I ran across some notes I made once after hearing a good message from Dr. Charles Stanley. I don’t agree with all his dogma by any means, so I won’t recommend him in toto, but his message on a particular Sunday morning was a pretty sound one and it got me thinking, as I sometimes do.
His point, with which I agree: there is a difference between intellectually acknowledging the theory of Jesus Christ as the son of God, and actually having a relationship with him. Let’s face it, there are millions of people out there who will say without a moment’s hesitation, “Oh yeah, I believe in God and Jesus” and so they consider themselves Christians. And they do believe he exists, because they were raised that way, that’s what they were taught, that’s what everybody believes, in the same way you believe what your mom tells you she heard about your cousin’s neighbor’s son, whom you also never met. Read the rest of this entry →
These days I’m familiar with more and more people who are seeking less preacher-centric relationships with their Higher Power. I’m one of those people as well. In my past I held offices in churches, studied to be an elder, served on committees, and directed choirs, but like so many others, I became dissatisfied with an atmosphere where the emphasis seemed to be on the leader of the house specifying the details of MY personal relationship with the Divine, and making the church experience a social one with the pastor’s superior education and knowledge as the focus.
I considered at one time entering the seminary, but as I was advised by a professor, I don’t have the call to be a pastor. I lack the desire to be a leader. He advised, and rightly so, my heart was in teaching and service. I was surprised to find that it’s regarded as necessary for a pastor to want to be followed. That makes me shudder, so I decided the collar wasn’t for me.
Wonder of wonders this morning. I was googling the title of a book (Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace) I copied and pasted from a friend’s post and inadvertently included Facebook’s “like” link in the paste, and somehow that google brought up a twitter post by Doug Tennant.
I don’t tweet, so it wasn’t me! I clicked over, intending to flick by some other Doug Tennant’s blog, and then saw “human rights,” “inclusion,” “disabilities.” What the heck is Semiahmoo? His tweet hooked me, and my heart is glad. Just because: I’m an artist, I have two special needs daughters, human rights and civility and grace are ways I try to live my life and share with others, and heck, my name is Doug Tennant.
My daughters are teens now and we live in a small town and sometimes I just don’t know where to go for adequate resources and I worry about their future. And then I see the wonder of Read the rest of this entry →
Transitions. Out with the old, in with the new. Standing on a precipice, ready to cross a threshold, but don’t step timidly, LEAP!
Think about it. You step and expect to find solid ground, and you’re thrown off balance and begin to plummet when your foot is met with empty air. There is nothing pleasant in that experience.
But that’s different than seeing the chasm ahead of you and knowing you have a choice, not to step and fall, but to leap, and even as you spring into the air, you perceive not the ground below, but the bank awaiting across the divide and you do the work to gather your strength and wits into you to land as best you’re able, not below, but across, across! And even as you do that work, the unexpected takes place and angels catch you and carry you until you evolve into a being who can sprout wings and fly if necessary.
Welcome to 2015.
I’m in the throes of moving on, packing up, hitting the road, Jack! As of January I will have quit the corporate world and devoted my full time and full attention to DougTennant.com, parent of DW Downtown and Gilda Shedstecker Presents! So the rookie gallery at 2nd April and the several-shows-a-year theatre troupe, having spent the last several years putting down roots, will start to leaf and vine and flower. And fruit! Can’t forget the fruit.
This will at least weed out the big Harry Chapin fans among you.
Life takes us where we allow it, with the choices we make along the way. Sometimes we coast on the stream and allow others to make the choices, often we make choices as a compromise or jointly, but sometimes we make the big choices that singularly affect the destination. I can look back and see those points in life, when time split because of the choice I made, the path I took, and events unfurled as a result of my choice. I take full responsibility.
My other best friend in high school and I had our futures all mapped. Mine was in the arts, hers in journalism. I was headed to Pittsburgh to college, she to Akron, and on to our careers. Then life took Pittsburgh out of my hands at that time and I chose not to attend another college, I bummed a summer, lingered in love, and chose to go instead into cosmetology as a fluke, where it turned out, I had a great deal of talent.
All I wanted to do was write stories, draw comics and do theatre, but (sigh) I needed a trade.
So then life, life, life, life, yada yada yada, Pittsburgh eventually, but then back to Ohio, never to escape again. I got the arts degree but came back to one of the worst job markets Read the rest of this entry →