Its’ been an unusual year in a number of ways, not least in that I have spent the time pastoring in two churches, running two businesses and publishing two books. As someone who generally seeks to maintain a steady, even pace of life I will admit that at times it has been busier than I would like.
But it also feels good to push into some new spaces. To see my book The Future is Bivocational actually in physical form was a little like seeing one of my kids get born. Wow… I actually did that…
When the first box of books arrived I was caught off guard by the emotion it generated in me. Sheer excitement… My other book is the third of my Yanchep Beaches 365 photo books, but this time with a collection of local stories of where we have encountered ‘on earth as in heaven’. It’s a super ‘soft entry’ to the kingdom of God for those with no religious background whatsoever. It should be ready to go in about 6 weeks and I’m hoping it will give people a hint of where God may be at work in our neighbourhood if they have eyes to see. Some of the stories I have told on this blog will make their way into the book.
While I was only pastoring for a paid equivalent of 1 day/week, it still took both head and heart space to stay invested in both the Quinns and Yanchep congregations. As of yesterday we have finished in our pastoral roles and are looking forward to seeing what the future may hold. As we have said many times before ‘we are not retiring’. So ministry and mission will continue but without an income from the work. The upside of being unpaid is that the weight of responsibility will not weigh as heavily. I doubt you ever get to a place of not caring about how a congregation is functioning, but I do feel like it will be good to dial that down a bit. For some time now I have resonated (in a healthy way) with Paul’s words in 2 Cor 11:28. In the Message, Petersen puts it like this:
And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut.2 Cor 11:28
The ‘daily pressure of the churches’ is there in a different way for a pastor than it is for the congregation – and it should be there – so it’s not a bad thing. But it will be interesting to live life without that concern running full time in the ‘background’.
The running of two businesses was quite sustainable until the caravan business caught fire and has kept me running hard thru winter. I didn’t expect the caravan gig to spark up quite like it did, but it seems there is no one else in Perth specialising in diesel heater installation, so if you good that phrase ‘Perth diesel heaters’ my name will pop up right on the top of google… I kinda stumbled on this one, but I enjoy the work and the challenges that go with it. It’s a nice change from digging someone’s yard up, but crawling into tight spaces around caravans still takes a little bit of effort 🙂
In 2 weeks time we head off to Europe for a month. We start in Scotland where we will be attending the Global Prophetic Alliance conference. You know how they say that sometimes you have to do things that are out of your comfort zone?… Well this is one of those things. This conference won’t be me in my happy place, but perhaps it will be a surprising and transformative experience. (Or I could just get frustrated and cynical…) A friend invited us to join her in a trip to Scotland and some of the significant spiritual heritage sites. She was already attending this conference and invited us along. Danelle was keen and I said ‘ok…’ To be clear, I believe in prophetic ministry, but sometimes prophets just weird me out a bit.
From Scotland we head to Italy for 10 days. I don’t really know what we are doing as Danelle has planned this whole trip and I have just said ‘yep sounds good.’ But I’m sure it will be fun. Then we get home early October to a new look Brighton Reticulation‘. We have just employed someone to work for us full time and hopefully to manage much of the day to day of the business. The first 3 months will be pretty hectic as I train him up, but ultimately my hope is to slow down, do a few jobs for regulars, but to let the new employee pick it up and really drive it. I even bought a dedicated business ute last week so that in time I can send him out on his own while I stay home and catch up on my Netflix backlog.
When I’m not on Netflix I will focus on some other stuff I want to write as well as developing Weigh My Caravan. I will also sloooooow down again and return to living at the pace I want to live at.
It’s gonna be a very busy October to December, but once my new worker (unnamed because he needs to resign from his current role) is up and running I will look to take some time off and have another back operation. The first one ‘worked’, but then a new issue emerged and our health insurance won’t kick in until December, so it’s ‘suck it up and power on’ until then! As well as the back operation, it seems I will be able to get a neuromodulation device implanted to help with the butt pain that has been in my life for 8 years now. Chances are it will reduce or remove the pain – which would be awesome. So there will be a couple of months of relative ‘taking it easy’ in there…
2022 has felt a lot like a ‘clutch’ year, a lot of changes and meshing of new projects and initiatives. Some of it has been smooth and seamless and a bit of it has been clunky, but we are moving into a new space and looking forward to seeing what may emerge.