Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Well maybe momentous is a strong word, but it was definitely a day to marvel at the goodness of God. You see in March of 2013, I bought a brand new dark blue Dodge Grand Caravan. It was the first new vehicle I had ever purchased to drive for myself. I was 49 years old and to be honest I was more than a little scared. I was working a job that was no longer working out, I was told I would be downsized before long, and the idea of taking on a new car payment was pretty terrifying. The church I planted with my wife and some friends a decade before had closed the previous year, and my dreams of pastoral ministry kind of died with it.

I bought the van because I was starting to get to travel doing art ministry and I needed something reliable to haul my equipment from place to place. That van was a leap of faith at a time when my faith could have been A LOT stronger, nonetheless the van and I were off to the races and for this to work God was going to have to really come through. Well He did.

Oh it was a bumpy road at times. Two years after I signed on the dotted line, the job really did get outsourced. 51 years old, no degree, lapsed skills and two months from becoming a grandfather. What would I do? I was speaking a few times a year, but not making enough to make a living. What would I do? I was panicked. I felt I failed as a pastor, my computer skills were lagging behind what I needed to get another design job. I was lost.

When my church closed I became a member of a dear friend’s church, where I got sometime to heal. The Sunday after I lost my job was the last Sunday I attended the church. Miraculously, God opened doors for me to speak nearly every week. About the time the schedule started to slow, I got a call from our district office asking if I would consider serving as an interim pastor at a nice little country church for three months. I thought, “I can do anything for three months.” so I took a shot at it. I should have known something was up. The weekend after I accepted the interim, I ministered at a church where the pastor told me he was an interim. I asked how long he was there, and he said, “11 years.” Well it’s been four years for me, and I couldn’t be happier.

About now you might be getting impatient. “What’s so momentous about today?” Well today, on my way to church, I rolled up 150,000 miles on my van. Six times around the world in that front seat. About 3,000 hours, most of them in one form of ministry or another. And as I think about it, I praise God. He has changed my life in those years, in ways that were nothing short of momentous. I now have a bachelor’s degree in creative ministry, much of which was learned in those travels, and I’m nearing my Masters. I’ve preached and painting in hundreds of venues, met thousands of wonderful people, made life long friends, discovered a passion for a new kind of ministry (special needs ministry), became a grandfather, celebrated my 25th and 30th wedding anniversary, seems some of the most beautiful parts of God’s creation as I preached God’s Word in at least 18 states, and so much more. Most importantly, I’ve found, with God’s help, I can still be a pastor, even while wracking up thousands of miles in a dark blue minivan.
Friend, I don’t know where you are at in your journey today, but can I tell you, God is faithful.

Trust Him, take a leap of faith if He leads and see where He will take you. Something tells me, it will be momentous for you too.

Well if everything goes according to plan today I will be going home. I leave Boise for Pennsylvania by way of… San Francisco??? That sure seems to be the roundabout route, probably close to a thousand miles out of the way (give or take). Friends this is a lot like our walk of faith. Sometimes everything feels really direct and others it feels like we go miles in the wrong direction, of if not the wrong direction, at least miles out of our way.


But here’s the thing, at the end of this day, Lord willing, I will be home in the arms of my wife. And at the end of our lives, no matter what circuitous route we end up taking, if Christ is our Savior, we will be home in the arms of the one who loves us most, even if the way there seems roundabout.

Are you on your way home? If you’re not sure, maybe it’s time to talk to Jesus.

Here’s a song called Roundabout, just because it’s one of my favorites.

The challenge this week was the word “travel.” Since traveling is one of the things I really want to do with this ministry, I decided to do this little piece. Have Paint Will Travel. I speed paint, tell stories and use it all to introduce people to Jesus and help them to find and use their gifts to serve the Lord. I love to use this gift to serve the Lord, it’s been an awesome adventure.

If you like to use art to serve the Lord, the design is available on a shirt, proceeds benefit fulfilling the mission of this ministry.

I’ve been wanting to post this for a while but I wasn’t sure how to proceed. One of the gifts I received for Christmas was Stephen King’s new novel 11-22-63. It was 849 pages and I read it in right around 2 weeks. It’s an amazing page turner, though I should warn you there is a fair amount of foul language and some sexual scenes that will be off putting to some readers. (For me it was kind of like this is such a good story and you really didn’t need to put that in there, but I digress).

The problem with posting this blog is it’s almost impossible to do it without giving a spoiler. Nonetheless, I will try. I’ve never been a fan of horror, which is why I’ve never read Stephen King before. It’s not a horror book. It’s a book about time travel. The main character in the book finds a portal back in time to 1958 and he is sent back on a mission to save President Kennedy from assassination. What makes this a unique story is he can continually go back to the future and reset things if something goes awry. Sort of like a reset button on history. The book is amazingly well written and I wish I could say more than that, but I can’t without being a spoiler, so I am going to switch lanes.

What’s so appealing about the idea of time travel? I mean hundreds if not thousands of books have been written on the topic. Why? I think it’s because of regret. There are events in most of our lives that we wish we could do over. (If you don’t, congratulations or stop lying to yourself, you decide.) The idea of being able to go back in time and change something is very appealing, but would it be wise?

The main character in the book gets caught up in a situation, a choice. Does he do the right thing for his for himself at the cost of the world or does he sacrifice what he desires most for the sake of the world? It might be a tougher choice than you think.

The thing is, life doesn’t have a reset button and even if it did, it would probably be a mistake to push it. The tough stuff in our lives makes us stronger if we let it. The bad choices can give us the wisdom to make better choices in the future if we let them. The hard things in life can change us for the better if we will let them. The reason for this is there is a God, who is never surprised by any situation, always knows what He is doing (and what we will do) and has it all under control. We can’t travel back in time, but we can trust God with today and give Him tomorrow.

Time travel is impossible. The Bible says, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” That means we only get one life so we need to use it wisely. I believe the best thing we can do is offer that one life to God and ask Him to be your Lord and savior, loving Him like He loves you and following Him through this difficult life all the way to the end. He’s the best guide and the only one who knows the way. He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. Secondly, there is another promise, a promise reserved only for those who love God. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” In other words, all the pain, all the mistakes, all your past sin, everything in your life, good bad and ugly, when given over to God can and will be used by God for your good. He is faithful, He will do it. I know this because He has done it for me.

The only way we can travel through time is forward, one day, one minute, one second at a time. So give this moment to God. He won’t let you down.