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Monday, July 13, 2015

Life Update 7/13/15

            So the weekend is over and I find myself at something of a crossroads again.  The prep is fully underway for having a great fall lineup of programs and bible study, while still maintaining summer scheduling such as fair week presence, Vacation Bible School and keep up with people in general.  However personally two big changes have come up.  First of all I have decided to somewhat prematurely end the diet I have been doing and I got the dressing that had been protecting my arm since I had surgery on the 29th of June.  I haven’t even talked about my older brother’s diagnosis of cancer since he received the news!!!  These things make me feel like I’ve taken some big steps and I need to break them down a little bit.

First of all, my brother’s cancer.  In his blog he wrote a blog titled “the most boring cancer story ever,” in which he proved to be very thankful that almost in the space of a month he was diagnosed, rushed into more surgery and given the all clear.  Rollercoaster doesn’t begin to describe it.  However looking back on things I have diagnosed myself as being a little slow.  If you don’t know, my family dynamic consists of 4 ministers and 2 hospice workers.  That doesn’t even mention how the rest of the family is human as well.  It does lend itself to hysterics though as most of us in the family have some experience with death and can recall a story or 50 of things going from bad to disastrous in the space of a few weeks.  All people have weaknesses and a common one among care givers is an inability to deal with your own fear.

                I mentioned earlier how I diagnosed myself with being a bit slow.  What I meant was I feel like I am running a little bit behind the emotional ride that everyone else seems to be on.  When Dan received the diagnosis I had separate conversations with almost everyone in the family and was surprised how each of them were dealing with it different but at the same height of fear and anxiety.  I was feeling we need more information and take a little time to react.  Then while watching a particularly emotional episode of Scrubs (for those who have seen it I am talking about the episode where Benji dies) it occurred to me that I might have received the first piece of news that would eventually lead to my big brother not being around anymore.  I immediately called everyone up looking to comfort them… I know, a very clever way to deal with my own issues.  But now that he has the all clear the family has chilled out but I still feel red alert.  What’s up with that?!  A little slow?  Maybe.  Not sure how to pass a episode like this without make resolutions?  Absolutely.  How can people run so hot without a big life change afterward? 

                So here I am planning big things for the church and my ministry here, leaving a diet and picking up running a 5k and celebrating the freedom of an appendage that had been ransomed for a pittance of what it was worth.  Crazy choices?  No but life is too short to be scared and not live life better.  How have you dealt with revelations that you know scared you?  Try the pizza, it’s delicious.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Don't Stop Believin'

  It occurs to me how I do a lot of looking back.  I don't know if this is a thing that comes with age or maybe it's just some will win, some will lose, some were born to sing the blues.  You look back and see either the best or the worst of what memory has to offer.  I imagine my first date with my future wife and I just remember a small town girl living in a lonely world.  But in all actuality it was a cheap bar that had a singer in a smokey room.  There was a smell of wine and cheap perfume, but all we needed was that one smile to last the whole night.  

  Then again you remember the not so good parts of your life and the memories come back with dark images making you want to take a midnight train going anywhere.  I am not sure why I look back so much but it does remind me that even though the events of the present seem so big and important they will soon be in the past and a memory.  It's like all of these times are strangers who are waiting,  they are standing around up and down the boulevard... not sure where they play in the grand scheme of things but they give us something to learn and a place to be in the present.  

  We don't know what the future holds but our past informs us that the good and the bad wash over us and keep us growing.  Living is hard and we search for the emotion that can carry us to a place of understanding.  So I guess what I take from looking back is this, don't stop believing that the future will hold good times.  Hold on to the feeling you remember from when you felt that thrill of joy and simply hold on through the bad times.  Our past doesn't decide our future but it can help us to hold onto hope even in the face of long shadows.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Making Things a Little Bit Better...

  So it has been a long standing notion of mine that God calls us to something better... not an entirely specific statement I know, but still it is something that I think can do a lot to inform ourselves on the priorities that we set for our lives.  Something better than this... it in no way says that things are not good it just makes us look at reality and take some pride in what I actually want to accomplish rather than the things I have settled for.

  I really got pumped up on this topic a few months ago with the burden that I had been carrying around for over a decade, which was smoking.  It all stated when I kept coming to the revelation that I needed to step out and have a smoke regardless of where I was and what I was doing.  Don't get me wrong, I loved smoking and found it to be relaxing and a great 5 minute break in my schedule to consider what was coming next and kind of prepare for it.  The rub came when I felt the need to smoke when I was enjoying something else and it wasn't time to transition to the next thing.  Honestly speaking I had a lot more transitions built in so I could smoke rather than smoking being the relaxing next step.

  So the conclusion I came to was this... God wants something better for me.  I wasn't free I was being chained down to a desire and it may have been relaxing but it was taking me out of my life and, as everyone knows, killing me for it.  It hasn't been easy but I am at 5 months without a cigarette and feeling like I can take on the world with God by my side.  Not sure how many people will read this post but me being a Pastor would shock a few people, and that definitely added its own negative pressure on quitting.  I think it is important to remember that I didn't do it for my church, I didn't even do it for my family, I did it because God loves me and wants the best for me... and smoking wasn't the best.

  Now I just have to lose the weight that came with quitting smoking.  Because God wants something better for me and I am worth the effort it will take to do that.  Do you know that God loves you?  What could be better for you?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Take a seat at the table...

Welcome to my new blog!!!

I am so excited that you have joined me in this journey and I hope that you feel comfortable at the table.  Here I will be discussing things that I have interest in such as movies, books, spirituality and video games!  You are more than welcome to post comments or questions and just be a part of the table discussion.  I have some ambitious plans so I hope you enjoy.

Just a quick word of introduction on this first post.  My name is Chris McCurdy and I am the pastor at United Presbyterian Church in Rice Lake, WI.  Being a pastor is a hard job to have because, in general, I have never agreed very much with the actions or principles of the larger institutional church. It is okay though because God is full of grace and God works through me!!!  So basically if I do my best and fail completely then God is still God and there will still be grace!

You should know that I am a huge nerd because I love video games, the Lord of the Rings and all sorts of different gadgets and tech.  Another love of mine is football on any level and I am always down to watch a game of any sport.  Except fishing... I don't understand watching fishing.

The best part of my life has to be my family.  I have a beautiful daughter named Lillian and an amazing wife named Jessica.  We do everything together so almost every post will have them in it.  My love of family is also where this blog comes into play.  I remember sitting at the table, as a child, and having a discussion with my brother, sister and parents and really feeling uplifted and closer to them at the same time.  Although this will never be the same I want to have discussions and learn more about everyone.

So don't be afraid to comment and keep an eye out for corresponding video blog content to come soon.  Thanks for joining and I'll see you at the table tomorrow!