Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm Not Wyatt Earp

I'll tell you what nudged my thoughts in last night's post.

I was watching Tombstone, the story of Wyatt Earp. They'd killed one brother and maimed another. He rode out of town with his family as if he'd been completely beaten. But as soon as his family was safe he went back to defeat them with his friend Doc Holliday.

I can relate.

I have felt like a sheriff more than once. I've faced mean and occasionally dangerous people before. And I've had friends I loved dearly who were every bit as drunk and deadly as Doc.

Okay, there are some differences, too. This isn't the old West. I'm not tall, slim, and tough. I don't ride a horse (a motorcycle instead). I carry a Bible, not a six gun (I can shoot one though). And I don't kill people. In fact, to the best of my limited ability I try to honor Jesus by blessing my enemies (but I'm reaching my limit on that one).

But other than that, I'm exactly like Wyatt Earp. 

Well, okay not exactly like him. 

Okay, not like him at all.

I still don't like walking away without having gotten the job done.

On the other hand, I can learn to live with it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sore Loser

It’s working out.

My reputation is intact. No one in the denomination believes the unfair criticism people leveled at me. I’m going to a better church that’s eager for me to come. The schools will be good for my children. My wife likes our new home which will be nicer than anything we’ve lived in before.

I’m going on to better things.

They will still have each other.

I win.

And yet it galls me something fierce to walk away without having gotten the job done.

So if I could stay, would I?

Hell no.  

But I hate losing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Sex Talk

It was very quiet on the day I preached on moral responsibility concerning human sexuality. It wasn’t just quiet, it was still. And tense. And it made me that way, too.

Now I have to say, I thought I was pretty damn graceful in my phrasing. I was not graphic by any means. It's hard not to trip over a double entendre that would cause folks to titter, but I managed. And I doubt I came off sounding like a prude, which is good, because generally, I'm all for sex.  It's one of my favorite things.

Some appreciated the sermon. Others didn't.

Generally, we’re pretty freewheeling about the subject of sex our culture. It’s in our jokes, our gossip, entertainment, literature, and news. If it’s the least bit funny, and often when it’s not, we’ll laugh raucously.

But let the preacher talk about it from the pulpit and all the humor, as well as the oxygen, is sucked out of the room.

It happens when we talk about money, too. If the minister gives one measly sermon on tithing, someone will skulk out the door and huff about how preachers only want money.

If I can’t talk about sex or money, that leaves politics, but the law says I can’t address that (which is okay by me).

“Just preach from the Bible preacher.”

That’s what I was doing, although I toned it down considerably. The Bible has so much to say about sex that you could give it an "R" rating.

“Preach about holy living.”

That’s what I was doing.

“Preach about spirituality.”

That’s what I was doing.

Well just don’t make us uncomfortable. Preach things that make us feel good. We want it to be fun. Don’t make us feel guilty. Tell us funny stories instead. Make it exciting. And don’t take too long.