A ball and a book. Somehow, it works.
Many of you have been asking about where I am in regard to my kidney stone. Well, today I found out that I do not have a kidney stone…I have three. One of the stones is in my kidney and two are in my bladder. I have been in incredible pain – almost every night I wake up and writhe around trying to get relief. Martha Jo has been great. Besides my pain medication, one way that I have found to get relief is by lying down on the ground, face down, taking a medium sized rubber ball and placing it on my back, and then getting Martha Jo to take a book, place it on top of the ball, and press down into my kidneys as hard as she can. For some reason, though it is painful to do this, the “acute” pain of the kidney stone is somehow disseminated into a wider area. Martha Jo will roll the ball around, pressing down on the book, for about 40 minutes until the pain becomes manageable. Continue reading
Last Wednesday night at Surfside PCA, our church enjoyed a very powerful communion service. Many of our people, including me, were impacted by the careful contemplation of Christ’s work on the Cross. The next morning one of our elders, shared his feelings with me in an e-mail. He said, “Last night was a very special night. I found myself waking up a lot last night, dwelling on the crucifixion.” Wow. What a powerful statement.
As Easter approached, I began thinking about what my elder had shared with me. I found myself longing to know Christ in a deeper way. I began to pray that Christ would help me to identify with him in his sufferings. I prayed several heartfelt prayers on Thursday and Friday, asking Jesus to help me to appreciate how much he sacrificed in order to provide me with the gift of himself. As I went to bed Friday night I decided that I would begin fasting on Saturday as one more way to reflect on Christ’s passion. I also felt that this fast would prepare my heart to preach the 8am service on Easter morning at Surfside Pres. On Saturday morning I began to work my plan. I woke up early to pray and think on the scriptures. That morning, I worked in the yard, then returned to the scriptures to read “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.” At noon, I worked in the garage, then sat down to read in Matthew, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.” Around 2pm, I went over to the church to shoot hoops by myself – praying and thinking. I jogged around the church building several times. Breathing hard and sweating, I sat down and considered Paul’s words from Philippians 3 – my central text for Easter morning’s sermon, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings“. Continue reading
Sometimes, in moments of melancholy, I wonder if my life has counted for anything. I am especially wondering that during this season of my life. I am forty-five years old. I have stayed in youth ministry way beyond my prime. I have no money to speak of. I am just now, after 20 years, finishing my master’s degree. I am not an ordained pastor. I rarely get to preach. I have never served communion. I have never baptized anyone. I am 25 pounds overweight. I have acid reflux. My present ministry as an Assistant Pastor often leaves me scratching my head, wondering what it is that I really do. To top it all off, I live in a van down by the river!
Not really. I’m not quite Matt Foley. But I’m working on it.
With this said, today I received a remarkably encouraging e-mail from Eric Griffin. I first met Eric several years ago while visiting Rock Hill High School (Rock Hill, SC). Eric was a freshman (or sophomore) who played soccer and sometimes kicked field goals for the football team. After a while, Eric and I formed a friendship and he became a key student leader in our Young Life ministry. Eric is now married to his beautiful wife, Wendy, and he works as a successful businessman with The Cason Group insurance agency.
To celebrate the much anticipated opening of “The Dark Knight”, the sequel to Batman Begins, I am revisiting my very first post on Sacrosanct Gospel – “Batman Unmasked”. This article was first posted on March 12, 2008. I’m keeping the comments from the origninal post because I felt there were some pretty good responses. I would love to have you add a few more. Please understand in the article that I really am not ‘slamming’ Batman. I am very sympathetic to my boyhood hero. I know him well. He is just like me. Well, not completely. He has considerably more money, he is better looking, and he is younger. Why is it that I age and he doesn’t?
I also want to make it widely known that my family and I already have our tickets to tonight’s midnight opening. We will be sitting with many other friends from our church, popcorn in hand, ready to be creeped out by the late Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker. Did I say Batman was my ‘boyhood’ hero? Oops I guess the Bat’s out of the Bag! Ha Ha hahahh haa (Insert Joker’s laugh here).
So without any further mildew, for your intellectual provocation, “Batman Unmasked”.
The Melton Family went to Disney World to celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary. It was so fun. An absolutely perfect trip. One of the highlights for me was riding the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. MJ and I rode it almost 16 years ago and I’ve been waiting to get back to do it again. Check out our “Before” and “After” Tower of Terror video. Camp is especially funny. This was his first time on a ride of this caliber. He’s such a warrior! Click to see the video.