Update on settling in…

Well, the settling in is progressing here in Ridgecrest. We were able to find a nice house with a long lease option that allowed us to get out of living in the travel trailer. We moved our belongings and stuff, but it is still just taking up space in the garage and storage shed. It is interesting when you live in two places for a time and one of those is a travel trailer, we discovered there are things we do not miss or really need on a day to day basis. There will be a large donation made to the local thrift very soon, well as soon as we are motivated to go through it all. While most of the country is enjoying the onset of autumn while here in the RC we are still experiencing upper ninety-degree days. This does not bode well for wanting to sort through boxes in a hot garage!
My Honey is working part-time as a shift supervisor with a local pizza parlor. We are both still taking online classes while balancing ministry. RC4SQ (our new church home) is moving along slow and steady. There is a great core group of people here and we have some good friends who moved here to join us in ministry. They even have shared the experience of living at the church in our trailer! I think that will be the new training ground for anyone wanting to go into ministry; it really builds your faith in God while also building patience in His plan. (They get to move into their new home tomorrow.)
There have been some difficulties with settling in. One thing we are noticing, even though this is a close-knit community and the people are great, we are still the new folks. We have to remember what it was like when we moved to the Kern Valley. We spent almost twenty years there raising children, ministering, and owning a business. We cannot go anywhere up there without running into several people we have shared life with in one way or another. We are making good strides in building relationships with people and have some great neighbors too.
Our fur-babies are happy to be out of the trailer/church living environment also. They have a large yard to romp and play in but they are not very sure of the increase in jets flying overhead. Living in a town with a Naval Air Station brings a renewed sense of patriotism to me but my dogs prefer to bark more when the planes are active.
Another great thing that has happened since being here is our sixth grandchild arrived three weeks ago, another little girl! I have more in common with my son-in-love now that he too will be raising three girls. I am feeling my only grandson’s future troubles as well, him growing up around all girls; he is going to need to be tough!
Even though this community is bike friendly, I have not been as active as I would like. It could just be the heat of summer, but I have gotten out for a few rides and managed to reach a goal for one of the few hills we have here in the desert. I just need to plan on the extra time to get to places or meetings and force myself to go on two wheels!
Another discipline I will be working on is writing more. My class this semester was English Comp and it has been very insightful, helpful, and extremely challenging. The assignments have revived my inner writer so I will be trying to stay up on my posts.
Thanks for stopping by and taking a few moments out of your day to read my musings. Remember…if you cannot do it without socks, it may not be worth doing!

Living in two places…

Ya know, I really like to travel. In fact if I could get paid to do it I probably would! Technically I am getting paid to travel between our permanent home and our temporary home ~ our 26ft travel trailer parked at our new church home RC4SQ Church. But that kind of travel is different.

I’m really enjoying being in both places, yet living out of a suit case while not really traveling is getting a bit old. I told my Honey last night that this whole maintaining two households is not easy. We have to make sure we take all the necessary items with us rather than trying to keep both places stocked up. I told her I have no idea how people who lead double lives can keep it all straight! To which she replied, “They have wives!” Sorry, two houses, two families, and two wives ~ not gonna happen!

Just the maintenance alone is interesting. Having the tools needed to do projects at the new church and hoping I won’t need them at home…trying not to use two vehicles for traveling back and forth…making sure the schedule is updated often so as not to miss any appointments…having enough cloths at each location for the days we are there…oh and then there are the needs of our short hairy kids…

Tekoa, my boy, only really likes to travel in the back of my little Toyota pick up. He loves catching the wind in his cheeks and slobbering all down the side. Abby, my Honey’s girl, is pretty content in the back seat of our car, to the point of even trying to nap. Yesterday was travel day and I tried something different since it wasn’t too hot…I kept the back windows down in the car so Tekoa could get his wind therapy. He did pretty good and was a bit more content on the ride. Abby even tried some wind therapy too, something she really doesn’t do in the back of the truck.

Eventually the travel time will be getting reduced. We’ve been looking at houses trying to get an idea of what’s available and price ranges, along with area and neighborhoods. God will show us the place we are to land eventually. We are thankful for what we have in the meantime.

Living in two places isn’t really all that bad. I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about having multiple homes around the country or world…that would drive me nuts!!!

Shalom everyone!

And remember…in the Northern Hemisphere it’s summer…lose the socks!!!

