Monday, January 30, 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Church Planter

My daughters love the book series “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney. If you have never read the books, they are all about a kid starting out in junior high. He experiences all sorts of fun, pitfalls, awkward situations, struggles, embarrassing moments, and new people. Honestly, the books are a hoot! We have had quite a few good laughs over them. I also love, love, love the fun illustrations found through out the books. Nice book review; but what does that have to do with planting a church (Christian-ease for starting a new church)?????

Since we are in the very beginning stages of church planting, I find that I feel just like a wimpy junior higher. Do you remember those days? My daughter just started junior high last fall. She is no wimp though. She is doing great. She has all A’s, Vice President of her class, and has many friends. I did okay as a junior higher; but, I remember being very nervous about changing classes, the fresh crop of zits on my face, and if people would like me. Everything was different and I was facing all sorts of new life situations. I was no longer in elementary, no more snacks, loving teachers, and same old same old routine.

When God called us to be church planters a few years ago, I immediately was freaked out. We had been doing youth ministry for so long that I was comfortable. I know how to do youth ministry well enough to do it with my eyes closed. I know how much pizza to order for 30 kids. I know that the junior high boys are the reason for the stink in the youth room. I even like know how to effectively communicate a lesson with like 10 junior high girls while they are like texting to each other. I have talked to so many broken hearts that I can repeat, “God has a perfect person for you, just you wait!” while standing on my head. I have even lived through some all- nighters to tell about it! BUT, I do not know how to start a new church….YIKES!

I feel wimpy because of what I do not know. I know I have skills that Christ has given me. I know I have gifts and talents to do the ministry. We are heading into new territory, new ministry and a new life in a new city. At times I feel overwhelmed at the magnitude of this new adventure; because I do not know how all the things Christ has equipped me with are going to fit in the “bigger picture” of things. I do not know how everything is going to turn out. Everything seems so unpredictable and so unknown. What I do know is I feel like a 12 year old kid starting their first day of school in junior high.

But, I think God has me right where He wants me. I could know all the statistics, all the graphs, and all the bell curves for church planting. I could read all the books, blogs, and attend all the seminars and be really successful. While all those things are good and even necessary, if I do not realize that it is God who does the work then I AM nothing more than a wimpy church planter. I am reminded of one of the verses of the greatest church planter of all time, the Apostle Paul

2 Corinthians 12

10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

It is in my weakness Christ makes me strong. It is in my wimpiness (Christina-ism) that God can do anything with me. When I realize that I am just an empty vessel to be used by him then He can do something with me. If I just step out of the way then I can watch Christ build His church. Huh! Why did I not think of that before? It is not about me, it is all about Christ. I just need to be obedient.

I just finished reading the story of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus. I can relate to how Moses must have felt when God asked him to go before Pharaoh and ask him to release the Israelites from slavery. It must have seemed too big of a task to Moses; because we read about Moses giving his excuses of why God should not use him. But, Moses in his wimpiness is still obedient to the great I AM and a whole nation is brought into the promise land. What amazing things can God do when I am obedient?

I can not wait to find out!!!!! Maybe just maybe, I will get to see a whole city follow Christ!

Philippians 4:13

13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

And in His strength I will…


Illustrations done by me! LOL

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Raising Funds for Our Church Plant

We are a third of the way to being able to receive matching funds! How awesome is that?!

We can receive matching funds up to $30,000.00! Our first goal is to reach that $30,000 mark. Any funds received above that goal will help support our church for the first year of ministry. If you would like to partner with us in planting a church in Bay City; please, email me. We are a Home Missions Church with the Assemblies of God.

Mail checks to Michigan District Office
31500 W. 13 Mile Rd., Ste. 140
Farmington Hills, MI 48334

