NOTE: The blogger recently moved to San Jose Succotz Village in far western Belize to do some serious writing of books and articles, Spanish language immersion, Belizean life and culture immersion, eventually some ministry, as well as undoubtedly some cave diving, hiking, beach bumming and hanging out at Mayan ruins across the Mopan River from where he is taking up residence for the next year and a half.
So stay tuned . . .
– July 2, 2012
Thanks for showing up at Jitterbuggingforjesus.com, the blog that strives to prove wrong the great journalist and essayist H.L. Mencken, he who defined Christianity as “the mortal fear that somebody somewhere might be having a good time.”
Me, I’m having pretty much a good-time life.
Read on . . .
Our blog’s motto pretty much says it all:
“Jitterbuggingforjesus.com is the blog that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole towns, nations, cities and states.”
The blogger here is sometimes the Rev. Paul McKay, and sometimes his crazy alter ego the Jitterbugger, even though it’s hard to know which one is altogether crazier.
The Rev. Paul grew up in Navasota, Texas, home of the fighting Navasota Rattlers and a great place to grow up.
Journalism degree from University of North Texas, unofficial degree in partying. (Hey, it was the sixties, man.)
Paid my dues as editor of a village weekly in East Texas followed by nine years of doing just about everything a journalist can do in nine years at the Bryan-College Station Eagle in Bryan, Texas. Reporter, columnist, editor, features editor, opinions page editor, book and music critic–you name it, at one time or another I did it. All for roughly $2 per hour considering the days and hours worked. Before taxes.
Advanced to The Houston Chronicle where I spent 14 very intense and grueling but rewarding and often fun years as a working slug reporter. Wallpapered my office with journalism awards but got tired of being the objective, detached reporter sitting on the sidelines and observing and reporting about people in misery and started wondering where God was in all the messiness and chaos, inhumanity and suffering in this world.
God did a cruel trick on me and called me to ministry, although it took me a number of years to give in. Once I did, I and my then-wife moved to the Dallas area in 2000 to attend one of the world’s best seminaries, Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University (SMU).
Received my Master of Divinity in 2004. Always felt God was calling me to pastoral care and that’s why I serve full-time in ministry as a chaplain at a Dallas hospital and not as a pulpit preacher in a church. Ministers all have their unique, God-given gifts and graces and mine are suited to being in the messy places of the world doing ministry, like the Emergency Room and ICU at the hospital where I serve.
And believe me, ERs can be plenty messy. The good thing is, my life experience as a reporter taught me how to keep my head when others are losing theirs in chaos.
Being as I am a cradle Methodist–and love the Methodist/Wesleyan theology and tradition–it was a long journey to my ordination on June 8, 2009, at Custer Road United Methodist Church in Plano, Tx. (The road to ordination in the United Methodist Church is a long and grueling one, but one that molds very competent and confident ministers.)
For more than four years I’ve been serving as a chaplain at a Dallas hospital. I did two years serving as a hospice chaplain prior to this hospital post. And I prepared for chaplaincy with two years of pastoral care training at Methodist Hospital in Dallas.
I’m called and committed to serving Christ Jesus, and Jesus wasn’t some swami who sat in a cave teaching seminars on love for a thousand bucks a pop. Jesus was out in the world, amidst the noisy, dirty, clawing, chaotic and often violent crowds. God’s grace is at work everywhere, in hospitals and war zones, in the quietude of churches and in businesses and workplaces–anywhere where humans are interacting, God’s grace is there. It’s just not always apparent. It’s not apparent very much of the time really.
But God’s grace is indeed at work anywhere and everywhere, all the time, in this messy, violent, broken world.
I see this blog as an extension of my call to ministry, as a way to reach the churched and the unchurched, believers and non-believers, sinners and saints with the message that God loves us all anyway–that’s the very definition of grace, that God loves us in spite of the unique ways we find to harm ourselves and others. I also blog because I’m playful by nature need the therapy of a blog to let my alter ego (the Jitterbugger) out to play.
You’re welcome to leave comments on the blog postings — just fill in the reply at the end of a posting, or if you want to contact me in private, and lots of people do, you can contact me at:
BTW, we call this jitterbuggingforjesus.com because as Paul the Apostle wrote in Galations 5, “The fruit of the spirit is love, jitterbugging, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.”
You could look it up.
Grace & peace