Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Week in GA

I have spent the last week in Georgia with Kellie getting her ready for school and getting myself ready to move.  I went to the Drivers Licence office and got my new Georgia D.L. That was stranger than I thought it would be, good but strange.  I guess it was just a final step.  I had a wonderful interview with a Church in the area and am excited to see what the Lord will do with me.  I even got my Kroger's plus card and book club card from the local book store.  Now I know I have moved. 

Kellie and I are going to check out a Church this morning I believe the Spirit is going to move on the people and I want to be in that group.  I've had a great time with the family.  We have cooked out and gone to the pool together.  These are things that I haven't got to do with them since I left home when I was 18.  This will be the first time in 25 years that have lived around the family.  I am so excited for that.  I got the house bug while I was here.  There are so many amazing deals on homes right now, it is a bit overwhelming.  I believe God is pointing me to the right one.  Tonight we are supposed to go and look which should be a fun time (if you like that sort of thing). 

With all of the move, my mind is still on Borger and the last bit of details that need to be worked out there.  I have a few more messages to preach as we make the transition from me to Pastor Shawn, and I am excited to preach them.  The Ukraine trip is the last big deal with the team in Borger.  We will be flying out on the 9th of August and returning home on the 27th.  Kim and I are teaching a marriage retreat for the last week of the Trip.

I'm trying hard to stay focused on the tasks at hand.  It is hard to believe that I won't just be visiting here anymore.  In some ways it changes the dinamics of the things you do and the things you say, knowing that these are the people you are now going to live and work with; all of which is healthy.  I hope and pray that everyone has a great time in the house of the Lord today.  I know Scott Cooper will do a fantastic job in the pulpit at Fellowship.  As we say here in Georgia, "Come On Wid It." :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let the Lord Guide your Steps

When a person has a stable job in an environment where people love him and he turns in his resignation with no job lined up, people will think that you're crazy.  The only time this would make any since to some would be when God himself comes down and says it time for you to move.  This has happened to me several times now in my journey with the Lord and I am in the midst of one of those times now.

I'm at Signing Hills Youth Camp this week with the young people and it is such a wonderful place for me.  I grew up coming to the camp since I was in Jr. High.  Yesterday, Kim and I were walking around the grounds and I was showing her the trees that I have cried under when I was moved by the Lord in different times in my life.  I preached my first sermon for for a preaching competition here at the camp.  I won awards here.  I was playing basketball on the court one year slipped on the rocks and my shorts turned to shreds.  Pretty funny when there's girls all around and you're 15.  I received my first kiss here from a girl named Kim (not my wife).    I worked up here for a summer after I graduated High School (one of the best summers of my life).  And on this day, June 18th, 24 years ago, I met Kim Umholtz here, my bride for the past 22 years.

Chris Ruzicka is the camp speaker this year.  He served as my associate at Fellowship for 8 years has we were setting the direction and vision of the Church.  He and I were sitting in the counselor's meeting just as proud parents watching the people that we trained not need us anymore.  They got it.  They understand it.  They can do it.  I realized while I was sitting there that it didn't matter if I was there or not.  I have no responsibilities and no one is asking me questions.  This didn't hurt my feeling but rather excited me to no end.  They got this!

While the kids were praising I took a stroll on the nature walk behind the camp.  I have been asking the Lord to guide my steps through this move and he have been faithful to do so.  There is an opportunity that presented itself in Atlanta that I am feeling good about pursuing.  I don't know all the details yet and I'm not sure if it will turn into anything at all but I know God is in control.  As I walked I just shared with Him again how important it is for me that he guide my steps.  I don't want to scramble around trying to make something happen.  That has been my M.O. in the past and I have learned that I just get in the way and muddy the waters of His will.  No, I just want to here from the Lord and follow his command.  His Word promises me that when I put my trust in him that He will direct my path.  These are exciting times in my life.  I feel closer to the Lord than I have in years.  I feel as if I have been born again, "again."  I guess what I'm trying to say is, "My spirit is renewed."  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Long Trip Home

Have you ever noticed when you go on vacation that the trip home seems a lot longer than the trip going.  I think it is because of the anticipation one feels when you are going to a new place or going to do something different and exciting.  Home is just that; it's home.  You know what it looks like you know what you are going to do and the people you are going to see. 

I started this morning drinking coffee at Panara Bread with my pastor Jeff Adams.  I have had two pastors in my life that have helped to mold, shape, and guide me.  The first was John Gross the pastor of North Park Baptist Church in Humble, Texas where I grew up.  I was saved and called to preach under his ministry and leadership.  Brother Gross gave me a heart for people and the desire to reproduce myself.  The second has been Jeff Adams the pastor of Graceway in Raytown, Missiouri.  Jeff taught me how to study my Bible and join God in his mission of reconciling the world unto Himself.  Both of these men are invaluable to me not only for the past for also for my future.  Jeff has one of the greatest missions minds that I know, and I know God is calling me to do greater things in the way of missions around the world.  It was good to share with my pastor and friend all that God is doing in my life.  He has been suggesting that I take the Perspectives class for about a year, but it hasn't been offered anywhere near Borger or Amarillo for that matter.  So I was excited to learn that there are 4 classes that will be offered in Atlanta at the beginning of next year. I will be sure to grab that class as soon as I can.

