Monday, April 22, 2013

Being One With Others Notes

My sister snapped this photo at the Retreat
I had the honor of speaking a few weekends ago at New Day Community Church's Women's Retreat. Even though it was at a women's retreat, every point can apply to men too--so don't let that keep you from reading on!

I was asked to share on the topic of "Being One With Others" which is something I'm so passionate about. God created us to be His Bride, complete, whole, and loving. I believe that two areas are key to unity: 1) Knowing your Identity in Christ and 2) Taking the Practical Steps to Honor and Love Others.

I had one session on Saturday, and I had quite a few requests that I share my notes. I do hope to write these up as a series of blogposts, but I'm not sure how long that will take, so today I thought I'd share a link to the message and a link to a PDF of my notes if you're interested. Please let me know if you listen to it--I'd love to know if it blesses you.
Audio: http://bit.ly/beingonesermon
(The audio is a little quiet but it should work ok)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

5 Impromptu Updates

There's a lot going on in my life right now! And it's Wednesday, only barely, and I really meant to get you a lovely post out already, and I haven't done so.

So today you get a fairly unedited and quite impromptu post with 5 things I want to tell you about.

1. WorshipArts Apex is Saturday. This is it folks--the big culmentation of our season. It's like show and tech week all rolled into one day. So, that's a lot. And it's all about worshiping Jesus. So, that's awesome. And you know what else? You should totally come. Not only do I think you'd be blessed to see the youth of this generation lead us in praising Christ--you'll totally bless and support Peter and I. ^_^ So, come already. (I don't want to always be tooting WA's horn. But...it's a HUGE part of my life. And so I'm going to talk about it anyways. Sorry if it bugs you.)

2. I spoke for the first time at a Women's Retreat this weekend. I was super nervous, and it went amazingly well. I filled a whole 30 minutes and I could have kept going. That was so amazing and fun, and I really think it blessed people. SO MANY ladies came up to me afterwards. (I think word is getting out that I'm a words of affirmation gal; I was SO encouraged! Thank you if you have complimented me lately. It means a lot!) And I really think God used me to strengthen His ladies. I will hopefully be linking to notes and my a podcast sermon someday here. =)

3. I really have the best husband ever. He loves Christ passionately and is working so hard to provide for us while furthering the Kingdom of Christ. And Peter loves me so evidently and completely. I am blossoming as his bride. Can you believe it'll be 3 years we've been married this summer, and 12 years we'll have known each other this May? Cah-raze-ey. 

4. Also super pumped with the girl time I've been getting lately. Even though life is ridiculously full, I get to see my sister Emily when she interns at New Day, and Lindsay and I have been catching dinner together a decent amount. I've been able to skype and text my dear Caitlin, and I am SO excited that Hannah and Abby will be back soon for summer!! Love that I'm still close to all my bridesmaids. So great.



5. I used the word "so" so frequently in this post that I'm reminded of one of my favorite worship leaders, Israel Houghton, and "Say So." So we'll end with that:


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

He Makes Everything Good

My life is the fullest it has ever been. So I've been stressed. But God has parted the time and helped me rest first, then work. This is the fruit:

Inspiration:                                                My Creation:


Inspiration:                                              My Creation:



Inspiration:                                                       My Creation:

It's been so good. I'm thankful for Christ's release, peace and freedom in my life.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Life as a Church Administrator, Pt 6: Rollercoaster


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I work as the Administrator at an amazing church in Kalamazoo. I get a front row seat to the highs and lows of running a church. It’s definitely a rollercoaster: I can say with assurance that I’ve felt the chill of the “click-click-click” as the coaster cranks up to the peak and you are practically petrified wondering if the tracks will hold, as it slowly inches along, terrified the catch will break and you will plummet backwards. And I’ve experienced the exact thrill of that G-force fall and the crazy-is-this-really-happening-fear-and-joy that comes as you race forward down the tracks--all from my office chair at New Day Community Church.

Please note: If you didn’t read my last post on Numbers, please do so; it’s important to me that you know my heart before you read this post.
via
Take last year for example. We got off to a great start--attendance and finances were up, meaning we were impacting more real people in Kalamazoo with the gospel, and we were able to pour more money into ways to increase that even more.

But then at the end of the spring and early summer, everything changed. Within weeks less people were coming, finances got tight, our Pastor had a serious heart attack, and some other crazy things happened. God kept giving us big goals, promising to provide ways to achieve them. But the numbers just weren’t what we needed to meet our goals and pay the bills, and just like any business, goals go on hold for the bills. So we kept trusting God.

We’d had “bad weeks” before, so we kept inching along, making spending cuts left and right. But the low weeks turned into low months. I’ll be honest: I had gotten myself ready to expect a “you’re going to have to work less hours” talk--but Pastor held fast to God’s promise it would not come to that.

Another factor was that early in the year God had told Pastor to teach on tithing in the fall. And then all summer we are low. ...I don’t know about you, but that always seems like a risky thing to do when offerings are low (...or high, actually; It just seems risky). Will people feel judged? Unloved? Insecure? Angry? However, if there is one thing I’ve learned, you always follow God’s leading, and you definitely don’t let “what people will think” run the show.

It was one of those seasons where you feel every ounce of the weight of gravity as you are trying to inch up the peak of the coaster and reach your goals. Each “click” is excruciating, and as the potential energy builds, you become more and more certain the next click will break and you will plummet backwards.

When you’re in those seasons, all you have left is clinging to the promises of God and standing on the testimony of the Word. If you’re in one of those seasons now; don’t lose hope. Hang in there, because God is faithful.

To Be Continued

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