I was so busy last week that I never had the chance to blog about many things that I wanted to. First, we had a great Christmas weekend. On Christmas eve, we celebrated with some good friends here is St. Louis--eating good food, drinking good drink, and playing one of the most rousing games of Scattergories that I've played in a long time. There were enough people that we had to play as partners, and since I had Suzanne as a partner, we won. Suzanne always wins at Scattergories. People always expect that I will be good at the game (and I'm okay) since I was an English major and I'm good at Scrabble and so forth, but Suzanne could go pro.
On Christmas day Suzanne and I spent the day at home, with just one another and Gracie. We ate some more food and we watched 3 movies. The movies were The Muppet Christmas Carrol, Wordplay, and Thank You for Smoking. Muppet Christmas is a holiday classic that we always watch this time of year; Wordplay was an enjoyable documentary; and Thank You for Smoking was good, but maybe not as good as I was hoping. I should say that was also watched Little Miss Sunshine earlier in the weekend, and that was an outstanding movie, one of the best I've seen in a long time. Besides being funny and clever and having some great performances, the movie really has an insight into some of the struggles that we face in our culture of performance and self-centeredness. The characters in the movie are, at the same time, exaggerated and very real. It's definitely worth checking out.
For the rest of the week I went on a cleaning/organizing rampage throughout our house. We have two massive bookcase, one large bookcase, and one medium bookcase in our house. Since each of them was overflowing with books, Suzanne had determined that some of the ones least likely to be used needed to be boxed up and sent to the basement. I hated to get rid of any of them, but I managed to fill three boxes that I could part with. Then I set about organizing books into categories and reshelving them neatly. Now, we still have four bookcases packed to the gills, but at least they look neater. I also worked on clearing out my desk drawers, sorting through some boxes of old papers, and otherwise trying to organize part of our lives. Believe me, that's a tall order.
This past weekend was even busier than the previous. On Saturday, we went to Caleb's concert, which was very good and a lot of fun. A pretty good crowd showed up, many of them people we knew, but some new faces too. Gracie slept through the whole thing in her carseat, and Suzanne and I played Scrabble on our Travel-Scrabble board. While Suzanne may be a pro at Scattergories, I have the edge at Scrabble, so I was able to pull off the victory.
Sunday was a big day for a couple of reasons. First, at church that day, I had the honor to be ordained as a ruling elder of our congregation at Memorial Presbyterian Church. I'm still kind of in awe of the whole turn of events, which is why I haven't written about it yet. In short, I was nominated by a representative group of the congregation to stand for election as elder; I accepted the nomination; I was then elected by the congregation to serve as an elder. It is a position of spiritual leadership and service. When I was ordained, my brother elders laid their hands on me as they prayed for me. Someone pointed out that there is a line of men laying their hands on other men that stretches back to Jesus, who laid His hands on His apostles. That's pretty neat. But it is far greater that God the Holy Spirit has made each believer in Christ His own temple, and dwells in them with power. When I believed the Gospel, I found such freedom in life, and I began to understand what an honor it is to live as a child of the Father. I hope to help the people of Memorial--and all people--understand that freedom and honor as well. Four other men began a term of service as elders with me, one man newly ordained like me, and three others who had served before and were now returning to serve a new term. Our Senior Pastor, George Stulac, gave us a charge in the service, as we stood in front of the congragation, facing the table with the elements of the Lord's Supper. First, he charged us to remember that we were from the congregation, to remember to serve them and advocate for them and lead and shepherd them. Then, he charged us to remember Christ, represented before us in the Lord's Supper, to remember that He has given Himself for us and that He ever offers Himself to supply what grace we need to fulfill our calling.
I'll write more about being an elder in the future, but that wasn't the only big happening over the weekend. More to come...
boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."