It's been a busy couple of months for me. Lots of changes, challenges, and blessings. From mundane to sublime:
After spending the most part of the past 2 years unemployed, I am now working. It's contract, but full time, and it could turn into a permanent position. I'm doing tech support for a company that makes practice management software for dental offices and there is lots of work to do. The pay isn't great, but it's a good work environment and that counts for a lot. It has been tough to get used to my new schedule, heck, even going to work every day takes some getting used to after so long on my own. My wife works 7-4 and I work 9-6. This makes for long days as she doesn't drive due to her epilepsy. Almost a month in and we are getting used to it. I am very blessed to have found this job and very thankful for it.
About the same time as I got the job my computer died. I'm now reduced to using an old netbook that was donated to me with a broken screen. Replaced the LCD and it works just fine, just old and slow. On the positive side I will be able to afford a nice laptop to replace both my dead desktop and this very useful little netbook with in a few weeks. I'm going with a high end laptop for a reason :)
Forgot to mention I ran my first marathon at the end of October too
A friend at church has been asking me to come to a men's discipleship group on Monday evenings. I finally made it to one a few weeks ago. What a blessing that turned out to be! The young guy who did the music was incredible. Great voice, good with guitar, and a love for Christ that just showed through everything he did. The group is a good mix of ages, I'm probably the oldest person there unless the church's pastor is there. A lot of the guys have had a rough time with drugs and alcohol, the teens and 20's guys are dealing with the usual issues that come at that age. It's just a great time of fellowship, sharing a meal, worship, and either a message presented by a member of the group or testimonies. I've enjoyed being a part of this group and taking part in discipleship with them.
Camp Greenville at the beginning of November. The picture above was taken at the chapel at the camp. Eric, the young musician from the discipleship group acted as our praise leader and the youth pastor delivered 5 messages over two and a half days. It was amazing! We did two baptisms in the very cold lake while we were there, and three more when we returned... the Spirit was moving on this retreat.
I was asked by our youth pastor if I could present the message for the entire youth group one Wednesday night. I was more than happy to do it, though, a bit unsure how I would be received. The week after we returned from the retreat I gave my message. I got some positive feedback afterwords from a couple of the youth group members which was good, let me know that I reached them. To my surprise, the youth pastor approached me a week later and said he had gotten a lot of positive feedback and wanted to know if I could cover a couple of nights in December for him. It's very humbling to be used like this. It feels good to be used for His purpose.
Last, my wife and I have been married just over 5 months. After 6 months we will be eligible to apply with Operation Mobilization to become missionaries. We have talked about this for a couple of years and prayed about it together and with our pastor and we are ready, spiritually at least. Last Sunday the pastor preached on missions and we decided to go forward during the alter call. Pastor of course knew our minds, but we wanted to share our plans with the congregation and ask for their prayers. Pastor said a few words and I explained our calling to the congregation. We were greeted with applause, hugs, and lots of support. Some of it was bittersweet in that they did not want to see us leave. But, as the pastor said in his sermon; there are 16 Baptist churches within a 2 mile radius of us, yet, there are places in this world with people who have never heard the message of Christ. How can we stay?