February 28, 2007
Who would have thought being a full-time student and working full-time would leave me with little time to blog? It's been a busy couple of weeks, but good weeks all in all. My first two days as an official associate pastor were spent cleaning my office. A humble, but necessary work. And now my office looks great, but no pictures until I get my books in there. I have a number of books to bring and am taking them over one suitcase each day. It's strange to go from 80% school/ 20% church to 80% church/ 20% school. But since I am pass/ failing two courses, I can afford to keep those numbers. I think Kim and I are enjoying the invitations into members' homes. We have some very talented and devoted members at Westgate. I'll try to be better at little post more frequently, but no promises!
February 08, 2007
At least 75% of the 28% of the members of Westgate have voted for me to be their next associate pastor. What this means is that I was voted in last night. 25% refers to the number of members needed to hold a vote and 75% was the amount that needed to vote in favor of me. So today was my first day as an associate pastor. It was a humble start as I spent most of it cleaning out my office, which had been used for temporary storage. We are very excited to begin and covet your prayers as I adjust to this position. I do have some anxiety, but I think that just comes with starting a new position, especially one with such responsibility. It's going to be a busy three months until I finish school, but it's only three months! I'll keep you informed.
February 06, 2007
One might guess that our lack of new posts might be due to the start of a new semester, but one would be incorrect. On Saturday Jan 27, my Grandpa passed away. Kim and I were actually up in Maine spending the weekend with her cousin Wendy, hubby Josh and their three kids, before they move back to the Midwest. We immediately left for home, flying out early on Sunday morning and were able to be with our family by that evening. Monday was tough on our family not only because we spent the day at the funeral home for the visitation, but also because a vicious flu was ripping through our family. Grandma and several other family members were not even able to attend the visitation because she was so sick. The local VFW post held a very nice service Monday evening as my Grandpa served in WWII. Everyone except for one cousin was able to make the funeral. I was asked to speak and so I did. I spoke on 1 Thessalonians 4:13 where Paul exhorts his listeners not to grieve for their dead like those "who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him." In addition, I mentioned how we can receive comfort right now in God's promise to us found a few verses later in 5:10, "He [Christ] died for us so that, whether we are awake [alive] or asleep [dead], we may live together with him." I was barely able to get through what I wanted to say (by the grace of God only). As many of you know, I have always been very close with my Grandparents, so this has been very sad, but I am very thankful for how much quality time we were able to have together, so many great memories, and rejoice that I will see him again one glorious day in the future. [By the way, in case you were wondering what my Grandma is doing in the picture, I think she was hoping that there actually five in that picture! But since it has been well over nine months since that photo, I believe we are in the clear!]
It was ironic that I had actually purchased a ticket to fly home last Wednesday, but had to eat that ticket once I had heard the news and we left a few days earlier on Sunday. I was flying out because I purchased a car from my Aunt Darleen (her "big red tomato"). So instead of me driving 15 hours back by myself, Kim drove back with me after the funeral. We split the trip into two days and stayed the night at Niagara falls (Luxury suites are very cheap weekdays in the winter!) The second car is necessary now that I will also be commuting to work daily like my beautiful wife. The vote is tomorrow night concerning the associate position, and i will inform you promptly on it. I also have the sermon I gave on New Year's Eve on CD, so once I figure out how to put it on the site in audio form, I will do that in case any of you need some good preachin' for your MP3 players!