March19, 2012, benedict newsletter and tims musings

Published Date Author: , March 20th, 2012

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Monday, March19, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

Life is always so interesting, isnt it?

Apparently I have not had a brush with death in awhile, and someone thought it was time for me to have another one. There is nothing like it to wake you up and rattle your cage a bit. But more on that in a minute.

1. Family 2. Ministry 3. A brush with death 4. Musings

1. Family life – The family is well, for the most part. Karen and I are still in separate living locations, and not liking it. I miss my best friend! I miss my family! And they miss me. We have to have a plan of action in place by the end of April because our leases both run out in May. God will open something, I am content in knowing. But we are still praying about it too, playing with options, and keeping our eyes open.

As for housing, there is the option to buy the property where I am at in May, if I can come up with about $10k down, or at least that was the property owners eventual counter offer, after he rejected our initial offer back in January. We have not decided on the specifics of our counter counteroffer, but we are hopeful that we can come to some sort of compromise.

There is also the option to maybe buy the condo where Karen is at, just so we eventually have true guest space up here where we can house people like pastors and missionaries that need a break or some quiet prayer time or whatever. That has been a dream of ours for a long time. It is a morph of our retreat center dream, and we will see what happens.

The issues in Lowman with unhappy neighbors is going to a judges trial in May, if you can believe it. It just escapes me the depth of some peoples vindictiveness (or ????). I mean, what kind of life is it, when you are so consumed with getting even with someone that you cannot let an offence go, whether real or imagined? Our previous landlords are now involved and trying to get the prosecutors office to drop the case, the neighbors to back down, and the whole thing to just go away, for which I am grateful. They have already rented the house to someone else too, and there is absolutely no point in the trial going forward. I am not particularly angry so much about it anymore, but I am amazed, and feeling sadness and pity for the people involved. They need to know my Jesus and be released from their self-imposed prison of anger and revenge so they can have a real life. I mean, the legacy they are leaving, of angry, messy situations, is certainly not one I want to leave or be known for. And I have tried to patch things with them, because I do not want them to remember me that way either.

Work has been stable (though the paychecks have not), and we are slowly digging out of the hole. That is not to say we are there yet, and there was a disconnect notice on my electricity for a big bill that we cannot pay yet, but we are making progress. I have had steady web development work since January, and we are paying off debts incurred in Lowman when I had so little work available. Karen and I are attending Dave Ramseys Financial Peace University to learn better ways to manage our money. And we have had sporadic work at Project Patch, but either feast or famine it seems. And Karens job as the Childrens Librarian in Garden Valley has been very stable. Like this week, shes working like 12 days straight between the two jobs, and she is tired, but she is a trooper. I could not ask for a better wife. I am learning the value of praying daily for my spouse.

And I am also sick with one of the worst colds I ever remember having. My nose is running, my eyes are running, my sinuses hurt, I am sneezing, I am coughing, my muscles ache, my ears are plugged, I have a cold sore going on, and you get the picture. And it has been going on like this for nearly a week now.

2. Ministry – Being sick is frustrating because I am leading youth group at the Garden Valley Calvary Chapel for several weeks. There is prolly 25 on average, middle school, junior high, and high school kids that come every Saturday night to Joes pizza night at the church, where Joe, a former pizza maker, has been doing youth group for quite a while. But he is out of town for two weeks, and the pastor asked if I would fill in, since I have been going and helping out there for a month or two now. I am still struggling to learn all their names, but making progress.

Garden Valley Radio Station is on hold due both to my work load, and frontier (our Internet Service Provider) having broken and crappy service. We cannot stably stream shows, nor upload simple music files to our server. I have spent a lot of hours on the phone with them, and I am just about to the point of going down and trying to get a small business loan to launch a competitor to frontier up here, it is that bad.

I also considered running for state office this time around in the upcoming elections, but between our housing uncertainty, everything else going on, and the court case in Lowman, I figured I needed to wait till the next time around.

The Garden Valley School Board stuff is going well. The school is calmer and more stable than it has been in awhile, and we are moving forward as a district in some very cool ways.

