Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From the Clark-ives 4: Joshua School of Sleep-Deprivation

This is another edition of the Clark archives, you can find older chapters over on the sidebar under "The Story of Us".

Okay, I'm going to jump around in chronology here, because I'm all sci-fi and I can do that. Last clarkive, I covered R2's birth.

Now we're going backwards to the 2 years prior to that, 1997-98. Richy and I were both working at Hewitt Associates, and doing youth ministry about 3 nights a week and over the weekends. Josh (josharoo) and Richy and I were doing full-time youth pastoring while holding day jobs, and we knew our goal was to be able to just do ministry. Our church was in the process of developing a ministry school, and Pastor Mike asked Richy if he would consider quitting his day job and going to the brand new Joshua School of Ministry.

When Richy asked me about it, I was all for it, with the condition that I could go too. So we began the process of quitting our jobs and moving back in with my parents, which freed our expenses up to be just our car payment and on occasion, even car insurance!

There were 8 of us in that guinea pig edition of Joshua School. We were committed to 4 hours of class a day, 3-4 hours of homework per day, and I forget how many prayer hours, plus the youth services we had already been doing. Basically, we were all suicidal.

We had to find creative ways to live during the 10 month program. For us, it was fairly easy. We lived with my parents and ate their food, plus the church paid us $500 a month to keep up what we were doing with the youth group, and I cleaned the church once a week.

For our friends, it was a bit more of a stretch.

•Ann came from Palestine, Texas and moved in with the Bretts, who already had 4 kids and a dog in a little house.

•John worked full-time overnights and came to class with a psychotic gleam in his eye.

•Josh sold knives, and a variety of other work-from home projects. Oh, and he lived in a treehouse. That cut way back on his expenses.

•His brother Jeremy lived in a shed. He had a bed and a desk and he might have had a block to walk to the restroom, I can't remember.

•Joseph and Tabitha came from India and lived with the Reicherts.

It was a hellish, wonderful year of our lives. We began the year with a course called Issues of the Heart, which makes you go deeeep and learn what is hindering you from loving others. It's kind of like a heart transplant without anesthetic. I consider my primary salvation experience as happening in that class.

Then we began the full school program. We were taught for about 4 hours, 5 days a week. Then we’d go home, or to our treehouse, and study and do the homework... things like: 
“Spend 3 hours in worshipful adoration before the Lord. Do not ask for anything. Journal your results.” 
“Go to a public place and share a 1-minute version of your testimony with a stranger.” 
“Find an unbeliever that is willing to go through a 10 week foundational Bible study with you.” 
“Engage in an overnight corporate prayer gathering this week.” 

And we did it. The only way to get your diploma of Ministry was to do 100% of the work. Every one of us graduated. We would have all had perfect attendance, too, but Josh went to jail once. Oh, and John had a nervous break of some kind from working so much and quit school for a few hours. But he came back.

When graduation finally came, everyone was just so relieved that the crazy ride was over, we didn't see what we had really done. But now, with the retrospect of 10 years (hey, we should have a reunion) I know that it was one of the best years of my life, and some amazing exponential growth. It gave us such solid roots and foundation for the course our lives would take.

When Pastor Mike's flight to graduation is late, Richy and Josh and I thoughtfully entertain the crowd.


  1. Seeing us "entertain" the crowd makes me feel sorry for TIm Walsh. We tended to cut up a bit. ( I recall he had is reservations.., now I understand why..Ha! )

    I also noticed that Jeremy is the lone MCF benefactor! The rest will be sorted out in eternity! Thank you Joshua School and Mike Walsh! - Richy

  2. Those were good days! mama

  3. So why did Josh go to jail????

  4. Im sure it was something like a fundraiser or something Jennifer....I can not remember...

  5. Correction! I did NOT miss school after going to jail. I was booked at 1:00 or 2:00 AM. I got bailed out in the mornin, got my car out of impound, appeared before the county clerk, and still at school on time the next day!

    Now that is commitment to school!!

    Woop, woop!

  6. Jennifer- you could say the reason had to do with fund "raising".

  7. everybody should do Joshua School! Classes start next week!

    "Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen."
    -- Leonardo Da Vinci

  8. How could I forget so many things...I have the mind of CHRIST........Diet Coke.....that must be the problem...
    I love my Zero....Vanilla Coke....

    Josh......I knew but I can't we get a hint.......

  9. hot like Mr Darcy or hot like not cold?

  10. there are more definitions of hot than that...

  11. Yep, that's my man.. A1.
    sellin' knives
    tree house livin'
    goin' to tha slammer

  12. Hot..........good lookin, not cold, instyle., groovey, cool....

  13. Oooo Stolen................boy.....I have the mind of Christ......Hot Item.....popular item.....or swiped.......

  14. You stole a car and got pulled over and handcuffed and appeared on "bad boys bad boys.....watcha gonna do ......watcha gonna do when they come for you.....?Bad boys Bad boys........"

  15. VKG- you are correct that it had to do with a "hot" "item."

    Here's the story....

  16. I was going to make this short, but decided to give the details. I may add to it and post it in parts on my blog also.

