Saturday, November 10, 2007

thirty, twenty, ten years ago...

I was tagged by Jim Martin. What were you doing ten, twenty and thirty years ago?

Thirty years ago: A relatively new Christian, I lived at home with my parents, worked as a house painter, and was an EMT (and even a Paramedic for a short time) on a volunteer emergency rescue squad. I was supportive of a church and group that purported to have the one thing needful for the world, purporting to have the unique understanding of that.

Twenty years ago: By that time I was married to Deb and we had moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. I would soon be enrolling in Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary (now Grand Rapids Theological Seminary) in which I'd eventually complete my M-Div. Deb worked as a nurses assistant (a little factory work along the way as well) and I had found a job I ended up being at for around fourteen years, in a meat factory.

Ten years ago: I was still at the same meat factory and was serving as an elder in an IFCA planted church. By then we had Tiffany who was nine at that time.

Note: I really see my life as rather uneventful, though that's not fair either. Though I wasn't doing what I really wanted to do in life, we had the blessing of good friendships. There is really much more interesting things to say about my time of the past thirty years, but I'm afraid that doesn't fit well into the time intervals given to us here. Suffice it to say, my theology has changed dramatically less than ten years ago, and as a result I have a sense of being much more settled as to identity and place in this life, in Jesus.

Now I guess I have to tag a few others. I'll tag some I think may actually be more likely to do this, and as I remember, have not yet been tagged: Betsy Lin, Halfmom, AKA, Susan, KM, Kim Aliczi, Mary, Monica Tutak, Nancy, Odysseus. If you're comfortable to do this, great, and then pass it on.


Kim said...

Sounds like fun! I accept!

Betsy Lin said...

I'll see what I can come up with!

Anonymous said...

ohhhh. i have been tagged!
wow, this one is gonna take a bit of thought!
let's see...what year is this?

KM said...

Wow, Ted. I'm going to have to be *very* inventive with the 30-years-ago section, lol... but I'll let you know when I've done my homework! :-)

God bless, brother.

Every Square Inch said...


Thanks for sharing your life in's neat to learn a little more about you. A meat factory - what was that like? Sounds like hard work.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, ESI. It was great to get to know you better on your post of the same.

The meat factory was a blessing in its own way, and in God's way of providing for us- and for that time in my life. It ended up stretching out beyond what I wanted it to. There was heavy lifting and hard work involved in it for me, and some difficult things inherent in factory work and in that setting. But in it all, the good times and hard, God was/is good.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

so the question is now - what's happened in the last 10 years - that's the part I want to know and who are you now and how did you get there?

I am thinking of my post - not ignoring it - my life actually seems a little too eventful - to the negative side. Marcus tagged me on the same meme too, so I will do it - just thinking about how, as LL puts it, I want to creatively answer it.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Okay. I'll try to fill in the last ten years more, BRIEFLY (good luck to me and to you, as well!).

I went through a major self-inflicted crisis less than ten years ago, which thankfully, solely by God's grace, did not result in catastrophe; I was protected or saved. Prior to that I was disenchanted with my Christianity, even though I did not doubt either Christianity or whether I was a Christian. I considered considering becoming a Roman Catholic, even, but after some searching there, decided not.

After the crisis I decided to move on and we ended up becoming a member of a Vineyard church. I liked their music and worship quite well; I have some musical gift. And Vineyard desserves the credit for helping me really take up and learn to play the guitar which I play in a simple way now, and can do so by ear, to play most songs in a simple way without too many mistakes.

Also the "charismatic" side as well as the emphasis on being open to the work of the Holy Spirit was good for me, I believe.

Along with that, Vineyard is very proactive at least then in getting into the writings of N.T. Wright. N.T. Wright's "The Challenge of Jesus" changed my theology so that the gospel as I understand it from Scripture is about God in Christ making all things new by the new creation, nothing left behind in creation. Of course both judgment and grace is involved in this.

Now we're members of the Evangelical Covenant denomination, a church of that, and I think I'm more at home there, even if I do miss a bit some aspects of the charismatic side. I've been put to work there, and love the people. The Spirit of God is very evident in these people, just as much so, I believe as in any church we've been a part of.

Susan, Hope you're not overly burdened or burdened with the post, but I look forward to whatever it might be.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I should add that I was disenchanted with not only my Christianity, but the Christianity I saw around me.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

interesting - sounds like we were "weaving" similar stories. Do you still work at the meat plant - what do you do with your MDiv? What do you do at your church - nosey - aren't I?

I understand big falls and being protected from some of the consequences of our own actions - althought it scratched me quite a bit when I tried to crawl over the protective hedge he had in place - and this summer, God used the ocean (literally) to keep me from moving from thought sin to acted out sin - so I understand His protective grace.

Ted M. Gossard said...

M-Div: I'm not doing with it what I wanted to do, namely pastor, though you might say I am pastoring- a home group to be precise. And that's kind of a part of who I am. But I wish I would have pursued education differently, though the theology and exegetical study I picked up, was very good.

Not at meat plant, but since December '99 at RBC Ministries, home of "Daily Bread". In factory part.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Also I go to a nursing home regularly, leading singing, giving message and visiting.