pecaspers: a Blog in transition

September 24, 2013

Is It Christmas Already?

Filed under: Culture,Ministry,My Life in General — pecaspers @ 6:51 AM
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It is late-September. Do you know what that means? It means that Christmas is right around the corner.

That’s right; I went there.

You can argue that I’m jumping the gun here, but the fact is that most retailers have their Halloween stuff out already and will be putting Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations out in the coming weeks. Our church choir has already begun preparing for our Christmas cantata. Our LibertyYouth Christmas activities have been on my mind for over a month. We are less than 100 days away from the holiday that is the climax of “the most wonderful time of the year,” as the song goes. Ready or not, here Christmas comes.

As stores and churches make long-range preparations for the coming holiday season, I want to challenge you to go ahead and plan to prepare your heart. Ask yourself now whether your past Christmases have been mostly about how the eternal God took on flesh and lived among us, or if they’ve been focused on all the materialistic trappings and traditions with only a tip of a furry red hat to the baby in the manger. Will the biggest gift you give be to yourself, your kids, your spouse, or to your church as the body of the Christ we celebrate? Will you hustle and bustle to get the deals and buy presents and decide that you are too busy to be present among God’s people when they gather to worship Him?

I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on you. I’m trying to give you a heads up so you can make plans that speak clearly about your priorities.

Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV) Paul instructed the faithful brothers in Colossae, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”(Colossians 3:1-4, ESV)

What treasures will most consume your Christmastime? Will they be laid up under a tree or laying at Jesus feet? When you set your mind on things above, will that be higher than the reindeer paws up on the housetop?

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August 9, 2013

Hustle

Filed under: Hustle,Job Hunt,My Life in General — pecaspers @ 10:31 AM
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[This might become a book one day]

I used to hustle. I was never great at hustling in all areas of life, but there was a time when the hustle would instinctively kick in. It still kicks in when the pressure is on and things just must get done, and that keeps me hopeful. However, chances are that the drift will continue away from hustle until I’m merely dragging my butt over everything I do unless I fight back.

That would unacceptable. That is why I must fight back.

Maybe you didn’t play sports, weren’t in Scouts, never participated in marching band, and missed out on all other disciplined, physical, group activities in your early years. If that’s you, then you might not understand the concept of hustle. Go watch Remember the Titans, Drumline, and Up; those movies are all about hustle. (Up? Really? Yes, Russell wasn’t all that smart, but the little dude had hustle.) For the rest of us, we know that “Hustle!” was the basic demand of every leader who wanted expected you to move quickly from task to task and consistently maintain discipline in whatever that task might have been.

When I played Dixie Youth baseball, Coach Bud would yell for us to hustle as he made us run our little prepubescent butts back and forth. If you were the chubby kid at the back of the pack like me, then you got to run more in order to sweat the weakness out so the hustle could have more room to work. When I was in Boy Scouts, hustle was getting things done quickly and efficiently–keeping meetings on track, setting up camp before the sun set, getting the fire started early enough so that you didn’t end up eating undercooked meat, and working hard on service projects so a quality job was done faster and better than you would ever expect a group of volunteer teenage boys to manage. Hustle is why in the Auburn University Marching Band “early is on time, on time is late, and late is inexcusable,” and “there’s no walking on the band field.” Hustle wins games. Hustle wins awards. Hustle gets things done. Hustle makes the difference between mediocrity and excellence. Thompson High School band director Jon Bubbett would say “Pride is an attitude that separates excellence from mediocrity,” and I would now say that hustle is the overflow of a good and proper pride–meaning the healthy desire to do well at whatever you do because you respect those you work for, those you work with, and yourself.

In his book Start, Jon Acuff offers help on walking the road to “awesome” rather than “average.” He talks a lot about hustle making the difference between those two paths. Hustle is not the same thing as awesome, but you don’t get awesome if you don’t have hustle.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my hustle. (I’ll save my thoughts on that for the another post.) Like I said, I never had a lot of hustle, but the hustle I remember having was far greater than the piddly little bit of hustle I can scrape together these days.

