New Seasons

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1, N.K.J.V.)

It’s been quite a while since I provided any kind of update as to what’s going on with me and my family. So, I thought I’d use this post to do that. I’m calling the post “New Seasons” because our little family has certainly moved into some new seasons in recent days.

First, I am now the pastor of Roan Mountain Baptist Church in Bakersville, NC. My final Sunday at Oak Grove Baptist in Nebo, NC was the last Sunday in June, and my first Sunday at Roan Mountain Baptist was the first Sunday in July. The drive to church is a lot shorter, 15 minutes as compared to the 40 minutes I was doing to Oak Grove. Roan Mountain is also the largest church, in regards to not only the size of the building but also the number of people, that I have ever had the privilege to pastor. It’s the oldest church in Mitchell county, having been established in 1813. That’s pre-Civil War.

Second, Malcolm Woody and I have started doing the “Christian Verses” podcast again. For those of you who don’t know what a podcast is, it’s just Malcolm and I having a conversation about a chosen subject. Each subject comes out of a singular focal verse — hence the title “Christian Verses” — that Malcolm reads to get the conversation started. Some of you might recall that we did about 25 of these podcasts last year and then went on a long hiatus. We weren’t sure we would ever pick back up with the ministry, but that’s the direction in which the Lord has recently burdened us. The only difference this time around is the fact that we are going to keep each podcast to around 10 minutes in length. (Some of our earlier ones clocked in at upwards of 30 minutes.) If you are interested in listening to the podcasts, you can access them through this blog site. Just click on the “Categories” section and then click on the heading “Christian Verses” podcast. There you will find the links to all of them.

Third, my wife Tonya has begun another year of teaching math at Bowman Middle School in Bakersville, NC. These days she’s teaching 7th graders. Since this is either her 28th or 29th year at the school (we’ve been debating the exact number), it’s hard to call it a new season for her. I guess you could say that her new season is being the pastor’s wife at Roan Mountain Baptist Church. Any new church always brings different opportunities and challenges for not only the pastor but also his wife.

Fourth, Ryan, our oldest, has been hired as the Physical Education teacher at Harris Middle School in Spruce Pine, NC. He graduated from Johnson University (Knoxville, Tenn.) this past May with a B.S. degree in Physical Education (K-12) and spent the summer working at The Bark House, a tree-bark processing place in Spruce Pine. He was scheduled to return to Johnson this fall and do the five months of student teaching required to earn his state teaching license in Tennessee, but the job came open at Harris Middle and he was fortunate enough to get it. So now he’s working full time, helping coach the middle school football team, and working toward earning his bus driver’s license. As for his teacher’s license, he’s going to start in East Carolina University’s residency program this coming spring and earn his license that way. That program takes about a year to complete and requires six online classes, but it will get him officially licensed to teach in North Carolina. Also, he gets to keep working his new job without missing a beat.

Fifth, Royce, our youngest, has begun his freshman year at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, NC. His plan is to get all of his General Education courses completed at Mayland and then transfer to a four-year school to finish out his Bachelor’s degree. Right now he’s working on the assumption that he will ultimately major in Criminal Justice, but I wouldn’t call that written in stone yet. He also isn’t sure which four-year school he will enroll in when he’s through at Mayland, but there’s no rush on these decisions. Oh, and he also just recently started working as a bagger/cashier at the Ingles Supermarket less than a mile from our house. You might say that he’s entering into not one but two new seasons.

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. (That’s enough anyway, right?) Please accept my personal thanks for reading this blog, and I trust the site is a blessing and a help to you. If our family ever comes to your mind, prayers are always appreciated. I’m convinced that we are currently where we are supposed to be and doing what we are supposed to be doing, but it takes constant discernment and obedience to stay in God’s will. After all, life keeps coming, doesn’t it? And it keeps changing, too. For our family, the past couple of months have brought a lot of those changes, but each change has been God’s way of opening a door to a good place. Now it’s up to us to make the most of the opportunities that He has given us.

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