Slightly out of Focus
April 29, 2009, 13:40
Filed under: Uncategorized


For the last eight years my wife and  I have worked in an office right down the street from my church.  It was really handy to be available to the people who   would  drop in or to call if they had a need.  We rarely took a day off,  and I realize now that besides an income my job provided structure and focus. 

You would think that being laid off would yield a lot of free time, at least thought that being laid off would yield a lot of free time.  Wrong again.  Since the home office decided my wife and I were redundant,  we have had the time to actually take one ride in the country.  That is it. Where did all the time go?

  Learning  about being bi-vocational is a continuing process.  Today’s lesson is that a bi-vocational preacher who is laid off still has a vocation, and in fact one that will swell to fill some of the  void of a 40 hour week job that is no more.  Men and women often define themselves by occupation , and I have seen people devastated by job loss. It is a gift to me that when asked, “What do you do?”  I still have an answer. ” I pastor a church called Dayspring.”  Every time I say that, I hope God does not lay me off. 

The week after my corporate lay off I shared a fear from the pulpit.  I shared that often in my mind an image appears,[ perhaps taken from the Robert Duvall movie, The Apostle], of the ‘Pastor Police ‘ showing up at Dayspring and taking me away in cuffs, apologizing to the people for the affront dealt them by being subjected to my rantings.  For a sinner like me to have the honor of speaking the Mysteries of Christ, the Love of God, and His redemptive plan, seems totally outlandish.  Should this Holy calling not be reserved for a Nazarene?  Some one kept pure from birth,  no fermented products, somehow dedicated to the servicew of god from childhood, a modern day Levite?  How can it be that a man who has waded so deep in sin is chosen to preach and teach the Gospel?  There is only one answer,  “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

So I am bi- unemployed.  It seems to please God  to continue to allow me the privilege of loving His people and feeding His flock.  Part of that responsibility and privilege is to support my family with a new job.   I have no doubt He will provide, and no doubt a change was due. 

When the job left so did my pattern of life, my schedule, my habits.  The systems that had developed for sermon prep, study , even prayer were all affected by the lack of schedule. It is taking me a while to adapt. So my blog-cation is over,  my “shock of change” , diminishing. It is time to learn to use the hours of the day in a new way.  

                           Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as            wise,making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Time to put things in focus. 

6 Comments so far
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First, that is a beautiful dog!

Second, I have been told it takes up to six months to get use to a major life change. Looks like you’re ahead of schedule.

(God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.)

Comment by Shawn W

Qualifying the called, I like it!

Comment by willohroots

Sorry to hear about your job loss. You sound as if you are coping and your spirit’s seem high. That took some serious work, I bet.

I have also lost my job – the church one. I am trying to figure out what ministry might look like in the future.

How about we pray for each other.


Comment by Rev Andy Little

Rev. Andy I will continue to pray for you. I have no doubt the lord will find a way to use your incredible skills. Many of us have struggled with periods out of ministry, I know Shawn W. has for example. Painful. My prayers will be that your gifts will be used for His Kingdom as soon as He wills!

Comment by willohroots

Hang in, Andy. He isn’t done with us yet.

Comment by Shawn W

This is going to sound very strange, That dog is eerily familiar and has a striking resemblance to my dog. I can’t help but wonder where you got your dog, and if you know what breed he is (or she) 🙂 I was told that my dog is a Golden Retriever/Lab mix, and I got him from a family in Eugene, Oregon. However, I don’t think he has lab in him. But he is the most wonderful dog I have ever had the privilege to know. Any info you can give me would be great. Thank you and god bless.

PS, I’ll be sending you a pic of my dog via e-mail, if I can find a contact info.

Thanks again.

Comment by Cooper

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