If you are new to this blog....

Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

blooper reel, pt. 2

I'm not sure if I just need a laugh myself, because ministry and dissertatin' have been such a constant, hard press, or if I'm just feeling a little punchy, but this is all I have this week... pastoral bloopers, take two.

On my first Ash Wednesday at my present church, I struggled through the logistics. I had been an Associate Minister previously, which meant: 1) I didn't know where you get the ashes; 2) I didn't know how to prepare the ashes; 3) I really knew nothing about ashes.

The church secretary had secured a bag of ashes for me. One detail down. But at 6:30pm, 30 min. before the service was to start, I got them out to practice on my hand. Dry as dust they were (maybe why ashes and dust are linked together?) I added a bit of water... and it washed away. Something was not right. Maybe I need oil instead of water. So, I run to the church kitchen. Oil, oil, where is oil. Ah, I see some Pam cooking spray. I sprayed it on my hand, then sprinkled some ashes on there. Nope, that's a horrible mess - took 5 min. to wash the sludge off my hand. 6:50, and I try olive oil. It makes one giant slimy ash-ball. Nope, that's not it.

So, at 6:55, I called my colleague from the previous church. I told the person who answered the phone my crisis and she pulled him out of their service (started at 6:30) to come help me! He said I needed water after all. So, off I go to the restroom to find the right amount to make ash-paste.

Whew, I made it, running into the sanctuary at 7pm for the somber, serious service. It goes fine... for a while. We had about 50 people there. Near the end I had them file up to me to receive the ashes, and I say something like what I remember hearing in my previous church (notice, I hadn't really thought this through).

You have come from ashes, and to ashes you will return.
Well, that sounded good enough for my first try. I had preached on repentance and ashes and it made sense in that context.

Now you try saying that sentence over and over 50x in a row.

Around person #38 one of our members stepped up before me and I said my line, gave him the cross, and he moved on. I remember that he kind of blinked and looked at me funny, so I hit the "rewind" button in my brain. Yep, there it was, clear as crystal:
You have come from asses, and to asses you will return.
What is it with me and ashes? The postscript to this story is that I've found a new Ash Wednesday tag line:
You have come from dust, and to dust you shall return.
I am teachable, after all.

Tag Cloud

2014 2015 accountability acts advent archive art arts ash wednesday aslan assurance audio auditions bands belief bigotry blessing blob bloggers blooper reel bluegrass body of christ book book reviews boomer boundaries breadth of worship builder bus calling Calvin Symposium cd ceilidh change character of god chart christmas church church partnerships civility commandments commentary communication community con ed confession confirmation contemporized hymns crisis culture D.Min. dance darkness death definitions denomination depth of worship discernment discipleship discourse dismissal dissertation drama early church easter ecclesiology ecpc emergent church error evangelism excellence exile exodus experimentation facebook failure faith family of God father fear fellowship fellowshippres following forgiveness friendship frost fruit frustration funerals GA ga219 ga220 GAhelp generations genX gift gifts girl scouts good news Google gospel grace gracious witness gspc youth hands health highlights holy spirit holy week hope hospitality humility humor hymn image of God imago dei improvisation incarnation inclusion index information insider language institutions interns invitation iTunes james jazz Jeremy Begbie john piper jonah joy judgment Keith and Kristyn Getty kids kindness language law lay renewal leadership legalism lent license life light lighthouse linked articles links listening liturgy loneliness love lyrics maddie shuler meme mentoring mercy metanarrative mgb commission millenials ministry networks miscellaneous mission missional missional identity missions moderator montreat mumford music narnia neighborhood neighbors new wineskins new year news newsletter NEXT NEXTchurch nicaragua noticing obedience obstacles organizations outreach palm sunday parenting participation pastor pastoral ministry pcaus pcusa peace performance peter pgf pictures plagues planning podcasting poetry politics ponderings pornography post-modernism prayer preaching presbymergent presbyterian global fellowship presbytery publishing questions racism reader reconciliation recordings recycled goodness redemption reflection refugees relationship relationships retreat righteousness risk roadblocks rss rules sabbatical safety salt samaritan satan satire scotland searchlight searchlight 2.0 sectarianism self-righteousness seminaries sermon snippets sermon-song sermons shalom sheep shepherding sin small church social media song songwriters songwriting spheres of influence spirit spiritual lessons spiritual power stewardship stories story sub-culture summary sunrise talent challenge tears technology teenagers Ten Commandments terrorism testimony theater theft theological education top posts tragedy transformation translation travel trees trinitarian worship trinity trust truth twitter union with christ valentines VBS video virtual reality vision waiting website wednesdays out wee kirk welcome witness word cloud wordle words workshop worship writing year-end YL you tube youth