Nearly two years ago Dee and I embarked on a new call, a new place, and a new adventure. We were convinced that our Lord had something in mind for us that was way outside the box for us. So, we packed up and left Gig Harbor (although we haven’t left Gig Harbor, as we have kept our home and Dee is still deeply invested in her Healing Reins barn and her two 4-legged beauties!) to move to Newport Beach, CA as I serve as the lead pastor at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. It has been a bit of a ride ever since for both of us, but the privilege we have to walk with great people as we all explore what it means to trust and follow Jesus as he brings his kingdom in is such a gift.
In my previous life, I spent my time as a seminary professor and administrator, which also meant researching and writing and traveling and talking, and, oh yeah, teaching. For nearly half my life I was on the road, and I was in a constant state of juggling thoughts and responsibilities, deadlines and expectations. In so many ways I loved it, and I’m so grateful for the exposure to such a wide array of men and women, young and old, who taught me that the world is so much bigger than I could ever know. But if I am honest it did take its toll.
Now I am settling in – we are settling in – to a new season of life, with lots of new people and experiences. I don’t get on airplanes very often anymore. I get to live in a rhythm that I haven’t had since my early days of Young Life. And most of all, as we try and figure out how we both adjust, one thing we do appreciate is we get to go deeply with people without the constant interruption of travel and deadlines. This is a new life, and one for which we are grateful.
When we arrived, we made the decision that for the first year I would curtail my writing and almost all of my speaking. As we near the two-year mark, and we are beginning to wonder if there might be a balance in there somewhere as we move forward. I am so energized, and I am profoundly changed, by those I get to be with in different settings. I have thoughts and notes that I just can’t seem to shake, and feel the need to express. In short, I am committed to our church and my life within it, and at the same time I am also feeling compelled to slowly start stepping back into some form of very occasional expressions of writing and speaking. I also will now and then begin to blog again (although I’ve never really done much of that). Stay tuned.
So, this is my way to simply say thanks to whoever has touched me, and to let you know what is happening with us. May you too find new joy and new adventures as you move forward on, as Mike Yaconelli put it, that Great Ride of knowing and following Jesus.