Thursday, May 15, 2008

Graduation Day

We are preparing to embark on an exciting journey. First, we will travle to my Mom and Dad's to spend the night, then on Friday, all of us will pack up and head for, what some in the Church of God, jokingly refer to as the "New Jerusalem", which is Cleveland, Tennessee.

Friday and Saturday night I will be part of the Graduate Class of the newly revised Ministerial Internship Program. It has been an 18 month endeavor that I sometimes wondered if I would get through. Serving as a Pastor and working bi-vocationally, there just did not seem to be enough time in the days but by God's grace, I have made it!

One of the big thrills for me is in having both Mom & Dad there with me. I really can't put what that means to me into words. Realizing how close we came to losing Dad nearly two years ago, causes me to realize how precious every opportunity is. Speaking of Dad, he is doing well and this Memorial Day will be the 2nd anniversary of his near fatal crash. This time we will be traveling to Tennessee in much better spirits than 2 years back!

I owe much to many in celebrating this weekend. Thanks to my lovely Wife, who endured my season of discontent with dignity and grace. Thanks to my Son, who causes me to daily want to be a better man. Thanks to my Church for extending me much love and grace during the process and Thanks to my God, for bestowing upon me the honor of being His servant.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Chance to do Good

There is a young man that works for me named Evan and Evan's Mom is battling Lupus. Lupus is a debilitating disease that not too many people know about or understand but the affects of it are severe and we need more research into the cause and cure of this disease.

That is where you can help. Many times we hear of things and think, someone ought to do something about that. Well, here is your chance.

By clicking on the title link above, you will be taken to the Walk for Lupus website. Looking on the left hand side of the web page, you will see a button that says, "donate to a Walker" or something similar. If you can afford to give anything, simply click on that button and type in the name, "Tracy Hill." Then follow the prompts and you can donate. It is safe and secure and a good way to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Thanks for considering!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Yes, I know, I still make you proud! I had promised Sam that if we could get one good picture at Easter, then I would take one goofy one with him, so here ya go!

It is a little strange, (but you know me) writing to you on such a public forum but I had a few things to say that I want the whole world to know. (OK everyone, quit looking at the picture now)

First, I want to say how thankful that I am to be one of your Sons. In ministry work I have seen many types and variations of families. Some good, some--not so good. I have dealt with children who have seen and heard things that I could have never imagined at their tender age and while my heart sometimes breaks for them, I also get a profound sense of how blessed I was to be raised in the Home that you and Dad made for us. It is even maore amazing when you take into account the numerous times we moved and the varied places we have lived but you made them all "home" for us and I have never forgotten that.

Next, I want to say thank you for loving me unconditionally. I do realize that I gave you more grief than all of your children combined but in everyday of my life I know that I have been loved and that speaks greatly to what you have poured into me over the years. Thanks for giving me the freedom to be me. It may not have been the wisest choice on your part But I do appreciate. Know that in my heart I am still that kid driving down the street with my body almost completely protruding out of the Car while you shrank from embarrasement in the passenger seat. (you had to be there)

Lastly, I want to say how incredibly proud I am of you. I have always known the amazing inner strength that you have maintained but these past few years since Dad's accident, I have simply been in awe of you. (I'm really proud of you too Dad but your day is coming!)

Mom, if I could give you everything that you would ever want or need and could alleviate every pain or worry that you might ever have, it would still not be enough to repay all that you have poured into me. I love you and wish you an awesome Happy Mothers Day!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

This and That

I recieved and e-mail the other day asking when the next blogging was going to happen? Heck, I don't always really know. Sometimes I think I have a lot to say and sit down and write very little and other times I plan to just drop a line and write a book. If I ever get it figured out, I'm sure everyone will quit reading!

I've been working a ton of overtime lately so my life has been a combination of sleeping, eating and working. So, I thought I would just touch on several things over the past few weeks, in no particular order. This one's for you, Margie!

Pastor Appreciation: On Sunday, April 27th, I was surprised by my Congregation with a PA day. It was absolutely great! I was amazed at the rush of emotions that can culminate from 7 years of your lifes work. I laughed, cried and simply shared some heartfelt moments with a group of people that I dearly love and realized how much they love me. It was an absolutely awesome day. They even got Debbie to get up and say a few words. THE SHOCK OF MY LIFE! Some men Pastor where they are called. Some men Pastor in locations that they love. I get the best of both!

My Health: Now that I am needing and entire new wardrobe because the shrink fairies sprinkled all of my old ones to where they don't fit, I decided to start fighting back. I had a Physical done, complete with a Cardiologists work up and Stress test and other than slightly high blood pressure and Cholesterol, I was told I was in pretty good shape. I decided two weeks ago to start running again. I use to love to run. Boy, how times have changed!!! But all kidding aside, I knew that running would get my readings back to where they need to be and help me lose weight and reduce some stress. I didn't realize how much stress I had because I ran 9 miles the first week! (OK, ran until I couldn't no more and then walked fast!) It has been GREAT! I feel more energy, and have needed it with all of the O.T. and I am really enjoying it. The part I love is that it isn't on a treadmill or some boring track. I go out to a Forest Preserve called Johnsons Mound. It is a 1 mile road with a 50 foot incline and decline. Yes, it is a work out!

Politics: I must admit that I got a kick out of the continued Jeremiah Wright/Obama flap this past week. Now Wright is attempting to deflect his hate speech by saying that those critical of him are attacking the "black" Church. First off, let's get real. Most of the YouTube video's of his rantings were taken by people attending his Church. Just how does he think they got on YouTube in the first place? Maybe it's time for a dose of reality in "Rev." Wright's world. Next, those that know me at all, know that I have a problem with a "black" Church, a "White" Church, a "Hispanic" Church or any other race or creed, designated Church. We are all the Children of God and we should all be able to worship God together with no dileniation at all. If we can't do that here, I'm fairly sure we won't get the chance to in Heaven.

I am not oblivious to the trials and tribulations of races in this Country but I have found out that there are only two things that I can really change. Today and tomorrow. I can't fix the past, I can't repair the past but with God's help, I can affect today and our tomorrows. Why don't we focus on them?

Politics II: I have been asked why I haven't written about Hillary's candidacy specifically? In all honesty, it is because I don't feel I can be fair. Some may say or think that I haven't been with Obama or McCain and everyone is entitled to their opinion on what I have written but let's just say that it is my intense desire to keep the "Clinton years" of presidential history at 8 and no more!

Friends: No, not the T.V. show! I want to ask you all to help me pray for some Dear Friends of mine that are going through a major life struggle right. God knows who they are and what it is so just pray with me that a mighty work is done in their lives!

Church: We have had several new Visitors in the past month, many within the 20 to 25 year age! That just stokes me up! Had a young man this morning that has combined several religions into his own personal one. I got a kick out of that! He was a bright and articulate young man that really seemed to enjoy the service and said he would be back. Just pray that the truth of the Gospel of Christ is revealed to him.

Well, that about wraps things up for now. I will try to do better this week for those that enjoy reading and those that enjoy my insanity! I love you all!