The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Dinner with Freddie .... oh, and "Dr. B"

Just a quick note to tell about the Strength in Diversity dinner with Dr. Samuel Betances, a.k.a, "Dr. B."

The man is just plain captivating, but what was even more impressive to me was the sense of community and spirit among the SID group. Conversation comes easily; the relationships seem to be continuing to take, even if there are some routine stumbling blocks.

For instance, this was the first time I had seen many of the Guard people out of uniform and I realized how problematic that can be for someone like me who has a trouble remembering names and counts on name badges to jog my memory. Thanks to some longtime coaching from Donna, who noticed that about me some years ago, I have long since gotten past my pride and have no problems asking someone's name -- even knowing that I have met them many times before. That's how I got to talking to Freddie tonight ... and I'm glad I did.

Not because Freddie had just come off of a cruise and was a wealth of information that I will use in booking my and Donna's 25th anniversary cruise, but because of how he shared his experiences in the Philippines. After getting the usual youthful military leave routines out of his blood, Freddie found his way to a monastery to help provide food for the needy. He also broke bread with a family and was greatly impressed by the traditions and signs of respect even the young people displayed toward each other.

Freddie says those experiences impacted his spirit in an eye-opening way and he wants his own children to discover the same.

I know that feeling well.

I shared how when she was in her last years of high school, Elizabeth and I were in short-term mission together in Guatemala with Vine International. For her, and again for me, it was a life-impacting experience that she now wants to share with her fiance.

When we limit ourselves to one culture, to believing there is only one "way of life," we miss out on some of God's greatest gifts ... as well as the opportunity to use that experience in helping to shape the world in which we live.

Grace and peace ...