Posted: November 15, 2007 in Seattle Church Plant
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“I feel… thin. Sort of stretched, like… butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday. And I don’t expect I shall return. In fact I mean not to.”

Bilbo Baggins

I’ve got to admit, I do feel “…thin. Sort of stretched…” I am sure nothing like Bilbo felt in those final days with the Ring. But I am definitely finding out that my days have to be stretched and my time has to be maximized to be able to carry out the work that has been set before me. But what I am finding out is that even though my physical being feels “thin” my spirit is on a high, possibly even fat. God has me right in the middle of where my strengths lie and I get the incredible opportunity to be a small part of a big thing. I must trust in God to strengthen my physical world so I am not spread to thin.

The stretch – figuring out how to do four full time jobs with excellence. My primary focus in life since I put the ring of marriage on my finger has been my family. Starting with Kristine and now our four quickly maturing boys. The desire to make my family first is easily squeezed out of the top position by employment, or what’s better known as “funding the primary focus,” only to have it become the primary focus. Beyond the work for money world ministry is all consuming, because it is not a 9-5 job and no matter what boundaries are implemented pastors are “on” 24/7.

Along with my family and ministry we added being a landlord into the mix a few years ago. We needed something that would be an investment since at the age of 31 we had no investments of any kind and were not on the road financially to create any wealth in near future, (the next 50 yrs). Real estate seemed like a great venture especially since I have been in and out of the construction trade over the years. The only downfall it was another full-time job.

And now we are off and running in the direction of following the “Call” of planting a church. Little did I know that this process would create yet another full-time position that I have to fill with only a quarter of my time.

Am I whining? Not at all! Kristine and I and the rest of the Seattle Church Planting team are sitting on the front row to see the most incredible miracles of our lives. #1 God has been stretching time. i.e. I have been getting everything done. My promise to Pleasant Valley Church, where I serve as the Young Adult and Missions Pastor, is that I will not quit working until after we relocate in Seattle. I am committed to build into this ministry at the same rate if not more as I have over the past ten years. And with God’s grace I can do that and I believe, am doing it for this is definitely the greatest year we have every had! At the same time we are selling off our properties, one down and three to go. Between selling and continuing being a property owner takes an amazing amount of time, but God is making time work in and through it all.

#2 We will get to see miracles – Because of the place God is calling us too. Seattle is incredibly expensive! A modest house is going to cost us nothing shy of $500k not to mention the time to find it, making multiple trips to Seattle to get things ready, to create a network and to discover the city. I continue to tell those who ask how we are going to pay for all of this and then raise $500k/year budget, for the first three years, that God has brought us to this point and I am confident that he will bring us through it. He does not bring someone to a place and then drop them.

#3 We will get the beautiful opportunity to witness life transformation in our team and our own personal lives. We have already gotten to see life change as we meet once a week, becoming a family and ministry partners. We are all transforming.

Am I feeling thin? Absolutely! I could sit and talk for hours about all the things that are happening. Sometimes I feel like Stretch Armstrong Stretch Armstrongbeing pulled in so many directions, but honestly that is only in my body. God is sustaining my soul, he’s increasing my faith and I am growing stronger in my spirit man.

I’m sure Bilbo Baggins was ready to be finished with life at the ripe old age of 111, I pray that God gives me that much time to be his servant and with the energy to go with it.

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