Jonathan’s Journey
Friday December 18, 2009
One week til Christmas!
Wow! What a busy time of the year.
Closing out the year at church is stressful! We have been working for weeks on finalizing the 2009 Stewardship Plan…I have met with several groups…gone through proposal after proposal…and we have had meeting after meeting…trying to finalize the plan.
I think we are just about there! Katie will send out information to our budget managers on Monday…and hopefully we will be ready to begin the new year…the new decade…with a new plan! The elders gave the plan their blessing on Wednesday night. Thanks to everyone who helped with the project.
Last night our staff had their annual Christmas Party. We had dinner at Becky Daniel’s “Farm House”---we played a re-gifted “Dirty Santa” game…and we had a blast. We rigged it so Walt would get an old pair of waders…since he got “soaked” this past Sunday when he baptized Hope Rice! He then got a “new” pair…that he really has to re-gift…and give to our Baptism area!
Andy Flatt stole a “light-up” “Season Greeting” sign…that became the hit of the party…and Andy plans to put it in the back of his truck…and drive around with it lit up! Look for him in the church parking lot! Fellowship…for your staff…is important for bonding, sharing, etc….just like it is in other businesses.
Barbara made all of the arrangements for the party…and Katie did a lot of little details…to help make it a special night! I think everyone had a lot of fun and we enjoyed the evening!
Today…I had to pack…and then head to the office for a few hours. There was a week’s worth of work that I needed to finish today…yes…there is still more to do! I met Barbara, Bethany and Justin (yes, Justin got home from Montgomery last night) a Sam’s to order our Christmas Cards! Barbara will pick them up tomorrow. Meanwhile, Justin and I headed back to church to load our bags….Barbara and Bethany came along to do a few things…before they headed out to shop!
Justin and I arrived at the Allen Arena loading dock…about 12:25 for a 12:30 departure. Coach Sanderson arrived just after us….and luckily a couple of players still weren’t on the bus! We left about 12:45pm…on our way to Cincinnati, Ohio. It rained most of the way…but we had a good trip…little traffic around Louisville….but we made good time!
We are on a two game trip…The University of Cincinnati tomorrow…and then we are on to Tucson, AZ for a game Monday night with the University of Arizona!
I had planned to post some emails from Tommy and Ronald…but my computer keeps locking up….and I can’t get my email to keep working…so I can share with you….So let’s try it again!
Tommy expected me to post a Journey last night…I had promised him…but then it was too late---following that Staff party last night!
I missed your posting last night. Was it good or did you party so late last night that you could not post.
Tommy Clevenger
Earlier this week…Tommy the Elf…send me this HO HO Classic…

This has proved to be a terribly busy time of the year not only for you but for us common people too. With the economy down, I, like many others, have felt the financial pinch of reduced salary, etc. I have found one way to supplement my salary and enable me to spend a little more on gifts. I thought I should share it with you. I go to high school basketball games and walk around under the bleachers. You would be shocked how much change falls out of people’s pockets and onto the floor under the stands. I may be able to get you a full set of commentaries on disc (you were just getting one on the book of Jude since it is very short) for Christmas. This is proving a profitable discovery. The more exciting the game, the more folks jump up and down, and the more change that falls out! Look for big rivalry games.

I went to the mall Saturday to get my annual picture sitting on Santa’s lap with my two cats. While waiting, I struck up a conversation with two of Santa’s elves – Elmer and Bertrice. Really very nice elves. They normally work in the North Pole Administrative area. I found out that you are very borderline between a lump of coal and a new two seater BMW. There was some question about your living up to commitments (Elmer specifically mentioned your infrequency in writing your “daily” Journey). There was also some question about how much love and personal concern you show your staff (that one came from Bertrice who seemed to think you leaned toward some sort of chauvinism – I tried to assure her that just could not be true). The recent Breakfast with Santa may have put you over the top. The Jolly Old Elf himself just laughed (yes his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly) and indicated he felt that anyone with two children in college and one in Lipscomb deserved some kind of break on the judging scale. Just to be upfront, I am still stung by the lump of coal you gave me one Christmas, so I suggested to Santa that no lieniency was deserved. I guess you’ll just see on Christmas morning.

I also feel compelled to mention your threat to lead one of the caroling groups on the 23rd. Several small children were frightened to tears by the very mention of it. Metro police have advised me that if they find you leading singing in outdoor public areas, they will issue a citation for creating a public disturbance and may consider a short period of incarceration. Please ask some of your Journey readers (if you write again before Christmas) to volunteer for this duty and save you and BHCC some embarrassment. Personally, I would be proud to sing next to you and even go to jail with you if necessary! I think you and I could produce a moving rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” or even “Silent Night” in its original German.

I’ve also been thinking about your request on help with gifts for the staff. I only had a few ideas. Nancy – an energizer bunny outfit for next Halloween; Suzanne – a list of all people who have ever even said the words “teacher” and “children” in the same sentence and a nice book on “creative ways to expand spaces as your classes grow”; Robbie – a nice pair of orange overalls with a UT logo and with the words “King of Work Camp” stitched on the pocket; Jane – software which would allow her to merely say a name and an amount and the printer would automatically spit out a check; Ophelia – she said I was not allowed to suggest for her, but they mine it underground and it comes in lumps; Walt – a small pocket style watch that can be attached to the podium (wait a minute, he doesn’t stand behind the podium! – well, go with a year’s subscription to the ice cream of the month club, he loves ice cream); Fawn, Ashley, and Katie – surly you have some nice piece of “Journey to the Son” jewelry you could give them; Mark – all I could think of was a nice “Ask me about my Grandchildren” shirt he could go running in; Diane – there is absolutely NOTHING you could get her to reflect all her years of service – maybe something gold and shiny; finally, buy yourself something nice like a book – “How to Say No and Avoid Overcommitment”.

