Which Way Do We Go?

It is amazing how time flies. There has been so much that has happened lately and I feel like I am in a bit of a whirlwind. However, it is not a bad thing because I feel like things are going very well. It was interesting that I ran across a recent blog post I made 11 years ago titled ”Someone Pinch Me” and I went back and read it. At the time I had been down here in Cincinnati for about a month and things were going great. It is strange to think that a little over a year ago I ”resigned” from my position at the church I was at. It is weird how things changed in 10 years.

But this post is not just about that. There have been so many things that have changed for me in the past year and I am excited about it. One thing is that my wife and I finally got a chance to hug our son after not being able to for 594 days. He is in the Navy and sometimes life in the military makes it hard to see loved ones. We are so proud of him and his decision to serve our country.

In the past year, I felt like I have grown so much in my relationship with Jesus. I have been doing more reading and also have discovered more about how God wired me through studying the Enneagram. It has helped me become a healthier version of myself. I have also been journaling more to help as I read the Bible. We have also found an awesome new church that we love and have been getting involved with more and more.

At the end of December, I got fairly desperate to get a new job, and a friend of mine who owns a soft-serve ice cream store named The Cone offered me a job temporarily while I looked for something more permanent. I ended up doing a lot of odd handyman/maintenance jobs. I had a few opportunities with churches and a camp that did not pan out during that time then when the pandemic hit things slowed to a halt, but we were able to make ends meet with what I was making at The Cone.

Once The Cone opened up for the season I got more and more hours helping with traffic control with their drive-thru. At one point they had 8 lanes of drive-thru traffic, which is insane but we managed it very well. They also had some corporate events with their mobile unit that I was able to help out with. It has been a really fun experience learning how to make ice cream cones, shave ice, along with how to completely pull apart and clean an ice cream machine. I have been enjoying it.

Plus, I honestly have been enjoying being able to attend the church of my choosing. You see most pastors don’t get to choose the church they want to attend because it is the church that chooses them. If you are a lead pastor then you have a bit more control over what the church will be like, but the rest of the pastoral staff has less control over that. For example, if you are in a church that is fairly contemporary and outreach focused and then you get a new lead pastor he can shift the church into a much more conservative, older church, inward-focused style. And as someone just on staff you can feel stuck with what you have because you often can not have those conversations with the lead pastor for fear of losing your job if they are not someone who takes correction well. So like I said, not being employed by the church has been refreshing for me. I still love the church and will always serve in one, because that is how God wired me.

So the other big thing that has happened recently is that The Cone bought a shave ice company called Hawaiian Five-OH. Part of what they do is that they have concession trailers and they also produce all-natural flavors for the shave ice. Before Keith bought the company he had asked me if I would stay working for him so that I could be the main person making the flavors along with trying to get some more customers for them. I have agreed to do it.

I have been learning how to make the flavors and have already fulfilled an order of 216 gallons of lemonade flavor for a company and some gallons of other flavors for stock. It has been fun! I have always loved problem-solving and enjoyed math and chemistry in school, so this is a lot like that. Plus, this past Labor Day weekend I ran the mobile shave ice unit for a soccer tournament. It was a lot of long hours but very fun as well.

So now not only am I an official ice cream taster for The Cone but I am also a mixologist for Hawaiian Five-OH as well. It has been a crazy ride this past year but I am loving where God has me for the moment. I am just following Jesus wherever He leads me.

The other cool thing is that SouthBrook has asked me to become the City Lights pastor for Monroe. We have been attending SouthBrook for over a year now and love it there! We first got involved with Players Box and I am excited to help connect people from the Monroe area together to help the big church feel small. This is a volunteer role so I will be doing on the side along with my job at The Cone & Hawaiian Five-OH. God is so good.

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