After the wonderful time with Jeff, we packed up and loaded up for the long trip home.  I spent a moment assuring Kim's Mom that I would make every effort for her to see her little girl as much as possible.  I tried to explain that it's actually easier and cheaper to get a flight from Atlanta than Amarillo but I don't think I was doing much good.  It will be a "show me don't tell me" kind of thing. 

I decided on the way home that I would drive Kellie to Atlanta on the 24th instead of fly so that we can pack as much of her things as possible and take the dog to Mom's.  She has graciously decided to watch Zach (we named him Zaccheaus because he is just a wee little man) while we are in Ukraine.  So Kellie and I will take off on our first adventure in Atlanta of enrolling her in her new high school.  I will also take advantage of getting my Georgia licence, and storage building and the like while I'm there.

We pulled into town and the girls all had somewhere to go and someone to see.  They are teens: what do you expect.  So, we dropped them all off and Kim and I grabbed a subway sandwich and headed to the apt.  We sold our kitchen table so we ate on our coffee table that rises to serve as a tv tray (if you've seen one you know what I'm talking about).  Then we unpacked and continued getting this place livable for the next month.  Now it time to retire before the rat race starts in the morning.  I have mixed emotions about it, but it really doesn't matter.  There are still things that must be done for the Church, the Kingdom, and the Sizemore's that will not wait another day.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Unexpected Blessing at Graceway

Saturday night was a great time over at the Ruzickia's.  (For those of you who don't know: Chris was my associate for the first 8 years of my ministry in Borger.)  He invited Kent and Kim Liles over for some wonderful apple pie and Ice cream.  He know what I like.  He topped it off with coffee and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  This was the first time I had got a chance to recount all that God has done and is doing in my life with the move from Borger.  There was discussion about what the Lord has for me in the future and things I might like to do.  As I was thinking along those lines; I think I would love to be a part of a ministry team that was a bit more mature than I am spiritual so that I could be challenged to go to the next level of ministry for the Lord.  As crazy as it sounds: I want to be apart of a movement that changes the world for the glory of God and his kingdom.  I know it sounds lofty but that is in fact why we are here.  I am not thinking high minded, but at the same time I am remembering that we have a mighty God that has chosen me to be in his ministry and he wants to change the world with his gospel message of Love and reconciliation.  I want to join God in this endeavor and I know that mean change, growth, more wisdom and understanding about how the world works and how we, Christians, work in it.  I am ready to take whatever steps that are necessary to make that a reality.  As I am sitting here typing this I realize that I have never been so bold or transparent with my thoughts but I don't see any reason to keep these things close to the chest at this point.  I'm looking for direction, advise, spiritual wisdom, and most of all direction for my Lord and King on how he wants to use me in his mission.  I also realize the discipline, and righteousness that is necessary for this type of ministry and I want to achieve that discipline in my life.

Then we went to Graceway in Kansas City, MO Sunday morning.  We went to the High school class because we all love to here Kent's passion for the Lord.  He preached a great message on living a life that means something for the Kingdom and how not to waist your youthful years.  Then we went to the main service and was able to hear Jeff Adams as he taking the Church through Luke.  I was reminded of the simple fact of why we do ministry at all.  There is a day of judgment coming and God is doing all he can to warn and guide people out of danger and into his salvation.  It is not for money or fame or any other reason.  People need the salvation of the Lord and we are the chosen ones to bring it to the world.  It was good for my soul.

Many of you know of the our friends in Turkey.  He and his wife were here this morning to be ordained and sent out by Graceway.  I was able to introduce Kim to his wife whom she prays for often but had never met. I was excited to see them and catch up with all that is going on in their lives and ours.  I can't wait to go and visit them in there home.

We then went to lunch with the Whitwood's at a Mexican restaurant on the Kansas side.  The food was decent but the fellowship was divine.  I then spent the afternoon with my father in law catching up on "Ice Truckers" on the History channel.  I had never watched a full episode but now I think I'm hooked.  I'm rooting for Austin: kid's got made driving skills.  Finished up with a bowl of ice cream and here we are.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Family and Friends

July is going to be a very busy month.  We had a great time with Scott and Lori watch the big fireworks production in Amarillo.  It’s nice when you can just sit back and watch for free with no mess and no clean up.  I highly recommend it for all those in the Panhandle.

