Friday, May 29, 2009

Stuff, Stuff, and more Stuff

Why would one family have a whole truck load of stuff to move around the country? It beats me, but I plead guilty as charged.

The truck came yesterday, loaded up all our stuff, and is now on the road somewhere between Lexington Kentucky and Colorado Springs. With any luck at all the Lord will find a way to connect all the dots so we meet our stuff at our new home next Friday.

What an adventure. We now are officially homeless. The Wilmore property closed this afternoon but we will not close for another week in Colorado Springs. For now, we live in a car that apparently is going to be traveling through Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and into the great state of Colorado. Pray for us!

Actually, being homeless is not an accurate way to describe our situation. It would not be fair or just to think that we understand anything about what it must really be like to be without a home. We don't live in cardboard or sleep in the park. We don't wonder if our next meal will be today or two days from now. We don't even have to worry about is we have enough money to care for our needs. Being truely homeless in a land of plenty is a unique experience even though this night it is the shared journey for thousands of people across our nation. Pray for them, work for them, love them, and create a pathway that might provide a pathway to a new promise.

For Sue, Ana and I...we will spend this night in Wilmore and then be on the road. We are looking forward to the adventure!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It seems like forever since I last shared a thought or two. The past two weeks have been a whirl wind...selling a house, buying a house, packing up the office, getting the house ready to load...that's just what Sue has been doing!

Meanwhile, I have been working through a group of doctoral dissertations as we prepared for graduation. On Saturday May 23rd, 196 students graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary. 36 members of the graduating class of 2009 were Doctor of Ministry students. Out of those 36 DMin students, 26 were students within the Beeson Center programing where I have responsibility.

The group you see in the photo represents our 2009 class of Beeson International Leaders. This particular group started their course work back in September of 2005. They came to campus each year for six weeks so they can maintain the flow of ministry in their home country.

From left to right:
Alfred Kalembo from Zambia / Director of International Leadership Training
Randy Jessen from Wilmore / Colorado Springs
Fernando Lua from Philippines / Professor with Asia School of Theology in Manila
George Weagba from Liberia / Professor with the oldest theology school in Liberia
Stephen Hance from the UK / Anglican Vicar in South London
Dr. Ellsworth Kalas: President Asbury Seminary
Sergiy Golovin from Ukraine / Founder of faith and science institute
Andrea Baare from Germany / Work place pastor
Dr. Tom Tumblin: Director DMin
Fohle Lygunda from Democratic Republic of Congo / Denominational leader
Hwai Teik Ong from Malaysia / President (Bishop) Trinity Methodist Conference
Reniel Nebab from Philippines / President (Bishop) Christian and Missionary Alliance Church

These students along with our North American pastors make up an incredible student body within the Beeson International Center here at Asbury. They are world class leaders who impact the global church every day.

We send them home with great blessing and our strongest congratulations!

Now for our personal schedule... Sue, Ana and I will welcome a big green truck from Mayflower on Thursday morning May 28th. It will load, depart, and meet us in Colorado Springs the following week. We will remain in Wilmore to close on our home here before we start the trek to Colorado on Saturday morning. If my "move memory" is correct, there is more cardboard on the other end of the rainbow.

I hope your day is blessed!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Housing Search and Search and Search!

Our travel week is now in the rear view mirror but the task is not complete. We are in the search for a new home. It is a big task. Our new home will be a place where our family will live day by day ... but it will also be a place of ministry, sacred gatherings, meals with friends, commotion of all sorts and joy that abounds.

By the way, for many who are kind enough to read are also becoming a part of our family prayer support. In that light, I say a huge "thank you" for two reasons. First, my thanks for your prayers. Second, I am grateful that you take a few minutes from time to time to read these strange ramblings.

Now, back to the search! Sue and Ana arrived in Colorado Springs last week armed with a notebook full of potential homes that were gathered with thanks to our agent an to the Internet! They faithfully started the search with the hope of narrowing the field. They were semi-successful. That means that they looked at a lot of houses, narrowed the possibilities, and came up a exhausted and a bit dry.

I flew in on Thursday evening, had a great meal at my favorite restaurant with my favorite people and we started section two of the search on Friday morning. By evening, we were in the car, headed east in preparation for a two day drive back to Wilmore. The drive was filled with talk about this house and that house along with the occasional call from our faithful agent who was shifting to real estate by long distance.

In the end, we are still praying for the right place to pop up in a way that works for buyers, sellers, and the fullness of the future.

We arrived back home in Wilmore on Sunday evening after two full days on the road. How it is back to daily life with lots of decisions to make and a plate full of things that must be done.

Whew, moving is exausting! From your end, waiting and wondering is likewise a great way to get very tired. At this point our prayer is simple. We do not want to let the decisions of the world invade the sacred space of relationship and compassion for one another. A wise person once (and still does!) invited us to cast all our cares upon him and to remember that his burden is light and filled with joy.

That's where we are. I hope you are well and that your burdens are located approprately in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! Peace!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Travel Day!

Today is a day for travel in our family. In fact, this whole week has been about travel. Sue and Ana started the trek to Colorado Springs on Monday morning. They have been in the area searching high and low for a house that will soon become our new home.

While they have been on the road and in the search...I have been taking care of details here in Wilmore. But today is different, I will be engaged in a doctoral dissertation defense with one of our students from the Philippines and then I will catch a plane for DIA. Our son David will pick me up and we will make our way south on I-25 to connect with the rest of the family.

You all know that buying a "house" is different than purchasing a "home" where a family will take root and find peace. It is quite a process. It is an important process. Some may say "where ever I lay my hat is home" but it may not always work that smoothly. That image is a great way to say I am comfortable with myself and my place in the world. But there is still a great difference between a house and a home.

Home is where you can be who you are with the people you love. Home is where you can sit back, laugh, cry, discover and share your life with a spirit of intimacy that you may never find in any other setting.

With that in mind, we are looking for a home. At the same time we know that there are many people who never find a home. They may have a place to live but they long for a home. Others search daily for a place to sleep or a meal to sustain their life. They too need a home. In fact, wouldn't you agree that all God's children need a home? The world would be a better place is the average house simply became a home.

Peace to you and your day. Safe travel, wherever you are going!