I finished up the Spring semester for my Masters classes in clinical counseling last week. That feels so amazing to type that and then read it . . . again . . . and again . . . and again . . . and you get the point. I absolutely look forward to graduating with my Masters and pursuing some things further, but it is extremely time consuming. Nine hours of Masters classes ended up requiring 14 books to be read, most in their entirety, and then papers to be written or discussions to be posted concerning them. Some of the books I completed and at least somewhat enjoyed, I listed. Of course, it wouldn't be Masters classes without paper writing. Oh and I know. I mention writing papers and many people say things like, "Oh that should be easy for you since you like to write and are pretty good at it." See the key thing about my writing is its writing I want to do and about things I enjoy or have a passion for. It's also a blog, not a research paper. Now I don't try to write fluff on here and call it truth by any means, but at the same time, I'm not about to start providing footnotes to my thoughts or researched knowledge. That obviously takes longer. So after the last couple of weeks of writing a combined almost 100 pages of seminary papers, I've been stuck in breakdown in an attempt to reacquire my brainwaves, life, and schedule. So far so good.
Billie and I got away to Chattanooga last week for the first time without Rylee. I have to say that was tough. I missed her terribly but it was also good to just be with Billie again. It was the first time we've spent two days and nights together completely alone in over 14 months. It was overdue. We stayed aboard the Delta Queen which is a steamboat parked on the Tennessee River right in downtown Chattanooga. It's obviously not operational anymore, but they've kept it historical and allow people to stay on the boat. Our room could have fit in my church office three times. It was small. We walked in and met the sink and the bed. The bathroom for the room was so small that the toilet had to be turned diagonally to fit. A+ on keeping things historic Delta Queen . . . It was a great experience though honestly. We went to a Chattanooga Lookouts game. The Lookouts are the AA Baseball affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a cool experience. They had two NASCAR drivers there for Faith & Family Night at the park and we got some autographs, but truth be told, the guys acted like they were freshmen in high school who finally got to hear their name over the PA system. I was a little disappointed. We spent the rest of the time up in Tennessee shopping at the mall, eating at Shoney's (my favorite!), walking through Downtown, and riding the Incline Railroad. Great little trip!
We came back in time for me to help with an event put on by the Chaplaincy at Perry Hospital on Thursday morning and have an Elders meeting with the church on Thursday night. The meeting at night went great. There's a lot of really good stuff coming up at Free Point. I'm so excited about our future!
Friday I went to Hawkinsville to have lunch with a pastor who has worked to establish a Christian Learning Center in their county. I got tons of information and have to admit that I'm a little overwhelmed, but the possibilities are amazing! More info coming on this soon. I'm working hard to finding a way to either get a Bible class into the high schools here in Houston Country / Perry or to either establish a Christian Learning Center. It's going to be an awesome thing if we can pull it together. It's a lot of work for sure, but look around our country and world . . . If there's ever been a time that we needed to expose a generation to Christ and the Bible, it's now!
Saturday, we held our first annual Carey Roberts Memorial Golf Tournament at Perry Country Club. What an amazing event! We ended up clearing almost $2000 on the tournament and everyone had a great time. My foursome finished last with a score of 84 or 13 over par. I was extremely proud! I really didn't think we'd play that good. My team consisted of me of course, Brad Luke, Tony Gable, and Russ Creamer. And considering that the four of us together had logged collectively 4 times playing golf in about a year, with two (Russ and Tony) not having played in about 5 years, I'll take that score. I had my drive working really well. On hole #7, there was a longest drive competition and I actually drove the ball farther than the individual who won. The problem? It ended up in the water about 35 yards past the marker. Oh well. In my head, I won . . . Now if I could only get a trophy . . .
Of course Saturday didn't end up all so well. Shortly before finishing the round of golf, I started feeling sick and upon getting done, it hit me hard. What progressed was about 24 hours of throwing up and fever with chills and aches. By the end of Saturday night, I gave it to Rylee and Billie. Happy Mother's Day!
We were pretty much all on the mend for Mother's Day but Billie and Rylee weren't able to go to church. I probably shouldn't have because today is really the first day I've felt somewhat normal. (Ok, make your jokes here . . .)
So that's been the span of the last few weeks. It's been crazy and it doesn't look to be slowing down for us anytime soon. This week is packed and next week we start our first annual Legacy Campmeeting at the church where we're bringing in four retired ministers to preach from Sunday night to Wednesday night. We're going to honor those who blazed the trail before us and have them impart their wisdom and experiences to a new and older generation at the same time! Then it's Date Night on Friday and it's a Primetimers trip to Warm Springs on Saturday. We finish out the month with a week of fasting as we continue our 40 days of fasting throughout 2012. We did 21 as a church in January. We'll do 7 more in May and early June.
The summer hits and our schedule is jam packed. God has given me some opportunities I'm really excited about. The first week of June is Campmeeting. The second week of June is VBS at the church and the last week of June, I'm preaching a Youth Revival at Oakview Church of God in Donalsonville, GA. Billie and I will actually be back in Donalsonville where we got married for our 7 year anniversary. In July, we're headed up to the Washington DC area to do a Kids Krusade and for me to preach. Later in July, we're headed down to Orlando for the Church of God General Assembly and in August we're headed back to Daytona Beach for a getaway from it all! My plan is to start on my first book, "Snake Bit," very soon and hopefully have it finished by the time the summer ends. I've got a good break before Masters classes begin again in August so now's the time to jump on it.
So the world keeps turning and I keep moving. So much to do, so little time to do it in. My only prayer is that God blesses my efforts and continues to keep His amazing hand upon me, my family, and my amazing church. Tomorrow, I'm off to Cochran to speak at a Seniors' Luncheon and then maybe I'll write a little something on here. We'll see.