Remodeling the Old

I can tell that I am back in school again as I haven’t had as much time to post on my blog again. Between the studying, I have been going up to work on the “new” house, if you can call a house from 1950 new. Actually, it is from 1950, 1970 something, and 1900 something. Unique, with old house charm, complete with old house headaches.

I have two bedrooms painted, floors sanded, trim and blinds up…ready for occupancy. I’m squeezing some homework in again this week before heading up to work on some more. In the meantime, I have to read another book this week and write two book reviews.

I think of this old house and the areas that need fixing. It is much like the people we meet in ministry. The paint and wallpaper were peeling, the floor had big gaps with cold air coming in and the olive green carpet was less than attractive, but somehow I knew it had great potential. We meet so many people through ministry who are a little rough on the outside, but God knows their potential. And just like my surprise hardwood floors under the worn green eyesore, sometimes we are surprised at what is just below the surface, beneath the veneer that life’s hardships places over people with great potential.

Great mentors know how to help people plug up the gaps where Satan’s lies creep in and threaten to steal the warmth that comes from God’s love. They know how to help people strip away the sense of worthlessness that clings like peeling wallpaper. They know how to apply fresh insights from God’s word that cover up the ugliness of the old self as God remodels them into new creatures.

Just as with an old house, the remaking of the man isn’t ever totally complete. There is always work to be done, but by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we see that no person is ever beyond hope.

Leadership and Vision

I officially started my masters classes this week after finishing my prerequisite work and my first course is “Biblical Foundations for Leadership”. Our studies and discussion this week have centered around Jesus as a model for leadership paying special attention to the importance of having a vision.

The textbooks are excellent and I’m finding myself spiritually challenged to apply what I am learning. More than ever I am convinced that no ministry can ever be effective without a clearly defined mission (where we are going) and vision (how we are going to get there).

The other thing that has struck me is Jesus’ model. He led as a servant. He commanded respect without being demanding. He was Lord but never lorded it over anyone. He understood everything but accepted his disciples in their lack of understanding. He was a humble servant and not a fast-talking CEO.

I want to be like him!

Packing up a Packrat

Ahh the joy of packing up stuff. We are moving a load to our new house tomorrow even though we won’t be officially moved for five months. I’m packing up things I won’t need for five months but I’m starting to think, if I don’t need it for five months, do I really need it at all? Makes me wonder about thinning out some more stuff. I’m such a packrat.

I have to laugh at the “furniture” that we are bringing. We are going to use a folding banquet table or the patio table as our dining table on weekends and then the plastic patio chairs for our dining chairs. Our living room furniture up at the new house will consist of some patio lounge chairs and one sad little recliner from the basement until we move our “real” furniture. It will be like camping! My excitement is building as this will be the first time we go to the house and it is ours!! We can explore every nook and cranny. Of course the boys are even more excited than I am.

I have worked on some writing this week, resurrecting old unfinished works. It will be a thrill to get them finished.

It’s Tuesday…but it feels like a Monday

Wow. It was hard to get back into a routine today. And then it felt like a Monday. I’ve been feeling kind of blue and then on the news tonight they mentioned that it has been 12 days since we have seen the sun. That could explain it! Now that I think about it, I do miss the sun.

Had one of those treasured mom’s moments tonight when my son scored a goal at the basketball game and did his usual glance into the stands follwed by his “I’m trying not to grin” grin. I gave him the mom smile complete with applause. I love it. He always looks after he scores.

I realized today that I would feel so much better at the end of the day if I had done some writing every day, even if it was only 30 minutes. I would like to set a goal of writing for 30 minutes minimum every day in addition to what I have to write for class. There are three things in fact that I need to do every day. Read my Bible/ do my devotions, exercise, and write. If I devote 30 minutes to each one, that’s only an hour-and-a-half. I waste that much time some days surfing E-bay or the net. So the new rule is: No web surfing until the other three are finished! And if I got more sleep at night, I would feel like I needed a nap every morning! How does one break the night owl habit?

I got access to my next class today and scanned around the site to see the assignments. Looks like I’m in for some work! I got spoiled by my entry level classes. These have longer writing assignments, more research, but wow, the content looks great! And the textbooks look great too.

Perhaps I should start breaking the late night habit by signing off right now and getting myself into bed. Maybe a book and a flashlight….

Looking back at 2005

Farewell 2005. It has been a year to remember. A year of hello’s. We said hello to a new adventure and accepted a ministry position at Arrowhead Bible Camp and began our support raising. We embraced new challenges with God’s grace. I became a full-time student all over again and said hello to deadlines, assignments and grade point averages. We said said hello to the unknown and learned to accept that some things we just don’t fully understand until God is ready for us to see clearly.

It was also a year of goodbye’s. We said our final goodbye to Phil’s mom in October after a long slow year of saying goodbye to her. We said goodbye to “familiar” and set out on a new track. We said goodbye to financial freedom with an unexpected sense of joy. We said goodbye to our will and traded it for a new reliance on God’s perfect will.

With all of the personal growth that has happened in 2005, how can we not step into 2006 with a sense of awe and wonder at what might be still to come? We will say goodbye to our life in Pittsville and say hello to our new life in New Auburn. Our new home. New church. New friends. Whatever the next year brings, it is certain to follow the same spirit of adventure that has characterized our past. And we will carry on.