NOTES ON THE MOVE

All four Greenbeans arrived safely in Central Texas in late July.  It took a long time to get all of the utilities up and running.  The last thing to get was the internet.  This was not about order of importance, mind you, but in order to get unlimited internet access and high speed connections we had to mount what looks like a large telescope from the movie Contact on top of our home.  I keep thinking Jodie Foster (or Stephen Hawking?) is going to show up and request time on the dial.

On Top Of My House
On Top Of My House

Alas, though, things are operational.  Before I launch into full blown blogging again (like telling you about the dreadful sermons I’ve sat through the past three weeks, oh dear) I thought I might share some adventures from the move itself.

We used professional movers for our move.  The crew in in Port Orchard was wonderful, kind and courteous.  Mrs. Greenbean met them on this end and reported the opposite.  The Central Texas crew was awful.  They broke a bookshelf, dropped several boxes and even kicked them around.  They also scuffed the wall and dropped the love seat from two floors up.  In case you are wondering, the company was Allied.  I highly recommend against ever using them.

However, everything made it.  All of our things arrived even if a few of the picture frames were shattered and one of our owl statues was destroyed.  It’s here.  We thought for a while that wasn’t the case because we couldn’t find the box with my diplomas, ordination certificate, and personal pictures.  We did indeed find them two days ago.  What relief.  Those types of things are really irreplaceable.  We hung them on the wall in the study.  Which, by the way, we had to buy four book shelves once we got here for all our books.  It was a real pain in the neck integrating my theological/ministry library with our home library.

Everything Made It, Finally.
Everything Made It, Finally.

I traveled with my two daughters and the idiot dog from Port Orchard to Central Texas.  We did it in three days spending the night in Twin Falls, Idaho and Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Thank you, Best Western, for your pet friendly hotels.  I am certain I would have roasted the dog on an open fire somewhere in the middle of Utah had we not gotten a decent night’s sleep.

Here is the playlist for my road trip.  I built it in advance to avoid the onslaught of One Direction coming from the backseat.  It is loaded with favorite bands and with road trip songs (like the first one), but all of the songs were chosen with care to reflect my mood or thoughts about leaving FBC Port Orchard and my new adventures.

  • Take It Easy–The Eagles
  • The Reflex–Duran Duran
  • Suspicious Minds–Elvis Presley
  • Rooftops–Erin Ivey
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine–Guns-N-Roses
  • Welcome to the Jungle-Guns-N-Roses
  • Peaches–The Presidents of the United States of America
  • Ramble On–Led Zeppelin
  • Black Dog–Led Zeppelin
  • Immigrant Song–Led Zeppelin
  • The Cave (Live)–Mumford and Sons
  • Taya Tan–Pink Martini
  • She Blinded Me With Science–Thomas Dolby
  • The Hairbrush Song–VeggieTales
  • Space Oddity–David Bowie
  • Rocket Man (I Think Its’ Going to be a Long Long Time)
  • On the Road Again–Willie Nelson
  • Shiny Happy People–R.E.M.
  • Belong–R.E.M.
  • Texarkana–R.E.M.
  • Gimme Shelter–The Rolling Stones
  • Gloria (Live, Remastered)–U2
  • “40” (Live, Remastered)–U2
  • 11 O’Clock Tick Tock–U2
  • La Grange–ZZ Top
  • Cheap Sunglasses–ZZ Top
  • Sultans of Swing–Dire Straits
  • Walk of Life–Dire Straits
  • Everybody Have Fun Tonight–Wang Chung
  • Werewolves of London–Warren Zevon
  • Sharp Dressed Man–ZZ Top
  • Another Way to Die (Quantum of Solace)–Jack White and Alicia Keys
  • Bad (Live)–U2

I have not yet had time to begin writing, which is the essential reason we moved.  I have, however, had a couple of really interesting ideas which I hope to flesh out soon.  I appreciate everyone’s prayers and thoughts, and am looking forward to what lies ahead.  The Lord has been very good to us, and for that I praise his Holy Name.

MAKING A MOVE

I have spent the better part of the weekend moving my things from the old modular into our new administrative center.  For the past decade all the staff offices have been in a rotting, dank, dim, and mold infested trailer behind the church’s main building.  Recently, though, my wonderful church has spent a lot of time and energy (not to mention cash) to build us a wonderful new complex of office suites.  I am so deeply appreciative of the effort they have put in and how nice it is.  This weekend I made the transition from my old study to the new one.  I’ll try and have some pics up soon!

As I moved I went through the sort of process people always go through whenever they move.  Some things have to go with me into the new room.  These objects are non-negotiable.  Other things, though, I’m simply leaving behind.  Its not that these things were bad and I do not intend to throw them away (maybe someone else can use them) but I simply will not need it in my new workspace.  There are still some other things, mostly books, which I need to bring home and keep at the church anymore.  I want them and maybe even need them; but I don’t need them there.  I need them somewhere else.  Finally—some of the junk I’ve accumulated in that office just needs to find its way to the landfill.  It is easy to throw some of the things away, but not all of it.  Yet I know it needs to be done.

Jesus promised us in John 14:1-4 that he is going to “prepare a place” for us.  It is an interesting metaphor for a man raised as a carpenter’s son to say.  He is building us new digs in heaven.  Sometimes we think of this as a mansion or maybe even luscious rooms inside of the great palace of heaven itself. 

What if; now I’m just hypothesizing and daydreaming a little, but what if the process of living life and then the eventual work of dying wasn’t a lot like me culling out the stuff from one room, my old study, into a new room.  If I think like that for a moment; then a little clarity about heaven occurs. 

  • The things we take to heaven; the only things we take to heaven are our relationships, our spiritual vitality and our positive memories.  These are the non-negotiables that make the move with us from earth to heaven. 

 

  • A great deal of the things I accumulate here on earth; though not evil, will be left behind in the move.  This includes my home, money, retirement, and dashing good looks.  With the exception of my good looks everything else will be left for someone else to pick through and see what they might want.

 

  • What of the things which I still want to keep but not take with me to the new room, things I need but put somewhere else?  These are the words I need to speak to other people—to store them inside their souls.  What kind of words?  Words of affirmation, encouragement, reconciliation, and hope that we need to make sure we say to certain people before it is too late.

 

  • Finally, there are some things that just need to be junked.  In a lot of ways this metaphor reflects the greatest part of living the Christian life.  I must always be working to cast aside and discard anger, bitterness, hate, grudges, jealousies, sin, bad memories, and wasted opportunities.  This process of holy sanctification is what lightens my load as I prepare to move into my eternal new digs.