Friday, September 21, 2007

The Latest on the Church Search, and Other Personal News

Please keep Maria and me in your prayers this weekend as we meet tomorrow with a search committee in McMinnville, Tennessee, and as I preach at their church Sunday morning. This is an initial, get-to-know-each-other interview, and not an in-view-of-a-call situation. But considering that I haven't put forth any real effort in my church search for a couple of months, this was completely unexpected. Actually, they just called me out of the blue three weeks ago; I had not even sent them a resume.

McMinnville is a decent sized small town (12,000-13,000) about halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga, and it's about 20 miles from the town where my mom grew up. It would be a bit of an adjustment for us if we ended up going there, but at least we would still be able to visit each of our families in a day trip.

Of course, having had my optimism dashed on several occasions over the past couple of years, it's hard for me to go into this expecting a positive result. It's easy to say that God is in control and that whatever happens is His will, but after so many close calls (and even more where I never had a shot) it becomes harder to really believe this in a way that goes deeper than mere intellectual assent to such statements. So in addition to praying for the interview and the service Sunday morning, please pray that God will strengthen and renew my confidence and hope and that He will just help me to have a better attitude in general.

In other good news, I got a phone call last night from a church in Portland, Tennessee (about 25 miles south of us), asking me to preach the first two Sunday mornings in October. I preached there two Sundays in January and two more in July. I am preaching three of the next four Sundays. It's been nearly a year since I've preached on such a consistent basis, so I am really excited.

One other bit of good news (that has nothing directly to do with the church search) has the potential to return me to regular blogging. We have finally decided to get broadband Internet through our cable company, which is supposedly 6 times faster than DSL (which we cannot get where we live). One reason I have not done any blogging lately (not just here, but also at other blogs I used to read daily) is that my dial-up connection speed has dropped from 38-40k to 12-14.4k, making it impossible to look at more than a handful of pages in one sitting (and forget anything with a lot of graphics or media). To put it in perspective, using the DSL at Maria's sister and brother-in-law's house, I am able to read in about an hour all of the blogs and news sites that it normally takes me all evening to read at home. Unfortunately, we have had to postpone our service call more than once because our car situation makes it impossible for one of us to get home during the day.

For the past couple of weeks we have been down to one car, so by the time I pick Maria up from work and we run some errands that she normally does on her own I have little time at home (the other reason for my absence from the blogs). We picked her car up last night (had to get a new fuel pump---nearly $400), but as I went to shift out of park the button on the gear shift would not push in. The mechanic tried to get it to work, but all he could do was put the key into the shift lock and release it that way. He said for us to bring it back in a couple of days and he would get it working; he thought there was a short in the shift lock or gear shift or something like that. As I was driving down I-65 on the way home, I noticed that none of the gauges on the dash were working and the odometer was not rolling over. So apparently there is a problem with the electrical system in the dash and console areas; the mechanic had to fiddle with some of the wiring to get the fuel pump to work, so it seems to be related. We have to take the car back to get this fixed; hopefully it won't take two weeks this time. So please pray for our car situation as well, especially as we consider whether or not to buy a new (or new to us) car.