Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Exiting the Egress Project

almost 2 weeks ago
It's been raining here in Roseville since yesterday evening. Thankfully the egress window well is almost done -- and the window in place thanks to Toni's dad. Here's "project in progress" picture from a couple weeks ago.

Yesterday Toni asked me to pose (and smile) for another picture that she wanted to take as I was tamping down a layer of dirt "back filled" around the metal "area wall" in the hole that was partially done. She said she wanted the picture because I had done most of the work and there was no picture of me doing it. I didn't care about that, I'm just thankful that it's close to finished. It's taken about a month to do. And thank God we've had good working weather for a few weeks.

Time to head out for work. Now!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Doing What God Wants

Last night Toni and I went to a church small group gathering at the home of one of the group members. Toward the end of our get together one of the men asked me what I did for a living before driving bus. That opened a conversation about how it is I know God had called me to doing what I am doing in my life after moving on from my 29 years serving as a pastor. How is it, the man asked, that I know what God want me to do? How do I "hear" God's voice?

I've written about this topic at various time in this blog, and I've given teachings about the subject in church messages and sermons over the years, but I didn't have time last night to share in depth about the subject. I said something about how God has surprised me by giving me ideas and thoughts that don't seem to come from me, that come "out of the blue," and I gave some examples. I didn't say anything about the deep devotional and prayer life that the Lord has led me to that keeps me open to what it is He (God) has to say, and that help me recognize God' "voice" when He speaks, but I did say something that echoes what I read, just now, from Oswald Chambers "How Will I Know" reading assigned for today in in his classic My Utmost for His Highest.

Commenting on Jesus' words from Matthew 11:25, Oswald writes:
All of God’s revealed truths are sealed until they are opened to us through obedience. You will never open them through philosophy or thinking. But once you obey, a flash of light comes immediately. Let God’s truth work into you by immersing yourself in it, not by worrying into it. The only way you can get to know the truth of God is to stop trying to find out and by being born again. If you obey God in the first thing He shows you, then He instantly opens up the next truth to you.

(Read the rest of O.C.'s devotion for today, October 10, by clicking <here>.)
That's not exactly what I said last night, but the idea is that God does open "truths" to us as we obey, as we step out in faith, making plans and then moving in the direction that we "heard" him call us to.

The "truths" O.C. speaks of in the last line of the quote above (i.e. "....opens up the next truth to you") are those that come from His Written Word, and those more personal words that God speaks directly to me, calling me and giving me direction about the circumstances and situations I'm going through.

When I step out in faith, when I obey what I believe God says, then He does reveal more about what He desires for me. It is a matter of acting with childlike faith, and just saying "yes," through my actions, to what He says.

The man then asked what happens when I'm mistaken and "think" I hear what God has to say but then, later, find out I was wrong. I'll need to consider that question some more. Normally these sorts of "calls" from God can be confirmed not only through individual thoughts and what God reveals through obedience, but also through the counsel of brothers and sisters. It's not good to just launch out alone. And, of course, what God says in His written Word, through the Bible, and through the example of Jesus, has to come first! We ought not just launch out stubbornly, mistaking indigestion (as Scrooge said) for a divine visitation!

This little writing tonight is incomplete, but it's time now for me to get a little more sleep before work.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Friday, October 7, 2016

House and Life

This is from an email letter I sent off, a few minutes ago, to my siblings:

Thank you ever so much for all you did last Saturday. As I said in [another] note, there have been so many times that the three of you and your families have helped us out. I hope that as life levels out for us that we can reciprocate in some way. I don't know what all you "girls," Lisa and Karen, were working on here on Saturday, but thank you! Peter was here until almost 5:00, helping us, in the end, bring a round wooden table to a consignment shop. 

I'd like to write personal thank yous to Leah, Jon and Walt, and to others. But that will need to wait.

As she said before. Toni tallied up 10 times or more that we've moved since we were married. I'm planning on staying here, Lord willing, for 40+ years.

Today between work shifts I'm hoping we can get a few pictures up on the living room walls and take care of some of the mess in the garage, not necessarily organized, but at least make it more possible to walk through there. Some of the cardboard boxes that are accumulating out there will be going to Dick & Jo's for their eventual move.

We're hoping too to find time to get me a desk. Right now I'm using a card table. and this combination guest room/office is a mess. Toni is using "her" desk again in the den. I had used it when we were on Lydia house and she just used the table. Yesterday we went to [store] and picked out a futon like mom and dad's that we'll use in the den as a second guest room when needed, especially for grandchildren!

After my PM shift I'm planning on going to a men's gathering at [church]. God directed us to connect there, though we haven't joined.

I've got a passel of thoughts and feelings rolling around in my head about faith and life and church that I feel like I need to sort out, but that's going to take some time, time that I'm sure will involve writing -- and time is something that is being directed, necessarily, at present, and probably until the snow flies, to my work and to all the things that need to be done on this house. There just isn't much time for other things.

Writing has been a vital part of my walk with the Lord. That all began with Ron P___ (can't remember how to spell his name... Polasari?) having us write 30 minutes a day about whatever in English class during freshman year, continuing with hundreds of letters and theological seminary papers, and what seems like thousands of sermon drafts etc., and then most recently, blogging. (I learned that from Naomi.) 

[Toni's dad] will be here on Saturday and we'll work together, with him taking the lead, to get the egress window actually put in. The window well is sort of in place (though some adjustments are necessary) and the dirt is now off the lawn. I brought three small trailer loads to a place in far north Ramsey County that takes dirt for free. I've got one more trailer load covered with plastic in the trailer in the driveway but I think I need to wait to haul it away until I see if we nee a bit more to re-fill in the outside of the egress hole (where I may need to dig again). Or I'll get rid of it and then go get some dirt there if I need it later.

I went to bed last night about 8 PM, woke up at about 1:45 AM, and will go back to bed now. I love these quiet nighttime hours.

I thought maybe I'd get taken off my morning work today (due to being "over my hours" so far this week), but that didn't happen yet. I've been taken off work for at least one morning (once a half morning) almost every week for quite awhile now. I guess the union has been getting on Metro Transit's case. The contract is strict about not having us part timers work more than 30 hours a week. (We get paid for 33¾ hours. Long story.)

Talk to you all soon.

Much love, 


Saturday, October 1, 2016

We're Here.

(Edited early Sunday morning.)
Hello! I thought I'd say a quick 'hi' and bring whoever reads this up to date on where we're living now. We just moved, today, to 1749 Millwood Avenue in Roseville. Toni had my brother take a pic of us sitting on the front step. I'm sure I'll post that later once Toni puts it up on facebook.

For more pics click here.
(And here it is!)

Thanks to Toni -- the one who inspired and worked so hard to get us ready -- thanks to our kids (and a couple of Dan's friends) and my wonderful brother and sisters, and the spouses of all the above, plus thanks to my Aunt Betty who came with food, and Steve and Tom from Roseville Covenant Church, who carried a ton of stuff -- thanks to all those we're here. Now we're tired. And we're thankful.

Tomorrow we'll be up not too late to sing with the RCC Choir at worship, and then I'm sure we'll be back at doing lots of organizing here. (And then, so important, we need to get the basement ready for renters so we can afford this place!)

With a prayer that all this will be to God's Glory and the good of many others, in Jesus' name.