May 7, 2013

If you attend Bowman, this month’s newsletter should arrive today. Here is my contribution:

Dear Ones,

Many of you have followed our home ownership ordeal. It bothered me that Debbie and I are 10 to 15 years from retirement (if things continue as they are) and we have made no plans for a place to live after retirement. We don’t have a lot of money to invest partially because the IRS takes a huge chunk for Social Security. 15.3% off the top of what I earn, including the value of the parsonage, goes to Social Security. The bottom line is that it seemed to me that the wisest thing we could do was to buy a home. We would have a place to live when the dreaded day of retirement arrived and we would leave our children some growing equity. The elders have graciously allowed us to rent the parsonage and then bump our income by the amount of the rental income minus the property taxes.

When our offer on the house was accepted I emailed the elders letting them know. Scott Willems emailed back, “Wow!  Scary!!!  Sure you know what you’re in for?  Home ownership ain’t for sissies.” I responded, “I’m sure I don’t have a clue but I’m confident my brothers will help.” Both comments turned out to be very true.

I was attracted to the home we bought because it had a guest house. We thought one day after the guest house had been fixed up Deb’s mother could live there. It made sense to have her live right next to us. We could be at her side at a moment’s notice. It might have made sense, but as you know, things didn’t develop according to our plans.

Twenty-five days after we purchased the house, I walked in and heard water running; I knew that I hadn’t left anything on. Sure enough there was water running out of a light fixture in the hall ceiling. Needless to say, I was very surprised. Guess who came over and fixed the leak in the attic? That’s right, Brother Scott.

On the twenty-sixth day after we purchased the house tragically Margaret went home to be with the Lord. With her passing, one of our reasons for purchasing this particular home went away. I’m sure down the road owning a guest house will be a good thing. Right now, it seems like a swing and a miss (to use a baseball metaphor).

Our big moving day was several weeks ago. Brain lent us his trailer and JohnMark his brawn. After an exhausting day we were for the most part living at 17005 Bowman. We woke the next morning still facing several more weeks of hard work finishing the move and getting the parsonage ready for a renter but grateful. One problem: the refrigerator for some reason didn’t live through the move. It was dead on arrival. Time to buy a new one whether we wanted to or not.

After we’d been in a week or so we noticed that our floor seemed to be transitioning just a bit. I talked to the guy who put our floor in and he seemed surprised. I decided to remove the bottom panel from the dishwasher just to see if something was going on. Sure enough, the dishwasher, which we never ran until we moved in, was leaking water. Another unanticipated, unbudgeted expense. Our lives are filled with unanticipated, unbudgeted expenses.

There are upsides to the leak. We found out about it on day when we had more emotional resources to deal with it. A few days earlier would have been very traumatic. Also, if it had gone undetected for a long time it could have led to a serious repair.

I realize that many of you have gone through, or are going through, far more difficult things. I can’t in anyway complain about what we’re experiencing. We are at the shallow end of the pool. However, I do hope this is the end of the line of our misfortune for a time. Here is our (yours and mine) truth: God is caring for us through all of this. God is always calling us (you and me) to trust him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” We trust him enough to obey when the world models something else; we trust him enough to rejoice when our circumstances are saying something else.  We trust no matter what happens.


Pastor Mark


One Response to “Newsletter”

  1. Heidi Says:

    Hey, that’s poelufrw. Thanks for the news.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: