I'm supposed to hear from at least one of the publishers this week, so I am anxiously awaiting that call. Other than that, Sarah and I have been house sitting in Spring Lake for the last two weeks and we'll be here for two and a half more weeks, so that has been a bit of an adjustment. It's nice to have Internet in the house and I don't mind having cable on a 42 inch plasma TV either, but I miss our house. I love being in Grand Haven and I really enjoy our house, it just feels like I am home when I am... well home. But this is one of the ways we can make a living and we really enjoy the couple we are serving so they can vacation in Florida for a month.
I am now starting my third week as a manager at Panera, and it's been going pretty good so far. The five o'clock openings are a bit rough, not so much getting there, but it's when I get done with my shift, I'm completely tanked. I've enjoyed the leadership that I have been given and I have enjoyed coaching the associates to make Panera the best bakery-cafe we can be.
Other than that, I've been studying for my next speaking time at Moto, which is next Wednesday. I am teaching on serving and so I have really been diving into the Bible and having a blast taking in how the early church got going. I'm planning on spending a chunk of time talking about serving being about suffering with and suffering for other people. The way I see Jesus and His disciples serving, it has everything to do with a relational connection, and not so much about random acts of kindness (not that there's anything wrong with them). They were more about the person or people, rather than the act of serving. Building a relationship helps us see past the outward need and drives us deeper into the relational need, and learning to connect with the person you are serving. It's learning to suffer with and at times suffer for people, that seems to me the way Jesus and His disciples we're serving. I've been spending quite a bit of time studying Joseph, better known as Barnabas, which was the nickname given to him by the apostles. The name Barnabas means, "son of encouragement," and it was well earned by the way that he supported and served those around him. Barnabas, who appears throughout the beginning of the early church, had a huge role in spreading the gospel. He was an incredible servant who was the bridging person in getting Paul accepted in with the other apostles, and Barnabas was at the church in Antioch where he, "encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts." This is where followers of "the way" were first called "Christians," and Barnabas played a very important role in starting this early church. Luke says of him, "He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith." We are first introduced to him in the book of Acts, when he sells some of his real estate so the money can be given to the apostles to divide up for those in need. He was a true servant, and he was known for serving from his heart, which is where we'll be going within the teaching. I love it, and it has been so moving, inspiring, and extremely challenging to look into the life of Barnabas and the early church. I can't wait to share it with the Moto nation and I'm sure anyone else that stands in front of me between now and then (I tend to get overly excited and I can't stop talking about what I'm studying). That's the latest snapshot from Wally's world.
Grace & Peace