Yesterday evening, my father and I finally arrived in Cape Coral, Florida after four long days of packing and moving. Tuesday afternoon, we traveled up to Louisville in a little U-Haul carrying some stuff we had stored away in Alabama. Wednesday morning, we, along with six other brothers, loaded the trailer which was completed by dinner time. After cleaning up the apartment and loading up the cars with stuff, we headed south Thursday morning to complete the first leg of our trip–our destination being Blakely, Georgia–home of the world-famous youth pastor/politician/movie producer Brad Hughes.
Brad and his sweet momma were kind enough to allow us to crash at their place. Not to my surprise, Brad was not home because he, according to his account, was traveling back from Panama City Beach where he had taken some actors and actresses for the day. You see, his county (Early County) has this thing going called EC2055 which is a 50-year plan of revitalizing their county, and Brad is a key player in the implementation of this vision. One of the industries being brought to their county is the film industry, and currently there is a horror film being produced just a few miles from Brad’s house. The executive director of EC2055 has asked Brad to help administrate this aspect of the vision, meaning that Brad is working with a production company–something which he has called something like “Freezer Locker Productions” (don’t ask me why). So now the pastor/politician can add another p to his repertoire, viz., “producer.”
So this explains the photos above, for, while we were patiently awaiting his cowboy boots and perfectly parted bangs, we did not expect to hear the sound of a train coming down the road. It wasn’t a train, of course, but rather the biggest honkin’ truck I have ever seen in my life. Brad says that it is the moving billboard for EC2055; I say it is their toy to make every NASCAR fan of Early County jealous. This thing is monstrous (you actually sit higher than the truckers) and even has a Caterpillar engine in it. So this goes out to all my homies in Limestone County, Alabama–check that. 😉
Getting up the next morning, we hopped climbed into the monster truck, and headed to the actual wooded area where the movie was being shot. We were allowed to watch about an hour’s worth of the production which was pretty cool. I’ve seen the making of movies on television documentaries before, but seeing it in person gives it a whole new perspective, especially since Brad reneged on his oh-so solid commitment to come to Louisville, eat some Q-doba, and help me load the trailer (instead he hung out with the cast and crew on Panama City Beach!). Brad, just think: if you were still the editor-in-chief of P&P, you could edit this post, but . . . 🙂
All in all, there were not too many problems or obstacles this week in the move, except perhaps the excessive number of old people in Florida who drive 55 miles an hour in the left lane of I-75, causing the traffic to function like a big slinky (don’t get me started). We arrived in Cape Coral to 95 degree temperature with sweltering humidity (and I would have you know that I was wearing sweat pants!). Not cool (seriously).
For those who may not have heard the story, my move to Louisville was one of the worst days of my life (at least in recent history). It was terribly hot, and there was a steady downpour during the entire time of moving. Thinking I had my library of books safely covered in a tarp in the back of my truck, I chose to unload them last. Little did I know, water had been accumulating in the bed of the truck, and by the time I recognized this problem, three inches of water had soaked all the boxes of books, causing me to lost approximately $800 worth of valuable material, many of which had marked my spiritual journey significantly.
The last day in Louisville could not be any more different. Partly sunny and 72 degrees with a gentle breeze, we had the perfect weather for loading. More than that, God provided some of the most gracious brothers who gave of their time and energy to help me move out. Men like Kyle Barrett, Toby Jennings, Micah Childs, Dan Canales, Terry Delaney, and Stephen Newell are reasons why my heart has been refreshed and overflowing with gratitude. Their labor of love was a gift of encouragement and blessing that allowed me to close the door of this chapter of my life with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. None of these men (and many others) I knew four years ago, and Lord willing, these friendships will continue for many years to come.
Upon the encouragement and exhortation of some of my friends, I am thinking about taking the time to blog about the transitioning seminarian turned pastor and the situations, struggles, adjustments, and lessons I have learned during this time. I am not quite sure how that would work out or what it would look like, but if some of the things God has and continues to teach me during this time could be an encouragement or help to others, then I think it could prove to be a fruitful exercise. We’ll see.
Sorry for the late POTW, and I pray you have a blessed Lord’s Day!