Make them out to AOGMI and in the memo line write Bay City – 4557-C


A New Adventure

There is a lot going on around our home the past few months. I am so excited to now be able to share with my friends, family and bloggers the new adventure we have begun. John and I have been approved to start a new church in Bay City, Whoo HOOO! Whew, it is so good to finally be able to write that! We have not made that public knowledge for so long. It is nice to be able to say it freely.
We actually began moving in the direction of planting a church (Christian way of saying we are starting a new church) quite a few years ago. We felt that this was the next thing for us, after being in youth ministry for 15 years. (Wow, 15 years in youth ministry that is so crazy….that it has been that long. That’s a lot of pizza. LOL) Over the last few years, God has really defined for us this new direction He is leading us in.
The timeline is that we hope to be in our new home this summer; but, there is a lot to be done before we make the big move. Our current church is partnering with us and will be a part of “sending” us. The Assemblies of God has approved us to take on this new venture. We have asked for their assistance and there are a few things we must accomplish over the next 6 months or so to be ready for Bay City. Some of those things are:
  • Raising over $30,000 dollars
  • Go to more training
  • Come up with a game plan to involve local Assembly of God churches to be a part of this awesome opportunity to do some God things in Bay City.
  • Define our vision and goals
  • Begin doing ministry and reaching out to the community of our new home.
  • Leave our current church equipped to continue the ministry. (They are so awesome! We are truly blessed and we are going to miss them greatly.)
  • Sell our home and find a new one.
God is already helping us reach some of these goals! He is so cool like that. We have raised $7,000.00 already. YEAH! We have some great leadership teams in our current church that can carry on awesome ministry. We are going for training at the end of March. And God is already developing a team to go with us to Bay City. How awesome is that?!
I will be telling our story of our new adventure right here on Get JOY! Check in with us and read all about how God lead us here, how He is directing us and the exciting things He is going to do. I already know He has some great things in store for all of us!
Getting busy about the Kingdom….

(The pictures are from Bay City this past fall.)

Be looking for some upcoming blog post…
How we are doing in raising our funds

1.  The Call

2.  The “BIG MOVE” for Our Kids!
"Our Kids and the BIG MOVE"

3.  Saying Goodbyes
"Saying Hello also means Saying Goodbye" part 1
4. Pictures
 A View from My Camera....Our New City!

5. Homeschooling
Just In Case You Didn't Know We Were Crazy! 

6. Selling our Home and Buying a new One! 
What Seems to be Our Biggest Hurdle!

Home for Sale!

7. Check this out and "like" us!
We are on Facebook!

8. Boot Camp
Left, Left, Left, Right Left!

9.  A Collaborative Effort

10. Church Name
The Name Game

11. Waiting To Get There!
I Hate Waiting!

12. Our Team
God is Bringing People Together!

13. Tough Times
As Long As He Gives Me Breath

Upcoming post....
14. Mission Statement

15. Our Marriage

16. Parenting

17. Money

and there will be more to come.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Find Out What Teens Are Asking????

I have been posting on my hubby's blog. I have helping with our Wednesday Night program "Random" for youth for the past several months. Here are some of the questions they are asking....

Friends with Gay People, Bullies & Hearing from God????

Go and check out the discussion!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

B-Ball Season

It is basket ball season once again in our home.
Time to dust off the basket ball,
dig out the shoes,
and put on the uniform.

In this story there is the....

The Team
The Coach

(Wow, I just think my hubby is just too adorable for words)

The Player

(She is one tough, amazing, hardworking girl... I am so proud of her)

Best Friends
(Playing together is too fun!)
And of course the Fans! GO BLUE!

God's blessings of family and having fun together help me....

Friday, January 6, 2012

Heaven's Voice Featured

My hubby's cousin, Dawn Kidd, is an author and a blogger. If you have lost a child or know someone who has; she has written a book entitled, "You Are Not Alone". It is her story of losing two infant children. Her blog is dedicated to helping everyone who has felt the pain of the loss or sickness of children. She featured my miscarriage story today. I am honored to share my story with her and her readers. I would like to share that link with you as well. Please, take some time and click on over to her blog today.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Heart of "I'm Sorry!"

I have three kids and there is a lot of fighting sometimes...A LOT! With all that fighting come many half hearted apologies.

"Sorry!" will be mumbled

as the huff off to their room

with their arms crossed

feet stomping on the floor

can be common with kids (well mine anyways).

My hubby and I are always trying to teach them what is a meaningful apology. However, I think that sometimes what we teach gets lost in the heat of "Mom, she hit me...But she hit me first" scenarios.

One of my kids is a junior high girl. (Yikes, I can't believe I just wrote that! Time is flying and I better be paying attention.) Like all good junior highers, she had a melt down last Sunday morning. I was trying to be sympathetic, she did stay up for New Years Eve. She was being a bear and crossed several lines as we were getting ready for church. She ended up getting grounded for the day. I hate doing that; but, I had to do it. Let's just say it was a very frustrating first morning of the New Year. All I could think was "Good morning 2012, I have a pre-teen...ugh!"

Man, what a morning! At church I was getting the cold shoulder from her. Then something quite special happened. I reached over and put my hand in hers. Thankfully, she didn't push it away. A few moments later, I felt her writing something with her finger on my hand. She wrote out, "I'm sorry". If I wasn't paying attention, or let the tickling movement of her finger annoy me or decided it was nothing...I would have missed a precious moment with her.

