Milady's brother-in-law has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It still appears confined to the prostate itself, so they're very optimistic. He's talking with the specialists at Good Samaritan in Cincinatti about possibly having their robotic surgery team do his surgery. He would appreciate any and all prayers.
Politics bores me. I'm going to register Republican solely to vote for Ron Paul, even if a few of his answers concerning Islamic terrorists bother me. Otherwise, I refuse to think too much about the election until 2008.
I've also been typesetting a new book. More about that later in the month.
Finally, I haven't been blogging a lot because of problems at our church, Southern Acres Christian Church. We've had a lot of problems over the last several years. We fai led to execute a land-buying program (for very good, God-led reasons). We transitioned to three different worship services with three styles. We have a new, VERY young minister. Then the elders and that same minister saw that we were running our volunteers to death trying to do three services.
Our older population had gotten very attached to their 8:30AM traditional service, but the elders and the minister said "No, we are going to have two services. Period.". Between the older people disgruntled at the changeover and those people who left with the old minister, we've gone down from 1200 people to around 700, and that includes the 110+ people we've added this year alone. Basically, our minister has replaced older rich people with younger, poorer people. As a result, our weekly offerings have dropped from $35k a week to $24k-$25k, and that's barely enough to make our payroll.
The blame here abounds. Our ministry staff often appears underworked, and are notorious for not b eing of use when people need help. The elders are executing changes without getting congregational buy-in, and are not willing to respond to concerns from the congregation. When people in the congregation bring up problems, they are told that the current way is the way things will happen, and to hush, but sometimes the item is then later quietly fixed.
The congregation has also not responded well. Complaints were lodged over trivial things. Anonymous, hateful letters have been sent to the minister and the elders. People have gotten mad and acted in un-Christlike ways. A committee of members was formed. Lifelong friends are refusing to speak. Many of the people I most respect in the church have had to leave.
I was also greatly upset by the appearance of Barry Cameron at our church. He is appearantly a financial guru in the Restoration Movement, having written a "Godly" finances book. (IMHO, he's not Dave Ramsey, but that's another discussion.) During his sermon, he mentio ned that the church wasn't smart about money, at least McDonalds and movie theatres got their money in advance! As one of my co-workers mentioned, "I thought that simony was an obsolete sin." We would have left SACC immediately, except that he was a guest speaker, and we had some leadings that made us think the Holy Spirit was against a move. (At this point, those leadings have failed, so I don't think they're from God.)
Dysfunctional social situations wear me out. I have a hard time dealing with social situations anyway. I can't deal well with people who only take and don't give, and now my church is taking too. It's finally got me to where I'm not wanting to go to church.
If you can pray for our church, that the egos get turned off and they turn on to the directing of the Holy Spirit, I would appreciate it. I just don't think we can stay to see how things work out.
(If you are from Southern Acres, or are upset t hat I'm responding in a pseudononymous fashion, Email me. I'll be happy to "pierce the veil" or say more in public. I have talked to at least one elder about most of the contents of this message, and nothing has happened.)