When our time here in Jerusalem is over and I am forced to end my retirement and re-enter the work force we have endless possibilities. We can move anywhere and do almost anything. As of right now, I do feel that it is the time in my life where I want to go somewhere long enough for my kids to make friends and make it through school. I also am at the point where I will probably work as a senior/lead pastor for the next phase of life. (This or possibly be a driver for UPS)! Obviously I want to go where God leads us and all of this can be changed by things I can not anticipate so please do not hold me to the following conclusions.
I have found inspiration from the presidential primary season in America in helping me to decide where exactly I would like to work when returning to the country. I have decided to do my own "primary" that will work in the opposite direction of states choosing a candidate. In this, it will be the candidate choosing the states. The best way to do this is to work through a process of elimination so at the risk of offending readers from all over (as if there are readers from all over) here are the first states to be eliminated:
All states east of California and south of I-80.
Arizona, New Mexico, Alabama, and Louisiana are too hot.
I was born in Georgia but don't drink Iced Tea.
Florida is a better place to visit than to live.
Mississippi is out because I do not speak the language.
The Texas state sign says, "Proud home of George W. Bush".
Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and the Carolina won't work because I cannot even name one country music song.
I also have eliminated Kansas, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, the Dakotas, and Iowa on principle.
I eliminated most of the East Coast because I do not dress "preppy" enough to live there.
In fact, lets be honest most of the country is eliminated because I just wont fit in. Some of the New England states are still in but drastically trailing in the polls. St. Louis, Chicago, parts of the upper Mid-west, and Denver have some appeal but probably won't make the cut because they are just too cold. So it is the West Coast that leads in the polls but that only makes sense because I am from the West Coast and because after living for a year in Israel where people are uptight, I think I need to return to the land of "casualness".
So in the next few months I will use this site to include all of you in an open dialogue in shaping some ideas for church. The important thing for me is to be a part of a gathering of people who are interested in following the God of the Bible and not one that has been confined by the limits of often faulty theology and manipulated by political motivation. I am interested in joining with the churches who are waking up to the reality that the American church has lost touch with the world in which it lives and it has lost the revolutionary power that the universal Church had in its origins.
Part one of "shaping of the church" will come later this week so please join in the process.
By the way, this is my disclaimer to God. If you really want my family to move to Texas we are willing. Just remember that we already are spending a year in a place like Texas where 1) we are not fluent in the language, 2) where everyone man and woman carries a gun, 3) where they like to build big fences to keep people out, 4) where we are the minority religion, and 5) where the people would be willing and eager to fight any country up for the challenge.