The past two weeks I’ve been in the pew.
For the first time in a decade, my wife and I (along with the children) have been able to sit together as a family without me having the responsibly of regular pastoral duties on a Sunday morning. Even though it’s technically been a month, the first two Sunday’s I had the opportunity to speak at two different churches. So, I was in the pulpit for the first two Sunday’s and the pew (or chair) the past two.
Moving from the pulpit to the pew has been an unexpected but welcoming change. It’s been nice to sit under the teaching of God’s Word. To see how the passage has impacted the speaker personally and then to receive the outflow. Yesterday, at the church we’ve attended the past two weeks, I couldn’t help but thank God for being the recipient of a faithful week of preparation from His speaker.
I don’t know how long I’ll sit in the pew but while I’m there I am confident this is God’s Good Plan for this season.
What a difference a month makes. Going into the final Sunday of October we entered November with much uncertainty. Nevertheless we were thankful.
Entering December (the Advent season) we are hopeful. For 10 years we served, loved, and made many sacrifices (often putting the congregations we served over our own needs/desires.)
A book I picked up years ago, initially I purchased it it to pass along should it apply to someone else. The book is titled, Surving a Layoff: A week by week guide to putting your life back together.” In it I had highlighted a thought, again expecting whoever would read might be encouraged. At the time I didn’t know the reader would be me.
The author wrote, “Day 1 after losing your job is the day you truly start working through the grieving process. Take time to grieve, just as you would over the loss of a family member. Losing a job can be just as devastatingly, if not more personally devastating, as losing a loved one. Many of us think of ourselves in terms of our jobs and all of a sudden we feel as if we have lost our identity.”
This month as we’ve entered the grieving process and much uncertainty has been a productive time. In this time God has put us around people who have cared for us, comforted us, provided for us, and has built into us. God has opened a door of employment and it appears that he is beginning to work out a housing plan.
One of the things I am learning is that my identity is not in what I’ve done over the past 10 years but in who I am in Christ. Walking through Ephesians 1 has been most helpful over the past few weeks.
So, as the title suggests in the book Give Yourself Some Time, we are doing just that. Time to gather our bearings, time to heal, time to grow.
In 2009 I began this little “blog” at the recommendation of a friend to record some of my thoughts as it relates to my walk with Christ through words. Over time I managed to write, share, go silent…write, share, go silent…repeat.
Until recently, I hadn’t realized just how long since I’ve visited this space. After reading my about page, I have some housekeeping to do. At first I thought, “does anyone even blog anymore. Is this even still a thing.” I figured I would go through and see if some of those I followed in the past are still actively posting. Then, I quickly decided I would wait. Doing so might deter me from sticking around, should I find that their blog property has also seen neglect. Another thought crossed my mind, “would anyone even read what I have to write.” I decided to throw that thought out because dwelling on it too much might also deter me.
A lot has changed since my last post and the publication of my about page. In time, that will be updated and some thoughts will be recorded. The goal is still the same as when I began in 2009 (almost 13 years ago).
To motivate, mobilize, and mentor others to live life in a passionate pursuit of God.
As I close this post I am ending one season and entering another. For nearly 11 years I have had the opportunity to serve as a Pastor. I served the St George Church of God (2011-2013), North Aiken Church of God (2013-2018) and Summerville Church of God (2018-2021). On October 31 of this year, 2021, I stepped out of the pulpit of the Summerville Church of God no longer holding the title Pastor within a local congregation. This means a lot of changes for my family and I, for the time being, as I wait for what’s next. In waiting I am certain that God is working all things for His Glory and Our Good.