Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed!

Okay, so those who know what I look like might think this would be better titled "The Red-Headed Woodpecker Has Landed." But eagles are much cooler than red-headed woodpeckers, and although my head might be as hard as a woodpecker's, I lay claim to the coolness of the eagle, at least for this post.

I haven't updated this in far too long -- my apologies for that. Maybe I'll fill in some backstory in future posts, if I can find the time to keep this up.

We did indeed make it to Burgaw, NC, where I am now the assistant pastor of Bible Baptist Church, working under Carl Gibbs. After many exciting adventures involved in moving to a new state and doing things in the wrong order for all the people bound by red tape, we ended up renting a decent little house that as of today has a fence around the back yard for the benefit of our extremely hairy collie dog. I work for a local weekly newspaper, The Pender Post, with the official job title of "staff writer." That means I get to write all kinds of things and copy edit and take pictures, and generally make a nuisance of myself all over the county. Mostly loads of fun.

The pressure/stress of working under the deadlines of the newspaper world (and working with the high-strung people who wind up in the news business) actually don't bother me much. Years of writing research papers at the last minute, and months of writing 90 minute flash challenges at Liberty Hall were remarkably good preparation for a lot of what goes into newspaper writing. And yes, that research paper writing was often done at awful hours of the night (I mean morning), just like the paper has me doing pretty much once a week.

We love the new church. There are people there who are a blessing to us, week in and week out. They have made us feel right at home, immediately. I'm sure you'll learn about more of the church people as time goes on, because I can hardly help talking about them sometimes.

Things are going pretty well at Bible Baptist. They finished a new building a few years ago. The members are active, and we operate a bus ministry, jail ministry, prison ministry, and radio ministry. We see people saved almost every week, it seems, and often several in a week. New families have been coming, and a few have joined. We should have another baptismal service next Sunday, Lord-willing.

I teach the adult Sunday School (I love teaching) and preach on Sunday nights. (Okay, so I'm having a lot of fun with that, too.) I also direct the choir and sing with a couple of quartets, along with doing random solos and whatnot. My wife, daughter, and I usually go on bus visitation, and of course I go on regular visitation. Between this and the paper, I keep pretty busy. If I had a regret (and I really don't think I do), it would be that I can't work with the church full-time (as much as I enjoy some of the newspaper work -- I mean, they even pay me to go to football games, take pictures, and tell people about it!)

I try to get out to wrestling practice at a local high school that just started a wrestling program twice a week, but I haven't been able to be as consistent with that as I would like. When you eat as much fried chicken and drink as much sweet tea as we get down here, it takes a lot to stay in any shape but round.

I'm going to try to update this more often, now that I've taken the plunge. No promises, of course, but I'm planning to try sneaking updates in here regularly. And hopefully, I can get you caught up a bit on what's been going on for the last few months.


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