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A Few Coals in the Fire


What lies in the future? It doesn’t seem like I have had a lot of time to process what is going on in my life lately. But there are a lot of ideas, thoughts, desires, and plans that are kicking around in my head, vying for attention. I wanted to just share a few of those thoughts with you all–friends, family, and interested others.
1. New Job: I recently attended a seminar for a ministry called Christians Against Poverty. They are basically a debt counselling service that seeks to reach out with the Love of Jesus to the poorest of the poor and those who are in bondage to debt. I was blown away by the testimonies of those who were on the brink of suicide because of the overwhelming debts and threats of the creditors. This agency really seems to be looking to be Jesus to the hurting, and it was super impressive.
So, coming September, the church we are a part of (Christian Growth Center, Paisley) will take part in opening a Christians Against Poverty (CAPS) center here. And, right now the plan is for me to spear head that center. It is a really great set up which allows for me to go into the homes of others and really offer genunine help and relief to people and the main office handles much of the actual processing.
It is a paid position, but it is only a 3 day a week commitment at the beginning. And this poses an interesting question about what to do for those other two days…
2. Continued Studies-Masters in Biblical Interpretation: Here is an interesting thought. There is an International Christian College in Glasgow, near to where I work now, and they have a really cool program in Biblical Interpretation. It seems that this may be one of the best times for me to pursue further education for many reasons. For one, I have money left over from the GI Bill (from when I was in the Navy). This money will expire in June of next year, so, I really need to use the 18 months of entitlement that I still have, or I lose it. Not only that, but I will need to do something with the two days that I will not be working with CAPS. I could get a job that would supplement my income but the money from the GI Bill would work out to about the same amount of money that I would earn at a job. So, basically I could get paid to go to school. I would have to pay tuition, but half that cost would be paid for through tax breaks that full time students are eligible for, so… Financially, it is an extremely viable plan for this upcoming October.
The draw back is that the program, and the new job might be extremely challenging to juggle with a young family. But, I will be meeting a head of that department of the college to discuss the workload and get his impressions on the situation. Please pray for that meeting if you are a believer. I really want to study the bible more, but don’t want to over strain the family you know?
3. Buying a house?? Yeah, this is kind of a whim really. I would love to do it though. The property values in this area where we are currently living are soaring. Roughly they have been raising 15% each year. And, they are not projected to slow down this year. I am waiting to talk to some mortgage advisers, but ideally, if I could be paying a mortgage, it would be far better than paying rent, because the equity would just build up over the year. Currently, I am working at an Apartment/house rental agency and I’m kind of smack dab in the middle of a pool of property investors, and a buy-to-rent industry that is quite fascinating. And, if there is one thing I have learned over the last month and a half, it’s that now is the time to buy in Paisley (where we live). There are a lot of factors though, and it will be interesting to see if we can do it.

Well, these are a few of the coals in our fires at the moment. There are other issues going on, and these few things mentioned, do not necessarily reflect the real stirrings of our hearts right now. But, they are issues on the table. The tricky part for me is to not get too caught up in the comings and goings of these ideas so that I do not find myself laying hold of the true treasures of God. What I mean is that Christ died for me, so that I might have continuous access to enter before the very presence of God and enjoy Him. This is a greater treasure than a good ministry, a nice house, and a few letters after my name. All those things are good, and people do seek them, but I don’t want to find myself wandering after these things unless I am holding the very hand of God as I do it. It is possible to go after good things, and yet not do it while being in a tangible relationship with the Heavenly Father. And, I just don’t care to waste my days that way. That’s not to say that it doesn’t happen-it does! I feel like I have wasted quite a few days over the last few weeks actually. Work and the stress of it, just kind of starts to consume my thoughts to the degree that I kind of forget about God. I’m not going to worry about it though, cause it stresses me out even more. Rather, I am going to cling to the fact that God loves my heart right now, and that he accepts me as I am, right now.
Well, ok… I’m going to run.. but much love from us and more later.

3 Responses to “A Few Coals in the Fire”

  1. Charissa
    May 16th, 2007 08:04

    Hey bro, It’s nice to read about your plans and it’s great to hear that God is working in your life like He is. Getting your Master’s degree is a terrific move and I pray you go for it! The CAPS work sounds challenging and very rewarding and it will give you an opportunity to spread the Word and really make a difference in people’s lives! If you decide to buy a home, take it from me; (a first time homeowner myself) it will be a stressful process but all worth it once it’s yours.
    Give my love to Rachel and the girls. We miss you!
    God Bless,

  2. Terry Bowman
    June 30th, 2007 16:07

    Hey John,
    Your thoughts really chalenged my heart. Its so hard to know how to put everything in your life into a proper perspective. I feel like in many ways I’m in the same place as your are. A young family, questions about future ministry and thoughts on where we will live (They are planning on tearing down the Far East Apartment at Bethany soon) all weigh heavy on my mind. But like you said, “There is a greater treasure than a good ministry, nice house and a few letters after my name.” These things are good, but are quickly fading away and what remains will be what is eternal. Thanks for sharing-it helped me to remember once again where my true treasure is found.

    Terry Bowman, -a.k.a.Berry Towman

  3. John
    June 30th, 2007 16:52

    Wow. thanks for the comments. I’m encouraged by having friends and family to stand with me while I go through periods of uncertainty.
    Just as an update, I went down to England for an interview with CHristians Against Poverty, for the debt counseling, and I was accepted! So, I’ll be training for a new ministry in Sep!! I’m really excited. More later.

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