A to-do list, something we often use to help us meet our goals or measure our accomplishments.

A Mid-Year Life and Ministry Update

2024 is officially halfway through. With July now upon us, I wanted to offer a quick life and ministry update:

Family and personal life updates

The last several months have been difficult, to say the least. We’ve lost multiple family members, been dealing with health scares, and more. The Lord’s been good to us through it, but it’s been a lot. Emily and I are both tired, as you can imagine.

Our children are all going to be in the same physical school for the first (and only) time since we completed homeschooling. Our eldest starts her senior year, our middlest starts high school, and our youngest begins seventh grade. Lots of transitions in there, as you can imagine. We’re not quite ready to be parenting all teens, but time waits for no one.

Speaking of school, I’m in the middle of my next course with Redemption Seminary. The work is enjoyable, but I’m definitely feeling stretched (more due to time constraints than any sense of being overwhelmed by the material).

Finally, we are in the midst of preparing to file our applications for naturalization. If approved, we would become American citizens, with all rights and responsibilities that entails. Please be praying with us as we go through the process (and that one of us would be sworn in before our eldest turns 18 so she is granted citizenship without requiring a separate application).

Church Ministry

Our church is in the process of reestablishing itself. Lord willing, we will also be returning to Sunday morning gatherings following roughly 2 years of evening and afternoon services.

I’m continuing to preach about once a month, primarily at my church. I would love to serve a church in the weeks ahead, especially one where the primary preacher/teacher doesn’t often get a break. Drop a line, and let’s talk (especially if your church is near Kansas City, Missouri, and could use some support at the end of September).

Writing progress

Writing: I am hard at work on a major writing project with a deadline that is rapidly approaching. I am roughly three-quarters of the way through the project, and it is easily the longest work I’ve written. (It is looking to be nearly twice as long as Now What? though, hopefully, just as helpful.)

I am also writing articles on autism and the church, Scripture memorization, and a review of The Good Gift of Weakness by Eric M. Schumacher. (Short version: read it—it is outstanding). Elsewhere on the interwebs, I recently wrote an article for Thomas Nelson Bibles on a question I wish no one asked: Why does God hate me?

A little bit of reading (and listening)

In between research-oriented and assigned reading for school, I am nearly finished listening to I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons by Peter S. Beagle. Like many of my generation, I was most familiar with Beagle’s name via the animated film, The Last Unicorn, which he adapted from his novel of the same name. (And who among us is not haunted by the song by America featured throughout the film?)

Dragons is a different kind of fantasy novel than is typical post-Wheel of Time & Game of Thrones: it has a self-awareness and tongue-in-cheek wit that makes its dramatic moments feel earned as its characters wrestle with their roles as princes, princesses, dragon hunters, and more. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one.

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