I don't know what caused her heart to change. I know it wasn't because I made her apologize. Maybe it was something the pastor said or it was a song that we sang that changed her heart. Or maybe...just maybe...she allowed the Holy Spirit speak to her heart. I will never know. I do know that she felt sorry and it was from her heart even if it came in the form of little scribbles on my hand. I leaned over (trying not to tear up) and whispered in her ear, "I forgive you."

I have been thinking about what happened between my daughter and me over the last few days. I have been challenged by her. I have been challenged to ask for forgiveness when I have wronged someone. I have learned to let go of my anger and make things right. I have learned that even if it is hard or hurts do it .....anyway I can.

I tried all morning at church to reach out to her, even when I knew she wanted to have nothing to do with me. I tried little things. I tried big things. I just decided to be there when she was ready.

And then God showed me that He is like that with us. He wants to forgive. He is waiting to forgive. He does everything in His power to provide us an opportunity to receive His forgiveness, His love, His compassion.

Romans 5:8

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

If all we can do is scribble "I'm sorry" under the weight of our guilt and shame; He doesn't wait to whisper to us, "I forgive you!" In fact, all of heaven rejoices when one sinner repents and comes to Christ.

Luke 15:7

7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

God's love is big and wide. No matter what you have done or how bad it seems, God wants to forgive you and have a relationship with you. All we need to do is say, "I'm sorry!"

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God's forgiveness is what helps me....


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Reflecting on Christmas

My dear friend, Jenilee, inspired me to write a blog. Go check out her Christmas Memories. My camera is a window into our lives for others to see. So enjoy peeking through the window and seeing what Christmas looked like for our family in Northern Michigan.
We usually don't have the opportunity to spend Christmas at our home. We are typically on vacation down at our parent's homes during the holidays. Not this year, Christmas fell on a Sunday so that means my hubby, a pastor, needed to be at church. I actually am very excited when this happens; because we get to have Christmas here. My parents and sister decided to come up and join us. Our Christmas started on Saturday and the celebrations didn't stop until New Years day. It was like a week long fun is that!!!!!!
We took a vote and decided to do Christmas gifts on Saturday. We wanted more time and Christmas morning was going to be spent mostly at church. We had a nice time opening gifts and then had our traditional Christmas brunch.....YUM! It was also snowing, can I say, "Perfect?!" Oh, if you are wondering about the wizard below, that would be my genius dad! Hahahaha He declared himself at "Wizard" status at work one day....and every good wizard needs wizard he got a basket full. Tehehehehehehe
Christmas morning we opened stocking stuff and headed over to church. We had a wonderful time in God's house and celebrating Jesus, "The Heart of Christmas". Our pastor had the platform set up like a living room all decorated for Christmas. He had all the kids come and sit on the couch and on the floor around him while he shared clips from old Christmas movies. The kids loved it! He then shared that while all these nice Christmas ideas are good; the true heart of Christmas is Jesus. Jesus is the best gift of Christmas! It was so nice to spend Christmas morning with my family and my church family. We then drove down state to my parents to finish a perfect warm sunny day!
My lovely mom had their home cozy and beautiful for the end of the day Christmas celebration. We all had fun playing with our new toys and relaxing after a long eventful day. My sister loves her new camera...she has a lot to learn before her big trip to Israel in 3 months. It was fun watching her try it out. My daughter enjoyed her new yarn; she got to work right away on a new scarf! John of course enjoying his Christmas Mt. Dew and sports...doesn't get much better than that.
We rang in the New Year with John's parents and family. Such sweet moments with cousins and relatives are priceless. Notice that John and I are the only adults that participated in the family silly picture. What is up with that????? Hahahahaha In some ways, I am not surprised. And if you know us you are not either.
We were even able to visit with my dear grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins during the week. Notice the fun picture of the kids at Aunt Jenni's home. They had a sleepover in a tent they created. How fun is that?!
Loving my Savior, my family and all His blessings all through the Christmas season!

Disclaimer: Now before you all think my life is perfect, or any bloggers Christmas post for that matter, very few people write about all the things that go wrong during the holidays. You don’t want to hear about my grumpy, fighting, tired kids (yeah, I am talking about those adorable children in the pictures above). You don’t want to hear about my short temper when things get stressed. We all deal with that stuff. Keep in mind when reading these types of blogs that the purpose is to focus on all the Good that God is and how He sustains us when things are difficult. Because let me tell you, I had some whining kids…and He kept me sane. hehehehehehe