We headed out Thursday on a little vacation to Kansas City to visit Kim’s Mom and Dad and see some friends while we are here.  we found out last Sunday night that the family that was going to take Zach (my little puppy) was not able to take him.  I was relieved because I really didn’t want to give him up.  So, we got to find out he does on long car rides.  He was right at home slept most of the way and went poddy in the grass just like he was supposed to.  Anywho!  I was so excited just to get to KC and rest, literally.  We have been so busy with the move from the apartment and the selling of the house that Kim and I were exhausted.  The trip on Thursday was easy.  We have made that trip so many times that we can knock down 8 hours like it was nothing.  This was the first time all the family traveled in new Acadia, and it was so comfortable and smooth: it made the trip very easy. 

We spent all day Friday just chilling out and resting napping until the evening when we were going to meet up with some old friends of ours: John, Kellie, and Kathryn Whitwood.  We first met John and Kellie through the discipleship process at Graceway.  We were there mentors and watch them grow in there spiritual walk with the Lord.  They have been walking with us ever since.  They have been cheering us on the entire time we have been in Borger, knowing that it was a call of God for us to go and share with Borger what had been done to them.  They were excited to here of the new changes that are coming to us, so we found ourselves at Chilies recounting all the blessing and miracles that God has done to get us to this point and decision.  We also have daughters the same age both about to graduate from High School, so that made for some interesting conversation as well.  You know we parents have to stick together!!  It is amazing, awesome, and frighting to watch the girls grow up, but I must say how proud I am of them as I watch them both turn into spiritual young women that put Jesus at the top of all they do.

It is the start of a brand new day, and Zach is begging me for a walk. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Independence day

I believe that one of the main reasons, if not the main reason for me to still be here in Borger is to finish establishing the Biblical Wellness Center.  The BWC is a men's home for those coming out of addition and wanting to begin a new life in the Lord.  We were able to purchase an old nursing home and remodel it into the men's home.  On Monday we had our board meeting and were discussing the need for an open house as well as the fact that we need to start moving by faith and asking God to bring some residence to the house.  I am glad to announce that we have our first man in the house as of last night.  I am still in the process of writing budgets and mission statements, daily activities and the like, for the 501(c)3 paper work, but that will all get worked out in time. 

In my last blog I was telling you all about the miracle of God giving me an SUV for the move to Atlanta.  I just got it back from the shop yesterday and it runs great.  I feel so blessed ever time I get in and turn the key.  The mechanic was telling me that the transmission might need to be rebuilt and if that is the case I will get that done in Atlanta, as for now it is running great and I am blessed.

Last week so one of the craziest weeks of my life.  God sold our house and we were needing to vacate so the next owners could move in on their closing date which was the 2nd of July.  So, we needed to find a place to live and find it fast.  There is a man in the Church that owned some apartments in town and had one and only one available but it had a major leak from the upstairs apartment and was a total wreck.  I told the owner that I would help him get it ready if he could get us in.  This meant that we would paint and clean and replace some sheetrock in the bathroom, etc.  I have to be honest with you all.  When you move from a 4 bedroom 3 full bath into a 2 bedroom 1 bath; it messes with your mind a bit.  As I was diving into cleaning the bathroom (which was horrible) I had a moment of "What in the world are we doing, and What am I leading my family into?"  I wasn't questing the Lord as much as my own ability to lead and follow.  I know the Lord doesn't make mistakes, but I do all the time.  Was this one of those times that I made a huge error in judgment.  It is so good to have a godly woman is there for me in those times of doubt to gently remind me that God is the instigator of these things and we just need to be obedient. 

Between cleaning the apartment and cleaning the house we both got a bit sick.  We were exhausted from the move.  I was worried I wasn't going to be able to put two sentences together on Sunday for the message, but as always the Lord was faithful and it was all good.  I'm sitting in the apartment living room writing this blog feeling like a missionary on his way to the field (not trying to be prophetic).  I am so sure that this is the moving of the Lord. 

Today we have our annual 4th of July picnic.  I started this 12 years ago out at the first house we lived in because we had an acre lot in which we could play games.  After we moved, we moved the picnic to Huber park and it has been there ever since.  We always have fun, food, and games.  It is a good time for all.  This is the first year in which I have no responsibilities and I am so excited about that.  I will be a helper, of course, but I'm not in charge.  It looks like the weather will be perfect for the event, so I'm sure we will have a good time.

Tomorrow we are headed up to KC to visit Kim's family.  We are celebrating a late birthday with Kim's Mom.  We had to move our trip because of the selling of the house.  I am excited to see all my ministry buddies and share my heart with them of all that God has been and is doing in my life right now.  It is always a comfort when you can share with people that have been through what you are going through.  I guess that is all for now.  I left out a ton of stuff for time sake, but I didn't want to bore you.  Please keep praying for us.

P.S.  I got to keep my little dog, which adds a whole new adventure to the mix, but he is doing great.