10) Anytime my boys show up in my office at work, it's a good thing. Eli wants to crawl up in my lap. Max and Xavie want to tell me what happened at school that day. Toby smiles and gurgles. The wife is always happy to be out of the house and sometimes she even brings ice cream. A huge perk in this old job of mine.
9) This is the sixth year I've been in a Fantasy League Draft with my brother's bozo friends. I'm known as The Rev, and they like giving me crap about being so much older (at least a decade) than all of them. I enjoy them cause I can talk smack and just be one of the guys... which you can't do if you're a pastor. For example, when people cuss in your presence they look at you like you might break in two or shoot them down with thunderbolts. I went to Lima Senior and Miami University... do you think that's first cuss word I've ever heard? It's depressing really. That's why I enjoy Brother Esq and the rest of the punks in The Murmen Ultimatum. I'm just the fat, old guy they like to push around, and who pushes them back. They don't act like I'm made of glass. It's a nice release.
8) I like swim meets. I can't help it. I know they're six or seven hours (or two or three days) long and often unbearably hot (or cold and wet), but I like watching the kids swim. It's fun to watch both the really good ones cut through the water, and the newbies tadpole their way down the lane. The kids usually get into it, and us parents are allowed, even encouraged, to scream our heads off. There's a good chance I'll be taking on a larger role at the WOAL Championships (possibly as the new "voice" of the meet, following in the footsteps of Don Fischer) and I couldn't be more giddy. Two entire days in the hot sun watching hundreds and hundreds of swim heats in the heat, and I can't wait.
7) I enjoy going out to lunch with people. Whether its one of my regulars (Roger the Raxkiller or Eric the Buckeye) or the random person who wants to get together, it doesn't matter. There's nothing like getting out of the office and just spending a little time with someone over a meal. Today was a perfect example. Five other pastors and I sat together, brainstorming how all of us - black and white, suburban and urban, mainline/catholic/orthadox/independent, and the like - can begin working together in the community. The discussion, while not leading to any action yet, did yield, I thought, a lot of important information, particularly as it relates to the differences in the role of black pastors in the community and their congregation, as opposed to us white pastors. We'll be eating lunch again in a couple of weeks to try and take the discussion a step further, hopefully with more people.
Good things come out of eating lunch with others.
6) I like working with my staff. They are all fine people who are all good at their job. They work well together, and seem to respect each other and me as their leader. We have a good time, but get a lot of things done. Considering I've worked in some pretty tense situations in the past, I'm thankful for the environment we have created together at Shawnee.
5) There is nothing better than the look my kids get in their eyes when they are genuinely excited about something. We are heading to Indianapolis for a wedding this weekend, and the boys are practically giddy at the idea of staying in a hotel for a couple of days. Who knew a free continental breakfast and an indoor pool could ever end being such a big deal? You'd think we were going to Disneyworld or some beach resort, not the northwest suburbs of Indianapolis. Throw in a trip to the Children's Mueseum of Indy, and you have one big time adventure. I wish all of us were so easy to please.
4) The combination of a clear sky, little or no wind, temps in the low 70's, the open road, and a Kawasaki Voyager.
3) It is always a good day when someone calls, emails, or comes into the office for a discussion about a biblical or theological issue, or for prayer. Today I wrote an email for a former youth groupite who is now on a Family Ministry committee at a church in suburban Cinci to help outline my philosophy of youth ministry, and my reflection on her spiritual journey as a teen. Then, a member of the church came in with a question about the Reveleation of John and the Ark of the Covenant. Yesterday I prayed for a lady who is in the hospital, and also at the same time mourning the loss of her husband. I'd rather do stuff like that then tend to the budget any day of the week.
2) I dig it when my wife says I'm sexy after I mop the floor or watch the kids so she can get a few peaceful moments away from this circus. I know she's just playing me.... but I don't care.
1) Cool sheets, a soft pillow, and a comfortable bed.
And here are few more...
A newspaper and a cup of hot coffee first thing in the morning (especially if someone else brought in the paper)
opening mail or email
an evening with The Great One
time spent with any and all of our folks
visits with family
phone calls about the NBA from Brother Esq
phone calls and visits from friends
a big bowl of ice cream
a crisp clear day spent on snow skis
any day spent at a lakehouse
and an evening spent blogging
Have a nice weekend!