Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
There are times in our lives that God brings us to and through things that we do not fully understand. That’s okay. Our task is not to always understand but to always trust. And to trust with all of our hearts. As we do, and we acknowledge and glorify Him, He will "make straight our paths". He will direct us.
Before I give the details, I want to share with you that I have been offered and have accepted a position as a public school teacher at Tison Middle School in Weatherford. This means I will soon be resigning as your pastor.
Over the last several months, God has been stirring in my heart the desire to serve as a chaplain in the US Army Reserves. I am currently in the final stages of a rigorous application process. I believe this is where God is leading me and am trusting Him to fully open this door for ministry if it is in His will. As such, I would be the chaplain to a group of men and women and their families serving in the reserves one weekend per month and two weeks per year. Deployment would also be a possibility. If God does open this door, it would be sometime between early spring to early summer that I would be assigned to a unit.
Initially, I assumed I would continue to serve as your pastor while serving as a chaplain. Still, God has been working through many factors and circumstances towards a different plan.
God has led Sunshine and I to a point of praying for His direction and His will. In considering what God may be doing in our lives, I began considering the possibility of serving as a public school teacher. I have a great admiration for the many of you who serve our kids in that way. Through many "odd" circumstances (and as a member of our church likes to say, it’s not odd, it’s God) I was offered the position as a teacher in Weatherford. Believing it to be God’s leading, I accepted.
As your pastor, I want you to know Sunshine and I both believe that God has been working to bring us to this point. It is never easy to go from one chapter to another chapter in life and many times we do not nor do others understand all the whys. Still, we trust in the Lord with all our heart.
I have been asked by some, am I certain this decision is the decision I should make. My answer is this, I am not certain of my ability to always perfectly discern the will of God. Still, I am certain of God’s ability to make straight our paths as we walk through this life trusting Him as best as we know how. There are things that scare us about this decision. But, as best as we know how to discern, Sunshine and I believe this is exactly where God is leading and we fully believe in His faithfulness to our family and to our church.
I will continue to preach here for a few weeks, maybe longer depending upon what we as a church family decide is the best and healthiest way for this transition to occur. I am asking each of us to pray as we together make that decision.
After, that I will step away as our church begins the process of searching for our next pastor. My family and I will continue to live here in Lipan and continue to be part of a community that we love and cherish. You are more than members of a church where we have been honored to serve for the last 8 years, and 12 years including my time here as youth minister. You are our friends and our family and we love you. Please pray for our family as we embark on a new chapter with new challenges.
Trusting the Lord together,