    Here's the skinny. Richy, Jess, Jeremy, and I (and several others) went to a Third Day concert in Houston on a week night. I dropped Jeremy off at his shed a little after mid-night, and then headed home to my treehouse. I had a headlight out, so of course the State Patrol on Hwy 105 in Cut-N-Shoot pulled me over. I had the replacement bulb I had bought in my console, just didn't have time to replace it before the concert. I expected a standard license check for warrants, and then they let me go. Not so, the officer told me to step out of my vehicle and come to the back of the police car. Then I was quickly told to put my hands on the back of the car and spread out my legs, as I was being spun around by him.

    "Do you have any hot checks?" asked the officer (as he's patting me down for weapons).

    I replied (as I’m being handcuffed), "I had a couple bad checks a couple years ago, but I took care of them all.”

    “Looks like you didn’t get them all. You have a warrant for theft by hot check. You’re going to jail,” says the officer (as I’m being put in the back seat of the car).

    “No way, I got letter about the bad ones and I know I took care of them,” I said.

    The officer said very matter-of-factly, “Sorry, you have a warrant, you’re going to jail.” And closes the door.

    I sit there in the patrol car and watch my car get towed away, and then we ride to the Conroe jail. I’m kind of in a calm shock that I’m handcuffed and riding in a police car about to go to jail. I get there, they finger print me, have me list everything that is in my wallet and sign several papers, they explain the warrant and amount of the bad check and all. And then they place me in the big communal over night holding cell, where 8 or 10 other men already are. Most of them are sleeping on the cold cement floor of the freezing metal benches. A couple a guys are using the extra roles of toilet paper as pillows.

    There is a payphone in there and they said I can make collect calls. It is now 1:00 or 2:00 AM at this point, so I’m sitting there thinking of the right way to tell my parents I’m in jail. I figure out how to say it, pick up the payphone, dial collect, and record my name. It rings a couple times, my dad answers, “hello.” I say one word, but them I’m overridden my a recorded message saying, “This is the Montgomery County Correctional Facility with a collect call from (my recorded name) “Josh”. Press one to accept this call.” Well, so much for getting to tell them myself that I’m in jail....

    The rest of the story later, gotta go to bed.

  17. I was 19 at the time. What had happened is, when I was 17, I miss-balanced my checkbook and ended up writing three or four checks that I didn't have funds for. Back in that time, the merchant would mail you a letter and you had to send payment for you debt. I honestly thought I had taken care of them by paying the money and the fees. Apparently, due to my multiple moves in a short time period, the letters didn't keep up with me. For two years, I thought I was clean, but I wasn't. I don’t remember the exact amount of the bad check, but it was under $100, maybe around $80. So now I had to pay a warrant fee of like $200, get my car out of impound for $350, and pay court cost and other fees of somewhere from $300-500.

    Actually, I didn’t pay these fees, my dad did. I didn’t have the money for it (remember, I’m living in a treehouse so I have to work as little as possible and go to ministry school). My parents paid them all so I could get out of jail. Thank, dad and mom!

  18. Oooo Poor Josh.......I can visualize your sleepy Father answering the phone.....

  19. I fortunately never went to jail.. Got picked up by the police.. but never jail. Thankfully too. Because I don't think my dad would have come and got me. Actually I can almost guarantee he would have left me there! He is big on that tough love stuff!

  20. Eva do you have any news of Francis? Can you email me if you find out anything?

  21. I have news I wanted to share. Some people may find it shocking....

    Matt cut his hair off!

    I know it is hard to believe but he really did it.

  22. My first experience in going to jail was over a unpaid traffic ticket. I was 17 or 18 years old.

    When I went into the holding tank low and behold Calvin Stanley was sitting on the floor with all the other criminals.

    When my mom came to bail me out she ran into Linda. Obviously there for the same reason to bail Cal out for unpaid speeding tickets.

  23. Opps sorry Matt wrote that last comment not me forgot to change users!

  24. Daddy went to jail a lot. He liked to drive fast and he only paid his fines on occasion.

  25. We demand pictures of Matt with his "workin for the man" haircut!

  26. Jennifer....did he give his hair to LOCKS FOR LOVE or any place like that....he had LONG hair....

    I can not wait to see the pic......

    Jennifer......I need your email address..

    Frances was kept in ICU all night on oxygen...her breathing was not what it should have been...

  27. You look great, Matt! Kind of like I remember you when we were kids only... you know, older!
    Did you get emotional during your haircut?

  28. Hey, if anyone wants to subscribe to my blog, to get an email whenever I post, go to my blog and put your email in the box on the left. You have to allow a pop-up for the verification phrase.

    I'm going to try to post at least weekly now. I've post 3 time in the last week.

  29. Matt......YOU LOOK GREAT......but WHY o WHY did you do it????

    J.O.B. or something else????

  30. Well the Lord has been telling me for while that I needed to cut my hair, that I would have a new look. I recieved some deliverance yesterday and got my 3rd confirmation about cutting my hair. I found that my idenity was in my hair and I had to let it go. I feel like weight was lifted off of me spiritually and physically. Praise God!

    Yes I got emotional when they cut my hair. It was hard to let go.

    I was going to go shorter but they said my receeding hair line is too far back and she said it wouldn't look good.

  31. Receeding hairlines are in...

    She knoweth not what she speaketh of.

    Have you seen Robert.....His crew cut makes him look like he has a thicker head of hair.

    Have you seen Richy...He has learned to embrace his receeding hairliine and go with it.

  32. Thanks for sharing your memories with us Jess you're awesome! :) -katie D.


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