Friday, October 21, 2011

Sabbaticals, Part 2

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



    When I returned from Montana after a week with somebody who actually sells books that he's written, I was overwhelmed by the renovations to my study; transforming it from a cluttered mess of odds and ends that I'd created to a place extraordinarily conducive to prayer, study, and counsel.

    Though I did not ask for the renovations and did not consult about the renovations though asked, I trusted our Project Team when they insisted on the changes; and my trust was rewarded with a place so much better than I could have ever designed or dreamed.

    I am humbled by their care for me.

    Of course, change can be tough; especially for someone like me with roots in the Teutonic forests of Germany.

    I had to box everything before I left - being instructed to clean out my desk was unnerving if you know what I mean - and unbox everything when I got back.

    During the unboxing providential part, I found my old Willie Nelson disk, plugged it into the truck's player, and remembered how listening to him has always been more relaxing than Jim, Jimi, Jimmy,

    He always has a way of guiding us to what's best for us when we trust Him and His.


    Providentially speaking, how I got around to writing/talking about sabbaticals comes to mind (go to the 10/9/11 edition of KD).

    It started a few days before hitting Route 90.

    The other pastor in our family of faith came into my study and asked, "Have you ever taken a sabbatical?  You've been here over 7 years and I was wondering if you're going to take a sabbatical.  Aren't you supposed to take a sabbatical every 7 years?"

    I said, "No, I've never taken a sabbatical for two reasons: (1) I had too much energy and thought I already knew too much when I was younger and serving churches that actually took care of their pastors with stuff like sabbaticals, PAM, and...; and (2) I realize that I could probably use one now but it ain't gonna happen 'cause, well, uh, you know..."

    He nodded knowingly.

    I started to think/pray about it.


    Within the first few hours of meeting with the really famous guy in Montana, he recalled talking to someone: "I really need a sabbatical.  Would you fund it?"

    The man was wealthy.

    The man knew he was blessed to bless.

    So ___ went on a sabbatical.

    I started to think/pray about it a little more.


    A few days after getting back, I got an e-mail from my predecessor who is also a dear friend: "Hi!  I have been enjoying your 'epistles.'  It sounds like you had an awesome experience in Montana and came back to a 'transformed' office."

    He got to the point: "The purpose of this note is in regards to your thoughts about sabbaticals...Since that was something I was never able to make happen,...I thought I would find out what you had in mind in terms of length of time and when...This would enable me to first pray about it with you and possibly offer a suggestion."

    O.K., Yahweh, hit me over the head with your providence!

    Jeremy, ___, and Bill.

    Even someone as thick as moi can figure it/Him out on this one.

    I really started to think/pray about it.


    Parenthetically, the other pastor in our family of faith has been around a year longer; so I told him a few days ago to come up with an idea and financial plan for his sabbatical.

    I'm going to present it to our session/elders/deacons asap.

    I'm going to ask 'em for $ and make a direct appeal to the congregation.

    I can't go on mine unless he's going first.


    As pour moi, I'm taking my new friend's/mentor's approach: "It cost the church nothing."

    I'm trusting that He used Jeremy, ___, and Bill to convince me; which means He will provide the means.

    Come to think of it, maybe you are...



    I'll be sending my idea and financial plan to Bill before next week is out.

    You won't read about that on this site; but if you'd like to know more about it or maybe..., I'll copy to you what I'll be sending to Bill if you ask.  You can forward, delete, or...






    I've got about 15 years left in Belvidere; unless, uh, my desk is cleaned out because I'm assassinated or something.

    Never know.

    I know I'm more excited about praying, preaching, and caring than ever...

    I know I'm more positively anticipatory about what He will...

    I know the idea for the sabbatical fits right into...

    I know His providence has just hit me over my stubborn Teutonically DNA'ed head to...

    I know it's all because of a deepening trust in Him, His, and...

    So I'm not worried at all about someone coughing up the...


    He always has a way of guiding us to what's best for us when we trust Him and His.


    I trust you know this is just a reminder for you as well as...



Blessings and Love!

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