Thirty-Three Things on My Mind

Today, I turn 33. No, I don’t feel any older than I did yesterday. (You almost always get asked if you feel older on your birthday. I’m guilty of asking that one too.) So far, though the day is early, has consisted of doing just about everything I did yesterday – wake-up, eat, rock the baby to sleep.

So far, I’m owning 33.

To start my “next lap” of life, I thought I would share a collection of 33 thoughts that are on my mind today. These are short (well, relatively speaking) statements and thoughts as I welcome another year on this crazy little planet we call Earth.

1: I wonder if there is an app for sleep deprived parents.

2: Being a father is one of the best things that I have ever done in my life. Noah is a great kid, if I do say so myself.

3: Pastor friends told me that being a father would impact how I see God, preach, and serve my churches. They were right. I have felt over the last few months that I’m closer to God, preacher better than I have before, and connecting with the churches in some great ways. We are blessed all around.

4: The Mountaineers of 2012-13 remind me a lot of the Mountaineers from 2001-02. That was a bad season. This is a very bad season.

5: Some of God’s greatest gifts are … community members who find you, and your car, in a ditch while they were going to a doctor’s appointment and being willing to stop to help.

6: I believe seminaries need to add three classes as required for graduation: civics, economics, and financial administration. Civics because pastors interact with the larger world, including the government, and to know who does what and why is important. Economics because we speak to larger economic issues, having a sound understanding of economic principles can assist us in our prophetic calling. Financial administration because we are called to lead major organizations, which means financing, land purchasing/renting, budgeting, staff management, and other issues.

7: Yesterday, I participated in the launch of a new anti-gambling effort in Kentucky. If there is one thing that takes advantage of the poor it is gambling efforts designed to promote large “paydays.” These “paydays” place the carrot of economic riches, but only takes away from someone’s hard-earned money and resources, which could be used for food and other necessities.

8: The coolest thing in the world … Noah reaching for my face. It’s the little things in life, right?

9: I am participating in a community Easter cantata. I had a huge laugh when someone asked if I would sing. I’m just reading.

10: I think the Harlem Shake is the worst viral movement to date. Make it stop, please.

11: Yesterday, I counted that I am involved in eight services between my two churches and the larger community from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. If you need me on April 1 … I’ll be asleep.

12: I grew up a huge pro wrestling fan. The other day I heard that a wrestler said that he was God. That, among other things, will keep me from ever turning it back on.

13: I don’t play golf because I am good at it. I play golf because it challenges me.

14: That being said, I wanted to play golf today. I do not believe the snow on the ground will allow that to happen.

15: You know you are getting old when you turn on the radio and say, “they call this music.”

16: What the Chicago Blackhawks are doing this season (scoring a point in every game this season) is impressive.

17: I wish Alex Smith the best in his future endeavors of trying to turn the Kansas City Chiefs into a playoff contender.

18: One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t become close to that many people in college. I have some friends from WVU, yes, but I didn’t spend a lot of time cultivating deep relationships.

19: Another regret is that I ate last night’s Little Caesar’s for breakfast.

20: For the last few days, I have a had a song stuck in my head that I first heard at Boy’s State in 1997. I can’t even remember a lyric to look up the song’s name. This is most annoying.

21: I hope Geno Smith gets drafted in the first round. I think he is the best quarterback available in the draft. I’m not just saying that because my office holds my degree from WVU.

22: I’m not big on cake. Why can’t we start the tradition of a birthday pie? Hold the candles.

23: “Blue Bloods” might be the best show on television that examines the role of faith in the modern family. There is typically at least one interaction per week that challenges how the family’s Catholic faith interacts with their roles in the police department and legal system.

24: My Nissan Versa might be the worst car I have ever owned. I may never buy another Nissan.

25: I am starting to think we should stop kidding ourselves about student-athletes in major college sports.

26: I am glad that the “Catholic 7” will keep the name “Big East.” They earned it.

27: I’d love to see my two churches do something big in the coming year. What that “big” thing is yet … I’m not sure.

28: Lately, I find that I am losing a lot of things. Yesterday I lost my wedding ring. I am thankful for a wife who did not give me a bigger guilt trip about it than I gave myself.

29: Next week, I go before the Board of Ordained Ministry for consideration for commissioning as an elder. I’m excited and nervous. I know that no matter what happens that God has called me to do some amazing things within the life of the United Methodist Church. May God be with the members of the board, the candidates, and also our church leaders throughout this process.

30: I can’t wait to teach Noah sports. One sport I am hesitant about is football. I think I would rather have him play soccer.

31: I also can’t wait for the next time we go to see Abbi’s family in Virginia. I love driving through Washington, D.C. There is no sarcasm in that statement. I actually enjoy driving in Washington. You can ask my wife.

32: I’ve been trying to read “Truman” for about a year. Nine hundred pages on our 33rd president is a little much, even for this presidential history buff.

33: And finally … I think this coming year will be awesome. Just wait. You’ll see.

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