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.

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What you do for the “Lazarus” of These

With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching… charitable giving is on the brain for lots of us.

Having worked in several churches in my young life– I’ve been told time & time again to be super cautious towards the “scammers”.

I know all about the scam going around last year where an innocent looking woman would enter large church during service hours, and appear a little lost, then make her way into the church’s office and steal one of the staff member’s purse, wallet, or even the offering plates for that week.

Not good. On the other hand are those people who call this time of year and say, “I’m out of work, do you give money for gas?” All with a similar story.

Enter whispers of Jesus.

Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Luke 16:19-31, “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

We went through a lot of financial stress from 2012-2013. There were times we weren’t sure were going to make it. Maybe God allowed me to go through all that because he didn’t want me to be like the rich man in the story of Lazarus once we were doing ok again. We have two large salaries and guess what? We love giving it away. When someone calls and even sounds fishy saying, “hey I have no money for gas because my husband works in the oil field and has been out of paychecks for 2 weeks, but now that he has a job…” I can say, “I feel for YOU. Let me guess, he won’t get a paycheck for the next 2 or more weeks, and you have no idea where the money is going to come from? Hey lady no worries I was just there recently.

Maybe if God hadn’t allowed Jonathan and I to experience want in 2012-2013, I would have said to her. “If your husband HAS a job, why are you calling?” I want to make sure not only does “Lazarus” eat the crumbs at my table, covered in his sores…. and a step further- to sit at my table and eat with me.

Jonathan and I have more to come in the next year about an exciting ministry we are going to do just the two of us. It’s crazy, hairy-audacious-BOLD…. so I can’t share yet. But God laid it on my husband’s heart and he just won’t relent. *Update, God’s still on the move!! More to come! 7/8/14*

So maybe I’ve given tons of scammers money and made a fool of myself. But this middle aged woman staring back at me when I asked her what she needed prayer for did not seem like a con-woman to me. She was literally stuttering because I had asked her to take my card and let me know how I can pray.

I’d rather get to Heaven and see Jesus and say, “oops, I got scammed. Many times..” than, “Jesus my walls were up, I tightly held my money. Fear not: NO ONE got the best of me!”

Does the verse, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” {Matthew 5:39} apply to this? If Jesus isn’t directly clear… I’d rather be outta money than be wrong when I meet Him. The only things we can bring to Heaven with us are souls. Time to get this right. {Tweet this!}

Turn the other cheek. It sucks, but you never know.