Friday, January 05, 2007

I have conveyed before that I am a person of routine. Today, upon arriving at the office to write, I broke my usual ritual, and opened up my Awe Star e-mail before writing. I usually do not do this, as I get easily distracted, and can struggle to regain focus.

This morning, my lone e-mail was from family.

I remember key points in my life where it seemed the entire foundation I stood upon had crumbled. I could no longer see a vision for where things were headed. I grew weary and frustrated.

The crumbling truly had more to do with peripheral issues than true foundation. Changes at work, changes at church or home, loss of loved ones, co-workers important to my own routines, and etc. I admit when these things happen, it becomes difficult for me to function. Those who know me have seen this cycle.

Today is one of my co-workers last day on the job. She is moving...to Africa to serve the Lord. It does not get much more incredible than that!

However, selfishly, I find I am a bit too focused on what this will mean for me. This young lady does so much for this office. She is self-motivated, and does so much without my direction or input. I am very proud of her work ethic. The office (and me) will suffer for a time with her loss.

It takes time to get new people up to speed. It takes investment to make this happen. They will bring new gifts to the position, but other unanticipated gaps will form. This is part of the "growing" process I am not particularly fond of.

In the past, during these crucial points, I have often found that I needed to fill those gaps in ways I did not expect. In one case, it came down to knowing I was going to have to work for a new manager, or become the new manager.

I found that though I felt ill-equipped for the job, the Lord was more interested in stretching me through my own administration, than allowing me to be stretched by someone...someone I did not even know...someone who may not be thrilled with what I brought to the table. Those kind of changes are difficult to anticipate, and are usually not as bad as my mind makes them in advance of their onset.

I opted to become manager (I had already been asked to take the job and had initially declined). The growth I experienced over the next year or two was significant. It was not the vision or direction I wanted for my own life, but became crucial to the steps the Lord was leading me through.

One thing for sure, it gave me a platform for ministry that I did not expect (I was working in a secular environment at the time).

Our office has had two new people start this week. Neither is the replacement for the girl leaving. The times of change are seldom comfortable, but usually are for the best. Down the road, things usually work out better than you think they might.

In my case, according to my wife (and she is right more than I am), I am too pessimistic about how things will proceed. What ensues is generally far better than what I have feared.

I don't like being this way. Through these experiences, I have improved, but I have to keep growing.

One of the key lessons that has come my way repeatedly (are you getting it yet, brent?) is that I must rely upon the Lord to walk with me through these times. He has purpose in every circumstance. His purposes are always above my vision. My line of sight needs to ascend.

When I look forward, I quickly look downward...one foot in front of the other. I cannot truly see where things are headed. When I look to Him, I do not always need to see what is coming, because He is all I need to walk through the time of change.

His grace is sufficient even here!

He has prepared me in ways I have not seen until the unexpected unveiling. At those times, my obedience glorifies Him regardless of how well I accomplished the task, in my own mind.

Always strive for obedience to His call, regardless of personal desires.

Truly, where He leads, he equips, and He receives the glory. You gain valuable experience which will prepare you for the next step of His plan.

brent


My nephew Derek leaves for 7 months of service to our Lord in Peru, today.

My good friend (and co-worker) Rachel, leaves us today, to begin her journey to Africa. Please pray for these missionaries, and others you know.

8 Comments:

At 10:56 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

Brent, thank you for your message.

Rachel - I am so challenged by your obedience and I will be praying for you as you serve the Lord by being His hands and feet in Africa. I'm so honored that I had the opportunity to meet you and get to know you just a little bit.

Derek - ditto (only in Peru)! You are an awesome brother-in-Christ and my prayers will follow you too. Really.

Brad

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Derek has left for Peru...sigh...an emotional event for his mom. I mentioned to my husband, Dan, last night that I wondered if I would cry at the airport. I decided "no," since I'd already had a cry or two. Alas! Tears of good-bye at the airport. But Derek knows that we are totally supportive of his mission, and that we love him dearly and are proud of him...AND that we'll be visiting him in Peru this spring!

Thanks for all your prayers. We're anxiously awaiting updates from him, which may not come very often, since most of his time will be spent in the "distant Andes Mountains," as his missionary "boss" has put it. Some places will have electricity, and some will not. (Not much internet or cell phone access in those areas, huh?)

Again, thanks for your prayers.

Love in Christ,
Jolene Tucker

(The organization he is working with has a website at reapsouth.com)

 
At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dad--

your two long lost adopted daughters are together! we are sitting on Sam Beer's couch and cant wait to see you tomorrow! Mary just grasp her heart she is so excited. and now she's laughing very dramatically as she so often does! HA!

anyway. we really do love you alot. and we really cant wait for tomorrow.

SEE YOU SOON!

praying always..
~kristin

 
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At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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The other night, we thought Daddy might turn us over on his knee like he did when we were younger. We were in the bathroom, standing side by side. I looked over and up at my sister; I hated the fact that she was taller than me. She stands five foot seven inches tall, and I a mere five foot even. I think I also resented the fact that she was older than me. We're two years apart, she's 21 and I'm 19. We both have red hair, blue eyes, and freckles, some people have mistaken us for twins, but we're a year apart. Our bodies are different, she doesn't have much in the way of boobs, 36A, is all her cup size is, and I tease her about it all the time. Me, my boobs are a 36D. She doesn't have much in the way of hips either, very narrow she is, and I tell her she looks like a boy, which pisses her off. I got the better body entirely, I have a very shapely figure, and no one could ever mistake me for a boy. I was telling her that she needed to change her outfit, or buy clothes that fit her better. All her clothes drape o
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My sister's first reaction is to get defensive and I let her go first.
"Dad, she started it!"
I looked up at Daddy sheepishly.
"No I didn't Daddy. I was just being honest. I can't help it if she can't stand to hear some criticism."
Daddy looked down at me. He knew what I was doing, but he always sided with me.
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She turned and gave me a mean look and I stuck my tongue out at her.
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I put my eyes down and nodded my head.
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My sister humphed my way and I moved past her. I stood on my tiptoes and kissed Daddy's cheek. "Sorry to make you angry Daddy."
He patted me on the head and smiled down.
"It's okay Darling. I just wish you two girls would get along."
"I'll try real hard Daddy."
I gave him another kiss, and as I got back behind him I stuck my tongue out at my sister again.
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The bickering continued of course, until there was a break when Eliza was out with her boyfriend. I was in my room, reading and listen to music, actually enjoying the fact that she wasn't at home. I really hated fighting with her, but I couldn't ever stop myself from doing it. I heard the front door close and Eliza run up the stairs. I also heard Daddy yelling.
"Eliza, is everything alright?"
"Fine, Daddy, everything's fine!"
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I fought with my sister a lot but I felt protective over her as well.
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