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So, what is BS with Billy? Well, as you know BS can mean a lot of things. 

Bible Study, Basic Stuff, Boring Stuff, of course, my initials and just plain BS about stuff and life in general as seen through the eyes of me. Unless otherwise stated, the reflections, thoughts, ideas and BS you read here is all mine. 

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Articles
Billy Strayhorn
/ Categories: Reflections, Just Sayin'

Retirement

Retirement is a blast!!

As many of you know, in July of 2015, I retired after preaching for 40 years. I DO NOT REGRET IT. That was just so everyone would know because I've had a couple of people ask me that and similar questions. While I love to preach and loved every aspect of studying for and preparing sermons, I am thoroughly enjoying sitting in the pew with my wife. That's something I haven't been able to do except on vacation and rare occasions. I've got to tell you, it's kinda nice.

Do I ever think, "Oh I would have used this illustration or I would have gone this direction" while listening to a sermon, of course I do. That's the nature of being a preacher and having preached as long as I have. Do I still hear stories or see movie clips and think "that'll preach"? Yes, I do. While I'm retired, my mind, my heart, my soul are all still that of a preacher. You just don't quit your calling. I tell people I'm on inactive duty or inactive reserve.

I have lots of activities in which I'm involved. I'm not a Pew Potato, we worship and attend Bible Study, I'm in an accountability group and we're on the list to serve the Sacrament. I find that's the one thing I miss the most. My wife and I were given to privilege to help serve on Christmas Eve. It couldn't have been any better. To think of all the symbolism wrapped up in the elements of Holy Communion that night.

The bread, representing the bread of life, Jesus, wrapped in a cloth and held in my hands for others to come and not just see like the shepherds but to be fed by the One who offers Life that really is life. Others came like the Travelers from the East bringing the gift of just themselves. This infant King doesn't require Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh, just the gift of the heart.

But at the same time that we bow before the cradle and see the new born babe, the Bread of Life, wrapped in swaddling cloth, we also see the broken body of our Savior wrapped in the linen of death. We see and feel and taste the Bread of Life broken for us. Sometimes it overwhelms us. Sometimes it causes us to fall on our knees and seeking forgiveness and renewal. As we kneel at the altar rail in a state of contrition and confession, our sins are buried with Christ. And then comes that glorious moment when we rise with Christ. We rise redeemed and renewed into new and eternal life. And then we are sent forth to serve Christ and share the Good News with all we do and say.

At least that's how it hit me this first Christmas when I wasn't in charge of anything except me. As you can see, I'm still a preacher at heart. I hope that never changes because I believe God continues to reveal truths to the followers of Christ for the benefit of others. 

So, retirement is a blast. Mary retires in May of 2016. Right now I'm doing 90% of the cooking and house cleaning giving her a bit of respite. We live in our own home, not a parsonage. We live next door to friends we've known for 30 years. I get to hang out with another friend I've known for 25 years, plus one of my preacher buddies who retired a couple of years ago, lives pretty much down the road from our house. I get to see the grandkids more. I get to sleep late if I want. The phone doesn't ring at all hours. 

I've got nothing to do and all day to do it. If I get nothing done today, I can work on nothing tomorrow.



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1 comments on article "Retirement"

Rev Biill Jennings

Hi there!

Im looking for a sermon he wrote years ago called "Never Slap a Skunk". Can anybody help?

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