Anybody Want to Buy My House?

For my friends who don’t go to First Baptist Lebanon and for those of you who missed the service tonight, I want to let you know that at the end of this evening’s service, I resigned from my position as Youth and Children’s Minister. I did so after talking with the pastor and the personnel team who felt that those ministries needed a fresh start. Despite the fact that I was not expecting this decision, I have no hard feelings towards anyone involved. They are simply doing what they think is best for the church and, in the end, I believe that this could be best for me and my family as well.

I’ve enjoyed my time on staff at FBC and the friendships I’ve made there, but if you’ve been reading my blog lately you know that I am not your typical youth pastor and ultimately we simply had too many differences in ministry philosophy and style. Like I said, and it’s worth saying again (in bold font), I am not upset with anyone at the church nor do I have any hard feelings towards any of the church leadership. They are all great men and it has been a privilege to work with them. Resigning this evening was hard and I’m sorry for the people who were shocked or hurt by my announcement, but I do feel that it was the right thing to do.

So what’s next for me? Honestly, I have no idea.

I do know that despite not having a job, I do have some pretty great things going for me right now. I’ve got the God who will never leave me or forsake me. I’ve got my amazing wife who has been right by my side through this whole thing. (Read all her blogs from the week leading up to this announcement here, here, here, and here… she’s awesome!) I’ve got three smiling happy kids who help me keep my perspective. I asked Ben the other day if he wanted to go live in a brand new house and said, “Yeah!” jumping up and down and laughing the whole time. For him, change, even big change, is just the start of a new adventure.

Alanna and I are looking at the possibility moving back to my hometown of Sparta. Houses cost a lot less there and we have lots of friends and family nearby to help us get going. Since graduation I have lived wherever my career has taken me, but I would like to put down some roots now, choosing where to live first and then seeing what jobs are available in the area. Thanks to a particularly crappy job market at the moment, I can’t afford to be picky with where I find my paycheck though. For now, I’m open to anything. So (again in bold font)…

If you live in or around Sparta (or anywhere else in Middle Tennessee) and you know of any available jobs, please let me know immediately.

Seriously, I am open to any and all suggestions. As far as credentials go, I’ve got a B.A. in History and English and seven years experience working with teenagers in ministry. I am skilled in digital desktop publishing and graphic design (but no coding yet). Also, I can make some pretty awesome coffee drinks that end in “cino.” For now though, I just need to find a job, so I don’t have to work in those fields if that’s not where the jobs are.

Also, another big deal coming up in the near future will be selling our current house. It’s a great little house but it’s more than we will be able to afford soon, so we really need a buyer soon. Next Saturday (March 20), we’re going to have a painting party to bring back the beige that seems to be all the rage with house hunters. If you’re in the area, we’d love to have your help. Just bring a roller and a paint tray and we will find you a wall. I’ll be cooking up a couple of awesome homemade pizzas as payment for your hard work so come out and help us get this place in shape.

It’s pretty weird to be floating freely like we are right now, not knowing where we’re going or what we’re going to do when we get there. I’ve gone through plenty of other major life transitions in the past, but in those cases we were always transitioning from one place/position/paycheck to another one that was already waiting. Now, I just have to trust that God is going to provide for our needs.

And I do trust Him. Most of the time. As the great Rich Mullins said, “Surrender don’t come natural to me.” Man, I struggle with this one sometimes, even though I know God has never let me down in the past. Sometimes I trust people too easily (like the guy who managed to get $80 out of me for his “broken car”) but I struggle to trust the one who always keeps His promises. If He cares about feeding sparrows and clothing lilies, I know He’ll take care of me.

I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me

8 thoughts on “Anybody Want to Buy My House?

  1. Jeff Wright says:

    Woah dude, that's a big deal. I hope you're really as okay as you write and not just trying to write something that won't wound the church you are leaving (honorable, I just hope you aren't hurting in secret, even on your blog).I've been in a similar spot & if you want to chat/get a bit/punch something together let me know.I'll keep my ear on the ground for jobs 'round the homeplace too. You know, when I resigned my last youth ministry job my wife and I moved home too. Fine minds and all that…

  2. Jeff Wright says:

    Woah dude, that's a big deal. I hope you're really as okay as you write and not just trying to write something that won't wound the church you are leaving (honorable, I just hope you aren't hurting in secret, even on your blog).

