Greetings to our CBC family! We are halfway through our sabbatical and would like to give you an update. It has been nearly two weeks since we last checked in with you all.
We were able to visit with many of you yesterday at the worship service and picnic at Wells Park. It was good to visit with you all and worship with our faith family. We will be with you again this Sunday as we are able to host Emmanuel Jonah from Liberia. I am very eager for him to get to know all of us!
Sabbatical work: I have been able to do some profitable work while on Sabbatical. I was able to give a good amount of time to the church website (let me know if you think it can be improved in any way!); I have made significant progress in building and organizing a home office (and going through 10 years of accumulated “stuff”) and have worked on a few other projects in the parsonage. This week I have worked on getting Titus from Liberia to Wallace (visa work is tedious, thorough, confusing, and frustrating!). Pray that he will be able to visit us this fall!
A good portion of my work time I spend reading (this could be another blog entry!). I’ve finished this biography and am working through this one and hope to get to this one; this book is very helpful in understanding God in the Old Testament; this, this, and this are helping me evaluate my life and better order my life and priorities; this has been very helpful in my parenting; Bobbi and I are reading through this; and I am very eager to begin reading this (and about a dozen other books). The very best reading so far (and I am not exaggerating or being overly pious) has been this.
I am working through a helpful workbook entitled Gospel Transformation. It's a bit too early in working through it (36 weekly lessons at 370 plus pages), but thus far, God is using it to better understand the ongoing glories of the gospel in my life.
There are a few other books I’ve toyed with, but have not read any significant portions. I’ve enjoyed reading articles and some blogs online, as well. My hope is that as I grow spiritually through study, that it will bring great blessing to CBC for many years to come.
Sabbatical rest: This sabbatical has provided for us a different rhythm of living. I have really been able to enjoy and invest in family. Surprisingly, I’ve slept better and have even been rising earlier than normal and yet feel more rested. I do believe now more than ever in the importance of exercise for restful living (although, I still need to exercise my muscles much more than I do now!). By God’s grace, I will return from our sabbatical with a better mindset on priorities and personal, ongoing soul care (and, Lord willing, be very useful in helping many out who struggle with imbalance in the chaos of life).
This week, we will be home and I have planned a full week of sabbatical work. Next week we leave for Pennsylvania. I pray for all of you, that you find our King to be Lord and Father who loves you and does eagerly invade your life with goodness and mercy.
Lord willing, we’ll see you all Sunday!
Bobbi and I have been away from you all for three weeks (the kids were at CBC this Sunday). And those three weeks have been very full and have gone by quickly. Here’s a brief list of what’s been going on during this sabbatical: three kids have been to Bible camp; we’ve been gone, then back home, then gone again; I’ve coached soccer; Bobbi and I celebrated 15 years of marriage; I’ve enjoyed steady reading, thinking, writing and praying; we’ve worked on home projects and more home projects.
We’ve attended three different churches (two in Green Bay and one in Kingsford, MI) and have enjoyed sitting together as a family under the proclamation of God’s authoritative Word. We do miss you all and pray for you regularly.
I’ve been able to give time to two things that are of highest priority and importance, but can easily be neglected: abiding with Christ and family life. I must say that both of these have such a great reward when time, thought, and energy are given to them. Conversely, when they are neglected, those relationships stop thriving and can become distant.
I’ve also really been thinking about and strategizing over efficiency in my time and resources. What I mean is that I have not been very good at organizing my life and often find myself overwhelmed. It has been profitable to evaluate and see where I must make changes. Pray with me that one result of my sabbatical is better ordered and more efficient life.
We’ll be leaving town again this evening and won’t be back until Sunday or Monday. I trust you are continually experiencing and delighting in our God of all grace and love.
You are loved!