Saturday, February 19, 2011

about learning to see what's right there

alright, friends. i have a lot going on right now. several things are a-stewin' in this head of mine, which always seems to come in waves. so in advance - hold on, it's random and a bit lengthy.

if you remember several months ago, i said i believe God planted a small seed of a desire to see a successful women's ministry begin to take shape in my local church community. God is faithful and has been continuing his good work. this post is partly mental notes for me to document how this whole thing is taking shape, even if slowly, and partly to share my excitement with you (because how can I keep God's work a secret!?). aside from anything i could ever try to plan & execute myself, i'd love to tell you about the topics stirring around in my head & heart as well.

-started reading(yes, lofty goals!)a book called The Forgotten God by Francis Chan. definitely rethinking (or even paying attention for the first time) to the role of the Holy Spirit in me as living and real, and not just a Sunday School answer.

-Zumba. continues to grow & i love love love hearing the excitement by several participants who are slowly growing in their addiction *evil laugh*. it's working! bridging the gap between healthy physical bodies & healthy communities and souls is narrowing.

-this is a big year for my church community, in my opinion. tim & i have now been here 3 years and feel like it's time to dig into the trenches & get serious about making a change. i'm expecting it to be uncomfortable for many, and we're learning to be okay with that. it always amazes me how God sets things on our hearts individually & then we have those "me too!" moments. we're also starting to make our "church community" as outside the walls of our congregation where tim is employed.

-our current church community is looking towards figuring out what discipleship means for them. it's an uncomfortable conversation at times, and involves some looking in the mirror and admitting that most of the time, we're not doing it. in order to do my part, i've decided that along with the help of the Holy Spirit, i'm going to attempt some matchmaking of my own within the demographic i know best - women. by matchmaking i mean taking what i've learned from previous discipleship groups that have worked well & providing opportunities for women to connect with each other - OUTSIDE of kids, husbands, work, etc.

i have the privilege of being connected to our church body by default - i'm a pastor's wife. people have to be nice to me, know who i am, involve us, etc. however, i need to remember those who may walk into the building looking for that connection. what is there? "hmm, do you have kids? no? um..well, services are at 9 and 10:30. won't that be fun??" (sad, but true.)

-tim and i have been faced with the reality that Anderson might be a long term home for us. we've complained for far too long about how this city has nothing to offer the twenty somethings for entertainment, culture & recreation. we've done a half ass job, to probably be pretty honest, about investing in this city as the Lord's holy ground. too long we've lived in a "one day" state of mind and dreaming about the next trendy town we live in with lots to keep us entertained and endless ministry opportunities. well, i feel as if a veil has been lifted and that place we always said we'd live intentionally and make our mission field is right. freaking. here. Anderson is a special town with financial strife, poverty, hopeless people, and an education system that is below par. who are we to decide we're too good for this place? and what cool city park or trendy cafe can replace good friends that would do anything for you & live life with you?? God needs us here. we try to remind ourselves when we have frustrations about our present location that if we don't stay and give hope, who will?

well, i don't ever promise great literature or clever crafty tutorials, but i hope that you find encouragement & comfort in reading about how God works through a crazy world, even if it's just the small realm of my own reality here in a seemingly hopeless city in central Indiana.

God bless. enjoy your time with loved ones this weekend & make sure they know you love them.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


new pillows for the couch in the EXACT colors i need. now if i only had an extra $160 for all four...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

God prepared us, even then.

This is an old blog post from 2006. Tim and I weren't even married yet. I found it wandering around my own blog and thought it was interesting to see how something I wrote almost five years ago applies to my life in the present. This is often how Tim and I have been viewing our years here in Anderson, the big town with little hope. There certainly wasn't much "pulling" us to Anderson, but we were every bit shoved out here by God telling us to stop complaining about the church and BE the church. We don't necessarily consider ourselves 'missionaries' in the vocational sense, but maybe we should.

what is a missionary?
october 26, 2006

this morning's devotion has been sticking in my mind so clearly today. many times i've had to reread things in order to really process what it's saying, especially in the morning and today was no different. along with having to explain it to myself to make sure i understood instead of just read, i connected it surprised.....a teaching strategy.

i've often taught a lesson about the pioneers and the California Gold Rush. there were many things that "pulled" settlers out west, things that enticed and were attractive to men and women alike that gravitated them West. Things such as harsh conditions and failure in their original homelands are categorized as things that "pushed" them.

again, we have conditions that attracted them "towards" something and conditions that repelled people or "pushed" them from behind.

in church words, we could say some were "sent" and some were "called". make sense?

missionaries are often persuaded to present their missions using graphic stories, outstanding statistics, and desperate faces on their slides and displays. don't get me wrong, needs have to be met and sometimes we have to have that certain heartstring pulled inside ourselves in order to feel motivated at all. situations have to appear desperate enough in order to "call" people to them.

however, Oswald Chambers challenged me this morning to look at it a different way.
missionaries are sent. they might feel called, but i believe that in fact, they are commanded by a force BEHIND them. they are not sent by the people who need them. they are pulled towards them, but sent by Jesus.

the most important part of the whole missionary equation is the command. don't go because they need you. go because you were told to go.

fix the "pulls" as a result of the "push".

In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is effaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind falters an dfails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations."

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Sunday, February 06, 2011

For today

Outside my window: it's dark, yet surprisingly bright with all the snow on the ground.

I am thinking: about paint colors for the main bathroom. And how i'd love to own a house and do what i wanted, but that takes money and commitment. Neither of which i have.

I am thankful for: my husband, who lets me sit in the recliner and hog the computer. during the superbowl.

From the kitchen: I have potato soup planned to feed our small group tomorrow, and i must stop making desserts.

I am wearing: my pajama pants from Goodwill. that's right. well, and a tshirt. geez.

I am reading: nothing printed, except for the occasional cookbook.

I am hoping: that spring comes quickly and isaac's nose will stop running. :(

I am creating: an opportunity for change in my eating habits (a continuous effort, since i am a lover of all desserts)

I am hearing: the Super Bowl wrapping up, and the click of my husband's camera as he attempts some night shots.

Around the house: we are slowly purging out the unnecessary and organizing!

One of my favorite things: is my little boy's laugh.

A few plans for the rest of the week: First night of our new small group, zumba class, MOPS on Thursday, and hopefully getting back into the routine of going to the Y after so much snow has canceled everything i look forward to!