It’s gotten better over the last few months. I’ve been working on upping my hustle for a while. I’ve worked up to being able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes without stopping and dropped thirty pounds in the process. That took some hustle, and it’s built up my stamina so I can keep hustling longer and better in all things. I’m doing better in my practice of spiritual disciplines, Christian hustle. I have producing plants in my garden. This post is even evidence of some hustle.

The point is this, I’m shooting for awesome. I can’t get to awesome without hustle. It didn’t take long for me to realize I lack the hustle to be awesome. Oh no! What will I do? Simple, I’ve got to work out my hustle muscle.

I firmly believe discipline begets discipline. That’s one of the reasons I started running. I hate running, but it has helped me grow in discipline. You can’t really have hustle without discipline. You can quickly flit from thing to thing, but that’s not hustle. Trying to hustle without being disciplined, that’s how you burn a day without getting anything substantial accomplished. That’s how you end up, theoretically, sitting down to look for churches to send your résumé and end up on Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, and four hours later you don’t have an envelope to put in the mail, and it’s time for lunch/dinner/bed so you quit and leave it for later. But I digress.

Discipline is foundational, or it is at least the platform on which hustle stands. (Given enough thought, I’d probably argue that the gospel is foundational, upon which stands the Christian Worldview, upon which stands God-honoring discipline…or something like that). You must have discipline if you are going to build hustle on top of it. Likewise, you must have hustle if you are going to build awesome on it. Discipline is what gets you out of the bed in the morning to get life done. Hustle is what gets you up early enough to walk toward awesome and still get life done, and hustle gets life done in such a way that you have time throughout to keep progressing toward awesome. Hustle also allows time for more growth in discipline, which allows for more hustle, which allows for both more discipline and more awesome; and so on it goes.

I want to be awesome. So no more walking on the field for me. It’s time to get my hustle back.

December 20, 2012

Philosophy of Ministry

A church that I’m really excited to hear back from asked for some more information on me. One of the things they asked for was my “philosophy of ministry.” Below is what I’m sending them. I hope it is the kind of thing they were looking for since I found a wide range of examples of what people and churches were calling by that title.

Philosophy of Ministry

I believe God has called me to equip, encourage, and mobilize His people to be on mission for Him in their daily lives and throughout the world. I am convinced that the best way for me to fulfill this calling is by being pastor of a local church and staying with that church for many years. Developing a healthy church full of healthy Christians which reproduce more of both is the desire of my heart following after being a faithful Christ-follower, husband, and father.

God has revealed in Scripture that He builds the church and that He gives each local church the leaders and members it needs to grow to maturity (Matthew 16:18, 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, Hebrews 2:4, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4:11-16). According to Scripture, it is the duty of every follower of Christ to, empowered by the Holy Spirit, make disciples of people from all nations by baptizing and teaching them to obey Christ because we are all His witnesses (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:45-49, John 20:21-22, Acts 1:7-8). It is therefore not my primary duty as a pastor to do all the work of ministry myself, but to serve the church by equipping every member—directly or indirectly—to do the work to which each one has been called (Ephesians 4).

The task of any pastor, according to the Bible, is to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you,” (1 Peter 5:1). Pastoring is shepherding, and shepherding consists of feeding the sheep, protecting the sheep, and guiding the sheep. Any good shepherd will himself also always be seeking to sharpen his tools and develop his skills, gifts, and abilities (1 Timothy 4:7-16). The focus of pastoral work is “prayer and . . . the ministry of the word,” (Acts 6:4). Prayer and the word of God are what the pastor uses to feed, protect, and guide the sheep as well as to train himself.

A pastor/shepherd serves his flock as an under-shepherd of the Good Shepherd. He does so humbly, remembering that the Good Shepherd is also the Lamb of God who stooped to be one of us so that He could die to take away our sin. The sheep do not belong to the under-shepherd, but he cares for them as if they did because he loves them and the One to whom they do belong and because he will be held accountable for them; he is not merely a hired hand (John 10:11-13, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:1-4).

