10 Things that Give Me Hope

I have, on more than 10 occasions, been told that I’m too negative.  This is probably true.  One doesn’t take some pride in having the Dean of his seminary call out his cohort of friends for being a “circle of cynics” without having some underlying problems.  So, it was with great excitement that I saw the beginnings of an internet meme designed especially for me.  “Things that Annoy Me,” the brain child of The Reverend Tim Shenk, was made with me in mind, I’m certain of it.  Already a blog has been created and posts are coming in from Bishops, Priests, and celebrity bloggers.  Even the Crusty Old Dean has jumped on board.

It has taken everything in my power not to take part in the “Things that Annoy Me” festival.  I’m avoiding it, not out of any moral stance, I agree with Father Tim’s theological hand grenade:

Some might say “Shouldn’t a priest focus on more positive things rather than dwelling on the negative?” To which I would respond, “If it weren’t for the goodness of God’s creation, coupled with the brokenness of humanity, I’d never have anything to say.” Wrap your minds around THAT impressive display of theology!

And besides, as I said above, I’m OK with being a little bit cynical and a lot sarcastic, but if I go there, I won’t like the results.  So, in the Spirit of Sunday’s collect, I’m praying that God would increase his mercy within me so that I can offer you, dear reader, 10 Things that Give Me Hope.

1. The Acts 8 Moment

2. Children, under the age of 6, reaching out for bread at the altar rail

3. Everyday more than 30 people read this blog

4. Making room for the Spirit here at St. Paul’s

5. Pittsburgh Steelers Football

6. What 92ZEW and Soul Kitchen did last night

7. Volunteers

8. My two daughters

9. The 77th General Convention

10. That “Things that Annoy Me” is an internet sensation


3 thoughts on “10 Things that Give Me Hope

  1. Thank you, Steve, for your insights. I, too, am a big fan of Tim Shenk, and appreciate his humor and insight. That being said, I was inspired by your entry because I feel one of the dangers of being a clergy person is to give in to the temptation of becoming “Holy and Righteous Complainers.” We tend to do that a lot. I want to resist that temptation by adding the 10 Things that Give Me Hope.

    1. Forgiveness of our sins
    2. The vision of the Rt. Rev. Jacob Owensby for the future of our church
    3. The sound of laughter from children, including my own, playing in the courtyard of our church.
    4. The college students who gather with me every week for Bible study
    5. The chills I get every time I sing the Lord’s Prayer with the staff and campers at Camp Hardtner, our Diocesan camp.
    6. People who decide to give church another try.
    7. Grace Place and the great work they do for the people of Nocona, TX
    8. The mountain of shoes we shipped to Soles4Souls
    9. God-given opportunities to welcome the Spirit into our midst and make the moment holy
    10. People everywhere who choose to spend time in the presence of God.

  2. These are great lists. Thanks Steve and Catherine. Seriously.

    But now that you’ve gotten this out of your system, I’ll expect to receive your list of annoyances…

  3. Pingback: 10 Things That Annoy the Rev. Steve Pankey « 10 Things That Annoy Me

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