(((My time here in Lubbock has been good and has been helpful as I reflect on my life both as Chris Lake and Pastor Lake. The theme of my sabbatical is H.O.P.E. Health (mental, emotional, spiritual and physical), Optimism, Passion, and Enthusiasm which is a nice way of saying the church wants a happy pastor when I get back. I can appreciate that. I want to be happy and passionate when I return as well. My fear was that that would not happen while I was on sabbatical but I can already tell that this is not going to be the case.
During my time at Gloria Dei Lutheran where I was confirmed and grew up I was reminded how passionate I am about ministry and the joy that comes from sharing those passions with other people. I truly enjoyed retelling the stories of my own congregation and some of things we have done and currently working on. I am so very proud of the work we have done and am now wondering what our next steps should be?
Also while I stayed with friends I was reminded about how much I miss being just Chris Lake. This does not mean that I forget my pastor side. In fact I rather enjoyed using my pastoral prowless to make jokes that only a pastor would dare to make. While walking around one night in Ransom Canyon (yes that is a real place) which is located near my home town I shared something irreverent that may the friends with me laugh and slightly gasp. They forgive me though because I am pastor. Pretty cool perk, but it also was fun to be able to say things and not have to worry about the ramifications. So often when I write a sermon, think about a response, or have to come up with something to say I have to seek out a polished set of words. However being in Lubbock with folks who knew me longer as Chris Lake than Pastor Lake is refreshing. Don’t get me wrong I like who I am. Its just fun to dance with my identity from a different point of view.
In addition I have already come up with an idea I picked up from my chemistry teacher who volunteers at his church in retirement. I’ll save it for when I am home but the fact that I clung to the idea as it was mentioned in passing was a small indicator that my pastor instincts are always looking for new ideas.
I am just about done here in Lubbock and it was been so enjoyable. I am so thankful for all the time I have spent here and the conversations I have had with folks. Thank you to Aunt Connie Goodwin, my new friend Ryan Phillips and my God parents Richard and Becky Peterson for giving me a place to stay, amazing conversation and helping me understand who I am in a much deeper level.
Tomorrow I get on a plane and fly to Knoxville, TN and spend time with Bob Stelter who has been one of my oldest mentors. I should also add that I miss my family something terrible and I can’t wait to be back with them. I am so grateful to Katherine for her love and support while I take this adventure. None of this would be possible with out you.
Lydia of Thyatira is a woman mentioned in the New Testament who is regarded as the first documented convert to Christianity in Europe. A modern outdoor chapel on what is said to be the site where Lydia was baptized.
Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi
Acts 16: 11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district[a] of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
Philippi Ruins. 1
Philippi Ruins. 2 (baptismal)
Actually it was not. It was more likely a cistern.
A few more ruins after the 4th century. There were no crosses as art before that.