Thursday, June 3, 2010

I will be with you...

It's been a while since I last wrote. A lot is coming together with the church. We've added some awesome new members to the team, and God is showing us his faithfulness daily. We are close to selecting a meeting location for the church and added a new staff member. Lately my prayer has been that God would show us his unfailing love and faithfulness in bringing his church together. This whole thing is about Jesus, and helping people discover that God loved them so much that he sent his one and only son into the world to redeem and rescue them. And while I don't completely understand how much love He has for me. I've been asking God to open my eyes so that I can see more of how He loves me and cares for me, and that out of the overflow I am able to share that love with others. I've been praying that God would show me more of who He is and that I would truly get to know him better- like a friend.

I've been reading in the bible in the book of Judges lately and have been amazed to see how much Gideon is like me. In Chapter 6 God asks Gideon to go and save the Israelites from the oppression they were facing and says to Gideon, "Go save Israel. Am I not sending you?" Gideon replies to God, "How can I save Israel?" God replies, "I will be with you." Then with just 300 men, Gideon with God's help takes down an entire army of thousands and saves Israel. I am completely amazed. How in the world did 300 men take down an entire army? In Matthew 19:26 Jesus says, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

With this church I know it's a task larger than Josh or I can handle on our own strength. I also know that God sent us to start a new church in Annapolis. He is reminding me that despite my fears, worries and questions He is with us. And, with Him all things are possible. This church is relying on Jesus for everything. He is reminding us daily that He IS faithful and He IS loving- and with Him all things are possible!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

God's Unfailing Love

The longer we've been here in Annapolis, the more I am seeing God's unfailing love lavished on me. I often try to take this new church we are starting into my own hands. It's easy to think it's my responsibility (or our responsibility) to make it all happen and to bring it all together. My intentions are pure- I'm a hard worker, that's all I know to do. God it reminding me to be still and to wait on Him. As I was reading this morning God brought Isaiah 64:4 to me
"Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him."

I just thank God that he reminds me he's been here all along and has a plan to bring this all together. I am more excited than I ever have been about Revolution Annapolis! I can't wait for 10/10/10 (our official launch date for the church) to come, but I know I need to savor these precious moments and wait for Him. I am watching God craft something out of nothing. We often refer to this new church as our baby church. Just as you wait for a baby to be born we are anticipating this new baby church! God is refining me and my patience and trust in Him. He's reminding me that God brought us here for a reason- to start a new church for people who don't go to church, to show Jesus' radical love on this community through action and to be a community of people that care for one another. He promises- He'll never leave us nor forsake us! (Joshua 1:5) God's unfailing love is real and I'm learning to lean on Him more than ever before.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tonight was CRAZY...

I think I just had one of the most odd nights I've had in a long time. I have been doing an amazing bible study called Breaking Free- Making Liberty in Christ a Reality by Beth Moore. For probably 2 years I have been really feeling like this is a study I should do. I would put it off because I knew it would be life changing- ever get fearful of how or what God will use to change you? I know I do sometimes. God has really been working in my life over the past 6 months. He's been teaching me so much I don't think I even have enough space on this blog. Today God taught me that the reason I may be going through hard times with my family is because he wants to change me and for our relationship to deepen. That is the one and only reason- not for me to help or fix someone else, but just to be loved by God! So back to why this was such an odd night for me. On the way to bible study I looked down at my phone to get the directions when all of the sudden I hit the curve on the off ramp at about 40 mph. It felt like I did some major damage. I slowed down, got out and realized that I had a completely flat tire. Oooops!!! I called Josh who was supposed to hang out with an old family friend that lives here in Annapolis. I could barely get out what happened, but finally did and Josh hopped in the car to help. We changed the tire and Josh offered for me to still go to bible study. I felt like this week was one of those weeks where I really needed to go. So, I continued on my way.

This night of bible study we were supposed to be meeting at a different location than usual. I had plugged the address in, thus the having to look down a lot to figure out where I needed to go. I know, I know, looking down is not safe, we are going to get a GPS, the iphone just doesn't quite work the way you need it to. So, I get to the house where bible study is supposed to be. I felt a little odd about going up to the house because none of the usual cars were parked nearby. I checked the address on my phone and the mailbox, and they matched. I headed up to the door and accidentally let the glass door slam. I was already feeling bad for being late and then interrupting by letting the door slam ,so I went ahead and peeked my head in. Immediately a huge lab came up to greet me. A man came from around the corner and asked if he could help me. Immediately I knew that I was in the wrong house. I said, "I'm here for the bible study." He said there's no bible study here and proceeded to try to help me figure out where I was going. I left and decided that this night had been long enough and headed back home. I kept wondering why God had so prompted me to go to bible study and then the address that was given to me was the wrong one. Have you ever felt like you were part of God's story for a stranger, and you'll never know why God prompted you to do something until you reach heaven? That's exactly how I felt. It was totally weird. When I got home Josh and I decided we should pray and ask for God's protection over us and that we would always be open to listening to his voice. There is certainly a spiritual battle going on in this city. I believe prayer from his people plus a powerful God is the hope we have.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What's going on other than snow?