I fear that many churches are perpetuating their own decline because they keep hiring hired hands who are later hired away by other churches. I believe churches have suffered a great deal in the not-so-tender care of such men. I believe that pastors have suffered a great deal by being treated as if they were merely hired men—some so much that they began to act like it. I don’t want that to be me. I hope to plant my life in a church and stay long enough for there to be a crop of men fully equipped for ministry as shepherds within the church from which to choose the next pastor twenty or thirty years down the road. I hope to lead a church to actively push back the darkness and advance the gospel into places it has never gone before by sending members and not only money. I have vision for a church where at least 1% of the members are serving as missionaries/church-planters, at least 10% of the members have been on some cross-cultural mission trip in the past year, and 100% have done at least some short-term international missions at some point in their life. I hope to take what has been entrusted to me and teach it to other faithful men who will be able to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).

God, help me.

March 8, 2012

What Do You Want To Be?

Filed under: Culture,Ministry,Possibly Prophetic — pecaspers @ 9:08 PM
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“No one ever says, ‘I want to be a junkie when I grow up.'”

That was the punch-line of a public service announcement intended to keep kids off drugs from years ago. That PSA started with images of a ballerina and other typical childhood dream jobs with children’s voices saying what they wanted to be when they grew up. Then you see someone running from and caught by the cops in slow-mo, and you hear the line above. It’s a pretty clever commercial, but it’s probably lost on most of its target audience.

You see, if you want to be a ballerina, a firefighter, a school teacher, an astronaut, or whatever, then you have to work at it. You go to school, you practice, you go through training, you discipline yourself or submit to an authority who disciplines you, you make sacrifices of your time, all so that you can be the thing you are striving toward. The clever twist is that it is the same with being a junkie. A drug addiction is expensive, takes up a vast amount of the addict’s time, will cause certain relationships to be cut off, and typically progresses from so-called gateway drugs to substances most readers wouldn’t know exist. It takes commitment to be a junkie; the obvious problem being that it is a chemical dependence driving the commitment, and it’s not one drug users think about ahead of time.

However, nobody just starts free-basing heroine. Similarly, no one who tried out as a walk-on at Auburn University or the University of Alabama would become the starting quarterback having never played football, or even worked out, a day in his life. So what’s this got to do with the Christian life? As D. A. Carson puts it, “People do not drift toward holiness.”

And so I ask: what do you want to be? Do you want to be a godly man or woman? Do you want to be a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ? Do you want to be an encourager to those around you? Do you want to be a good wife or husband? Do you want to be a mentor to the leaders of tomorrow? Do you want to be a helper to the helpless? Do you want to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom? Do you want to be like Jesus?

No one ever says, “I want to be CEO Christian when I grow up.” (CEO Christians are those people who attend church on Christmas and Easter only.) No one ever says, “I want to be a bitter deacon who makes life hard for the pastor when I grow up.” No one ever says, “I want to be the old woman responsible for stopping every potentially great move of God in my church with a furrowed brow and the words ‘We’ve never done that before.'”

What are you doing to become what you want to become? What are doing to keep from becoming something you would never want to be? What are you doing to keep your church from being just another stagnant and declining North American church? What are YOU doing to make the transition from where you are to something greater/bigger/better/more glorious?

…or do you just want to be wasted?

March 15, 2011

In Memorium of Malachi Peterson-Caspers

Filed under: My Life in General,New Home — pecaspers @ 12:00 AM
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I sat down in my recliner and my cat didn’t come try to jump in my lap. That made me sad.

I went to the back bathroom a little while ago, and there’s not a litter box in there anymore. That made me sad.

I went into the nursery earlier and as I left it, I realized it didn’t matter anymore if I left that door open. That made me sad.

I swept the kitchen this afternoon, and now there is no more little bits of cat food in the corner, because there is no longer a food bowl there. That made me sad.

I put the body of my most constantly present and unconditionally loving friend, comforter, and confidant (except for the Holy Spirit of God) into the ground today. And that makes me sad.

