Monday, March 18, 2013

Moving...

Well, our church has officially moved out of our old location!  It was a week of complete exhaustion!! ...full of lots of boxes, trash, planning, coordinating, frustration, joy, excitement and energy drinks! ;)

Leaving the parking lot yesterday was surreal.  Definitely something I've prayed about and for, for a long, long time.  We are overjoyed to be debt free!  God's way of working things out always exceeds what you dreamed up or how you thought things would best work!  I am honored to be a part of this church, this team and this season of outreach and ministry for McDonough.  

I have been blessed to be a part of two church plants and this, in a lot of ways feels like planting a church.  The great thing about it is, we already have 200 people planting with us!! This move has been much harder for some than others...and rightfully so.  But I read a question yesterday and it really made me think - here's the question - "Is it possible to get so wrapped up in our faith, that the concepts of faith become more important than our actual faith?"  The answer is yes!  That made me think about the church... Is is possible to get so wrapped up in the concept of church, that "doing church" {i.e. dinners, socials, fundraisers, plaques on the wall, classes that we've always had, doing things the way we've always done them, & even the relationships we build with people} becomes more important than true church?  I believe that the answer is, YES!  What is church?  It is us.  It is a group of people who have come together for 1 purpose and that's Jesus.  We are the church, whether we meet in a cathedral or a small, rented store-front; a multi-million dollar building or underground.  Who we are not determined by where we meet or what our facility looks like - although I believe that God blesses when you prepare for people and do it with excellence - it is determined by who we believe God is, how we allow Him to shape us, as well as whatever He calls us to do. 

I am praying and ask you to say a prayer with me that our church as well as all Christians, will begin walking out our faith and not just living with "faith" around us.  Let's also realize that we are the church...not the building and not just the group of people that meet with me each week, but all people that have put their trust in God and live for Him.  I love how two different churches are drawing close to each other; bonds are being made & faith being strengthened as we receive God's awesome blessings!  My heart is full when I think about all that God is going to do through Tabernacle of Praise & The Landing Church @ McDonough as we both move forward!!

Blessings ~ W

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What a load?!

I rarely share this type of thing in a social media type setting, but the Bible says, we have not because we ask not.  I know, that is speaking of what we are asking God for, but part of the reason God makes believers a "family" is so that we can 'share the load'...
I'm asking you to help us share our load.  

We, (Mark, Trenton, Kamdyn & myself) need your prayers.  We are humbled by the position of ministry God has led us into.  We, by no means, sought it out.  We can look back at situations over the past 4-5 years and see things that we took for surface value, that were actually key moments of God's preparation for this season of our lives.  We are in awe at how God has orchestrated every detail over the past year, and our church's upcoming move is no exception!  Please understand, our hope, confidence and trust is in God and Him alone and we lean heavily on Phil. 4:13 ("I can do all things...") but, we are not exempt to human weakness and we are definitely feeling the strain of the enormity of this move.  

When there just aren't enough hours in each day or energy in our bodies, it's easy to get cross or short.  It's easy to lose focus, to feel like you're drowning, to begin looking only at yourself and taking pity.  Life doesn't go on hold because of one, single situation in your life...tonight, after working at the church for most of the afternoon, I got home to 4 loads of laundry that need to be folded and 5-6 more that need to be washed.  My exhausted Kamdyn cried for an hour trying to drift off to sleep and Trenton had a tummy ache that was keeping him up.  I have several documents to create before church, sippy cups & snacks to pack, dinner to prepare for tomorrow since we'll be working at the church, and clothes to lay out.....my list goes on, but my heart says just call on God.  
In doing that, I was impressed to ask for a few people to be like Aaron was for Moses - for Mark & me.  Some jobs Aaron worked at together, with Moses, and other times he just held up Moses' hands.  We usually look at Moses & what he did, because He was the leader, but both jobs were necessary. Both had to be done.  Both we're needed to accomplish God's plan. 

