Update on my new Job and Employment Journey

TombstonesbigI’m on my second month of my new journey in the marketplace.  As many of you know, I have joined the world of the bi-vocational…I am in community with a wonderful, growing group of people who are attempting to live the KIngdom here in Idaho (Re/New Ministry); I am also continuing to teach two to three online courses in biblical studies for Azusa Pacific University; beyond that, I still have my fingers in some other life "pies" (family, music, hockey, friends, Allelon’s Missional Work, keeping up with long distance buds Yambar, Bundy, Barnes, Hixson/PLBC, Ryan, Mikey, teaching/speaking when invited to do so at conferences, camps and churches, etc.).  In January, I joined the staff of Accent Funeral Home in Meridian Idaho as a Memorial Counselor.  It is now my "full-time gig".  There were many reasons for the transition…many of them come from the desire to live a different type of lifestyle than simply one that I lived for over 30 years in the local church world.  This new job gives me some amazingly opportunities to live what I have been professing for years – being a follower of Jesus, giving God praise in every situation, looking to find a manner in which to glorify the Kingdom despite circumstances, and living out my giftedness without having to be employed by a group of people who desire for me to be a professional Christian.  So now, I spend my days talking to people about death…helping people prepare for their funerals/memorials services, counseling those who have experienced loss, and meeting new people in the community to serve them with the love of Jesus without ecclesiastical pretense.  Of course, one of the realities of this new job is that it is a commission job..in fact, 100% commission.  That in and of itself is not only a challenge but a HUGE revelation for me.  It is in some respects simply what I had witnessed when I was traveling in Eastern Europe a few years back…people would make their way into the world to buy and secure their "daily bread".  They don’t have huge homes with side by side refrigerators and pantries in most places in Poland, Hungary and Romania (home of my long-time pals Dorina and Marius and Viktor).  What they do have is a lifestyle where daily they enter the world to buy their "bread" for the day.  In many respects, that’s what I do now…every day.  I pray that I can serve people, continue to build the reputation of the firm and owner of the Funeral Home in the community, and enter the world to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage.  If I do my job well, it might end up in a sale…if I don’t, it won’t.  It’s pretty simple actually…we had some savings stuck aside for this purpose and we’re praying that I will be financially successful enough to sustain our family and our financial obligations.  As I’ve said to my pals, I’m representing a Funeral Home I "believe in" (they are a family owned, small business that helps people with integrity and love) and I "sell" something that I believe in as well…I would always tell people in churches that they NEEDED to put together a plan for their funeral.  In fact, pre-need funeral planning is a powerful gift of love to a family…it gives them a gift of simply being able to grieve when a loved one is lost…not having to worry about planning and the rising costs of funerals.  In addition, in this business as Yes is a YES and a No is a NO…pretty simple.  I am not strong arming people into making funeral plans…but doing my job, telling them about how important pre-planning is and how great of a product we offer to people who desire to go in that direction, and then I let them make the call (all the while, trusting the Lord is provide for Vicky’s and my financial needs).  Anyway, that’s the scenario in a nutshell…I say this humbly, would you  pray for me in this journey?   I am finding joy in it…in a strange yet fulfilling sort of way.  In this industry, you see clearly the needs of people…raw, real, personal, and deep.  This week alone, we’ve had two funerals for suicide victims (one 21 years and one 71 years, both gunshot wounds) in addition to a 2 year old who passed away.  The healing power of God is alive and well…the presence of Jesus is hiding in the most mysterious of places…and the love of God is being experienced, as Jim Palmer says, through unworthy servants, Divine Nobodies…like me.

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