    I've been in a similar spot & if you want to chat/get a bit/punch something together let me know.

    I'll keep my ear on the ground for jobs 'round the homeplace too. You know, when I resigned my last youth ministry job my wife and I moved home too. Fine minds and all that…

  3. Cookeville Weather Guy says:

    Bless you sir! We're in Cookeville so……if you need someone to listen and brainstorm with you, the offer stands. I know we don't know each other, but sometimes that can be the person who tells you what you need to hear or can be a fresh listener. Will keep my ears open up here in the Upper Cumberland for someone hunting a Youth Ministry candidate. I know the right place is out there for you! My e-mail is: admin@cookevilleweatherguy.com

  4. Cookeville Weather Guy says:

    Bless you sir! We're in Cookeville so……if you need someone to listen and brainstorm with you, the offer stands. I know we don't know each other, but sometimes that can be the person who tells you what you need to hear or can be a fresh listener.

    Will keep my ears open up here in the Upper Cumberland for someone hunting a Youth Ministry candidate. I know the right place is out there for you!

    My e-mail is: admin@cookevilleweatherguy.com

  5. sweet_karma2 says:

    I am sorry to hear about this Jody….but you are a strong man, and you are trusting our might God…so this is all in his plans for you and your family. Continue to trust in him, and he will continue to provide for you. Maybe it's a good thing for you to be able to move back to Sparta and be with your family and friends. I will pray for you and your family and if I hear of anything I will let you know (I'm in Cookeville btw.) Keep us posted, and God bless you.Karma

  6. sweet_karma2 says:

    I am sorry to hear about this Jody….but you are a strong man, and you are trusting our might God…so this is all in his plans for you and your family. Continue to trust in him, and he will continue to provide for you. Maybe it's a good thing for you to be able to move back to Sparta and be with your family and friends. I will pray for you and your family and if I hear of anything I will let you know (I'm in Cookeville btw.) Keep us posted, and God bless you.
    Karma

  7. Brooke says:

    Hey! Ironically, after reading your post the other day about geeks and weirdos, I was thinking, "he needs a new church". Just wanted to make it known that
    there are churches out there where
    people completely sold out and passionately following
    God, but you can truly be who ya be. I didn't think that kind of place existed until we found the church that
    we have made our home- Grace Temple Ministries in Hattiesburg MS (Check it out http://www.gracetemple.com and download some podcasts- I love Dwaynes preaching). Not that there is anything wrong with First Baptist and I'm so gla you enjoyed your time there- I just am so thrilled to find a church I love this much and I want that for you in yalls next endeavor. Have you ever been to a nondenominational church? Know that me and Bo will be praying specifically for peace and provision.

  8. Brooke says:

    Also check out YoungLife- it was a huge influence on our lives when we were in school, and a great place if you love
    teenagers- which you do!
    I love yalls attitiude towards your transition. Bo was
    laid off completely out of nowhere last year- and it was actually so exciting to get to put in to practice alot of our faith about God providing– we grew even more and it was wonderful. We were totally committed to being where He wanted us to be doing what He wanted us to be doing, and Bo applied at several places in his field (architectural 3d modeling), and home depot, etc, and we were at
    peace that God would provide a job in His time
    and we'd be fine- a house is just a house, we could
    radically change our lives
    no biggie- you get the point- just like you've said- wherever whatever we trust You. And whenever- we thought it could
    be years before Bo did his career— amazingly, it was two weeks before he was in his next job, doignwhat he loves. But if it had taken years I know we wouldve
    been fine. So I'm excited for your journey, however
    long it takes.
    There's a saying our pastor has, " it's not what happens to you it's what happens in you", and you sound like you are in a place to revel in His goodness in a whole
    new amazing way. Hugs and love to your family!

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