Jesus loves me this I know. Debra Wants me this I know. My kids appreciate me this I know. My church encourages me this I know. My Life Group cares for me this I know. Everything else I know, I will share with you.

Monday, February 24, 2014

From the Shallows to the Deep

One of the greatest joys in the Gospel ministry is to see the difference Jesus Christ makes in the lives of those who know Him. Over the last few weeks I have been watching a young woman who came to us a few years ago and I wanted to share her story from my vantage point.

This woman came to us broken. Very broken. She was hurt deeply by a multitude of things but worst of all by religion. Her husband was at his wits end and his last hope of saving their marriage was to involve her in newLife. So we did.

The first thing I remember we did was connect her to a very mature woman in Christ who too had been deeply wounded but knew how to take that hurt and turn it into holiness. This mature woman's love and devotion pierced through the hurt of her broken heart and the healing began.

Over the next couple of years this newly healed young woman began to transform into the loving, kind, beautiful woman that had been hidden for so long. Her heart began to grow and grow but its one thing to live for Christ on the mountain top and another to live in the valley.

As it so happens one day that valley came. Her heart was hurt again and I wondered how she would process the pain. Would she go back to the protection of her past or would she press through in Christ. I wondered, Would she LIVE forgiveness and grace. I will be honest this is always a scary place for a Pastor and I was seriously concerned.

What happened? She navigated her hurt through a godly grace and a Christ~Like Forgiveness. On this side of her hurt I can with great assurance know that this young woman is no longer a student of a mature woman's Love and devotion but has become a teacher with a mature woman's love and devotion.

As her Pastor I am happy to know that her ability to navigate forgiveness has changed her life by  encouraging her marriage, enhancing her ministry, and honoring her Savior.

Through the work of many at newLife, She has gone from the shallow waters and rocky shores of her pain into the deeper things of God and I couldn't be more pleased.

3 John 1:4

 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Apples or Rotton Oranges

I don't mean to be so harsh but I have to say it. I HATE my Galaxy s4. I know I know its not good to hate, but I do. As an IPhone user for four years I was encouraged to try the Android System mainly because for some stupid reason Apple created the I Phone 5 with a tiny screen and I can't see it very well. But from the first day, I knew this transition was a wrong one and here is why.

#1 To do Anything with the Android you have to go through at least 6 steps to accomplish even the most simple of tasks. It reminds me of using my debit card at a grocery store and having to go through several screens just to purchase a $3 item. UGH.

#2 You can't pick the phone up without screwing something up. Literally, every time I pick it up I either erase an app, change a page, dial a number I didn't mean to dial, or send an empty text. I have even accidentally added photos to my background without understanding how they got there. Every swipe, drop of sweat, or gas bubble affects what happens on this phone.

#3 Yes, there are more apps available than the I Phone, but most of the apps are garbage and there is no clear way of knowing if the app is any good without downloading it onto your phone.

I never had any of these problems with my Apple Product. But it did make me think for a moment about the Church.

There are many churches just like the Android system.
To be a part of the church there are several hoops you need to jump through just to attend and no simple explanation how to navigate even the simplest of tasks.

You can't attend without offending someone. Literally every time you attend there is something negative about the experience. Its not intentional but it happens that either you offend or are offended.

Yes churches have many ministries as well as many activities, but most of them are garbage and there is no way of knowing if the activity is any good except you attend.

As soon as I can I am going back to the simple beauty of the I Phone. It was created to be a purposeful as well as powerful tool for mankind. And so was the Church.

Some may prefer the Android church, I'll stick with the 52 days of the Apple church.

A Purposeful as well as Powerful tool for mankind to connect with a God who seeks the simplicity of faith.

Steve Jobs was no fool.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Try Listening

Margin ~ To create space in life

He (the Preacher) said that it was important to create margin for things that were most important. But I didn't listen. I came home and went to work and worked hard.

He (the Preacher) said that if margin was not created by you it would be created for you. But I didn't listen and margin came. The space that was created was from the emptiness of creativity.

He (the Preacher) said that when margin came, even on its own, I should live in it. But I didn't listen and closed up the margin. Too much to do.

He s(the Preacher) said that if I closed up the margin that was created by not creating margin myself the result would be burn out. But I listened to that. I've burned out before and it always hurts.

So I opened up that margin again.

I canceled meetings with people and spent meetings with God. He spoke, I listened. I spoke, He answered. It was the inspiration and information that I needed to live better and work smarter and make the space in my life more enjoyable.

And all I had to do was listen and create space in life for God.

Maybe I need to get my ears cleaned?