But we do not mourn like those who have no hope! (1 Thessalonians 4:13) And we are blessed in our mourning because we shall be comforted! (Matthew 5:4) That gives me comfort.

Jessica, Peter, and I gathered in our back yard today to have a funeral for our beloved cat Malachi. If you find that strange, then I pity you for having such a small and hard heart. If you question the validity of a Christian funeral for a cat, then you need to keep reading because what follows is the essence of my message at the funeral, albeit more fully developed here.

God, in His Word, has not clearly revealed the eternal destiny of animals. In the beginning, when God made everything, He spoke animals into being and they were formed out of the ground (Genesis 1:24, 2:19). That is to say that they are made from the same dirt from which Man was made. The LORD did not breath into them his spirit, but he did put the breath of life into them. And everything that the LORD made was declared good; there was no sin, there was no death, all that God created was meant to last for all eternity. Man fell, and all creation was cursed, but in the beginning, even cats were meant to live forever.

Scripture is clear that though the animal kingdom has been placed under the authority of Man, all creatures belong ultimately to God. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He feeds the ravens and the lions, He knows every time a sparrow lands on the ground (Psalm 50:10, Psalm 104:21, Psalm 147:9, Matthew 10:29). God displays His goodness and glory through the way he has made and provides for his creatures (Job 38-41, Matthew 6:26). Animals are part of God’s good creation and He cares for them, and this is clearly taught in Scripture.

Isaiah speaks of the new heavens and the new earth as having animals, re-created and living in peace just as God’s people are (Isaiah 11:6-9; 65:17, 25). In Revelation 21:5 the Lamb of God calls out from His throne, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And so we might yet hope to see our beloved pets made new in the eternal Kingdom of God.

In this life, Malachi was a good kitty. He was well-behaved and well-loved, and he brought a great deal of happiness to our home. We are thankful to God for the gift of the time we had with Malachi. And he will live on in our memories if nowhere else. He is in no more pain. He died wrapped in a blanket he loved to sleep on, warmed by the morning sun, breathing fresh spring air, hearing birds sing, outside…and without anyone telling him to get back inside.

Now Malachi sleeps in death, and this is the way of all things. We were brought forth from the ground, and to the ground we return. But while I don’t know for certain if I will ever see my cat again, I do know for certain that my eternal destiny is clear. Jessica and I know that Jesus Christ has died on our behalf. Our bodies will one day “sleep,” but we will never truly die. THIS is our joy, that while we lay our kitty-friend to rest, we know that our own souls will one day loose these mortal coils and rise to be with Him who has already risen from the dead.

And we rejoiced at the amazing grace that God has given us. Then I placed my friend’s body in the ground, still wrapped in that blanket, with almost every appearance that he was merely curled up asleep in that cardboard box. And I covered the box with dirt, and I planted a tree over him. The tree came from the yard of our first home, and so now we will leave both a part of our first home and a part of our family here if/whenever God calls us away from this place. But like I said, this is the way of things. And we do not mourn like those who have no hope.

Do you have that same hope? Malachi does not bear the weight of moral responsibility like you and I do. While they have to endure the same curse placed on Man who was given authority over them, animals will not stand and be judged by God. Malachi will either be present in the new creation, or he won’t. You will rise and be judged, though. All fall short of God’s standard of perfection–all but God Himself, which is why the Son came to this earth as one of us. It’s why He lived a perfect life (a life you could not live), so that He could die as a perfect sacrifice (to pay completely a penalty you could not pay eternally). And that is why He rose from the dead, because He had paid it all, death could not hold Him. Death cannot hold you if your trust is all and only in the shed blood of Jesus. But if it’s not, then Death already has you. You are held morally responsible by God because you bear His image. You are not just an animal.

It will be a hard thing to get used to not having Malachi around. I think that’s what makes me so sad. I’ve really enjoyed his presence for the last almost three years. But life goes on, and we’ll get used to life without a cat now. So there’s the transition.

