Monday Morning Quarterback

Monday Morning Quarterback

Note: Monday Morning Quarterback is a weekly post reviewing Sunday, the busiest, most stressful, most gratifying day in the week of a pastor/parent/spouse/citizen.

Song of The Day:

5:53. Awake from a dream that I was in prison and was going to stand up my mother, visiting from out of town.

6:00. Awake to the alarm.

6:02. Turning on the oven to bake the cornbread stuffing that’s been chilling in the fridge overnight. There’s a Thanksgiving-style meal after church today, and my stuffing will be the talk of the event.

6:43. Enjoying my coffee while reading this article. Painfully recalling high school.

7:12. Removing daughter’s crock pot concoction to a pie dish: lentils, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots, all congealed into an orange mash.

7:15. Daughter tastes her dish. “I don’t like it, but I want to take it to the pot luck, because other people might like it.” How can you say no to that?

7:58. Ready to walk out the door, two casserole dishes of stuffing in one hand and daughter’s mash in the other, and daughter begins to plead, “Can I come to church early with you? Pleeeeeeease?”

8:10. Daughter and stuffing in the car. Daughter is drinking prune juice, ’cause, you know . . .

8:18. Children’s Director tastes daughter’s dish and issues a gleefully muffled, “Itsh derishioush.” Grimacing.

8:23. Typing agenda for post-worship Adult Education Committee meeting. Who calls a meeting concurrent with a church meal? I do.

8:47. Printing the Junior High Youth Group lesson for this afternoon. Daughter conscientiously retrieving papers from the printer in the next room. She demands I stay put and allow her to bring them to me. Empowerment or secretary training?

8:56. Chatting with a friend who’s giving the charge at another friend’s installation later today. My advice: incorporate the word “awesome.”

9:35. I’ve got an honest-to-goodness high school Bible study going in my office. Three students and me. And Philippians.

10:00. Acolytes today are old pros. I ask if they can light the candles themselves and they roll their eyes.

10:11. Call to Confession. Daughter is in the front row. Her playmate is rebelliously climbing under the pew. Daughter is fighting the temptation to follow her by smacking herself on the head.

10:12. Silent Prayer of Confession. Daughter whispering, “Daddy. Daaaddy.” I should be irritated, but I love this.

10:16. Time with The Children. Daughter clutching my arm, then mimicking my every movement. At least she’s not picking her nose.

10:17. Explaining to children that God wants all of us and realizing how menacing (and hopelessly abstract) that sounds.

10:21. Reading Psalm 100. “He” and “His” are all over this thing. Trying hard to emphasize all the words right after each masculine pronoun: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving/and his courts with praise/Give thanks to him, bless his name.”

11:14. Looking for daughter. Church is out, her mom’s not here, and I’m running all over.

11:16. Find daughter, crying because she doesn’t know where I am. Father of The Year over here.

11:38. Planning Adult Education programming for January and February. Anyone up for a sensitive conversation about race?

12:09. Finally joining the potluck. Happy to see there’s some stuffing left.

12:11. Plate is full, but there’s a disturbance. There’s a kid in here whom none of us know. He’s crying. He asks to use someone’s phone to call his mom. Won’t tell us who his dad is.

12:17. Crying kid taken care of. Enjoying stuffing.

12:22. Second crying kid.

12:34. Seconds on the stuffing.

1:22. Home cleaning casserole and crock pot dishes.

1:46. Sitting down to Miracle on 34th Street with daughter and Wife. Relaxing.

2:03. Recalling my boyhood crush on Elizabeth Perkins, owing entirely to her role in Big.

2:07. How did Dylan McDermott get to be such a big deal?

2:39. Daughter: “Where’s my beer bottle?” What the?!

3:23. Playing Hide-And-Seek with daughter for a bit before I have to leave for youth groups. It’s the least I can do.

4:34. Junior high boys arrive and immediately begin assaulting each other with pool noodles left on the floor. Completely ignore my stern directives to S-T-O-P!

4:48. Shooting a quick video with students for next week’s premier of our Advent worship series on Christmas movies. Today’s challenge: film an illustration for the sermon featuring the line, “You’ll shoot your eye out!

5:08. Struggling mightily to teach “Up Jenkins” to junior high students. Mostly, they’re just yelling at each other.

5:24. Finally get students calm enough to do a Bible talk.

6:06. Debriefing junior high youth group with volunteer staff. Deciding the challenge is growing the maturity of some and the immaturity tolerance of others.

7:12. Filming the high school version of the “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out” video.

7:48. Check in tonight involves summarizing Bible stories with a Facebook status update. My favorite: “That moment when you realize your kids are hiding from you in the garden” (my entry–“That moment when you turn to see the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and get turned into a pillar of sa–” does not fare well).

8:12. Watching a clip from Despicable Me and concluding that Gru is Jesus and we are Jesus’ Minions.

8:54. Quick game of Camoflogue in the sanctuary. 9th grader’s never played before and messes up. Leaves angrily. #pastorfail.

9:36. Home and making a list of all the things I need to get done tomorrow. On my vacation.


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