As many of you in this area already know, we've been hit with 2 blizzards in a row. I can only remember a handle full of times that I have ever been in a blizzard before. When I lived in Kentucky as kid we got 2 big snows that I can remember. One was so big that the snow was up to my waste, okay so maybe it wasn't so big if the snow was up to my waste, but it did seem big. We've been spending a lot of time indoors and some time outside with neighbors since being blasted. In fact, I think that God may be orchestrating all this snow so that we can get to know our neighbors better. I briefly got locked out of the house with Savannah this weekend. Josh went out to shovel with our neighbors, and asked that I get ready as well as Savannah so that we could come out and take some pictures together. As soon as I came out I realized the wind was blowing way too hard for Savannah to be out. I turned around for the door handle and it was locked, AGAIN. You see, this has happened once before in the summer time and it's how I got connected with a neighbor that invited me to a neighborhood play group. This time our new neighbor that we had just had over for dinner invited me to come in her house while I waited for Josh to pick the lock- that ended up not working. Eventually he ran to our friend Andrew's place (only about a fourth of a mile away) to get an extra key. It was a great time to get to know them even better and to rely on them. I think that one of the ways that relationships are built and deepened is when you have to depend on each other. Once Josh returned to let us in he ended up running into another neighbor that invited us to their Superbowl party where we met two new couples and got to visit with a few that we had met back in the summer. I believe God has us in the right place at the right time. I am not sure if these neighbors we are interacting with will ever go to our church, but I am going to keep praying that God continues to use us to show them who He is and how much he loves them. This is such a fun adventure!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Whirlwind...

So we just got back from an awesome week in NYC. This was my very first time to the city and I really had a blast. We were there with other lead planter couples that are a part of The Orchard Group, which is one of our main supporting organizations. Their main focus has been on planting new churches in the Northeast and a primary focus on NYC. We had a great time of just getting away by ourselves and just enjoying time with one another. My favorite highlights from our trip were walking down 5th Ave and going into FAO Schwartz and seeing the piano from the movie Big with Tom Hanks. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was so fascinating too, just looking at all the art and thinking about thousands and thousands of years ago and how developed their artwork was for their time. I joked with Josh,"This is what people did with their time before TV and the internet." In some ways I do think that's true. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I spend my time and asking myself what am I actually doing that's making a difference. How am I living out the mission of Jesus daily? I am really wrestling with this question and asking God to show me my next step. Recently I have been thinking about my what are my passions, what moves me? I really do have a passion for moms and for women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy situations. So, I find myself brainstorming ways that I can be spending more time with people and ways I can live out how Jesus lived.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Finding Stability

Having good friends that you can count on makes life feel very comfortable and stable. It is weird to leave everything that is safe. It feels very counterintuitive and uncomfortable at times. I do love a great adventure, but I don't always love change. I never ever moved as a kid and even if I thought about moving as a child I often got myself so worked up that I would be in tears at times. I don't really know what I was so afraid of as a kid, but I think it's the things that we are all still afraid of as adults. Will I ever find new friends that actually like me for me? Will life be the same? Will I find the same stability if I make this change? I really think that's it for me. I love stability and for things to be steady; in a way it is part of my personality. God continually convicts me of trying to hold too tightly to this world and to stability. I believe it is possible to make an idol out stability, and to cling to it more than to God. It never works out to do that though. God truly calls himself The Rock for a reason. He is the only thing steady and constant in life.
When I was 15 years old I realized that Jesus was truly all I needed. My dad went through congestive heart failure and had been in the hospital several months, and things in my family were truly spinning out of control. I'll never forget a song that my youth pastor wrote that touched my heart so deeply, and they are words that I still cling to today: "through all the shifting sand when I could not stand you surrounded me. So many times I cried and pleaded for what I thought I really needed, for you to take this pain and hurt from me. When I thought all my hope was gone I found your grace and it's sufficiency." The sand was shifting in my life at the time as it often does and I realized Jesus was the only thing that would never change. Clinging to Him is what I have done since, not to say I have tried to pick up stability again a time or two. I have realized that my life is about serving the One True God and that's what I need to stay focused on.
I do miss being so close to the relationships I've spent the last 3 1/2 years building. But, I truly am looking forward to the adventure of getting to know some new future best friends. I know that there will be a reward of great friendships when I cling to God for my constant and remember that He is the giver of all good things! He already knows exactly what I need.