Five of my favorite things this week…
- I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot this week:
Hard times create strong men.
Strong men create good times.
Good times create weak men.
Weak men create hard times.
- I’ve spent time reading through the Bible books of 1 and 2 Kings… and wondering “Why are people so quick to ignore God?” While this may not technically be one of my “favorite” things this week… it may have been one of the more important questions with which I wrestled.
- Definitely a highlight of this week has been the time spent with people. As we prepare to transition into a new chapter in our lives, we believe that our greatest memories will be of the people we love… so we’re spending time listening, learning, encouraging, and instructing the people we love!
- This week I picked up Jentzen Franklin’s new book, “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt.“ I enjoyed the first part (the second part was largely about marriage… not bad but not what I was expecting.) The first part talked a lot about forgiveness and kindness… two things that God has been counseling me on lately!
These are five things that have taken a lot of space on the desk in my head this week!
Today I spent about 45 minutes talking with my Superintendent (my church boss… ranking right below Jesus 😉 ) about the logistics of a successful transition at Church180.
We are still waiting to hear the “final word” regarding our transition date to the military. In the meantime we are doing a few things:
- Working with our Superintendent and a core of leaders in our church to make the smoothest possible transition for Church180.
- Identifying projects and departments around Church180 that need focused attention in the days/weeks to come .
- Spending time with people from Church180, and people in the community.
- Planning out the final sermons I will be preaching at Church180… actually, they are the final sermons I will preach as a civilian (at least for a long time).
On the home front…
- I am training hard! I’ll be one of the older guys in training… but I have every expectation of giving the young dudes a run for their money.
- I’m watching every video and reading every article I can find about military culture and chaplains. I’m talking with every veteran and chaplain I can find who will shed insight on what it takes to be an effective, helpful chaplain… a chaplain that the soldiers WANT on the team!
- I am writing out workout plans for Sherri and “Morning Shenanigans” for the ladies to be executed when I am not home. (If you’re not sure what “Morning Shenanigans” are… check out my Instagram page).
- I am spending time with each of my ladies on our dates and making an effort to capitalize on key moments such as breakfast time conversations, etc.
- I am reading and thinking a lot about the kind of work/ministry I will do in a military environment.
Yesterday I had the chance to sit down with a local Christian bookstore manager and do an interview. It was fun to talk about our transition and I was able to walk through a few key ideas that have been helpful for us as we have arrived at this decision. You can watch that interview here.
Two weeks ago, Sherri and I shared with some of our favorite people in the world (Church180), that we are preparing to transition out of our role as a civilian pastor and move into a new role… active Army Chaplain (I wrote about it here).
As we prepare to do this, there are a lot of things that run through my mind:
- How will my ladies handle my absence?
- How will they adjust to the new environment(s)?
- Will Church180 be okay?
- How will I deal with sleeping alone? (I’m a cuddler!)
- What do I need to do to leave Church180 on a high note?
- How in the world am I ever going to perform a 30 minute church service in the field?! (I can’t even preach a sermon that short).
- The people at Church180… will I see them again? Which ones?
And that’s just the stuff that comes quickly to mind!
Over the course of 21 years of ministry, we have moved several times. Each time we determined to love and enjoy people right up until the very last second! We made a decision NOT to withdraw in an effort to ease the pain of separation. We determined to lean in, even though we knew it would enhance the sadness when we left.
We believe that seeds of love that are sown are better than seeds of love that are stored. Seeds that are sown will bloom… and bring beauty. Seeds that are stored, though filled with potential, will yield nothing.
As we prepare to transition, our first determination is to love as many and as much as we can… right up until the very end!