Sunday, January 10, 2016

Here I am, Lord

This blog is all about being open and being real as I do this journey called life...
With that end in mind, I am being open and honest when I say that it has been awhile since I have been hit over the head with a truth that stopped me in my tracks and made me think....just sayin!

This morning, I went to a new Sunday School class. Not only new for me - new as in this was the first Sunday for this class to meet EVER. Even though I have been in this church for almost 3 years, and know most of the members at least by name...I was nervous. When it comes to Bible Study and Sunday School I like the familiar, the known, the expected...Today wasn't any of those and yet it was a good thing!

We are using the Gospel Project for adults as our curriculum. I wasn't exactly thrilled. I mean hello we have used the Gospel Project for kids for like the last 5 years with children's ministry in various different could it be? Um...wrong!!!

Our class began in Exodus 2 with Moses and the burning bush. I have heard this story countless of times and perhaps you had too, however today a few things stuck out to me for the first time! Our teacher asked us what we thought Moses had been doing for 40 years while being a Shepherd. What was his mindset? What did he do and think about while in the fields all those years?
Immediately it occurred to me that he had to have talked with God for some of that time...I mean he knew and loved God. So he had a relationship with God of course he talked with him.

Now to the part that hit forward to Exodus 3:4. Moses has seen the burning bush, he approaches it and God speaks to him from the bush. What was Moses' IMMEDIATE response?


That's what he says....He doesn't question who it is, he doesn't hesitate, he says right away "Here I am". He knew it was God. He was ready to hear from God. He was willing to respond. Now, don't jump ahead to later - we know he questions God - just stay here for a bit....

Am I so close to God that when He speaks to me in the most unexpected way that I would STILL recognize His voice? Am I ready and willing to say "HERE I AM"? When God calls and sends will I know without a doubt that it is HIM who is speaking?

This is where I want to be...this is where I have been missing it....and this is where I am working to be. I want to KNOW my Savior so intimately, so well, so fully that no matter where, when or through whatever means...I will recognize it is Him and respond with....

Friday, January 1, 2016

A New Year... A New Word....A New Purpose

Happy New Year! Happy, it seems just weird typing that! As I look back on 2015, I am amazed at God's plan and how we saw Him move and work throughout our lives and the lives of others.

Several years back, a Sunday School teacher of mine encouraged us to all pray and ask God for a word to define the upcoming new year. I have loved that little tradition and have had such words as flexible, purposeful, hospitality, etc. A few weeks ago, I was reminded of this and began to pray about what my word would be for 2016....

Before I go into that and share this year's word with you, I want to be open and let you know where I have been the past year spiritually. And let me tell has not been pretty. Although we saw so many great and wonderful things in our lives this past year - spiritually speaking it was a difficult year for me. I struggled with my prayer life, I struggled with my quiet time, I struggled with feeling and experiencing God speaking to me. It was rough. I longed for a friend to come along and encourage me or inspire me...but soon realized that was NOT what I needed. What I needed, was to crawl up into the arms of my Saviour and let HIM speak to me, encourage me, fill me, inspire me and love on me right where I was. The past few weeks - I have done just that, I still have a long way to go and lots of time to spend with Him but He IS working on me, He IS loving me and I am excited to grow closer to Him in the coming year!

Alright - so back to THIS year and the word that He has placed on my heart. Not long ago I was watching Jennifer Rothchild on Periscope (If you haven't heard her or read her stuff DO IT! She's awesome) anyway, this particular time she and her husband were at a Dunkin Donuts and talking about this exact thing...a word for the new year. She asked us to comment what our word for the new year was and before I could think twice about it - this year's word was typed and posted and I am ecstatic about it.....


This is my word for 2016! I want to live a MISSIONAL life. For this coming year I want all I to do to reflect an attitude of missions for the Kingdom purpose. Joel and I have taught children and youth countless times that we are ALL missionaries no matter where we live, what our job is or what church we attend. However, even with teaching that, I haven't really focused on LIVING a missional life. Recently Joel was sharing with me a blog post that he had read where this writer would purposely go to the grocery store at the same time, to the same register and have the same clerk for the purpose of developing a relationship with them to open the door to sharing the Gospel. The same was true with a waitress at a restaurant - he would go to the same restaurant, same time each week, and ask for the same waitress for the purpose of opening the door to share the Gospel.
I witnessed something similar yesterday as Joel and I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful friend and mentor for a two-hour lunch. He knew the staff, had developed a relationship with them, and was able to minister to them in a personal way. I was amazed and inspired!

As I sat through lunch yesterday, God re-affirmed that MISSIONAL was my word for 2016! I need to work hard on having more than just a surface level relationship with people. To take the time, get to know them and their families. To reach out to them and be bold in proclaiming the Gospel message. I sincerely believe that throughout this coming year, God is going to grow and stretch me in this area of being missional. I am excited and yet also nervous to see what opportunities are tossed my way this coming year. I know that in living out this intentional missional life my family will be stretched probably more than we have in many,many years. We will be called to step out of what is comfortable and to be willing to act in faith.

What is God showing YOU for the coming year? What word would He have you focus on? If you were to live a MISSIONAL LIFE what would it look like? I would love to hear your thoughts and insights!

Happy 2016 friends and family!!!