Memory

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 8, 2020 1:48:26 PM

June 1, 2020

Years ago my first mentor in pastoral care taught me a valuable lesson.  “A short pencil is better than a long memory!”  Something I’ve taken to heart over the last 20 years of pastoral care.  The most embarrassing situation a chaplain can get into is forgetting someone’s name, especially if they just asked you to pray for them!  Oh how many times I’ve had to pray for someone, right in front of them, sweating the whole time trying to remember their names. So embarrassing! 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

The Gospel According to Dolly Parton

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 8, 2020 1:46:23 PM

May 28, 2020

Y’all!!!!! Have you heard the glorious news?!!?!?!?!?!?!?  Her Majesty, the Queen of East Tennessee, Ms. Dolly Parton has released a new song in response to the Covid-19 pandemic!  There is hope and her name is Dolly! 

 

If you know me, you know how much I love Dolly Parton.  For Christmas one year, my grandmother gave me an autographed photo of Dolly in a gold frame!!! It was one of the best things I’ve ever gotten for Christmas.  Yes, I know my grandmother took the picture out of a magazine and signed it herself.  I’m not that dumb!  But my grandmother thought so much of my love for Dolly that she tried very hard to make me happy! 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Blessings

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 8, 2020 1:43:33 PM

May 27, 2020

I went to the doctor this morning for my annual physical.  I am happy to report that since Covid-19 locked us all inside our homes for the last three months I’ve only gained 15 pounds! I mean, it feels like 30 but I’ll take the doctor’s scale!

 

It was kind of a surreal experience. Everyone wearing masks, extra hand sanitizer everywhere.  The window at the check-in/out counter was closed and only cracked open when I needed to talk to the scheduler.  I was wearing a mask.  The doc was wearing a mask.  It felt…odd…like it was some kind of out of body experience.  It doesn’t help that my glasses fog up with every breath and I don’t have any depth perception.  The whole thing made me feel, for the first time, distant and separate. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Tandem

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 8, 2020 1:40:27 PM

May 21, 2020

Years ago I was introduced to the Franklin-Covey system of time management.  I used the be that guy who carried around  5 ring binder calendar system. It was marvelous!  It had a monthly calendar, and daily breakdown calendars.  Each page had a To-Do list.  Every morning I would write down my list of things to accomplish.  We call those our “big rocks” today, but back then, it was a To Do list. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

The Love of Thousands

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 8, 2020 1:38:01 PM

May 19, 2020

When I was in middle school I somehow stumbled into the band room and found myself enrolled in the school brass ensemble.  I had no idea how to play an instrument.  My father played guitar some, but never taught me.  My grandmother played the piano at church, but I never found the keys in the right order.  So I had no idea why I was in this room full of 6th and 7th graders who’d been practicing their respective instruments for years.  But there I was, on the very last row, in the very last chair, pretending to know how to play the trumpet.  It was not pretty. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Rainy Days and Mondays

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:24:20 AM

May 18, 2020

What is they say about rainy days and Mondays?  It’s so dark outside and the rain feels cold and I just want to curl up with my pups and take a long nap.  Today is not the day for naps, however.  There’s much to be done and there’s little time to do it all.  So we press on hoping that once the day’s work is complete, we can go to sleep satisfied that we’ve done our best. Tomorrow, as Annie sings, the sun will come out tomorrow! 

At least I hope it does.  The older I get the less fun rain puddles and wet shoes becomes.  In fact, I have never been much of a puddle jumper.  I hate wet socks and cold feet!  Why would anyone jump into gross muddy water?  That’s how you get trichinosis!!! Okay, maybe that’s undercooked meat products but still…I’m sure there’s something in there I don’t want touching me! 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Forgotten Joy

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:19:12 AM

May 14, 2020

So I fully intended on writing this yesterday.  Things got kind of hectic at my house.  Today was going to be more productive.  But still, there were many things that needed to be done before I could sit down and clearly write.  So forgive me for being late today and absent yesterday.  Sometimes life gets in the way. 

One thing I know is that life doesn’t always follow a plan.  Well, we’ve talked about that before.  Every time I have a plan come together something happens that reminds me that there are other mitigating circumstances influencing the outcome.  I’m simply not as in control as I think I am. 

Sometimes terrible and ugly things happen upon our lives.  For no reason or fault of our own, life happens. C’est la vie!  As a friend of mine recently put it, life is life and sometimes, we’re not good at it!  That’s probably the most profound thing I’ve heard in a long time. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

The Next Right Thing

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:07:41 AM

May 12, 2020

I came across a Facebook challenge recently that asked people to post their senior year pictures from high school to show solidarity to graduates who are not allowed to have their graduation or commencement exercises.  I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have worked so hard to reach a goal and not be able to celebrate its accomplishment.  Graduation ceremonies are being postponed or cancelled all over the country. 

Can you imagine being an 18 year old today?  Can you imagine having to imagine your place in a world marked by pandemic?  

Can you imagine having to answer those questions like “What’s next for you?” or “Where are you going from here?”

Can you imagine trying to see the future in a time when everything is hard and nothing is clear?

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

Hope

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:03:08 AM

May 11, 2020

I hope the past weekend was kind to you.  I hope today wasn’t too much Monday for you.  I hope this evening you find rest and feel restored.  I hope something makes you laugh.  I hope something makes you take a deep breath and hold it in because it’s too wonderful to ignore.  I hope you pass a child or god or cat and smile.  I hope you see some wild thing and are reminded that you too are free to run and play.  I hope that as you gather the remnants of the day, you gather yourself gently and with kindness.  I hope you count the stars and galaxies above your head and are reminded of just how small you are and yet how incredibly enough you are for you are made of the same dust. 

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

RISE and SHINE!

Posted by Daniel Tipton on Jun 2, 2020 9:00:23 AM

May 8, 2020

When I was in high school, my friend invited me to a summer church youth retreat.  I’ve been to youth group with him a few times.  Everyone seemed friendly and the youth minister seemed like a nice guy.  So I decided sure, I can spend a week with you people at a water park retreat.  On the first morning of the retreat, I came face to face with one of my biggest fears.  The youth minister, whom I had hoped would be my friend, ruined everything.  At 7 a.m. Richard knocked on our hotel door, came inside, and woke us up by singing “rise and shine, give God the glory, glory” and jumping on our beds!  Richard was a morning person!  

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Topics: Covid-19, Grief Services

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