Belvidere, Illinois is blessed with funeral directors who really care about people more than "volume" and reek with integrity much like my favorite funeral home in Loves Park; and now that the area's favorite "designated pastor" for the unchurched has gone home to Jesus, I'm hoping to take his place because I feel especially called to announce good news through Jesus during those transitional moments from ecclesiastical militant to Church Triumphant.
Yeah, the extra $ doesn't hurt either; but it only adds up to the minimum wage when everything is calculated. It ain't enough to cover the plastic or put a Road King in the barn. Truth is my compensation comes from fulfilling my call to remind believers of the best life after the last breath to this one and invite the others who are just showing up because they're supposed to show up to consider the benefits of inviting Jesus into the heart as Lord and Savior.
Anyway, I met the newest funeral director in town during yesterday's memorial service; and she's exceptionally personal as well as professional with an uncommon blend of strength and sensitivity.
Of course, I really liked when she remarked after I confessed my age upon request, "I thought you were 42 or something."
It would have made my day if my day had ended then.
It began/descended about two hours after a comfortable, warm, and loving funeral reception in one of my favorite local restaurants as I took my mule out of the barn and rode to my favorite HD dealership in Woodstock to discover that the object of my current lusting and breaking of the 10th commandment had just been sold before I could ask to moonlight somewhere as a night watchman to earn some extra $ to buy it.
It bottomed out when I took my wife to McDonald's around 8:00 p.m. for coffee (me) and sundae (she) and noticed the bill was only $1.62: $1.00 for a caramel sundae and $0.50 for a senior coffee.
$0.12 for big brother.
I announced the graduation of an octogenarian who had served God and country so well as a Marine, police officer, autoworker, and farmer.
God knows I have the highest respect for women and men who served/serve like him.
Though I'm a Yankees fan which means I'm a city slicker by predestination more than volition, I've always liked farmers since the other Woodstock.
Farmers understand balance.
They plant in the spring.
They rejoice when it's knee-high by the 4th of July.
They harvest in the fall.
They rest and repair in the winter.
Then they do it all over again and again and again and...
They like to say, "You go with what you get."
If it's a really bad year, they say, "Don't worry because things will get better."
If it's a really good year, they say, "Calm down because things will get worse."
Whether it's bad or good, they keep keepin' on.
Is it just me or is our country getting more and more and more out of balance?
We keep sending big $ to countries that don't want us around while throwing around big $ to everyone except those who really need it.
Have you looked at the Presidential succession lately?
Help me, Jesus!
While I pray I'm wrong, I think the children of this generation are looking at what previous ones have allowed and are giving up to the point that they're going to make the tune-in-turn-on-drop-out-live-for-today-'cause-tomorrow-we're-gonna-die-anyway-sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll flower children of the late 60s and early 70s look like responsible, productive, patriotic, and positive citizens.
While I pray I'm wrong, I think it won't be long before we're more concerned about domestic terrorists than the diaper-headed ones as more and more and more taxpayers lose jobs, homes, assets, hope, and everything else related to the American dream while those fools in D.C. fiddle around if you know what I mean.
It's like my conversation with a Census 2010 worker earlier this morning.
Yesterday, the form came to our house: "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW."
I called and asked clarification for what I had already decided to do: only answer question #1 (see KD's 3/9/10 edition).
After being put on hold for several minutes, I was told I'm right.
When asked why I'm exercising my constitutional right not to answer any of the other questions, I said, "I hope you know I'm not really angry about this because I'm not going to waste any more emotions over the sadness that I feel about what's happening to our country under the corrupt leadership of Democrats and Republicans and I'm trying not to transfer any pejoratives to you because you're just doing your job; but I'm becoming a Libertarian by politics because I just don't trust our government any more with any more information than is mandated by our Constitution. God bless you, friend."
He read off a very nice thank you and hung up.
The exchange was pleasant.
What's discerned in the concern is not.
I think that's why funerals are my favorite part of ministry.
Blessings and Love!
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