What a week it's been! My last substantial post was quite a while ago, but for good reason. Wednesday through Friday of last week were largely spent preparing for the Storyhill concert at University Lutheran Center, which I'm happy to report was by and large a success. We had a smaller crowd than we anticipated, but very enthusiastic and also new to our place, so our hopes of using the concert as a profile-raising event were somewhat fulfilled. The music was wonderful, as I expected, but the far greater gift was getting to know Chris Cunningham and John Hermanson and learning that as good as their music may be, their character and graciousness exceeds their musical gifts. I'll admit that I was terrified that at our first slip they'd get all pissy and artistically temperamental, but when we did have some unfortunate surprises they rolled with the punches and put on an absolutely amazing show. Best of all, when Kris and I gave them a few tokens of our appreciation, John returned the favor with copies of a yet-to-be-released compilation of psalms he's been working on. I damn near melted into a puddle of goo when that happened, but managed to hold it together until we got home Friday night, at which point I stayed up reading until very late that night because I couldn't get my heart to slow down or my spirits to recede enough that sleep would be possible. Nice to have a problem like that sometimes.
Saturday we rose early and flew to Eugene, Oregon with my sister-in-law and her family. My father-in-law retired Sunday after 21 years at his current church and 34 years in ministry altogether. We had a wonderful celebration all day Sunday. My in-laws are kooky, crazy and sometimes batty to the point of befrazzlement, but being a part of their lives is a great honor and privilege - never more than Sunday when we honored both my father- and mother-in-law for their years of faithful service to the church, their children and each other.
In the days since then, we've been working to pack up the parsonage and spending time with my wife's friends and family. After 21 years in a gigantic parsonage, my in-laws, who suffer from a bit of packrat-itis and compulsive collecting, have a LOT of stuff to move, so we've been busy. Corralling the grandkids, who range from six months to four years, is no easy task either. So, with all that's happened I haven't had much time to blog.
I LOVE visiting Eugene. I have the great good fortune of loving my in-laws and their group of friends and family, so it's always nice to be here. But an additional blessing is the city itself. Eugene is just a cool place to be, especially along the Willamette River, especially for runners like me. I've had two runs along the Willamette this week and plan to enjoy two more before we leave on Friday for the voyage home. This will hopefully help me build more endurance toward the Dam to Dam 20K I'm running in late May and the 10K I'm running with my brother and some college buddies in Lincoln the following week.
So, that's the news from Eugene for today. I may or may not post again before coming home. The computer at the in-laws' house is in a regularly traveled hallway, and I find more and more that I need privacy to write well. Tomorrow afternoon's visit to a coffee house will be to finish the sermon for Sunday, and I may not have any more time to spare since we've got lots of boxes yet unpacked in the parsonage and my beloved is patient but not to be put to the test. Blessings, friends, and if you're along the river in Eugene tomorrow morning, wave at the fat bald guy running along with a big smile on his face.
Grace & peace,