It might seem like I have been ignoring writing lately and that would be correct.  I am planning for my 10th wedding anniversary in the next week and those plans supersede writing… as it has literally been 10 years in the making. 

I have also started a healthy diet.  My wife and I want to be healthy when we visit Walt Disney World next summer, so we are taking small steps here and there.  This past weekend we bought a processor/blender and a juicer.  We made a not so desirable strawberry-banana smoothie, a decent carrot juice, and an awesome sour apple smoothie.  We are also eating less, and working to eat more fruits and vegetables while lowering our… yada yada yada…

Next, it has been overwhelming, in a good way, and humbling to hear from those who have responded to me privately or on Facebook regarding my series, “On Being a Former Pastor/Somewhat Minister.”  It has also been difficult communicating personal vulnerabilities without attacking those who have hurt me.  My story is much tamer than several former pastors/somewhat ministers that I know and communicate.  Maybe I will be able to share a few of their stories in the future.  The next installment will probably be available this Saturday or Sunday.

SHOUT-OUTS (or things that I like and want to share with you):

Feel Spectres: This is a rocking band.  Their concerts are upbeat, fun, and make you “feel” good (pun intended).  In particular, I want to mention their bassist, Alaina Avants.  I have played with several skilled bassists over the past 20 years, which led me to agree that bassists are a dime a dozen.  Alaina, however, adds a presence to the group that really is unexpected.  When I was getting ready to see them first play, I was sure that I was going to have to tell her that their group is so-so.  The band before them, which had way too huge of a following, made me and my friend want to leave before the Spectres hit the stage.  But we were there to support Alaina and we were blown away by everything about the group.  The lyrics are humorous, the bass lines were riveting, and the group brought contagious energy.  If you get the chance to see them play, don’t miss it.  In fact, ask your local bar to have them come out and play.  You won’t be disappointed.

OKC 1st:  My church now for the past 3 1/2 months.  Especially in light of my criticisms of church/pastor relations, my endorsement should at least get them a little bit of love.

Jon Middendorf Jon Middendorf is an excellent pastor of grace and resurrection and no condemnation.  His sermons are both encouraging and challenging.  I also have the pleasure of my New Testament professor from college, Jirair Tashjian Jirair Tashjian, as the preacher for the liturgical service.  There are meaningful activities for children and teens.  Also, they host a Celebrate Recovery program which I am apart.  If you are in the OKC metro area and want a place of grace, this might be a church for you.

xkcd.com: One of the smartest, funniest web comics out there.    I will admit that I do not always get all of the jokes when it hits into heavy science, but even then I feel smarter when reading.

Rachel Held Evans: Rachel has a wonderful mind and spirit.  I do not agree with all of her conclusions, but she is good about getting people to think.  She has also written two fabulous books that would not harm you to read.  The thing I endorse most about her writings is that she is honest and strives to tell the truth, even when it is not pretty.  So if you want some thought provoking material, give her blog or books a try.

Finally, I would really like to hear from you whether it be a comment or an email or whatever.  Have a good day today!