Steve and Angie

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Feeling way behind today

I'm sitting at the computer just waiting, and waiting, and waiting . . . for a certain little boy to finish yesterday's math.  Uggg!!  Quite honestly, we are all more than a little bit worn out with this school year!  Because we didn't start until late August and are trying to finish the semester before Christmas break, we are really cramming in the work.  This would have worked wonderfully on me as a child, since I'm the conquer the challenge type of person, but it seems to be less than successful for my family.  :(  The high school girls are also lagging way behind.  They have about three tests to take today before they can even start the day's work.  But, I'm just seeing it as a chance to teach long suffering to the kids!  :)  And mommy too! 
We bought six subjects for Hannah and Sarah, which in retrospect, was a big mistake (with their gym and fine arts, they *may* have 8 credits for this semester).  But sometimes we just have to buckle down and get through things in life.  I'm hoping they learn that lesson, and that it doesn't take a forfeit of some of Christmas break to learn. 
Things have been really, really crazy since Steve started working a second job.  I came across this quote the other day, and it seemed so fitting. 
"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave." - Martin Luther
I truly am sorry to see my sweetheart leave the house.  I have been reflecting a lot on the sacrifice of military wives that give up their husbands for months at a time.  In comparison, my situation is a piece of cake, but it is an adjustment for me. 

This is the letter Steve wrote to the church about his job.

Pastor Steve Answers Your Questions
About his part-time job at the Kokomo Rescue Mission
Why have you taken a part-time job?
I think everyone is aware that our church offerings have not kept pace with our budget this year. Perhaps that's putting it a bit too mildly ... We've been receiving about $220 a week less than out 2012 budget anticipates - yikes!  There really is no other way to bring our finances back into balance.  Even eliminating our entire Christian Education and Missions budgets would not have made up this shortfall.
Whose idea was it for you to take a second job?
It was definitely my idea.  In fact I really had to work really hard to get Walt & Denver (our Overseers) to warm to the concept.
Why the Kokomo Rescue Mission?
Short answer ... God.  He opened up this position for a second tie this year (I gave it serious consideration back in the Spring, but our Overseers were not in favor of it then).  The day-time hours are great (no nights or weekends), the pay is very good for a part-time job ($12 an hour) and KRM is willing to work around any special scheduling needs I might have.
Won't your ministry here at church suffer?
I hope not, but there's no question it will certainly change.  I'm doing my best to make sure my pastoral responsibilities are my highest priority - preaching, counseling, discipleship.  However some of my other duties will need to be curtailed - at least until I adjust better to this new routine.  I appreciate those who have jumped in to help out with setting up our building after services for our next event.
Think about this:  for our brothers in Christ in Central & South America, Africa and Asia bi-vocational ministry is the norm.  And even her in the US, there are lots of godly men serving in secular jobs while leading a small church.  I'd encourage you to embrace this change rather than dwell on the few negatives that might be involved.
Do you think this will be a permanent change?
I don't think so.  It is certainly my hope that in a year or two we'll grow enough to allow me to five u secular employment, but I don't want this to become an all-consuming goal.  Our goal should not be to have "a full-time pastor."  Our goal should be to evangelize, edify and equip others while exalting the Lord Jesus.
How can we help you during this transition time?
I'm so glad you asked!  Please keep my family in your prayers.  The cold-hard truth is that this change really impacts them more than it does me.  And as far as our church is concerned, my prayer is that you'll resist the temptation to fall into a maintenance mode.  I've heard more than one of you bring up the possibility of cutting back on our Missions or children's ministry budgets.  Please don't.  (I know I'm being bold here, but please understand the spirit in which I share my opinion.)  Our missionaries are doing a wonderful work.. Most - if not all - are seeing much more fruit from their ministries than we are.  Let's support them more not less.  I took this part-time job so that we wouldn't have to make cuts to the rest of our church budget.  A church can have one of two mindsets (1) let's take care of ourselves first and help others with what's leftover or (2) let's determine what and where God is blessing and join Him - trusting the Lord to take care of us.  Let's choose the latter.

The good news at church is that the addition is just about finished!  The carpet is all in now, and we just have a bit of woodwork to finish (which is NOT one of my "called on skills", so I'm free - for now).  There are two small walls to finish in the basement, but they are covered with construction "stuff" and probably won't be ready to finish for quite a while (after my maternity leave, I'm sure).

Well, my student is reading to me now, and we are about to break for lunch.  Maybe they will all get lots of "school energy" at lunchtime.  I don't recall that ever happening before, but anything is possible with the Lord, right!  :) 


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