I hope you season continues to go well and that you decide to start writing your Journey again.

PS: I have some New Years resolutions for you, but I’ll wait till after Christmas to forward those.

Go on out and be light, and whatever other things it is you always say, to the world!

Tommy the Good Elf

Tom Clevenger

Tommy is great. Hope you enjoy! In case you missed his last one…(I think I posted it…well…here it goes again!)
To be honest, I have had a rather difficult and trying week both professionally and personally. I just wanted you to know the comfort I have received this week, and the inner peace it fostered, just being able to read your Journey each day!
However, I have read the latest Journey, Saturday, November 28, so many times that I am close to memorizing it. The comfort and joy it brings are waning rapidly (that means fading fast).
I look forward to someday reading a new one. How is everyone? Did you get a directory picture made? How is Ronnie Hunter's hand? Are you doing any Bison webcasts? I KNOW for a fact that Ronald has some great blessings going - but do others know this? No pictures of you Christmas tree? Did you get antlers for Rascal? Have you just suspended all church meetings? Will you be singing any solos on Christmas carols? (OK, that was a cheap shot, but we're in the same boat) Does your neighborhood have a Christmas parade?
I just thought, maybe you are not well......,nope - I checked the Daily Sonshine and you are not listed.
Whereever you are have a good day and think of us little people!
Tommy Clevenger
Now we have a few updates from Ronald…including a need for some boys in Honduras…already…Elf Tommy and Dick Garner have stepped to the plate to help with this cause. Several of you have helped with the water project…so it looks like we are going to be able to take care of the water project and the boys! You folks are great!
Good morning my dear amigo.
On Tuesday i went to Comayagua and Siguatepeque with three young boys to visit theirs families.
Two of them found an uncle , but Heriberto , can't.
Heriberto is a young man of 14 years old, he came Jovenes six years ago, he has two sister in another orphan close Valle de angeles.
The Goverment decided separate HEriberto and his sister from his mother ten years ago. The reason of this separation was the poverty. Extreme poverty.
This is so sad. Heriberto has been so anxious to see his mother and father. On Monday Heriberto called his father , and someone told in the phone that his father passed away. He cried like a baby.
That was the reason that i decided to go with him to siguatepeque and try to see his mother. It was impossible. Nobody gave us information from his mother. We look in diferents neighborhoods and none.We spent almost four hours looking and none.
We decided comeback Jovenes at 5:00 p.m , and the road to Teguscigalpa is bad.
This morning heriberto went to work , but he is sad. I can in his face .
I would like that Heriberto and the rest of the boys this christmas night has something special and diferent. I know you and the rest of generous family from Brentwoodhills could help us to have a special night with the boys.
I would like to prepare for them a special dinner . For this dinner we are needing:

Three turkey , each turkey cost $ 35
three pork legs , each one cost $ 30
Six boxes of apples , each box cost $ 25
six boxes of grapes , each box cost $ 25

Brother jonathan , if you know someone that wants to donate a gift for someone special, please tell them that here in JEC we have sixty little faces , special boys waiting a special gift llike to have a special dinner in a special night like christmas night.

I am praying that the Lord touch many hearts .
With christian love
Ronald Millon

I am copying each that Ronald sent this email to. Jan and I are willing to pay any or all of this but I wanted to let others respond who may also want to help. If you feel OK with this, please let Ronald know its funded and we will give you a check for whatever amount is needed. Sounds like a great opportunity that Ronald has identified.

Tommy…has already given me a check to help with the cost…so we are moving forward…
Note…I am sending the funds tonight….we are still collecting some of the funds…but we will get it taken care of!
Good morning brother. I am sending my love and blessing for you this morning. The God of Abraham bless you this beautiful day.
I going to translate for you Nahum's email.

He said : dear brothers sorry for no write you before. I am very thankful with all of you and God for the help that you sent to me monthly. These funds I am using for the education of my two grandsons.
As you know my two grandsons has no mother and no father , they have only me.
Anny Yolanda and Junior are in Highschool third year.
I have no words to express my gratitiude to our brother Dick and Jonathan .
May God bless you and have great Holidays.
Feliz Navidad.

Note: Nahum was visiting me on wednesday . He really is a good man. Today is Nahum birthsday.
He is 51 years old.

Ronald Millon

Dear hermano, have a good trip to Cinccinatti. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts.
Thanks forthe funds for the boys, water project and others.
May God bless all our brothers and sister for helps us with these projects.
Tomorrow I am going to choluteca with three boys . We will try to see theirs family.
Hope we can find theirs mothers .We will return on Sunday.

Love you brother.
Say hello Justin and Benjamin.
Ronald Millon

Happy Birthday Nahum!
I am going to go ahead and wrap-up---so I can post this Journey…and work on posting some pictures. I have to stay up a while..while the boys try to get to sleep…I am not allowed to go to sleep until about an hour after they go to sleep….and you know why!!
Merry Christmas….and have a great Journey!
Here are some updates from Honduras:
 JEC Woodworking--Journey JEC Handprints--Journey JEC Group--Journey

Brentwood Hills
Church of Christ
5120 Franklin Road
Nashville, Tennessee 37220
Phone: (615) 832-2541
Fax: (615) 832-2583