Monday, September 24, 2012

Vacation in Florida

I'm sitting here on the beach in Perdido Key watching the sun come up and right of the shore line there is a school of dolphins playing right in front of me.  This is a pretty place.  I was so excited to come down here and finally have a moment to relax, unplug, and unwind.  My intention was to come to Atlanta and stay with my parents for a month and do nothing but clear my mind and rest in the Lord.  But, instead I found myself in a Church planting class the first week and Global Focus training later in the week I was given some office space and was setting that up.  Needless to say, I have been going non-stop since we got here.  I have met so many people and made such good friendship.  God has blessed in so many ways with great confirmations of our move.  I am at peace with every aspect of my life right now.  The opportunities for ministry are overwhelming and in all honesty I'm just trying to keep it simple, watch, and listen to what God is showing me and saying to me.  The world can get pretty noisy at times. 

So it is nice to come and be with family for a week, chill out, and watch the sun so faithfully rise over the ocean.   No matter how bad things get or confusing the world is around me I am always reminded of the faithfulness of God because the son always comes up in the morning (or as the scripture would say, "His mercies are new every morning).  I just a little bit my nephews and nice are going to be wanting to go down to the pool and swim before we go and play in the big pool.  I love being a part of their lives like this.  This is a new life for me.  It's like I just came back from the war after being MIA for so long.  I am having to learn the family dynamics and all the characters of people.  people are different when you come to visit then when you live together.  That is not to say it is bad, but just different.  I felt it as soon as I was here for a week.  Before everyone made sure that they came to Mom's house to see me and spend time with me.  Now, everyone is living there life and doing there thing and I have to find my place in the midst of this life that is already established and happening around me.  Don't get me wrong, I love it.  But, it is interesting the way people mesh together. 

I am feeling some of this at Church as well.  We haven't yet joined a Church, so we have been visiting around (which is a first in our lives).  We don't know anybody so again we have to find a place to land in the midst of other peoples lives and begin to mesh.  This process is exciting and scary all at the same time.  If you have any insecurities (and I do)  they all surface at this time.  What if they don't like me or love me?  How do I prove myself?  How do I fit in?  I'm sure these are the same questions my freshman daughter is asking herself as she attends a brand new school in a brand new place.  But, it's not just for teens.  I think we all have those feelings when we make a life change the way that we have.  This is the third life change that I have experienced and it has always been a step forward for me.  God is faithful in all things.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Whirlwind Weekend

I have been so blessed with some the contacts that the Lord has put in my path and some of the new friends I have met here already.  I think back to the early years of my ministry at Fellowship, and I can see God working out his plan for this moment in those moments.  I remember when I first met Ralph Canada on the mission field of Juarez. When he pushed me beyond my comfort zone in evangelism and changed my life and ministry forever.  Fellowship Baptist Church became the world influence Church that it has become because of those seeds that were planted in my heart so long ago.  Ralph and I have been partners in ministry from that day forward.  One of the reasons for moving here to Atlanta was because of this partnership with Ralph and others.  Many think it was just because my family is here, but in all honesty this is just an added bonus. 

Last Friday night Ralph invited me over to his house to meet the fonder and president of Global Focus, Larry Reesor.  We had a great night, eating and talking about the possibilities in ministry.  It was so refreshing as Larry shared with me his testimony of leaving everything he had to follow the will of God that has impacted so many churches and missions around the world.  He seemed excited about the direction Kim and I are headed and the possibilities in front of us.  If you are a church leader I would highly recommend clicking the link on Global Focus and getting more information on how your Church can impact the world for the Kingdom at home and abroad.  I will be going through some training myself at the end of this week.

Kim and I went to First Baptist Church Woodstock this Sunday where I was able to meet Johnny Hunt, the pastor.  We found out this morning that we went to the traditional service and that there is a contemporary service at 11:00 so we will check that out this coming Sunday.

Today we attended the Woodstock Church Planting School.  It was a good first day as we talked about personal integrity as a must for any new minister. More to come on this subject tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Move is Complete

WOW!  I looked at my last post and it was August 12.  That means I was in the middle of Ukraine teaching ESL and getting ready for a wonderful marriage retreat.  When we got back to Borger we had one more night with the Church and said our final farewells.  Then Thursday morning Kim and I climbed up in the U-Haul and started our journey to the East. We wanted to get as far as Memphis but were unsure of the weather that the Hurricane would be throwing our way.  We were able to stop and see some of Kim’s kin-folk in Arkansas and have dinner with her Aunt and Uncle.  We then made it to Memphis through the rain at about 11:00 pm. 

We made it to our new home in Atlanta just in time to celebrate My belated birthday with my Mom on her birthday.  That is the first time I have been home on my Mom’s birthday since I was 18 years old.  The ministry has taken me away from my family all of my adult life.  That is one of the reasons I am so excited about spending time with all of them.  I can be the son, brother, and uncle I’ve always wanted to be.

When we pulled in, my brother’s helped Kim and I get all our stuff into a 10 x 20 storage building (I wish I had sold more stuff).  Then we used the truck to move one of my brother’s into his new house while we had it.  That was a lot on this old boy.  I had bruises on my arms and legs from all the lifting (another reminder of the need to work out more).  But, we got it all done.  Tuesday, I had a chance to just relax and start to get organized.

The whole time I’ve been thinking about what the Lord is going to do with me; which has been nerve-racking to say the least.  I purposely began to read Genesis 12 (the calling of Abraham).  I can’t tell you how much this has ministered to me at this time in my life.  Today I was reading Genesis 15 and 16 when both Abraham and Sarah, at different times and in different ways, had their moments of doubt and worry.  This made me feel normal because I have a tendency to come up with a contingency plan just in case the Lord decides not to come through.  (Embarrassing but true). 

I am praying for God to show me himself in new ways, to reveal his plan through miracles, and to maximize my efforts for His Kingdom.  I would ask you to join me in this prayer.  Thanks for all the prayers during our move.