Trinity Sunday 2018

Athanasius and that Creed
Athanasius and that Creed

Trinity Sunday is one of my favorites of the church year… Along with Christmas, and Easter, and Pentecost. (Okay, I admit it. I like the way the entire church year helps pass THE FAITH to the next generation.)

I also know that every Sunday SHOULD include some of the teaching of the Trinity. It is important. It is incredibly rich. It is part of explaining how God is redeeming both His People and all of creation.

The problem is that there is just so much good stuff to share with each other in the future! We have to focus our attention occasionally.

I had originally intended to write a gangbuster blog posting about how nifty the Athanasian Creed is. Paul Edmund over at Brothers of John the Steadfast did a better job with all three creeds than I would have. Check them out:

Athanasian Creed according to Scripture   <–is probably best for this Sunday. I will admit that it will make many people uncomfortable. It requires “theological thinking.” That discipline takes practice and effort. If you aren’t ready for that, you are missing a treasure.

Still, other treasures still abound. Take a look at Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed According to the Scriptures

Re-Examining and Updating My 2018 Goals

The other day, a friend asked me how I am doing with my goals for 2018. (What a mean thing to do!)

Of course, I had been successfully avoiding the question on my own. If I had been keeping up with everything, everyone would know about it. I would blog about how proud I am about myself. I would tweet my myriad successes. I would Facebook images of myself smiling about the two novels and 50 short stories that were awaiting re-editing before sending to beta readers.

Regarding short stories. I have finished two out of my personal “10 Story Challenge.” I start one and I keep twiddling with it until it is completely useless. I just need to finish the next eight. I need to just post them here, not trying to make them the most brilliant nibbles of fiction on the planet.

The same holds true with my novels, both the science-fiction and the Texas (with a Lutheran twist) stories. I spend so much time editing the first sentence, that it drains all the energy and fun from writing. It’s a terrible thing I do to myself!

It is also what I do to myself when I am blogging.

I need to quit attacking myself and leave that to “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”! 😉

Holy Week 2018, Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX

church sign listing the services for holy week
Photo by Melissa Sindlinger

Hello there! What are your upcoming plans for the week? Lent is ending, and we get to rejoice in what God has done and continues to do in the lives of His people.

Palm Sunday is March 25 this year. Prophecies are fulfilled. Celebrations ensue. The King comes into Jerusalem, humbly riding a donkey. Our church services are at 8 AM and 10:45 AM, with Bible study in Sunday school at 9:30 AM.

Maundy Thursday is March 29. Our church services are at noon and 6:30 PM.

Good Friday is March 30. Again, our church services are at noon and 6:30 PM.

Saturday Vigil services are at 6:30 PM.

Easter services are at 7 AM and 9:30 AM, with breakfast between the services.

snowfall in Texas, second episode this season

Blades of grass and snowflakes
Blades of grass and snowflakes
Snow on the green grass Photo on Visualhunt

I feel like I should begin this posting with an apology. There are so many people, just in the US, that are facing real issues with winter weather. A couple of friends used to live in Alaska. They are doubtless laughing at how people in the Texas Gulf region react when three snowflakes managed to fall from the sky and hang around for more than 30 seconds. The weather was 60°F yesterday when they started announcing school closings.

I’m not entirely sure that that is an overreaction, though. We really have absolutely NO idea how to drive in cold weather. (Apologies to Michigan and New York, for example. For US, 20° is downright beastly cold. You probably faced this in November, you probably were wearing flip-flops and shorts, but we RARELY get below 40°. Laugh all you want!)

Ice on the sidewalk and road.
Ice on the sidewalk and road.

Of course, children are excited. There are 3 inch tall snowmen all over the city. Even adults are finding ways to have fun. They try to claim that slipping down a sidewalk is just like ice skating in the Galleria, except for being difficult to control. I’d be willing to bet that lots of minor medical clinics are full of people who didn’t figure out that the same stuff that we put into glasses of iced tea can make falls and bruises likely. Until they landed on their southern exposure…

I remember one Christmas that was in the mid-80s. I think they opened the subdivision pool. Kids were riding bikes and wearing rollerskates, using skateboards and doing all sorts of fun things. There were concerts at the beaches in Galveston.