October 19, 2010

Current Status of Change

Filed under: Baby,My Life in General — pecaspers @ 1:28 PM
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My son is now over two months old. He sleeps pretty well, only needing one middle of the night feeding on his best nights. That doesn’t necessarily mean Mommy and Daddy are sleeping well, but we do O.K. most nights. He’s growing well. He’s very long (would be tall, but he can’t stand yet) and rather slim, which is a bit surprising looking at his parents today. With his big blue eyes and lack of an abundance of hair, he looks a lot like me. I was hoping to put a beard on him for Halloween so that he would look like me, but we’ve been handed down an amazing lobster costume that we simply must use. He’s smiling and “talking” as well as growing more alert and able to focus on things at a distance every day. I love him. He is my son.

The leaves are starting to turn as they do every October. And just like every October, I’m a year older. Thirty, that’s a whole new decade. It’s not old. It seemed old last year. It looks old when I let my hair get long enough to see all the gray (or grey…whichever you like). It feels old when I go too quickly from rest to action. But as I was breaking a sweat working on my basketball and volleyball skills the other night after youth group, it didn’t feel that old–just a little out of practice. It seems old when I watch “reality” TV competitions and realize the contestants are mostly younger than me, but then I look around at the people I live around and worship with and realize more people are older than me than younger. I hope I’m not just getting older but actually growing more mature. There is some evidence for and against that hope, but I’ll not get into that here.

I’m learning how to play the guitar. I think the youth will engage in singing praises better if they are singing with live music rather than singing with songs from my laptop. It’ll also be easier to teach someone how to play specific songs if I know how to play them myself. It’s going pretty well…just slowly. I’m hoping it speeds up since I’ve found some helpful how-to videos on YouTube (what did people do before YouTube? …that’s right, we paid people to teach us stuff).

I need to mulch the fallen leaves into my grass. I need to get back to cleaning and organizing my study. I need to work harder and more passionately for my youth because they belong to Christ…or (in the case of some) so that they might belong to Christ. I need to get back to getting off my hindquarters and getting rid of much of the rest of my “quarters,” but that’s coming along, albeit slowly. So much is needed, but I’m glad to see the transition continue.

January 14, 2010

Speaking of transitions…

Filed under: Baby,Ministry,My Life in General,New Home,Youth Ministry — pecaspers @ 1:32 PM
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Much has happened since my last post.

I’ve really started to settle into my role as Youth Pastor. We’ve successfully had non-disastrous results at a few different events. In late December, my wife and I loaded the church van with 5 youth (4 girls, 1 guy) and went to Connect 2009 in Pigeon Forge, TN. The speakers were great; the musicians were excellent; our youth behaved predominantly well; good-times were had by all. This was a wonderful and wonderfully inexpensive youth conference, and it would have been worth it at twice the price. We’ve already got some stuff planned for the coming months and are working on getting things lined up for spring (especially Spring Break) and summer as well. I’ve also been given the opportunity to preach 3 times. The first two times went very well. I felt less than positive about my delivery of this most recent sermon after having only a few days (two of which I was also working taking graduation pictures) of lead time since Pastor David came down with bronchitis. Nevertheless, a number of people said they got a lot out of it, so I guess God is still in the business of using what we might reject as worthless for his grand purposes.

Jessica and I have been in the process of trying to buy a home in East Tallassee for months. We found the 2008-model, double-wide, manufactured home sitting on an acre of land which we are trying to purchase back in September, I think. We liked it when the Realtor showed it to us, and it was in far better condition and gave far more square feet per dollar than any of the houses we looked at. However, at that time, we didn’t think we could pull together the money to make it a reality. In November, things were looking better for us. Long story shortened: two potential buyers had fallen through and the home was still available. We paid our earnest money and started trying to get a loan. The first loan company wasted our time and got bought by another bank which wasn’t going to handle mobile home loans. One good thing our loan officer DID do for us was find us someone else who could help us. Our new loan agent is doing her best, but having more than a year between graduating from seminary and going on staff at Liberty is causing us all sorts of problems. On top of all the usual financial info they need (bank statements, tax records, etc.), we have now also supplied them with: a letter from Lakeview Baptist Church saying I’ve still been working (both paid and volunteer) with them since graduating; a letter from Liberty basically saying that I’m going to keep my job there; a letter each from me and Jessica explaining our recent work histories; a simple listing of each of my and Jessica’s recent work and education histories; an additional bank statement showing the check for our earnest money leaving our account; pictures/scanned copies of Jessica’s Auburn diploma, my Auburn diploma, my Southern Seminary diploma, and my certificate of ordination. At one point, we thought every time we got a call from this company we’d be hearing either a “yea” or “nay” on our loan. Now, we are just expecting to be asked for one more random thing. So we’re frustrated with this whole process. Still, I know that God has a reason for the delay. If nothing else, it has kept us from having to pay lot rent on our current home on top of a mortgage payment on our new one.

