Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mike's Summer - Looking Back/Looking Ahead

Since it's officially football season, I'm going to go ahead and call it "Fall". Even though I'm still dripping with sweat from a trip to the mailbox, it is about 10 degrees cooler than a week or so ago. So as I look forward to another great fantasy football season for my team, the "(Paper) Clippers", (and hopefully a great real season for the Texans), I would like to reflect back on our summer. It was good - hard, but good.

Mostly it's been about Mike:

Mike got let go from the nursery as anticipated at the end of their Spring season. He was hired as a "seasonal employee", after all. He was ready for it. It was just too hot and too exhausting. Plus the timing was perfect because the next week he started teaching a Sunday morning Bible class at church (with a reprise every Wednesday) and attending his first Bible college class on Monday nights.

The class he taught centered around Simon Peter, but like all good Bible Studies it was really about how to study the Bible, the life-changing power of the gospel, understanding the Christian worldview, and how to apply it in your own life. And of course, Mike is in love with Power Point and baseball analogies. Which worked out pretty well with a group heavy on Astros fanatics. He never does anything halfway, so he spent hours and days studying and searching for the perfect visuals. He did a great job. And finished up by doing his presentation of "Simon Peter:I Witness" for the last Sunday. There were well over a hundred men, women and children in attendance. It was great to see him glue on the old beard once again.

He had a love/hate relationship with his "Hermeneutics" class, struggling with the teaching style of the instructor, but really getting a lot out of the class in the end. He hasn't seen his grade yet, but anticipates a B+ or an A. Not bad for an old guy. Last week he started his next class on "An Introduction to Systematic Theology". 5 required books! He's really excited about this one. The ultimate goal is a Masters in Biblical Studies. Yes, that is a Masters in B.S. Appropriate, yes?

And lastly, he's been involved with an advisory team at our church which is really going through some difficult times (the church, not the team). He's getting to know the pastor and some of the other guys, and is taking it all very seriously (for him, anyway).

The hard part in all this has been the no paycheck thing. He gets embarrassed when people ask what he "does". And even when he can explain it, they generally ask something to the effect of, "does that pay well?" So God seems to be "refining" my husband through a season of humbling. It's been tight, but we're squeaking by. I'm actually extremely excited about the direction we seem to be going now.

Mike has always told as part of his "testimony" the story of being called to be a pastor when he was first saved. He was literally called by the Church of the Brethren, and he pastored a couple of little churches for a few months (he was still a teenager and a baby believer!). The Church, of course, had every intention of providing him with a seminary education, but Mike ran from that idea as fast as he could. And he's shunned and disdained the idea of seminary "credentials" ever since. However, 30 years later, he's realized that the church did not call him, but God did. And even though he's ignored that call, it's still what God has called him to do. So, he's going to give it a try. What God will do after that, only He knows. But I can't wait to find out!