I read in the history books of a time during the second world war when the President of the United States would sit by the fireplace in the White House and discuss world events with the nation he governed via the radio. I am sure it was calming to hear from the leadership in a time of crisis and great sacrifice.
Later, in the mid-seventies, President Jimmy Carter tried it on television. It did not work so well. The vision of him in his cardigan sweater was not calming. It was irritating in the extreme, but he was what we had come to after Nixon; the Republican that was not a republican. The value of our money was grossly inflated, interest rates were sky high and jobs were becoming scarce. It was the beginning of the end of America's industrial age and Jimmy Carter was unfortunate enough to be President in that time.
Starting out with digression is not good. Sorry...
I endured a fireside chat of my own last night as a guest of some of the leadership in my church. We gathered in the back yard of the parsonage around a fire. Two pastors, two elders and me. It was a time of reflection for me. It was a time to help them understand me a bit better. And it was a time for me to confess my sin against them and apologize. I did all that. It was necessary for me to do that because, quite frankly, sometimes I just do not know how to talk to people. I would like to blame it on being alone for so long. I really can't do that. It's more like I have said before. When I think I'm right, I lock down. I brush aside all other opinions as irrelevant because I alone have discovered the Truth.
And after all, how can you not just fall down and submit to that? In your heart, you know I'm right.
Monumental arrogance. Yup, that's what it is, that's me. I can completely destroy any truth I may be providing by offending the people I am trying to convince with my superficial snottiness. Yes, I am a bit high maintenance. I am imperious. Thus saith the Ground Hog! So let it be written, so let it be done.
So this is where I am at today. Where I will be tomorrow is anyone's guess. Please friends, help me with this.
Just let me say this again and in this public venue. I am sorry for some of the things I said and did during our recent disagreement. I over reacted in many ways. I said hurtful things to people that I love and respect. I apologize. I love our church. I love it more than I realized at first. And it is also why I became a bit indignant. Much of this has to do with this 'vision' I have of what the church should be. I am an idealist, an iconoclast and a restorationist. I want Acts 2:42-47 to be a reality and not just ancient history.
I love you all. I want to teach again in the fall. I will be there for you. Let's do this thing. I hope to see you in class. 0800 comes early on Sunday mornings. Get up anyway. Come on down. We will have a good time. Let's turn some sheep into Priests.