Updates

If you’ve been following me for very long you’ll appreciate these updates:

  • I sold the coffee shop. Well, 11/12th’s of it. I’m still a partner and will work a couple shifts a week.
  • I’m a part time staff member at Williams Lake Church of the Nazarene. My responsibilities have increased to 20-25 hrs a week. I will continue to pastor Fresh Ground and will now be giving direction to small groups.
  • I still speak at leadership events and retreats, as well as consult with churches and other groups every month.

That being said, Brennan Manning is one of my favorite authors. His most recent book, The Furious Longing of God, begins with a chorus that I have come to love and appreciate. “I’m Brennan. I’m an alcoholic. How I got there, why I left there, why I went back, is the story of my life. But it is not the whole story.” He continues through the other hats he’s worn and roles he’s had; Catholic, priest, married, etc.

I feel incredibly connected to Brennan and share his song. “I’m Darrel. I was a pastor. How I got there, why I left there, why I went back, is the story of my life. But it is not the whole story. I’m Darrel. I was married man but I’m no longer married. How I got there, why I left there is the story of my life. But it is not the whole story. I’m Darrel. I owned a coffee shop. How I got there, why I left there, why I went back, is also the story of my life. But it is not the whole story.”

For a long time my world was neat and tidy. I had a title that explained my job: pastor. I lived in a way that reflected my roles: father and husband. If I ever got confused or out of sink I could look around and remember, “Ah, this is what I do so this must be who I am.”  But the last couple years of wading through muddy water has shown me that my formula was wrong. While those things were part of the story of my life, they are not the whole story.

Today it is very difficult for me to answer the standard guy question, “What do you do?” Well…I’ve been invited to do some pastoring. I get to serve coffee. I have the privilege of walking along side some wonderful people. I do my best to love my kids and be kind to my neighbors. And even in saying those things I fight against the temptation for them to define me.

Manning concludes this section by saying, “I’m Brennan. I’m a sinner, saved by grace, That is the larger and more important story. Only God, in His fury, knows the whole of it.” And so I conclude similarly. I’m Darrel. I’m a sinner, saved by grace, That is the larger and more important story. Only God, in His fury, knows the whole of it.

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