This is the second time this season that actually felt like winter. Three weeks ago, give or take a week or two, we had another snowpocalypse. Like today and tomorrow, homeless people refused to go into shelters. Several died. I don’t know what we can do to help that kind of situation. People do have the freedom to decide where to sleep, but the cost can be so high. How do families and friends find those that they love who are out of the street? What if the folks on the street want nothing to do with the friends and family who might be searching for them.

All my training is not prepared me to give an answer to that. I’ll keep looking for answers and I will keep praying. Something that we are overlooking is probably part of the answer. I just don’t know what it is yet…

Cooper is pondering how to convince his people that a little ice and snow will make walking a lot of fun.
Cooper is pondering how to convince his people that a little ice and snow will make walking a lot of fun.

This is even affecting four-legged furry family members. I’m not sure what Cooper thinks of this, but he has been growling at the door and barking at the windows today. I don’t know if he is hearing something in the wind, or hears other creatures trying to stay warm. He has been very restless. Part of it is that he has been trying to convince his people to take them for a walk most of the day. My nephew did take him, and I think they enjoyed themselves, but it didn’t seem to be quite as long a walk as usual.

This weekend, it is supposed to be in the 70s again. We will be able to get back to living a normal winter life in this area.

2018 Goal Setting

This is a screenshot of my writing goals for the year. The background shows open books all piled together. The first box shows RESOLUTIONS.

Goal setting terrifies me. It feels like I’m getting locked into something that I don’t necessarily want to do, all because I think I’m supposed to do it. Sometimes, it feels like setting a goal guarantees that that is the last thing I will ever do.

So… I’m trying a different route. I’m doing the scary thing first. I am ANYTHING but finished, here is my progress so far.

This is a screenshot of my writing goals for the year. The background shows open books all piled together. The first box shows RESOLUTIONS.
Beginning My Goal Setting

I am keeping my goals on Trello.com. That way they will be accessible to me in more places and with more devices. It’s not like paper and pencil is an option!

I think I have three lists.
1. My TO-DO list. This is where most of the work will be done. This is where building my habits will be  https://habitica.com/  is too annoying for words!
2. My “main” goal setting for various areas of my life.
3. Writing (and reading)

I don’t know why goal-setting is usually problematic for me. I get these BIG OLD DAYDREAMS, castles in the sky, etc. I just don’t always know how to build a good foundation. Others have said something similar to what is in this blog post http://stunningmotivation.com/how-to-make-your-goals-work-3-ultimate-keys-to-making-it-all-work/ I think I just wasn’t really listening. (ESPECIALLY to the part about setting small and consisted steps…)

My daily “To-Dos” are already in Trello so I’m looking for other goalsetting tools there.  https://trello.com/b/kDbe13wI  looks interesting…

https://trello.com/b/o8HpHfSy  is a totally different approach.

Those have some really useful approaches, and I probably will use them in setting up my resolutions and goals for the year. Still, I think that this may be the winner!
https://trello.com/b/uGcMEnGt

There is a whole different train of thought, though. Now that my goals list is three pages long… I find out that I shouldn’t be telling you all about them…  https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself  This really resonates with me. It seems like… If I set a goal, that is the one thing I am guaranteed to NOT do.

Today, I found this. It is far more comprehensive than some of the others, and includes “looking back.”  https://liveyourlegend.net/our-free-2018-planner-and-goal-setting-workbook-is-here/

And Now I Need to Remember What I Read…  https://medium.com/@skooloflife/how-to-remember-and-take-action-on-what-you-read-c43b309edfbc

Yup, I’m starting to think about next year: goal settings and what might work for me. How about you? Let me know at lmstapp.com