Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week I'm thankful for evidence of spiritual growth in my children, despite not having a regular church home. I'm specifically thankful for:
--AllBoy's weekend report being all about going to church
--AllBoy praying for Princess to be healed from her cough and fever in a hands-on and faith-filled way
--Princess talking about Jesus right and left. Tonight she was asking about seeing Jesus, and how she couldn't wait to get to heaven to see him face to face.

Lord, I thank you for spiritual growth in my children, and for showing it to me.

Just friends

We had to have a "just friends" conversation with a pastor a couple of weeks ago. We've visited several times, and hubby plays for a monthly Sunday night service, and they were excited about a new young family.

And while we've worshipped there, it's not going to be our home church--it's a place holder while we're seeking God. It's two blocks from our house, so it's convenient.

So we had the "just friends" conversation, and it went well...though it's a strange one to have with a church!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Church history

We have an interesting trend in our church attendance history:

Church #1: we attended here when we were dating until we moved. Our first Sunday was their groundbreaking for a new building. They met in the gym of a church school, and moved into the new building the year we were married (the gym wasn't really ready in time for our reception, but we had it there anyway!) They went through a huge transition during this time, with explosive growth. I was a middle school youth counselor, and my husband was on worship team and was worship minister for awhile.

Church #2: met in the Boy's and Girl's Club when we first started attending, and moved into a new building shortly before we moved. I really learned to study my Bible, but we were not well accepted because of my education level and occupation.

Church #3: We knew we were living in this town for only a year, so we wanted to plug in quickly to a church. The church met in a movie theater, then a school gym. They were transitioning from being a college church to a community church.

Church #4: During the year we were attending church #3, we felt called to continue going to that denomination, even if it meant driving an hour on Sundays. The day we committed to that, we discovered a new church listed in a town only 25 miles away. We didn't think it was real--the phone number had the wrong area code, and we both knew that town really well. We called, and that Sunday had been the contact's last Sunday at the old church; they were planting a brand new church. Their first activity was the day after we moved back to the area. We were as close to being on the plant team without moving with the team, though there was a distinct division between leadership that came from the mother church and the "townies". We were life group leaders, I taught kids' church (and coordinated the curriculum) and hubby played on the worship team. We easily could have been "lifers" there, never leaving that church.

So what patterns emerge?
--We must like setting up chairs, since most of these churches have not had buildings and had to set up/tear down each week.
--God has been very active and present, moving these churches to new/different levels.
--Serving is important to us; it's not enough to be a member of the congregation, we need to be actively using our skills.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Moving on

'May another take his place of leadership.' Acts 1:20, quoting Psalm 109:8

Acts 1 ends with the disciples replacing Judas. First they set the criteria, then nominated two men, and finally sought the Lord by casting lots.

Some days I wonder how the donut church has replaced all of us who have left--the worship leader, key board player, singer, hospitality coordinator, several life group leaders and kids' church teachers. They obviously have...I pray they've had smooth transitions.

Lord, I pray for the donut church and for all the new leaders there. May they seek you first, and may You be glorified there.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday--Freedom

I grew up going to a mainline church. During grad school, I realized that I was looking to people to provide what only God could. I decided to "marry" Jesus--that He would be my one and only. I set a date, wrote a ceremony, and even bought a special ring.

A couple of months later, I was contemplating dating someone. I wasn't sure if I should or not--did marrying Jesus mean I couldn't marry a human? Was it the equivalent of committing to be a nun? As I prayed about it, I didn't think that it did, but I didn't want to mess up my relationship with Jesus.

As part of my bedtime routine, I always hooked my ring through my watch and set it on the dresser. One morning, the ring was no where to be found. Not on the dresser, under the dresser, under the bed, anywhere. It was like the ring had just disappeared into thin air! Even two years later when I moved out of the house and could really look everywhere, it was no where to be found.

I took that as a sign that I was free to be in a human relationship...and married my now-husband of more than ten years.

So this week I'm thankful for God's amazing way of freeing me from that concern, and making it clear to me who I should marry!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I bought some potting soil tonight--I want to start some tomatoes, peppers and herbs to put in our garden. They'll start indoors, under a grow light with lots of fertilizer and regular waterings. Once they're well established and it's warmer outside, we'll move them to the garden.

If you leave them in the little pots, they won't flower and bear fruit, and if they do, it's pretty wimpy. The roots need a bigger pot to grow in. It's a little stressful on the plant to move, and it can take some time to acclimate. It's recommended that you set the plants outside for a couple of days before actually transplanting them, to help them get used to life outdoors.

I was talking to a friend this week who also moved on from our former church. We talked about how much we had grown at the donut church, and how we missed life group. This image of transplanting a plant popped in my head, and it fit. They had grown leaps and bounds, and were freed of some spiritual bondage during that time. But others in the church didn't necessarily realize that. While getting uprooted was painful, they've been transplanted into a bigger pot, and are growing and starting to integrate, taking on bigger roles than would have been available at the donut church.

God, I'm ready to move off the porch and be planted somewhere. Help us bear fruit and flourish where ever you have for us.