Several friends have noted that I have not been keeping up with the blog and emailed their concern. Thanks! Some of you have noticed that we went to Georgia and came back without blogging about it. Part of that is due to the business surrounding that trip, but that was a month ago now. So, first...
I bought a ticket for $146 and flew out to Georgia on 10/17. Cathy met me at the airport and we happily drove back to her dad's house together. We attended Cathy's sister's wedding on Saturday. I got to preach twice (Sunday and Wednesday) and generally attended morning Bible studies and tagged along with Cathy's dad, Al, as much as possible.
Al's cancer had progressed much like a faith journey; there was a spot on his brain scan, and on a re-check the spot had dissappeared and been replaced with another one. Each health chalenge is met by God's grace, and new challenges come along, another opportunity to trust God. Al's health is in God's hands, and we all think that is a good place for it. The doctors are convinced it is a matter of time; Al thinks God is not done with him yet, and it is a matter of His time.
I have received a great deal of education which should prepare a pastor for a position of ministry. I look at what Al does, though, and know that education along is insifficient to do what he does daily. Rather, God's grace alone is sufficient for the task, for which Al says he does not measure up, and for which I would see myself falling far short of acheiving. When I first met Al, I thought that what he does is admirable, but something I could not do. Later, I found it admirable, and would consider helping on occasion. Then, I considered the possibility of being an assistant pastor, but I decided that I could not lead such a ministry. And now, I know for sure such a ministry is beyond my power, but would willingly labor in it.
The church campus is large to me, sitting on 22 acres, most of which is undeveloped. I looked around and saw great potential. It is in this context that I heard God's call, to my surprise and no small distress, that He wanted me to serve as Al's successor. As I already stated, I am unable to fulfill such a task on my own power, and my own inability terrifies me. It was Friday evening that I knelt with Cathy and prayed, and accepted in my mind that Al was going to ask me to take his place; not long thereafter, Cathy's dad did, indeed, ask me to do so. By faith, I have accepted what we each believe is God's will. Since then, I have come to a peace that God, in His sovereignty, will provide and direct.
I was unable to preach on Sunday before we left because I wanted to see my longtime friend and brother in the Lord, Ted Chandler. Saturday came surprisingly quickly, and we left early on Sunday in order to drive up to Indiana and see the Chandlers. Ted & Angela encouraged us in our decision and ffter sharing a meal at Cracker Barrel we pressed on. We stopped at St. Louis (MO), Denver (CO), St. George (UT), and got home. We were very happy to see my kitties and doggy again.
I had previously inquired about a transfer to Georgia but I was told that there is no room right now; payroll in Georgia is already full. That means the company is needs to either make a lot more money, or someone in Georgia would have to retire or quit. *sigh* God will work it out. So, that's the update on Georgia.
Cathy and I are looking to refinance the triplex so we can afford it. After all, we're expecting God to provide a means for us to move East. My original plan involved being bi-vocational, essentially getting a transfer and working at the church with every spare hour. Now, I don't know, but the first step is to make living more affordable.
Cathy is still looking for employment; we joke about working at Starbucks, where she could get inexpensive coffee. She is thinking about a mailing place, though, as well. We'll see how that works out.
The cats are all doing OK. Boaz is very much himself and seems nonetheless for wear since his surgery; the only difference with Boaz is his increased affection for us. Bubba just got his nuts removed today, but male kitties recover so soon that you would think they didn't notice being at the vet at all.
I graduate the second week of December. Thank God.
There are a few other things, like Cathy's car getting keyed, but God seems to be teaching us to be less attached to material things, so we're not looking to get that fixed immediately. We went to Disneyland as we had two passes which were expiring, and we stayed Big Bear for a timeshare sales pitch and $75 (free money!). On the way back from Big Bear, Cathy and I discussed and debated passages about Satan whether we give him too much credit; what a suitable wife for me!