This summer has been amazing, horrible, great, busy, relaxing, enjoyable, hectic, crazy, and all that. I have loved spending every day in the sun building above ground swimming pools for a friend of mine. I have worked with a neat group of guys that have a lot of fun talking about theology, philosophy, God, Jesus, pacifism, the left, the right, and people in the middle or people with their head in the sand, but maybe more importantly we've talked about the best music, movies, and tv shows that we've watched in the last 30 years (ok some of us, others for 20 years or so.) It's been a neat summer getting to know some new guys. And it's been embarrasing to have a teenager "outwork" him on the crew. (kudos, Brody, kudos)
As a house church, we've been working through the multiplication process, praying and talking, and talking and praying. At this point, I just want to see it happen. Of course, that is just around the corner and I am oh, so excited. It's supposed to happen on Sun, Sept 13th, unless Jesus comes back (of course, we know he won't yet, right Adrian? :) Seriously, though, I am very pumped and excited to know that we will be multiplying one house church into three. God has provided leadership, hosts, and a plan. Now it's time to see it happen.
That same week, we will also be launching our monthly Community Worship Gathering. It will be on the third Thursday of the month in the Vineyard Church of Springfield's building at 137 E Main St in Springfield, Ohio. They have been extremely generous to offer to let us use there building. They have such a Kingdom mindset. They love to see churches working together and helping each other and they are a great example for all of us to follow. I am excited for the opportunity to gather all of our house churches together for worship, encouragement, and to cast vision, but I'm more excited about what actually happens in a Life House. The Worship Gathering doesn't mean much to us in comparison to the house church gathering. But, I'm excited about this as well, since we'll be multiplying early that same week and I'm sure we'll be missing each other already. :)
We are preparing to take a family vacation this Friday with my wife's folks. We'll be going up the east coast from DC (2 days) to New Haven, CT (1 day) to Boston, MA (3 days) back down to Philadelphia, PA (2 days) to conclude our trip in Canton, OH (1 evening) to see Rod Woodson (my fav NFL player of all time) be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I'm excited about the trip, though a little cautious as well. We've got a lot of traveling to do. It sounds like alot of stuff to do in a short amount of time. My back has been bothering me when sitting for an extended period. But, we've never been to most of these areas (well Boston, NH, CT, ME and the such). Hopefully, the weather will help us enjoy it even more. My girls are really looking forward to DC and Philly, especially my history buff of a girl Morgan (13, a true teenager, complete with earbuds sticking out of her ears all the time.)
One thing I need is some time away. This summer has been rough working long days in the hot sun. Being away from the office has taken me out of my consistency element. My reading has been cut way back. My devotions have been almost non-existent. My prayer life, inconsistent. My sense of God working, much less than normal. So, as our trip winds down and we return to the 'field, I'll start work at CTC on the Monday after our Saturday return. Life will get back to normal. All in time to prepare to launch our community worship gathering and the multiplication of our house church. There is much to be thankful for.
I often look at our checkbook and wonder how we are doing it. Our core group has been so very faithful to help us without any assistance from a denomination or supporting group. Thankfully, some friends and family have also stepped and provided periodic assistance along the way. Without, which, we would never have survived. No matter, how much I whine about our/my situation, God pulls us through and shows up in neat ways. In so many ways, I should simply be thankful. I hope this is the last time you hear me "talk" about money. I'm gonna shut up now and just live the life that God has called us to. We'll trust God to provide.
It has been quite a challenge to start this church bi-vocationally, but it has also provided a neat backdrop. As it relates to the church and the mission of God, I love planning for the future. I love pondering what may happen, but those are luxuries that you don't have when you're working all day, then coming home to your family and trying to find time to fit everything else in. I'll always be a thinker and an analyzer, but when you are on mission, sometimes you don't have time for all that stuff. Which reminds me why we sometimes get into some silly, petty discussions/arguments theologically or whatnot, because we have too much time to sit around pondering things instead of putting them into practice by getting involved in the lives of some people who don't know Jesus and finding ways to serve them. Instead of living everyday on mission, we find ways to handicap the church. Instead of really giving God are all and really loving people, we complain about the way other Christians are.
God help us to get our eyes off of ourselves, spend time loving people where you put us and help us to make the world a better place to live. Help me to remember how much people need you. Help me to show them who you are. Help me to show my family. Help me.
One thing I'm passionate about. God is looking for broken people. The more broken I am, the better he can show up and and show off. God is in the healing business. Let him heal whatever is broken in you today.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Until our next time... Hasta...