The season of the ending of what I now call Life 1.0 began around 2007 with the loss of my parents and ended this past year with the ending of a 30 year marriage, the selling of the home I built back in my 20s to raise family in, the giving away of my cherished dog Mia and the ending of my tenure as the pastor of the church I started 20 years ago, Harvest. After 33 years of living in Pensacola, I relocated to Norman, Oklahoma to support my new wife, Robin, as she seeks to finish her doctorate here at the University of Oklahoma.
There are no words to describe how intensely and incredibly painful and difficult this season of closure has been. I can somewhat understand the apostle Paul when he says that he "suffered the loss of all things…" When I sold the house back in late August, 23 years of life was reduced down to a 10 x 10 storage unit. I came to Oklahoma to begin Life 2.0 with whatever I could fit in the back seat and trunk of our Honda Accord, as I let go of my beloved Lexus as well before leaving Pensacola to pair down to the bare essentials of what I really needed.
Let me say, I have learned that there is not much that one really NEEDS. It has been very freeing in some ways to have very little in the way of material possessions as I enter Life 2.0. For the first time I am actually living out the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace principles as Robin and I have had to budget down to where every penny truly is accounted for. And again, it is much more freeing than I ever imagined and I find myself much more content than I have ever been. I understand in a new way what the apostle Paul meant when he said, "I have learned to live with plenty and I have learned to live with little. I have learned the secret of contentment."
I can echo that now.
Many of you have asked what our plans for the future are. If we've learned anything, we have definitely learned to hold loosely to all things. Our desire though is without question to start another church at some point, in Pensacola if the Lord so confirms. We both feel the Lord has given us the name for the church, that being "The Bridge: a place of new beginnings". We have met with the leaders of Network Churches at LifeChurch here and they are excited about The Bridge being launched in partnership with LifeChurch that at this time has over 66,000 people in campuses all over the US as well as online church that reaches over 1 million worldwide each week.
The verse the Lord gave me to build The Bridge upon last week is found in Jeremiah 49:6 where it says this: