Taking the Plunge

There are some weeks where it is tough to find anything funny.  The humor is always there waiting to be discovered, it’s just that some weeks it is more difficult to take notice of than others.  For me, those weeks are when I am working long hours with little respite.  On the plus side, the contractor is taking the weekend off due to the wind forecast, so that makes things a little more bearable.  Especially since tomorrow’s activities involve a visit to the gun range with a few guys from church.  There aren’t very many weeks that a trip to the gun range can’t help relieve.

At little explanation for the picture below, many of you asked for more details on how well Jack traveled during our flights to and from Orlando.  All I can say is that, “as far as we know he traveled pretty well.”

photo (1)

In other news, Leslie and I found a house that we are interested in renting.  We had the opportunity to go out with a leasing agent last Saturday and view several homes.  The first one we went to was the one we ended up deciding on and compared to our current living quarters, it’s massive.  We’re hoping to move in somewhere around the first of August, but we have not been able to confirm a move in date yet.  Nevertheless, we are both excited about finally having a place with some space, a place we will be able to call, however temporarily, our own.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with our current pastor and the new youth pastor at our church.  They came out to the site for a visit so I gave them a tour and then treated them to a taste of the local cuisine at the Hepatitis Shack.  Ok, so that’s not really what it’s called, but that’s what everyone calls it on account of how it looks.  It is the best food within 50 miles… of course it’s also the only food within 50 miles.  Anyway, I had the opportunity to sit down with them and share my heart while also picking their brains about a few things.  Of particular interest to me was how I could get plugged in with their youth group.  The more I began to talk with the youth pastor, the more excited I got.  He had several holes that needed to be filled and he was ready to plug me in.  As we wrapped up our conversation I gave him the caveat that has been one of the biggest obstacles for me to getting very involved in some kind of teaching/mentoring role.  “I need you to understand that we will likely only be here for another ten months, and it is very possible that we could be here much shorter than that.”  His response was one that provided great encouragement and instruction.

He told me “I’ve long believed that if you are not actively being mentored or mentoring someone else in a role then it is probably time that you moved on.  We need to be stretched outside of our comfort zone.  If you’re not training or being trained [for a role], then who knows, you may be missing out on a role that God has for you.  On top of that, you may even be filling a role that God has in mind for someone else.  I’m not afraid of people who cycle in and out, that’s the only way we can ‘go and make disciples.’  So the fact that you’re only here short term, that doesn’t scare me.”

I may have not quoted him exactly how he said it, but this is what I remember and what really stuck out and it is precisely this attitude about things that excites me even more.  How could I not be excited about this?

On a similar note, after much prayer and reflection, Leslie and I became members of our current church last week.  This represents a significant deviation from our normal process since early on Leslie and I made the decision that, since we were moving around so frequently we would not change our church membership every time we found a new home church.  Granted, membership in and of itself is purely symbolic (especially to us) since it has not changed how much we try to get involved.  I cannot explain why this time is different, merely that this is the direction that God called us to go, and who are we to argue.  Incidentally this did lead to a slightly humorous moment towards the end of service last week.  We had spoken with the pastor a few days before confirming our intentions to join and also confirming that he wanted us to come forward during the invitation.  Leslie and I both felt that it was important to have Jack with us when we came forward so once the pastor began wrapping up his sermon I went back to the nursery to retrieve our child.  I got back into the sanctuary just as he was closing and he said, “I want to do things a little different today.”  Jack was already starting to get a little squirmy so I sat down with him and started whispering in his ear to calm him down; preoccupied as I was I didn’t quite catch all he said, I merely noticed that instead of opening up the alter call he went straight into a closing prayer and then a song.  Not catching on to the subtle clues I just sat there continuing to calm my son.  Quite suddenly I realized that we were well out of the invitation and into the last announcements and Leslie was giving me this horrified look like, “What have you done?  We completely missed the window!”  I quickly leapt to my feet and strode down the aisle, Leslie in tow.  The pastor, realizing our error, chuckled and announced the reason why Leslie and I were disrupting the last part of the service by practically running up the aisle.  Afterwards I told him, “Man, what a rookie mistake, you’d think I’ve never joined a Baptist church before.”  He grinned and told me that “someone would be coming to get us to take our picture and,” with a wink he added, “show you where you can sign up for pew assignments.”

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