Howdy! Back again from a very profitable trip to Charlotte. I like to post a bit after such trips on how things went, and I will now commence to doing so. Will try to keep it brief, as regular pastorin’ duties are a callin’, but this should be a nice break.
- The Council of Elders meetings went very well. They went from Monday to Wednesday, and I enjoyed them very much. Dr. Meredith ran every meeting, and they all went very smoothly. I do note, however, that my growing addiction to unnecessarily expensive coffee (and unnecessarily sweet: salted caramel mocha) has invaded a little further into my life, as I found a way to begin two of the three meetings with a Starbucks in my hand, even as there was fresh coffee available right there in the room. I may need counseling.
- Thursday, I taped a couple of Tomorrow’s World programs: “Who Is the Prophesied ‘Man of Sin’?” and “Three Hard Questions about Easter” — the latter of which is scheduled to air the week of Easter, itself. (Viewers normally drop around Easter since families are actually out doing Easter things, but those who stay home and tune in should be educated!) Both went very well and were, as always, a real pleasure. My thanks to our fantastic crew!
- Friday I recorded a webcast for our new “Tomorrow’s World News” webcast initiative. Very much look forward to doing more of those as production accelerates and they become more frequent. (You can keep track of the playlist as it grows here on YouTube. As I type this, only the first two–by Mr. Ciesielka and Mr. Wakefield–are available.)
- Sabbath I gave a sermon in Charlotte. It had been a while since we stayed in Charlotte for the Sabbath, and it was a real pleasure — fun seeing old friends, and wonderful fellowship afterwards. Got food from Q’doba, which (being Chipotleans) we had not done in a long time and found it to be quite nice. Foresee trips to Q’doba in the future. (In fact, there’s one right down the road from where I currently sit typing this.) Thought it was cold there that night. But…
- …came home to Cincinnati on Sunday. Rediscovered what “cold” is!
Anyway, not much, I know. But I do like to post a little something after these visits. Headquarters has announcements in this week’s bulletin about church growth, Festival attendance, and such, and I don’t like pre-empting such things, but suffice it to say that it was exciting to see that the Church is growing and expanding the effort to preach the gospel in every way we can. No one can accuse the Living Church of God of sitting on its laurels. 🙂
Oooo — I forgot something… One thing that added a constant “background” element the entire time I was there was pain in my lower left jaw / back-most molar. It showed up very quickly at the end of the week and grew over the weekend. We had stopped over at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jason Fritts for the weekend on our way into Charlotte, where I spoke the Sabbath before, and Mrs. Fritts offered me some Orajel, which I declined. But by the end of the weekend, I quickly rescinded my previous refusal and she kindly let me take a tube for the rest of the trip. [By the way: Met Mrs. Fritts’ very nice dad in Charlotte. How did such a warm and wonderfully tiny person like Mrs. Fritts come from such a warm and wonderfully grizzly-bear-sized man like her dad? #mysteriesoftheuniverse 🙂 ]
I was able to seek out a dentist early Monday before the Council meetings began, who X-rayed (no, the X-rays did not give me superpowers; comic books lie) and found that my tooth is fine but I am apparently grinding my teeth in my sleep with the strength of 4,000 pit bulls. Hence, I am now sleeping with a generic, flexible mouth guard (actually, this one right here, I believe) at night. It has been a very strange experience. I have woken up at least twice very actively chewing the mouth guard like so much spaghetti. One more gentle time, I dreamed I was picking up peanuts to eat them one at a time but was having difficulty chewing one and woke up gently chomping up and down on the guard. My Beautiful Wife and I have the theory that the presence of the guard is foreign enough that my sleeping brain is trying to process its presence and to account for its interference in what has been, up to then, completely uninhibited, tooth-destroying, jaw-clenching, nighttime-grinding nirvana.
It does seem to be helping. My jaw still hurts over there, but it seems to be getting better day-by-day. Still, I will not complain if I am able to come to a point where I don’t need the thing anymore.
Anyone with experience with jaw clenching or tooth grinding–during sleep, especially, or otherwise–is welcome to leave a comment below about your experience. Did you eventually stop? What helped? Do you have any teeth left? Do I have hope for getting over it, or am I doomed? Feel free to let me know. 🙂