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!!!

More manageable now…

Aaahhhh!

I was asked this morning how my life was going. My dear friend was referring to some of my recent posts on instagram and FB. I was able to tell her that my time seems much more manageable now.

You see, it has been almost two weeks since my Honey and I stepped away from the Coffee House we started from scratch ten years ago. It didn’t go under, we sold it to another mom-n-pop and wish them the best as they embark on the adventure.

Last week was the first time we were able to get away and just really do nothing in a long time. The kicker was when my wife said while filming me and my dogs on the beach, “This was Sssoooo worth selling the shop!”

Image

It was even better when on Friday morning SHE came up with the thought of extending our stay another night. We actually could do that and not have any problems.

This week begins our new schedule, we can only be semi-retired from business for a short time, after that it becomes unemployment and since we were self employed for so long, that option is not available to us.

Sure, we still have the ministry we are very much involved in, but our primary focus will be in expanding our Suicide Alertness and Intervention training’s. That’s what prompted us to sell the shop to begin with.

Next to God, Sierra Sun Intervention Care is our driving passion now. We became involved in suicide intervention and prevention for many reasons.

Because of my own thoughts and struggles throughout the years (check it out here) and the survival of my wife’s attempted suicide almost 20 years ago (she’s written about that too, follow the “my Honey” link above) – we are now devoting our time and efforts into educating communities to be suicide safer.

And we are willing to travel to do it!

If you do not have the resources in your area, contact us at sierrasuncare@yahoo.com and we will be glad to help or get you connected to a training in your area.

Suicide IS preventable!

You CAN be the link to saving a life!

What is it to lack?

Here begins my musings on Psalm 23 and how it relates to this journey I’m on…

That's me in the middle!

That’s me in the middle!

“The LORD is my Shepherd there is nothing I lack.” Psalm 23:1

How is it that the One who (the Bible tells me) knew me before I was born and planned out my steps,

then gave His life for me, can be a Shepherd to me also?

First off I’ve got to wrap my brain around this concept of shepherd. I see sheep out in a field in the area I live

and they are fenced in. I generally see no one attending to them, they are just free to roam the area

they have been given to graze.

My youngest daughter raised sheep as her FFA projects.

It was penned except when she put a muzzle harness on it to train it for show or to groom it.

Not so when this psalm was written, nor now if you visit Israel. Sheep had pens that they were put in at night but during the day they follow their shepherd where he leads them.

A shepherd with his flock in Israel March 2007

A shepherd with his flock in Israel March 2007

The shepherd is ever present, watching over his flock with protective eyes while they graze.

While in Israel back in ’07, I had the privilege of seeing many shepherds with their flocks of goats and sheep.

Each had a different way of leading their charges. Some had the traditional shepherd’s crook,

others utilized dogs, some used rocks to guide.
Those who used rocks did not throw them at the sheep, just near them. Sheep are rather skittish creatures, and very defenseless as well. So a well thrown rock will keep them from harm or wandering.

It was actually a shepherd throwing a rock who discovered the Dead Sea scrolls.
The most beautiful sound we heard one day was a shepherd leading their flock while playing a flute, it stopped us in our tracks, all of us were willing to follow that sound.

A shepherd with his flock on the streets of Bethlehem.

A shepherd with his flock on the streets of Bethlehem.

The point in all of this is that when I see that the “LORD is my Shepherd” it means that He is with me in the field on this journey. He is ever watching over my safety, even when I’ve got my head down grazing away.

And therefore “there is nothing I lack”, all I need is Him. Even in this journey through depression, He knows what I need. He knows where I am vulnerable, where I need protection, and where I need to grow. Because I did say “through”, I won’t be here forever I’m told, so while here, in this field, at this time, I will trust my Shepherd and not lack.

That’s this sheperd’s stance for today!