We really are just at the beginning of this move process, and if we're being honest, we're already a little weary going in to these next two weeks.  Please, say a prayer that we stay focused on the big picture and that God speak to some Aarons to work alongside us, while others keep us lifted up in prayer.  Also, please pray for Trenton & Kamdyn, they are such a blessing and are amazingly flexible with our crazy schedule.  They don't feel the weight of it all, but they experience the results of the weight and for that I ask God give them a special blessing, understanding & endurance!  The great thing about it all, that it is just for a season and that this challenge has an end.  What's even better, is that through this, God is doing a great work in our lives & in our church!!



As I thought about all of this, I thought about trucks with the "Wide Load" sign.  It's easy to see when there is a wide load, even without the sign, but there are no signs and often no clues to the real weight of a truck's load.  I think the same is true for our lives.  It's easy to see when there's a big job or a big situation in a person's life, but not often known how heavy a load they are carrying.  The only way to see that, is through the Holy Spirit, opening your eyes to it.  I'm praying that my eyes be open and my heart be sensitive to those heavy loads being carried, by those around me!  Blessings ~

Saturday, March 2, 2013

1000 Days


1000 days ago, I was facing the most frightening day of my life!  My love was heading into surgery...major surgery!  The man, who had been to the doctor once in the almost 4 years we had been married (for a kidney stone), was headed into bypass surgery for his heart.  It was a day full of anticipation! Dread, fear & anxiety all kept welling up inside of me...but there was also assurance, hope & even moments of complete peace.  

As I think back on that day, I thank God for it!  Without that day, my life would be drastically different now...my husband's life was saved.  Our lives together were forever changed, but we know that God has been with us completely!  There are challenges that we will forever face now, but there is also a confidence in our tomorrows that we gained through that experience.  I thank God for guiding the doctors, for the support of friends & family during that time - there are people I had never met that touched my heart so deeply with their prayers & words of encouragement, but most of all I thank God for His constant presence with me when I felt I was facing an impossible situation! 

The 1000 days that have passed have taken us through some wonderful moments and some others that we would have rather not traveled through, but I'm reminded of the verse in Psalm 90:4 - "For you, a thousand years are as a passing days as brief as a few night hours."  God holds everyday.  Nothing slips by Him.  Each day may seem huge to us, but God sees it as a brief moment of the great plans He has for each of us.  He never leaves us to face, even a moment, alone.  His will is perfect & His plans prosper those who put their lives fully in His care.  His love is like no other. He is sovereign! 

In the past 1000 days we have...
Dealt with a serious medication reaction just a week after Mark got out of the hospital; welcomed a lovely little bundle, named KAMDYN; Mark dealt with pleurisy, which mimicked previous heart issues, giving us a scare; bought a foreclosed house, a HUGE blessing; discovered Mark has Bundle Branch Blockage; sent Mark off on his 1st missions trip since we've been married; begun a wonderful tradition with our family - our presents at Christmas are in the form of time away with our children & parents - PRICELESS; had our first "real" injury to Trenton - he's now proud of his scar ;); saw Mark go into surgery again, this time just a hernia repair & had great results; gone through the most challenging year of ministry, but also the year that we have felt the most love & blessings from our Pastor & congregation; watched our brilliant Trenton go from a baby to a boy, now getting ready to begin kindergarten, 
my list could go on & on....

This has been a time of crazy changes in our lives, but they all, through the work of God in our lives, have been turned to good & helped shape us into who we are today.  The next 1000 days are yet to be walked out, but I've learned to lean more on God & what He has today...we aren't promised tomorrow, but if it comes, let God be your guide through whatever challenges come because that's when you'll see Him most, sense Him closest to you & experience blessings you never thought you'd see!  They may not always come immediately, but they will come!


Didn't Know How to LOVE

What a downer title, I KNOW...  Especially 2 flippin' days before Valentine's Day, right?   I am completely undone tonight thou...