Another change, I’ve gotten a new car. Well, it’s new to me at least. Jessica’s mom got a for-real-new Hyundai Santa Fé, and they gave me her 1999 Toyota Solara. I’m totally grateful and thoroughly enjoy driving it. We were able to sell my 1992 GMC Jimmy for a whopping $800. I miss the Jimmy, but it made much more since to sell it than to keep it and have it rot from disuse and keep paying insurance on it.

I’ve saved the biggest change of all for last. We’re having a baby! Read more about it at babycaspers.blogspot.com. (WordPress faithful don’t hate. Jessica had it set up on Blogspot before I could stop her.) We go for her first official ultrasound tomorrow. I say official because one of the nurses at the women’s clinic where Jessica volunteers did one just for kicks and giggles last week. So yes, as Jessica said, I’m now part of “The Daddy Team.”

And the changes just keep on coming. Now if we can only find a buyer for this container we live in now.

September 1, 2009

Job Hunt: It Is Finished!

Filed under: My Life in General — pecaspers @ 1:07 PM
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It Is Finished!

I’m hired. Or in Chirstianese, I’ve been called to a church. It’s been a long hunt, and now it’s over. On Sunday night August 30, 2009, Liberty Baptist Church in the Friendship Community of Tallassee, AL voted unanimously to call me, Paul E. Caspers, to be their new part-time youth pastor.

At 6:30ish, the pastor called to tell me. He even put me on speaker phone and held his phone up to the mic so I could thank the congregation. It was very surreal. …It still is a little bit. Now I have to figure out what to do.

They currently have one lady teaching on Wednesday night, another teaching on Sunday night, and a 21 year old guy (who has huge potential as a leader and will be both partner and mentoree) about to start teaching the youth Sunday School class.

The story of how all this came about is sort of interesting. A friend’s dad heard from his friend that Liberty was maybe thinking about possibly hiring a part-time youth minister. My friend’s dad called and asked me for my info to pass on to his friend. A few days later, that friend called me, and I sent him my resume. A couple of weeks after that, we arranged for Jessica and I to go have dinner with the friend and his wife. A few days later, they called back and arranged for us to have dinner and a talk with the whole youth committee and the pastor (Jess turned out not to able to make it because she was puking her guts out, but she insisted that I go). After that, we set the date for me to preach at the morning church service on Aug. 30, and to have some meet and greet time with the youth the Wednesday night before. Things went well that Wednesday night. Because of some technical difficulties and an extra song on Sunday morning, I went up to preach later than usual. Therefore, my only slightly (IMHO) too long 42 minute sermon didn’t end until 12:20–a solid 10-20 minutes over in Liberty-time. Still, the majority of people told me they enjoyed the sermon, and nobody said anything negative to me at all. Plus, they all voted for me that night, like I said. The other angle on this story is that there was another guy whose name and info came to the church at the same time mine did, but his wife got pregnant and they needed to be somewhere full-time because of it.

You can help me out by lifting me up in prayer, because I’ve rarely felt so at a loss for what to do as I do now. I don’t want to go in and rearrange everything, but they’ve hired me to lead and to me that means (among many other things) both teaching and planning stuff. They’ve been doing all their planning by committee (with little success at making much happen, as it’s been reported to me), so THAT should be a relatively easy thing to take over. But, like I said, they have 3 people teaching already…4 if you count the pastor’s wife who does a missions focus night once a month. Not that I expect any major struggle, because thus far the support for me coming has been so univocal.

