It’s been a long time since my last post and I think it was quite a while since the post before that… Regardless, writing hasn’t been a big focus for me, nor much of the theoretical truthfully for a bit. God has convicted me that I need to be application heavy and theory light.
Some musings however of late…
House flipping / mobile home park ownership ideas: I’d for a while felt that owning mobile home parks would be pretty cool with affordability becoming more and more of an issue with recession looming and the baby boomer wave crashing down on my generation to provide for… especially as their savings keeps getting clipped off by their own mistakes or the mistakes of big business / government nationally and globally. This is a bit of a wandering musing but it’s honest. What would it look like for God-fearing folk to re-enter the landlord world diligently? In that line of thinking we’ve lived in an RV for 15 months in recent years and are on our way to having our fourth child. I’ve flipped almost everything under the sun including: School bus, 1970’s Toyota Dolphin, Shuttle bus, cars, trucks, vans, etc… We’ve flipped houses on the East Coast and West Coast, and it’s been quite a ride. We’ve paid off a collective of over $350,000 with some of that being debt forgiveness – that’s humbling, but most of it being actual old school hard work… Fast forward, we now are landlords a bit with a vacation rental in Twain Harte, CA and a home sweet home I like to call our Valley Home not far from my office – 20 minutes out in a country town of under 300 people… Loving neighboring is truly a gem of a life, and it’s a simple path God has given everyone the opportunity to live… everyone! Whether you follow Jesus genuinely or are resisting the gift of getting to follow Him, we are all given this wonderful opportunity and even command to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. It’s been so special to simply and humbly embrace this responsibility and opportunity in a little town and God is rewarding this path being followed. I’m learning good and bad habits and patterns about landlording as I study the experiences of tenants who are my neighbors. You sure learn a lot about landlords from people’s tenants. In time I hope to provide long-term solutions to the big problem of affordable housing. Through my primary work/labors of love I get to coach people into owning their own place without charging them a dime for that coaching. That’s pretty cool.
Local church involvement: We have gotten to gently be involved in a recent merger between two younger and smaller churches in our county. It’s been so, so special to see this work out quite well by God’s grace. With that said, I’ve sought counsel from pastor friends who were with me through the years of having our house church ministry, and they have helped me to see that I’m not alone in struggling to commit since the closing of our house church. Pastors typically do struggle to re-engage and tie into local church involvement if they have either stepped down or in my case seen the LORD close the doors. Do I miss doing house church ministry? Of course. Could I see this being re-birthed? That would be so special and exciting. God will guide. In this season, with baby number four on the way, and so many things needing to land on their feet, this just isn’t the season we are in, having me lead a local church. So, we are beginning to visit local churches in our county and learning to discuss what is important in a local church and planning to tie-in as attendees for a solid six plus months. During this time we hope to hear from the LORD His long-term intentions for us regarding which church to be involved in long-term or whether to re-plant a house church labor of love in our little town where we are nested. God will guide.
Business isn’t as usual: Unfortunately I haven’t had a real predictable or normal experience as a business owner, but maybe I’m not alone in that. I’ve learned that business really takes the shape of the leadership it’s influenced by and so my growing and being shaped has influenced my business both for good and ill. I’m in no way a polished leader nor communicator as a business owner. I’m really quite evangelistic and passionate about sharing the love and truth of Jesus Christ wherever I am, and this has at times led to me not using discernment in the workplace. I’ve found God leading me more and more to share about Jesus with great discernment right when the Spirit prompts me to do so. I’m in no way great at this, but I’m growing to be better with this labor of love. All of that said, I’ve found myself alone now in my agency within the next month. I will be the only one working my agency for a season. I’m working to hire through a welfare to work program and start at the very entry level of hiring, learning to hire folks who genuinely want to work and learn and grow and genuinely appreciate the employment opportunity I’m offering them. There are basically no negative words I have for my prior employees. They have each found situations that are excellent for them and improvements, whether it’s moving out of the area of finding employment with higher wages and benefits. I’m learning to re-start in so many areas of life and one big one is being the professional God has called me to be for my community and clients. This blog isn’t broadly read, but if this ever got into the hands of every one of my clients, I would hope they are blessed ultimately to know that their provider is seeking to be broken and shaped and made new by the Maker Himself. I love and trust the Maker of my soul to shape and use me for His good pleasure.
Husbanding is so humbling: We’ve been married now for 17 years! Wow, as of this last Saturday my wife and I have been just that, husband and wife, for 17 years of marriage. Amazing. Bob Donohue led us in committing to one another to have and to hold from this day forth that many years ago. We sat in the gazebo in my parents’ yard on our anniversary with three kids around us, our loving little dog, and baby number four in Carrie’s womb and just soaked in the reality that we are still going at it, still laboring in love for one another, and so in awe of God’s amazing grace in our lives. We hope and pray and trust God to lead and bless others in His wisdom and ways to encourage this wonderful thing called the Covenant of Marriage… We see God’s handiwork in our lives over and over again just in this simple covenant, this simple and long-lasting labor of love to care for and bless and serve one another and to serve others TOGETHER, staring with our kids and neighbors.
Those are my musings for today.
P.S. I have a new number, and I figure if you read to here, I’d love for you to give me a call… it’s on a flip phone… 209-703-0357. Much love in Christ!