A Personal Life Update
About a year ago, I found myself in the emergency room gasping for air because of high blood pressure and severe acid reflux. It was a pivotal point in my life where I realized that my body was no longer capable of handling the workload my mind was feeding it. With my wife by my side and tubes connected to me, I made some life choices that have greatly altered my life rhythm.
This led to my resignation as full-time faculty member at Life Pacific College. In addition, I made a commitment to pace myself in the work that I do. My struggle has always been that my mind functions at a greater pace and capacity than my body is able to handle. Also, believe it or not, I LOVE to work! 🙂
I was very fortunate at that time to have a church leadership that surrounded me and graciously offered to start paying my salary in order that I may be able to transition from teaching into focusing on our church. Prior to this, I was a full-time volunteer as lead pastor.
Well, it’s been a year. I feel much better than I have for years. My health is good and my mind is pretty clear (opinions vary…haha). God has definitely used this year to refresh me and have caused me to reimagine what my future may look like. I have a deep sense of God’s grace and presence in my life. For this, I am so thankful!
During recent months, like many other churches, we have been going through a very difficult season financially as a church. We’ve done our best to cut expenses without hurting our ministry efforts. Nevertheless, we’ve come to another crossroad in the life of our church. In our current trajectory, we will be out of money in a couple of months. We’re definitely feeling the weight of our current economic times. We have many in our church that suffered much and are not able to support as they once did. I definitely don’t blame anyone. It’s been difficult for all of us.
But something is different this time around…
Tina (my wife) and I feel a deep sense of God’s peace and joy during this season. We believe that God will continue to provide and guide as he’s done all these years. He always brings good to a difficult situation. At the same time, we believe that we need to do our part in trusting that he has given us resources and talents to find ways to sustain our lives so that we can continue with ministry.
As a result, I have begun to look for opportunities for part-time to full-time employment outside of our ministry. Although this is not an act of desperation nor disbelief, I think it will be wise to pursue things that God may be opening up during this season. I personally believe that guidance is best seen when we’re in motion trusting God. I have no doubt that as we trust him, he will make our paths straight.
There are already a couple of opportunities that may be able to compliment our mission as a church while providing our family with some income. Tina and I are praying that some of these opportunities will solidify in the near future.
Also, I thought it would be wise for me to ask for your help. Would you consider doing some of the following?
- Pray for our family. Pray that we stay focused on God’s heart and mission. Pray that we embrace this season with joy and fill it with trust.
- Pray for our church (New Hope). Please pray that God will use this season for form us even more and allow us to minister more effectively.
- Let me know if there are any projects, writing or speaking engagements that are coming up where I might be a benefit to your efforts. Although 2009 is pretty full, 2010 is pretty open (see beta.charlestlee.com/speaking). [By the way, I consider all opportunities as grace (fully undeserved) so there’s no pressure to ever invite me to participate. God always provides. :)]
I am so thankful for God and your friendship. I’m humbled to know great people like YOU!
Thanks for being my continual source of encouragement, inspiration, and partnership.