Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Enough Quail Already by Craig Hill

I resigned my position last October and started up my own independent consulting company. This past February 22nd I wrapped up my first independent consulting project with Chromalloy Castings in Tampa, FL. I had hoped to win a larger project with Chromalloy that would have required me to hire about 7 people, but I lost that project to a competitor. And Chromalloy changed their mind about having me manage a second project for them, which was my contingency project to work on. When the second project fell through I had a third plan in place:  to be re-hired by my previous employer. They had been asking me to re-join them since last October. So I accepted that offer, only to find out they had offered it to someone else due to how long they had been recruiting me.
So I faced an unemployment situation for the first time in my life. And I was scared. After 3 weeks without income, I was frightened that I would not be able to pay my bills, that I’d have to sell my home, and perhaps become homeless. And I think it’s safe to say Regina, my wife, was a bit concerned also.
So I came down to the front of the auditorium during Sunday morning assembly in February and I asked for prayers for work.
Looking back on it now, I can see I was like the Israelites in Numbers chapter 11. They were sick and tired of eating manna in the wilderness. Every day the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner: manna. Manna sandwiches, manna bread, manna casserole, manna surprise, Manna Manhattan, manna, manna, manna . . . We want some meat God! Please if we only had some meat. We had meat back in Israel. “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!" (Not to mention they were in slavery back in Israel.)
So God gave them meat. Lots of it, a month’s worth, in the form of quail. Really?!? In the middle of the desert? For 600,000 men, not to mention the women and children? Is that really possible? Moses doubted it too in Numbers 11: 21-22. But God answered Moses with, “Is the Lord's arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you."
The Bible says, “Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to 3 feet deep all around the camp, as far as a day's walk in any direction.”
Okay, so how do quail and my work situation relate to one another?
God gave me a project. Out of the blue, a friend of my called me on Friday morning 3/2, and said, “Craig can you be in my office this afternoon? I have some work for you and some more people besides that.” I said, “In Columbus, IN?” He said, “Yes.” I was standing in the Midway Airport in Chicago at the time. I said, “Okay.” So when I got to the Indianapolis Airport, I rented a car and drove to my friend’s office in Columbus, IN. When I got there he asked if I could start the next Monday, and if I could bring in 2 more people? I said “Sure.”
And oh boy, did I work. I started on 3/5 and worked an average of 72 hours per week for the rest of March. I worked three 15 hour days. I worked twelve 12 hour days. I worked an average of 67.5 hours per week in February and March. And this doesn’t count the hours my 2 other consultants worked alongside me.
Why did I doubt God so quickly? Why did I pray so loudly for work!?! Oh, my! I am about worn out with work. Why wasn’t I more patient? Answer: Lack of faith, and focus on the wrong thing. And hopefully I won’t meet the same end as the Israelites who doubted God’s promise to take care of them (see Numbers 11: 33).
I like to say everything you need to know in life is in Mathew 6. And here is the point to this story from Jesus in Mathew 6:
31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Monday, April 16, 2012

My thoughts from Monday, 1/23/2012 - from Craig Hill

Awoke at 5 am and Ande, my taxi driver from Eritrea, picked me up for my ride to the airport.

I pulled up the daily Bible study Greg or Dale wrote and switched between that and the Youversion Bible program on my phone.

Good study from Psalm 62. King David must have been really hard pressed by his enemies to write this psalm. Don't trust in riches and don't think you will live very long. Life is fleeting.

I wonder about the life I lead flying around the country helping clients with information technology. It can pay well, but how meaningful is it? I sometimes get to really witness Jesus to my clients and other consultants I work with, but it's so indirect compared to preaching from the pulpit on a Sunday, or leading a Small Group Bible study.

But God's promise is great, and I too must work out my salvation with fear and trembling. I miss Regina and Micah already, and I am not to the airport yet.

But I will be back Thursday for dinner, God willing, and this is better than being unemployed, or deployed to Afghanistan, in terms of time at home with my family. I think of Sandy and George Cain's boys and their military service.

Onto the flight, security lines are short and easy. The Superbowl stuff is for sale everywhere.

I land in Tampa and call Mary Hassler, for the 3rd week running, but again get her voice mail quoting scripture and asking you to leave a message. She used to attend Southeastern with her fine husband Gene (now passed on), and she is a great lady. I've sent her an email too to her new email address posted in the church bulletin before Christmas. But I can't get a hold of her. I'd like to visit her while I am in Tampa working on this project.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Introduction

Welcome.  You've arrived at the initial blog post on the blog created as a format for the elders and ministers of the Southeastern Church of Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana to share their thoughts, their personal growth, their ideas, and the ways that God is working in their lives. 

In the summer of 2011, we introduced a vision statement to the church: 

We want to be a people...
Devoted to God in Love
Trained by Christ for Life
Led by the Spirit to Serve

Since that time, we have been exploring ways that we can drive that vision toward reality.  A great deal of feedback has been provided to us, and we have been working to evaluate what to do, and when and how to do it.  Several areas of commonality were identified, and we will be implementing ideas over the coming weeks and months.

One area that was repeated was that the leaders need to be open with their own lives and lead by example.  The concept is that we can better lead the church toward our vision by sharing how we are developing these very same concepts in our own lives.  We hope that this format will  help facilitate that process.

We are planning initially to post in rotation.  Each elder and minister has been assigned a week to create a posting, and that post should normally be uploaded between Wednesday night and Friday night of each week.  We will be starting in the next couple of weeks, and each time a posting is made we will post a link to the church Facebook page, and we will try to have it printed and inserted into the weekly bulletin.

Your questions and feedback are welcome, and we hope that we can generate some fruitful discussions to the glory of God.  Enjoy!

Your brother,