Monthly Archives: April 2013

Orange Conference 2013


It has been a powerful week of learning and team-building in Atlanta at the Orange Leaders Conference.  Three ministry partners and I were able to stay in Duluth at the beautiful home of my Aunt Helen, who truly has the gift of hospitality.  Our Executive Pastor said, “She is the perfect person you want to have in your church…cheerful, energetic, positive, committed, available, vibrant and encouraging.”  My Children’s Ministry Director said, “Your Aunt Helen is a treasure.”  Our Youth Ministry Director said, “Do you think she can get us backstage to meet Andy Stanley?”

Guess which one is which?

Guess which one is which?

It was a great time of bonding for the four of us–we became more like siblings as we figured out one anothers’ walking speeds, observed one anothers’ eating habits, and tested one anothers’ pet peeves.  I believe we became even more thankful for our own spouses and more prayerful for the spouses of the other three.

It was enlightening to have personal conversations such as “What does ‘We’re leaving at 7:50 mean to you?’  ‘I think it means we will hopefully leave by 8.  Why…what does it mean to you?’  ‘It means engine running, butts in seats and wheels rolling at 7:49.”  Fascinating.  Educational.  Unrealistic.

Or “I’m not trying to torture you….”  “Too late.  She’s tortured.”

Or “My sleep deprivation is free entertainment for all.  You’re welcome.”

Besides our soothing and blessed time with Aunt Helen and over & above the actual content of the sessions and breakouts, and in addition to the uplifting worship, our time together as a team was worth the time, effort and money spent on the trip.  I believe we will see the benefit of our days together at the 2013 Orange Conference in our ministry for years to come.

I Can’t Volunteer Here Any Longer


(to REO Speedwagon’s “I Can’t Fight This Feeling”)

I can’t volunteer here any longer/I said I’d do a year 10 years ago

I’ve thrown out my left hip sitting with toddlers

They spew in all directions, and the snot is never clear.

I told myself element’ry would be better/But those kids have a knack for smelling fear

‘Cause I feel insecure when we’re together

They attack from all directions, they’re the headlights, I’m the deer.

And even though I’m on time and cause so little strife

I’ve discovered I’m in volunteering limbo for life

And I’m partly serving in hopes that I’ll find a wife.

So we can’t volunteer here anymore.

We’ve forgotten what we started serving for.

Sometimes I wanna scream until I’m hoarse and run right out the door forever

We just can’t volunteer here anymore.

And do all the work the church cannot pay for.

It’s like I always pray on Sunday morn for Gabriel to blow his horn,

Sorry, I can’t volunteer here anymore.

(guitar solo)

I just cried when I first tried helping High School.

Then with Middle School completely lost my mind.

They say things that would make Lady Gaga’s hair curl,

They think bathroom jokes are funny, common sense is hard to find.   

And even though I ponder, was I too like this one time?

I’ve discovered though they need me, I so value my life.

And I’m partly serving so that I won’t have to tithe.

So I can’t volunteer here anymore.

We’ve forgotten what we’ve started serving for.

It’s time to bring this ship in to the shore,

And get up off the floor forever.

We just can’t volunteer here anymore.

I’m like an apple eaten to the core.

But if you were to knock upon my door

And ask me por favor

Maybe I’ll just volunteer for one year more.

(wild applause)