target, I heard a little voice nearby repeatedly and almost lyrically saying, "Poppi! Poppi! Poppi!" You know how you will hear something, but you are not focused on it? I was busy scanning and not processing the soft-like singing of my grandpa name. I had to ask myself after a while, "Was this child saying something else and it just seamed like he was saying, "Poppi?"

When you have grandchildren, your grown children inquire, "Well, what do you want to be called?" We decided on "Mimi" and "Poppi." Monique's French upbringing influenced our selection. Our children called her parents, "Mamée" and "Pepé." As the years have rolled on, we have heard many grandmothers referred to as "Mimi." It's short, cute and gets a lot of attention. I've always been a little conflicted about my name. It sounded more like a salad dressing to me as in Popp…

My Weck's Fix!

I can't think about coming out to Albuquerque and not think about my favorite condiment... green chiles! New Mexicans love their chiles and debate the merits of "red" versus "green." These are variations of the same chile pepper. The red are ripened from the green. I love the green chile and when it is perfected in a delicious roux, I think, "It is to die for!"

I can remember my first experience with chiles and I was lost in the experience. I had come out to New Mexico for a church growth conference at Glorieta twenty-years ago and took an afternoon to go into nearby Sante Fe for lunch and a walk around the downtown area. I stopped at a restaurant on the way in and ordered what I thought was going to be a Tex Mex kind of entree' but was shortly confused by the server's question, "green or red?" I was too embarrassed to admit my ignorance. I think I said, "No thanks!" And I wished today that I could recall her surprised reac…

The Sandias: A Focal Point!

I can still remember that first breath-taking sunrise over 12 years ago as a new day was breaking beyond the Sandia Mountains. I stood spell-bound looking out east from the living room window of our daughter and son-in-law's apartment in Rio Rancho. I said to Melissa, "This is beyond beautiful! Look at that sunrise! Your picture window is just that... a picture of God's handy work in New Mexico!"

The Sandia Mountain range stretches throughout Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties some 17 miles north to south and is 8 miles wide east to west. It distinguishes the Albuquerque metropolitan area. This mountain is not only a beautiful focal point framing the eastern edge of the Albuquerque basin, it also represents a reference point for anyone wanting to learn how to drive around the entire area. New Mexicans of these parts know that as long as you can see "The Mountain" (as it is often simply described), you have some sense of what direction is east, north, south an…

Shadowing Jesus!

During our recent visit with our family in Albuquerque, we got an opportunity to get further acquainted with two new family members. Our precious grand daughter, Klaire, had her 2nd birthday during our visit. We were extremely excited to "love on her" and her two older brothers. But the newest of family members was Sophie Grace, a nine-month old hyper bred "Mini Golden Doodle!" She is a combination of a Golden Retriever and miniature French Poodle. She reminded Monique and me of our Freddie who graced our family with ten years of good and not-so-good memories. Old Fred was a "Cock-a-Poodle" (Cocker Spaniel and French Poodle). He was a little "high-strung" too!

On the first full day of our visit, Melissa, our daughter, put us in charge of the pup! She and the kids went off to their day at school and left the "old folks" to dog-sit the Sophie. She followed me everywhere and shadowed me unrelentingly! It was fortuitous for both of us tha…