February

February came this week.  In fact it came roaring in with a storm that tuned out to be bigger for the places where it was not supposed to be and smaller for the Ontario cities where it was supposed to wreak havoc.  I left class early Tuesday night to beat the storm, and I did.  Wednesday we went nowhere because the plows had been pulled of the road.  We did get some neighbors in for supper.  By then the storm was over.

February marks the middle of the semester.  Lots of papers are due, lots of reading needs to be done.

I will preach once this month, next Sunday in Guelph.  J and I were members of the Guelph CRC from 1980 to 1982.  R was baptized there. Some of the folks that we went to church with then are still there. It may be cool to see them again.

Threefold consulting carries on.  Since I do most of my work for the company that once employed me, they supply me with a cell phone so that there was no break in service for their customers.  This week they “accidentally” disconnected the phone because the person in charge was pretty sure that I no longer worked for the company (its been 8 months).  A bit of a waste of time getting it up and running again.  Every week I seem to be able to fit in at least a day and a half of sheep and goat nutrition work which keeps my hand in and pays for a bunch of things including groceries.

This was about February though wasn’t it? I don’t really like it.  While winter usually doesn’t bother me, it is starting to get long.  I’d really like to get my bike out of the shed, maybe even cut the grass and work on some flower beds.

While everyone else seems to be going south, we continue to blow snow.

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Busy Week

I have a busy week.

Yesterday was J’s birthday.  It was an auspicious one since it had a 0 in it.  We had her family for lunch and friends for a fire afterward.  It was a good day.  As I watch her sleeping on the couch across the room, I am glad that I have been able to spend more than half my life, so far, with her.

Tomorrow is the first day of classes for me.  It will be a full day starting at 8:30 am with Church History and ending with Introductory Theology at 7:00 pm.  I should be home by 11:30.

Wednesday, I start the day at the meeting of Classis Huron, being examined for a License to Exhort.  I usually don’t worry much about speaking in front of people or even being interviewed, but I am feeling a bit of angst about this one.  I have met with my examiners and have a feeling for where they will be leading me, but can I give the answers that these folks are looking for.  My gut tells me that it will be OK,  my mind is spinning trying to anticipate and frame responses.  I delivered the message in the drive in shed this morning.  It was well received.

After that, its back to the seminary for 1:30 and the Introduction to Congregational Education.

Thursday, it’s off to the Outdoor Farm show in my role as consultant.  For the past seven years, I have attended all three days of this show.  It was gruelling.  This year will be different.

The consulting business has been going well.  I am doing about as much work as I want to do and feeling satisfied in being able to bill for my time rather than feeling like the company owned my life.  I have been able to set the work aside to do the things that I want to do without feeling any pressure or guilt. As school heats up and assignments become due, pressures may mount as I try to juggle all the responsibilities.  I know which is most important, but keeping some income coming in and filling that spot with my customers is important as well.  Hopefully I can push some of the work to between semesters.

Church is keeping me busy as well.  We need to get some sort of youth group going.  I have a couple of new people working with me which is great, but means that, initially anyway, I feel like I need to take the lead to make things happen.  On top of that, I have been asked to be part of an Ad Hoc committee looking at the education program at the church.  It’s a small committee which hopefully will be done its work by February.  They made me the chair.

Between all this, I need to get admission forms filled out for Calvin College.  I have decided to apply for the Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy (EPMC) which would eventually allow me to be ordained in the Christian Reformed Church.  They are looking for volunteers for a 24 month pilot of this program which would not include time in Grand Rapids, so I am looking to volunteer (more forms).  I am not sure that ordination is where I am heading, but getting the door open can’t hurt.

Busy is good.  We will take it one week at a time.

A new business is born

Our new consulting company is getting off the ground.  A logo has been designed, business cards are built, my principal client is in place.

We have left the company name vague so that as time passes the consulting that is done may actually change from ruminant nutrition, feed sales marketing, and training, to other areas of interest.

Today I actually did my first “consultation” for an outside client.  A goat producer from Indiana got my number from somewhere and wanted me to give him some advice about his feeding program.  I sent the results out tonight, hopefully he is my first happy customer.

The Threefold part is something that has been part of our family for as long as J and I have been a couple.  Ecclesiastes 4:12 was our wedding text: And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. (RSV). For many years we lived on Threefold Farm and our livestock was registered under the Threefold prefix.

It’s our quiet way of telling the world that it’s not just the two of us here, there is Someone else who is wrapped into our lives and makes us strong.