The God of Moments & Movements

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I cannot believe it has already been one year since we took this photo. I’m just sitting here having a small praise-party. Let me tell you a little bit about why this photo– out of ALL of my photos– is so important.

In this photo, Jonathan and I had just come “home” for our once-a-year visit to our families. I stared out the window on our way into Bean Town and prayed, “God, please break my heart for what breaks your’s.”

So naturally, I was absolutely wrecked. Tear-stained insomniac. I lay awake several nights crying for New England. My own home. Jonathan and I both kept saying, “How have we just always come home to ‘visit’- like it’s a tourist attraction?” We knew our eyes had been opened.

We felt a beautiful season in our lives coming to a close in Texas, but we had no idea how to go about it or what God wanted.

Jonathan encouraged me to pray for the things God had laid on our hearts. We began a process of laying those very thoughts and ideas God gave me- back at His feet.

I prayed for a church whose heart was broken for the things that break God’s heart. I pleaded with God to even let us get part time or full time jobs in any field… just to get back to New England to start sharing Jesus’ love! 

Kind of funny, how we bargain with God on the very desires he puts in our hearts, isn’t it?

Three months later, I found myself online, and I just stumbled across a church right in Concord, near my hometown. It was called CenterPoint Church. I had never heard of it. I kept repeating the name – wondering why I didn’t know them. Turns out they were First Baptist Church of Concord, under a new name.

I really didn’t think anything of it, but I reached out to them- and the rest is such a blur!

We found ourselves the second week of March, back in New Hampshire, meeting CenterPointers, sharing meals, smiles and hugs. They grew on our hearts immediately. Here at CenterPoint there is buzz of conversation, topics such as: “My life has been CHANGED since I met Jesus!” and “God’s spirit is really stirring here! He’s doing a new thing…” and my favorite: “we long to see the day when every man, woman, and child in New England has the repeated opportunity to hear the gospel.”

We just knew this was where God wanted us to serve.

One year ago today- I prayed a prayer that I was convinced would take years to be answered. See sometimes, God puts a desire on your heart long after a moment or movement has taken place, because that is the time when you are needed. Not before, not after. Right now.

Food For Thought- Stage Design

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http://thecreativepastor.com/how-to-create-big-stages-with-small-budgets/
I love the thoughts, here! Be sure to read comments, too. There are gems in there like this one from Jon Carlson:

“A newer look is with twine and nails created in to words/shapes which can make a great stage design. I have seen it on a large and small scale. I believe Passion or Catalyst did it this past year. All you need are some nails, or screws, thicker twine and plywood for the background. Add some nice lighting and it makes it look spectacular!”

Even when you’re tired, bring your best

Worship leader: Even when you’re tired, bring your best.

Find a friend who is a spiritual help for you- someone you can talk to about anything. Someone to confide in and who can also push you.

This will help fight burn out, and also hold you accountable to bring your A-game.

Because doesn’t God and His bride deserve a level of professionalism?

I write this because I’ve also been learning this.

It’s easy to feel like you know it all when you lead “Forever Reign” so many times you forget to stop and hear the lyrics.

It’s easy to be complacent when you have done this song and dance before.

Refresh your heart.

Psalm 19:7- The law of the Lord is perfect,  refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

Psalm 23:1-3- The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Take time to hone your craft.

Take lessons, warm up your voice, play scales on your piano or guitar.

Memorize your songs.

For me… I listened to other worship leaders like Meredith Andrews and Hillsong teams who say they write theirs on cards.

Mine’s a little worn on the front, but here’s my method to the madness:

Worship leader- the one from belly of Hell would try and steal your joy as a Christian and a leader of praises to God’s people. He will do whatever it takes to get you tired, complacent, or stir-crazy and unhappy.

So stand up and fight, with the power of Holy Spirit within you! It takes guys and courage… But educate yourself… Never stop learning and never stop trusting.

I John 4:4- You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Pray with us

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In November, right before Thanksgiving, we went home to New England for our usual visit. But something was different. I felt God calling us away from Midland to serve in New England again.

As we visited, shopped, walked, had coffee at local coffee shops up there, I saw the raw need for Jesus everywhere I looked. I guess my blinders had been on since I grew up there. Having been gone almost 10 years now… this time I saw with fresh eyes.

God grabbed hold of my heart and allowed me to see the hurt. I started praying “God, if there are churches in New England advancing the Kingdom of God, using the Power of the Holy Spirit to do the impossible, and this is from You…. would you please connect us?”

God quickly answered that prayer! Jonathan and I just figured the call to move to NE would just come someday. After all, we were pretty settled here in Texas.

We met the people of CenterPoint church in Concord, NH in February. They flew us up there March 13 to interview and to meet the staff and church. I fell in love!

I knew this was what God wanted. A week or so later, they called us to confirm this calling.

I start as Worship Director of CenterPoint May 1st!

Pray for us as we go! That we would have boldness, look for opportunities to share God’s gospel of grace, and for the sale of our home, our car, and some of our things.

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We will dearly miss Texas, so please also pray for the transition, as it is very hard. 

What an adventure serving God has been, and continues to be!

Lessons learned from a dog

 I’m totally stealing this from our friend Coy. 

Coy’s best friend (besides his wife Cindi) is a lil gray dog named Future.

I always wanted a dog like Future. Coy often spoke of how he learned how to love God more through this dog, and I always told him he should write a book entitled “Lessons Learned from a Dog” (stay tuned- I swear he will write this book someday).

Since adopting our lil mutt about a year ago… My heart has been tuned into Holy Spirit in a new way.

See, dogs never complain. They’ll drink toilet water, garden hose water, puddle water, or Figi water, and act the same.

Dogs are enthusiastic and “happy to be alive”!!

Dogs obey.

Dogs listen intently before making a sound (or judgement). 

Dogs love unconditionally.

Dogs seem to be content- whether they live in Kim Kardashian’s mansion or with a homeless person.

Dogs are loyal. They seems to sit and wait for their master in the same place every day- to be there for them when they get home from work.

Dogs are empathetic. Over the course of th short year we’ve had Rex, I can already remember 2-3 times I was either too sick- or struggling with a really bad stressor to make time for him. I’ll never forget, he picked up on it. Instead of begging to play or to be walked, he simply laid his head on my lap, and seemed to hurt alongside me.

Dogs always hope, endure and trust. Many times I hear of dogs being left by the side of the road who do not survive… Not because they don’t know how to survive out on their own, but because they are too preoccupied looking, hoping, and waiting for their master to return for them.

In the Bible, God says in Luke 11:13, “If you then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

I think of how this passage of scripture outlines the perfect love of our God.. And yet how we don’t seem to trust HIM. I don’t seem to trust him. 

Like a precious little dog… Every day should be a joyful, hopeful new day that I can get excited about. A time in know I can linger contentedly in my perfect Heavenly Father’s embrace… Knowing that He is taking care of me.

I look into my dogs eyes.. And I learn. God made the earth and all that is in it (Colossians 1:16). If I slow down long enough to notice, I’ll see learning opportunities and moments of worship all around me.

I guess what I’m saying is if I acted more like my dog and less like me, my relationships with God and others would improve! I see so many attributes of Jesus portrayed in his creation, like dogs for example.