I've been having the time of my life, constantly down here. It never ends but I'm a fan of fully immersing myself right where I am and so that's what I seek to do. I do not like to get distracted with a lot of outside stuff.
As you know, I've been working at this furniture gallery called Oak Factory for almost two years now. God has really blessed me at this job through the difficult and also financially. I have enjoyed mostly delivering furniture and also working in the store on furniture assembly, repair (which I'm quite bad at), and other warehouse work. It's neat too because I knew the owners of Oak Factory before I knew of the store itself from my church. They're a wonderful family (pretty well-known throughout central KY for their commercials which feature their two kids) who have had this store and grown it for almost 20 years now. They've "adopted" me as well and so I spend a fair amount of time with them outside of work on occasion. The kids are always wanting me to spend the night and I always house-sit for them when they go out of town, particularly for three weeks last year when they went to Europe. It's a really nice getaway for me as they live on a lake and golf course which are gorgeous! I enjoy a lot of time alone with the LORD out there and they have a beautiful three mile loop that is my favorite place to run. They have been a huge blessing. The job has not been without its challenges though. The warehouse is a totally different kind of atmosphere and working in it with difficult people at times has stretched me to the limit some days. It's taken 1.5 years, but I'm finally beginning to feel comfortable there. The guys understand me now and know how to get along with me. A real milestone: some of them will actually receive my hugs now! I have learned a lot about operating there and being a testimony there. I sure cannot shove anything down anybody's throat. I have to spend a lot of time listening and understanding instead of "preaching." I have had to have a lot of patience. It's perfect for me right now though. I know that God is ruining my witness for "me" and raising up a witness which brings Him glory in that warehouse! I've enjoyed tremendous favor in the bad economy when cut-backs were made and I barely missed being laid-off. I stand amazed. Of course, Dad and I were able to take this trip out west which we had talked about for 2 years! It was about time and it was a total blast. I look forward to more future opportunities like that.
I have been active in the mentoring of teenagers and in my social life. The reason that I include the two together is because they connect so much. Spending time with people and being open to whatever God wants to do is what I do for fun. It's different people almost every week, some in formal contexts and others in informal contexts. We've dealt with all sorts of real life issues, but all the same, it's refreshing. One of the more formal groups is a small group of high school guys who meet at a friend's house. I help lead this group and it's been a huge challenge and blessing to all of us. I've built some great relationships and enjoyed these guys immensely! I have even made it a habit to eat lunch with them at school once a week on my day off from work. Other than that, I spend some time with needy people who need friends and need empowering. My favorite though is real fellowship with other Christians. That's where a lot of love and strength flows. Particularly, I continue to enjoy my fellowship with the 2 friends I've been meeting and praying with for four years now: Derek and Anna. My time since the streets in 2008 has been primarily focused on growing in the LORD with them corporately and individually, doing life together and casting vision. They were the primary thing that God told me to focus on when I left the streets and that continues. We continue to learn and grow a lot together. The LORD speaks so much to us and reveals so much to us, but at this point mostly for our own benefit and perseverance, because what we are to do with it eludes us at this point. We have some concrete ideas, but timing is everything in this process. I'm almost certain that future ministry will come forth from this "spiritual covenant" we're in, but until then, we keep fellowshipping, praying and maturing in our spirits.
I continue to follow International House of Prayer from a distance (and even got to take my parents there in Kansas City back in October) and I'm involved in a local house of prayer from time-to-time called Cornerstone International House of Prayer. There is no greater place to be than the place of prayer. The LORD always brings such incredible dynamics into that place. I need to spend more time there and it's so hard because of my schedule. You can pray for me to have the grace to step into that place of prayer more! God has been gracing me with more scripture-memorization-a powerful tool in His hand and I have enjoyed a lot of reading lately as well-stuff pertaining to the books of Daniel and Revelation, also the book of Zechariah. I've been studying and pondering words important to future calling and reading books pertaining to that. Ha-I've been enjoying David Copperfield by Charles Dickens too (have to have the occasional novel). It's fun. Time moves much too quick, but at least I'm having fun.
It's a full life! I'm having the time of my life! I pray that I can stay humble, teachable and in love with the LORD. I've found such satisfaction especially in the mentoring of teens and in the time with God. I'm trying to think if there is anything else and I cannot. Updates have not been my forte in a couple of years, but I suppose I'm long overdue for one! Let me know if you have any questions; I'd be glad to tell you more, but I just covered it broadly here.