Oct. 29, 2017
3 pm Sunday afternoon
Charlotte, North Carolina
Greetings to all ye who have been following this countdown to my retirement, with these daily entries. The upcoming last two days are finally here!
On Tuesday, October 31, I am leaving the final “marketplace” employment for me, as it is known in some circles, while others may refer to it simply as secular employment. Overall it has been an interesting grand total of 52 years in workplaces.
As I walk along this memory lane, let me put those places in chronological order – for my sake and that of my family, especially! I hope you will join me for a few moments now, as I have recorded the people, places, and positions that have come and gone.
My first job? Delivering the daily newspaper Waterloo Courier, back in my hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa. That mid-size town is located north of Cedar Rapids, west of Dubuque, south of the Minnesota state line, and northeast of the state capital Des Moines. I was in 6th grade, probably about 11 years old back then. The state of Iowa had a lot of pig lots, six-foot-high seed corn fields, and committed Iowans, either to the University of Iowa Hawkeyes or the Iowa State Cyclones. (Notice who I placed first!) As for me, I worked hard to increase my route delivery count from 15 to 63, and won a Sony cassette player one year for my grand efforts.
In 8th grade, after turning the legal age of 13, I got hired and joined the other high school boys at Rollinger’s, a chicken and burger joint. Famous for the orange shake, as owner Russ Rollinger said it was, I liked working there. Russ and his father Lou claimed they had the original creative concept for the Big Mac burger sandwich, which he had called the “High Boy.” On this job I got a whopping $1.10 an hour by the time I left two years later. I made sure I had a big wallet to carry all that cold hard cash around! (Photo: Russ Rollinger. Died Sept. 2013)
By the late summer/early fall of my senior year in 1972 at Columbus High School, I left football in the middle of the season to get hired on at Eagles, part of the Lucky Grocery chain organization. But the 3rd shift proved too much, and after a few years it was time for a day job. I settled in at Sartori Hospital in Cedar Falls – scrubbing floors, collecting garbage, and being befriended by the UNI (University of Northern Iowa) star football running back. It was his day job also. And I only got reprimanded two times for putting Chic Tracs (cartoon booklets with the Gospel message) on the hospital staff’s lunchroom table.
A move to LaSalle-Peru, Illinois in 1974, after the high school graduation and a somewhat complete year at UNI, put me in the English Muffin Restaurant working alongside my older brother-in-law David Johnson and sister Mary Smith. Then it was the management at Kerr-McGee Treated Lumber Yard in Mendota, working together with church friends Kevin Grafton and Kelly Haas, also of LaSalle.
In 1980 several church/community families of Victory Church, which we all were members of, moved to East Lansing, Michigan. Noelle Clark, co-owner of the Canon office machine dealer companyHasselbring-Clark, along with her husband Ellis, hired this “cult member”, as previously some thought it was, due to my involvement with Shiloh Fellowship, for their Office Manager position.
In the seven years to the “exact day” I worked there (Aug. 23, 1980-Aug. 22, 1987), I believe I had either hired directly, or was responsible for getting hired, at least eight more “cult members” – because my recommendations of these Christian workers proved to be accurate. (Photo: Hasselbring-Clark Company 1985)
It was then into the ministry of the Christian non-profits I went. This was my life-long dream, and heart of my life, as I approached the age of 33. Almost like Jesus did, except a few years later.
Beginning in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this part of the journey began with three years as the Financial Supervisor at Derek Prince Ministries, followed by four years at Mahesh Chavda Ministries, both in the south Florida city. I served with MCM as the Administrator. In July of 1994 the ministry relocated here to Charlotte, North Carolina, where we also established All Nations Church. I held that position for both the ministry and the church as Administrator until the end of 2000, when I went back to Derek Prince Ministries. They had also relocated to Charlotte between 1993-1994, and so from 2001-2005, for another five years, I once again served as the Director of Administration and Finance.
Sounds like a resume, right? The Lord had been faithful in all those years, keeping us close to His heart and my family through it all. I bless my good wife Laurie and children Josh, Ben, Hannah and Christen for walking this adventure together.
When the International Director of Derek Prince Ministries, David Selby, was approached by Barry Segal, co-founder of Vision For Israel and the Joseph Storehouse, in late 2004 to head up VFI’s USA office as the Director, the six-month transition from one to the other took place. (Photo top: Vision For Israel staff, 2010. Bottom: Derek Prince Ministries 2004)
By July 1, 2005, I was then full time with Barry and Batya Segal, the ministry co-founders, and was responsible for moving the USA office from Savannah, Georgia here to Charlotte. This 700 church city on the NC/SC border was certainly continuing to be a landing hub for ministries!
In the spring of 2010 the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) gave me the desire of my heart once again – to begin our own ministry. Having served within the vineyards of several others for the previous 24 years, He had planned and purposed for me to start Love For His People. And thus I left VFI on June 30, 2010 to give my full attention to this work – supporting Israel and the Jews, while also sending humanitarian aid, along with biblical teaching using social media, to the nations. Others have now come alongside us over these seven years, joining in this work.
But as with most, those newborn and early years, and then walking on two feet, took awhile. The home mortgage, car payments, and daily life had to be provided. The $70,000 a year salary I had been earning dropped to $11,000 for that first year.
The income from the new ministry didn’t quite do it, so it was back to work for me in the office realm with other companies and ministries. Seasonal and part-time jobs with Samaritan’s Purse (Franklin Graham), Covenant Keepers (Rex and Carolyn Johnson), and the Charlotte Rescue Mission (Chris Moore) followed.
Finally, I was hired on at Charlotte Center City Partner in May of 2013, as the Accountant. First as a contractor for eight months, and then as a full-time staff member for these final four and a half years. The office is located right there in thriving uptown Charlotte.
And so here I am! Retirement occurs just in time for my 63rd birthday on Thanksgiving Day! And I am so thankful Lord!
I hope I didn’t bore you with all this long employment history. But if you made it this far in reading, then you did good, and I appreciate your sticking it through with me.
We each have a history to share and should have a testimony with it, in order to declare the Lord Jesus’ great work in our life. Your life hopefully shows His faithfulness too and acts as an encouragement to those who watch and maybe even follow after, that which we have lived. I hope you have those who have or will do that, in your walk with the Lord.
So now I will be able to give my full attention to the work of Love For His People, Inc. With at least 10 or more good years to walk out, Lord willing, I already highly suspect the Lord has an expansion coming, extending these tent pegs of the ministry, in His playbook. For that, I am most excited!
Be encouraged as you continue on in your walk with our Lord. Do well in blessing others as you also seek the Lord, knowing, and daily reassured, that the plans He has for you are well and good.
If you missed day 4, click here: 4 days to go…
There is also Day 5. Click here: 5 more to go…
and Day 6. Click here: 6 more days…
Todah rabah! (Hebrew – Thank you very much.)