The first major hurdle for me is just going to be learning everyone’s name. God help me. God help us all.

August 5, 2009

What’s in a Name?: A Blog in Transition

Filed under: My Life in General — pecaspers @ 12:17 AM
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What’s in a name? If you are wondering why my blog is entitled “A Blog in Transition,” then 1) I hope you are only wondering about it as a way of taking a break from pondering much greater things, and 2) You are about to have your curiosities satisfied.

In part, the reason is very simple. I had to call it something. The default was “Just another WordPress blog.” Now, I don’t usually strive for impressive labels, but that was far too bland a thing to be. Nobody wants to be “just another” anything. It’s not even self-debasing; that would be something. To call it “Thoroughly Average and Uninteresting” would have earned more style points. It had to be something more than the default, so it became “A Blog in Transition.”

I almost said, “it ended up…” but that’s not right. Actully, that’s just the point. It hasn’t ended up anything. It really is in transition. The name will potentially change, so in that sense the name fits for now.

It’s early in this blog’s life, and I’m not entirely sure what will become of it. Things being what they are right now, you may have noticed posting has been somewhat irregular. My schedule is irregular, and we don’t pay for internet at The Container. If/When I get a job and/or we move, I hope things will get a bit more consistent. For the time being, my blog–like myself–is in a state of transition.

Of course, There is also a sense in which this blog will always be “A Blog in Transition.” “In” in the sense of transition is the topic of the blog, rather than the condition of the blog. (English is a fun language.) Life is a transition, and my transit through life, or the transit of my life, will obviously come out in the writings found here.

It’s good for me to remember that life is a transition. At times, I think I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking, “When I get a real job, then I’ll have arrived.” That isn’t any more true than it was of getting married, graduation (any of the three), or any other of the host of things I–and all of you too, if your honest–have looked or am looking forward to. This kind of reminder helps to shake off some of the effects of what I call spiritual inertia. (Side note:Spiritual inertia is that force that tends you toward doing the same things you’ve always done in spite of the fact that you know there is more–or in some cases less–that you ought to be doing regarding spiritual discipline. [Side-Side note: Spiritual friction is that force that tends you to regress on the progress you have made in spiritual discipline until all growth stops and you barely resemble a Christ-follower. Maybe I’ll blog more about this in a later post.]

Where this idea comes into play here is that when we look ahead and see some milestone approaching–the certainty or uncertainty matters not–we tend to push things to the other side of it. Hey, I know I’ve done it. Try this, have you ever said, to yourself or to someone else: “I know I should ________, but when _________ then I’ll _________ for sure”? The point is, apply this to yourself as you will, I won’t instantly become more godly or disciplined or organized by virtue of having a job.

In fact, there will be one more thing to deal with. Well, in my case it might actually make for a net loss in things to deal with: a real job means the bills get paid without late-night Village Photographers events or all-day and/or night spent working for EOG on gamedays. However, the time investment into whatever is next will surely be more substantial than whatever gets dropped. I used to think I was busy in college. I really was busy in seminary (under-employment is way easier than seminary), but I still had enough free time to stay sane and find a wife. I’m sure life will get busier wherever God leads me next. And I’m even more certain that it’ll get WAY busier when c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n enter the picture (which I’m totally looking forward to, don’t get me wrong).

I guess all this has been to say that I know things are going to be changing soon. And more than that, I realize that things will constantly be changing throughout life. Someone once said, “The only constant is change.” (Google it if you’re curious, inform the rest of us if you do.) He was close. The Most High God is also a constant. As I’m thinking about what’s to come, a Scripture verse comes to mind. “Many are the plans in the heart of a man, but it is the Lord who directs his steps.” It’s somewhere in the wisdom literature; I’d look it up, but I haven’t re-installed E-Sword yet and it’s not worth it to go track it down the old fashioned way.

Whatever transitions God has in store for you, I hope you meet them well with, by, and in His grace.

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