I have also started doing xbox nights again, planning for at least once a month, where me and a couple of local men play xbox with some of the local high schoolers, hoping to turn it into a ministry of sorts for some of the local high school boys in particular. We had the first two weeks ago, and it was a lot of fun with the boys that showed up. The high school boys and young men of our communities need connection, friendship, and mentoring in order to be truly successful and productive in todays society. That truth has been impressed on me more and more lately, that our male youth, by and large, have no direction, little mentoring, and no real right-of-passage to become or feel like a man in todays world, other than getting smashed on their 21st birthday and scoring on their first girl. Tell me what is wrong with this picture?

We are also enjoying working at Project Patch. We have had kids personally thank us for our involvement there. We feel like we belong there. That makes it worthwhile, much more so than simply the paycheck.

3. And the brush with death. – I was driving along highway 55 at about 50mph on Tuesday last week, Vanya was with me, and I see something up ahead of me makes this BIG splash in the river off to my left. So I immediately start looking around to see what could have made it, because it just plain struck me as weird. And there, coming down off the hill to my right (river on my left across the road), were a bunch of rocks coming down the hill, FAST. Some of them were pretty good size, and we were on collision course. It instantly became a game of dodge rock. Do I speed up or slow down? Or both, and when? I cannot swerve either (river on left, mountain on right).

One rock in particular was about a foot and half in diameter, the perfect size to fit through my windshield, or passenger window. From previous experience moving fallen rocks that size out of the road for people, I know that rocks like that always weigh several hundred pounds or more. Thus I knew I would not survive an encounter with it unscathed, so I ignored the rest of them, and slammed on my brakes, skidding hard for a split second, in order to miss being hit. No such luck. The rock hit the edge of the road on my right, bounced, came up over the car, and crashed into my hood not three feet in front of me (drivers side impact), and bounced again, clipping the edge of the windshield edge frame post and flying past my driver door window just inches away from my face, literally. We are talking a major impact here (I dealt with some whiplash for several days afterwards). But it missed coming through my driver side windshield at neck/head height by mere inches, at 50mph. At 50 mph, that translates into less than a hundredth of a second (at 50mph, you travel about 73feet per second). If I had not braked so hard, I am quite certain it would have come through either the windshield or the passenger window, and either way instantly killed us both.

You simply cannot tell me there is not a God that knows my name. And apparently, He is not ready for me to come home yet. But golly I am thankful for the angels that apparently ride shotgun with me and my family. And to God for assigning them to us.

But the poor car. The impact tweaked things bad enough that the driver door does not open anymore, nor does the hood. I will have to take a prybar and sledge hammer to get them loose again. And the gouge in the hood is pretty impressive in its own right. And the impact and me slamming hard on the brakes actually broke one of the rear shocks/struts (or maybe I hit a second rock, or got hit, in the event???- I could not say), and that makes me a little nervous too. We only have liability insurance, so we cannot afford the body work. So this car now also bears its own mountain scars.

And I am going to try to go get my neck and back x-rayed this week, just to make sure I have not hurt myself any worse (from the whiplash).

4. Tims musings. – How many brushes with death have I had now? In all reality, I lost count a long time ago. But it has always been a good reality check for me and the people around me.

The sermon in church yesterday was good too, all about appropriate responses to so called trials and tribulations, and it came out of Hebrews chapter 12. Essentially our response should boil down to a three step response. 1. Rebuke the enemy (because he might be tormenting you on purpose, or trying to block you), repent of any sin (because sin tends to bring on Gods discipline as well as its own consequenses), and 3. Rejoice, because testing and trials purifies and deepens character…

So I am thinking about that alot, in regards to many of our own recent problems…

I just know that as long as I am doing what God wants me to, and my life is producing more positive results than my death will, I will not go home, no matter how hard I try *chuckle*. There is a certain freedom in knowing and accepting that.

That leaves us with just one burning question. What is the legacy of your own life? Are you doing anything more than just breathing air and waiting to die too?


Tim, Karen, and the kids.


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