Posted in dogs, Sunday

We want to go back to bed.

I settled into my Sunday morning routine quite a few years ago. The first of our two weekly worship services is at 8:15 am. The musicians for that first service arrive to warm up between 7 and 7:20. So if I want the place to myself to run through my sermon, I need to start practice preaching about 6:30. I like to have about an hour to eat some breakfast, shower, get dressed and drive to over to the church. So I’ll get going with all that about 5:30. Plus, after I feed and walk the dog, I like to have some time for my own personal devotions, prayer and journaling, so I set my alarm for 4:30 am. That’s why I always look so awake when y’all arrive for worship. I’ve been up for about four hours.

But that’s not what this post is all about.

My routine was a little different today. You see, my daughter’s dog is spending the weekend with us. So I had two large brown dogs to tend to first thing this morning. No problem. They play, sleep and bark at everyone together. After feeding and walking them, I made my coffee and sat down with my Bible and journal. I figured they would lie down and relax.

Didn’t happen. My wife was still asleep having worked till 11 the night before. We tried to be quiet, but lapping up a quart of water is surprisingly noisy. Toenails ticking on the floor is surprisingly noisy, too, as they sniffed here and there and just couldn’t get settled. They noised our bedroom door over and over again, and I finally figured out what they wanted. They wanted to go back to bed!

I turned off the lights and quietly opened the door. They hurried in, circled around in their beds a few times, and noisily collapsed for a few more hours of shuteye.

It was finally quiet. They probably thought I was nuts to be up so early. I’m sure they’re not the only ones.

Posted in Sunday

Is it warm in here, or is it me?

Photo by Hans Reniers on Unsplash

As you know (or maybe don’t know) anything can happen on a Sunday morning. As a pastor, you want your Sunday mornings to be uneventful. Should the Holy Spirit choose to blow through and dramatically change someone’s life, I’ll go with it. But in general, I prefer no surprises.

Especially the physical plant surprises that might crop up at any moment. In Connecticut, the worst thing that could happen in the winter was no heat. In Florida, however, throughout the year, the one thing you don’t want to encounter is no air conditioning.

I arrived a little earlier than usual last Sunday morning. I was staving off high-pollen laryngitis and wanted to give my voice a little more time to wake up. It was gravely, but would endure the morning with lots of water and no singing. After running through my sermon, I noticed that the sanctuary was strangely silent as six-thirty AM came and went. Usually, the big AC units kick on at 6:30 to begin cooling down the room for worship. Especially on a humid February morning.

I checked everything I knew how to check. As I often tell my leaders, I barely passed my HVAC class at the seminary. I just knew it was going to be warm if something didn’t happen soon.

About 7 am I called the AC guys. I know that I woke up the owners wife who was handling the phone that morning. They would send someone out.

As the musicians arrived to warm up and early arriving worshipers arrived, the worship folders doubled as fans to cool a quickly warming room. About five minutes before worship was about to being, an AC tech showed up and pondered the mysteries of the box which controlled everything. All I could do was remind myself that it wasn’t that hot yet. Surely he would figure it out soon.

About 30 minutes later, I could feel cold air beginning to circulate through the worship space. Thank you, Lord! It’s not like we can crack a window or anything. We opted out of that when we built. As cool air began to course through the room, those fanning themselves soon put their sweaters on. Feast or famine. Sahara or Arctic, I guess. By grace alone we made it through the morning.

Today (Monday morning), I arrived at the church to begin another week, and noticed that all the big units were running. Still running. I looked at the status display, and it read, “Forced schedule.” Now what do I do? A little later a tech showed up and explained what the other guy did and what to do next time. It’s not an elegant solution, but it will work.

I have plenty on my mind every Sunday morning. I’d like to focus on preaching and teaching. In my dreams! I usually have to deal with electrical (the lights won’t come on), acoustical (my microphone is popping), atmospherical (it’s kind of cold in here, pastor) and medical issues (someone passes out in church). I hope you’ll forgive me if I lose my train of thought.