As many of you have heard already, I will, after July 5, no longer work for Calvary Church. I'd first like to say that Calvary has been one of the most instrumental pieces in shaping my life to this point. For example, I had never played guitar in public until I did so at Calvary in 7th grade (13 years ago!) with plenty of help from Dave Milliken. My first true encounter with God's love and mercy happened on a youth trip. My first icy parking lot doughnuts were there. I can think of endless numbers of relationships, conversations, and teachings that will never and could never leave me wherever I am. Lucky for you, I will not list them all.
However, one of the more recent teachings that has changed my thought processes is the idea of a calling. Throughout my years in youth and Mosaic I've heard prayer requests for a calling many a time (Rom 8:28). As for me, I feel a strong draw to New York, but do not hear a sure calling to either St. Louis or New York. A study we went through in a college age class talked about a missionary that at one point decided to go to a foreign country and start an orphanage. He did just that, and did so without feeling a strong calling to do it. That orphanage has helped many a child, and no doubt through the workings of God. So, rather than being sure of a calling, I intend to live by this:
Romans 12:1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Throughout this terribly imperfect life, I move up and down in my feelings for and toward God, but am always perfectly certain of my salvation in Christ alone. So, in my move to NYC, I intend to do this:
-I hope to seek God's face
-I hope to serve and worship Him in everything
-I hope to identify true happiness with Him alone
-I hope to be perfectly satisfied in success or failure
I ask you to pray for this end if you will.
As for more concrete and physical plans, I hope to get settled and somewhat financially stable in 6 months to a year before I set plans in motion to be a teacher--more specifically a band director for junior or senior high levels. This involves getting a graduate degree in education--if possible, through a program that will pay for school in exchange for teaching in the city for two years.
If you are reading this, you have some sort of love or interest for me and my future. Please do pray for me. I could never fully express my appreciation to Calvary, friends, and family for the support that has been very freely given. I love you all so very much.