We are due for an update. Actually, when I go for coffee with people, or when I have phone conversations with all of you, this is the topic that comes up the most, and usually first. What are you guys up to? Where is the Lord leading you, etc…
When we went for family debriefing one of the counselors shared how going through a transition like this was like crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. When you start it’s rare that you can see the end of the bridge because there’s usually fog in the middle. We are in that fog. There will be an end to the bridge, we just don’t know yet what it will look like.
So, in the meantime, the kids are plugging away at school. Olivia has been thriving at a small Christian School in St. Petersburg that runs the A.C.E. curriculum. Thaddeus and Sarah are doing a superb job at keeping up with Calvary Preparatory Academy online. We get to see Isabelle regularly even though she’s plugged into the Zeal School of Ministryen at Calvary Chapel Fellowship of St. Petersburg.
Gen has had the opportunity to do some music recently. She’s led worship for a few churches, and has been slowly making some connections with other musicians and song-writers here.
And, I’ve had the privilege of teaching a few times at various churches. For the next couple of months I’ve been asked to do “pulpit supply” at Azalea Baptist Church in St. Petersburg while they search for a new pastor.
We are both continuing some individual counselling that was provided for us after the family debriefing. I feel like I’m in the locker room at halftime. I have almost 20 years of ministry (great ministry!) behind me and it’s good to take some time to pause and reflect. I’m doing some reading, lots of talking and praying and considering what kinds of changes I’d like to make in preparation for the next 20 years.
I’m encouraged by two things. First, that when the gardener comes through and prunes, it’s in order that there might be “much more fruit.” Second, I’m encouraged because I felt the Lord make Psalm 32:8-11 personal to me recently.
“I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you. Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him.”https://bible.com/bible/1713/psa.32.8-10.CSB
Psalms 32:8-10 CSB
We are still living temporarily in a 2 bedroom condo in South Tampa. It’s like an overgrown hotel room and the pool is really, really nice. We are still doing lots of paperwork from our move, it’s incredible how many details still need attention.
Because it looks like we will be in this transition for the rest of the calendar year, and because a handful of people wanted to support us financially through it, I’ve registered as a missionary with Axia International. They can receive donations on our behalf in any currency and will help us with the paperwork associated with it. As you might imagine, the honorariums from pulpit supply and guest speaking and worship leading are a tremendous blessing but don’t quite cover all our expenses. We would like to stay available for ministry and make good use of this “halftime.”
So, that’s the update!