Joining a ministry family…part two…

In the first segment of this series I mentioned that in ministry we often ask the question, ‘What is God saying and what are we going to do about it?’

When we merged our church with the Family at Faith Community we joined something larger than just a local church family, we joined in with The Foursquare Movement. Founded as an interdenominational organization with the intent and focus of evangelism, this larger family has now brought us into the fold. As I had shared previously, I have been going through the licensing process. Last month was my interview and recommendation before the board of directors. On April 30th the board voted and approved me and today I received my official License to Preach…

Officially Certified!

Officially Certified!

The original plan was that I would get licensed and be installed as associate pastor with Faith Community. That was until that phone call back in January, the one from our divisional supervisor about a church nearby that was in need of a pastor. Well as it turns out the pastor who has been there for over fourteen years is retiring this month, he was supposed to retire last year but didn’t feel right about it plus this year his wife is retiring from nursing so they get to retire together.

The church in need of a new senior pastor is in the community of Ridgecrest California. A small city in the Mojave Desert with a Naval Weapons Base as the main employer. It just so happens that our oldest daughter and son-in-love have lived there for several years, and our middle daughter and son-in-love go over there for visits quite often. This is a bonus as we will get to see them all more often together.

Well if you figured it out by now (and I know you have because you are all rather intelligent people who read my stuff), I am now the new senior pastor of Ridgecrest Foursquare Church!
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A small church with a rich history, loving people, and a hunger for what God has in store for us and the community as we serve together to advance the Kingdom of God!

This journey has been like no other I’ve experienced with changing leadership in churches before. Most of the time it has been a long drawn out process of resumes and interviews, this however has been so chill that it just feels so natural and planned out ahead of me for years. That is how God works after-all!

So after just a few short months of planning and prayer, my Honey and I will be starting another season of life and ministry as of June 1st! Prayers are appreciated for us and our new church family as well as our extended family at Faith Community!

And yes, this journey will be done mostly without socks of course! Is there any better way to live?

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Stary, Stary mornings!

It is a true privilege to live in a rural area. Sure, we sacrifice a few conveniences that some folks can’t live so far away from. Such as having to drive an hour to get to a “Big Box” store or Mall. Some of you just gasped, I heard you! Don’t worry, it’s OK, we still survive out here in the sticks somehow!

One of the things I cherish about living in this area are the mornings. Now, I do have to define my meaning of morning for you. My morning starts at 3:30 AM. That’s when I turn off my alarm, shuffle to the bathroom, and allow the short hairy kids to take over my side of the bed.

Why so early? My wife and I have been the owners/operators of a Mom-N-Pop Coffee House Cafe for the past ten years, we open at 5 AM, and in order to get the coffee ready and prepared for the day, I get to the shop about 4:15. When God gave us the vision to start this business my Honey said to me, “That’s a morning gig, right?” She doesn’t appreciate the morning as much as I do.

As some of you may know, when I leave the house at that time, it’s dark. Some people don’t really know what dark is. Remember, its a rural area, we have only a few street lights and those are located at the freeway off ramps and at the two stop lights we have in the valley. (Yes, there are still places like this in California! We are not all big city folk out here on the left coast!)

As I leave my house, I really love the mornings when the moon is not out or too big. I can stand in my driveway and look up at a ca-gillion stars. Yes, there are really that many for those of you who live in the cities, there is not just a hand full. I even see satellites orbiting some mornings.

This is not an actual picture from my driveway, but its a close rendition of what I see… 

I look up and see something like this at the start of my day, and I just stop. I stand in awe of my God who created it all. I often find myself quoting Psalm 8.

Psalm 8:3-4 “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

I feel so insignificant at times like that, it’s humbling to know that the Creator of those cosmos really cares about me! It makes the petty stuff I deal with, and stress over, seem so trivial.

Then there are mornings like today after I get to work and get things going when I get online to check my start up devotional, the Our Daily Bread, and am encouraged even further in my walk. Check out the “Space Music” article.

Our shop is up for sale and there is a really good chance I will not have to get up “in the middle of the night” as my wife says. I’ll miss my stary, stary mornings, even though I’ll still get up early most mornings.

But, I’ll get to see more sun rises again, its been a while for those, the shop windows face the west, our porch faces the east…

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Sun rise by A. Brown Farm near my house.

That’s this shepherd’s stance for today!