Joining a Ministry Family…12 Days In…

Well, here we are, 12 days into this new adventure of being the pastor of Ridgecrest 4Sq Church! It feels good, very natural so far. I drive around the town and it feels like I’ve been here for a while. Of course it doesn’t hurt that we have had one or more of our kids living here for the past eight years.

It actually got started before the first of the month when I officially took the helm of this dessert ship. I got a message a few days before the 1st from one of the NA members about the toilets overflowing!!! I called my “facilities fix it dude” and he was aware of it the problem. Apparently it has been happening for a while. There is apparently a trick to running the kitchen water and timing it with the flush of the toilets! Gotta love old buildings!!!

So along with the plumbing issues, there have been my first council meeting, internet troubles, water leaks in the swap cooler lines, no air conditioning in what is to be my office…minor glitches (not the council meeting!)…nothing this pioneering spirit and his awesome Honey can’t handle!

The people here are great and very welcoming, ready for what God is going to do! My first message was well received and we’ve even had people who haven’t been around for a while stop by to see what’s going on. Maybe that’s due to the fact that we parked our travel trailer out back of the church!!! Insert “You might be a redneck preacher if…” comment here!

I think our short hairy kids are taking it the worst. I went back over the hill for a school board meeting and took them with me. They were glad to be in their familiar yard and home. They stayed in this position on our bedroom floor though for about two hours…

IMG_1399[1]They are pretty adaptable “kids” though and have fun running around the church property and hanging out in the main building while I do stuff in my office. Don’t worry, they will survive!!!

Becoming a desert rat is not something I ever real figured would be in a description of me. I’ve always been a cool weather person. But hey, my shorts and flip-flops fit in very well here! And besides…there is beauty in the desert that happens no other place…

IMG_1400[1] Even with the wires of the city, there is beauty that only God can provide when you stop to look around!

Shalom peeps!

And remember…always remember…try something without socks…life’s just too short!!!

Mr. Skiddles, room Mom!

One of the things that has been keeping me occupied these past few months has been spending time with these crazy people…
IMG_1273[1]
These are my seventh graders at one of the best schools on earth in my opinion, South Fork Middle School.

Yes, I said MY! Not that I am their teacher, although had I not been chosen for the vocation of pastor, I would most likely gone into teaching. Well, that or stuntman, there’s not a big difference when you are talking about Middle School kids!!!

I had gone to science camp with this group last year when they were sixth graders and we had a great time. This past Fall this group of young people got hit with an unfortunate memory they will have for the rest of their lives…the loss of a classmate due to possible suicide!

Suicide is a devastating way to leave those behind…so many unanswered questions…so much self-blame…so much pain! Add in being a 12-13 year old with the onset of puberty and all its ugly monsters and you’ve got a recipe for the prefect storm.

When the tragedy hit our small school (24 in 7th grade, only 120 in 5th-8th grades combined) we were hit hard. I met on a Sunday afternoon with our superintendent and some other key faculty to set up our game plan for the coming week. I was going to be with the seventh graders since I had a connection already.

After our camp trip last year, I had wanted to spend time with these kids, crazy right? A guy who has raised his own kids and is working on grand kids actually wanting to spend time in a classroom with seventh graders!!! These kids are very good kids and part of my calling in ministry is to minister to all.

Well after our tragedy I rescheduled my schedule so that I could spend a few hours a couple days a week in their homeroom class. It’s really not that hard to find three or so hours two or so days a week to give to someone else who needs you.

Well after a while the kids, as they will, began playing with my name. Having the last name of Siddle, it wasn’t hard for them! I’ve been used to it my whole life, no worries here! But the fun part came when they added the moniker “Room Mom”! You see there is a bias that happens in schools that mostly mom’s are the ones who volunteer in classrooms!

Guys! Buck up and find some time to be in the classroom and not just on the sports field with kids who are not your own! (More on that in a later post)

Back to MY kids…Today was our last day of school, so we had a party. They could have had it any day this week but when they found out Friday was the only day I could be there due to being out of town for #Connection15, they chose today!!! I’m glad they did. I just wish these future leaders of the Class of 2020 would quit making my eyes sweat!!!
IMG_1365[1]
IMG_1378[1]
IMG_1372[1]
IMG_1371[1]
IMG_1369[1]

Oh, and there is another thing! This is one thing I had to do with socks on. You see, we have a no flip-flop policy on campus. A policy I broke today, the last day of school, and ended up getting my first blue slip of the year! Life is good!

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!
Chuch pic
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?