Thursday, April 27, 2006

God's Answer


Here we are...24 days after we told our congregation that we would be leaving. We now have a job, our house in Ponca is sold, and we have found a house in Omaha with a closing date of May 24th!
I remember our prayers very vividly, "God, please make it 100% CRYSTAL CLEAR what you want us to do. Open the door WIDE OPEN to our next location and lead us where you want us to be..."

I'm glad God has thrown open the doors for us to have a clear view because sometimes I'm not that great at discerning His plan for my life.
Then again, maybe He doesn't have a specific plan! Maybe He just wants me to follow and trust Him (wherever I am) and the blessings will come!
I am glad that God is faithful to His promises. I know He hears me when I pray and that He answers prayer. I know that He wants the best for me. I'm glad that He seems to be shouting His answer to my prayer, because sometimes it's hard to hear the gentle, whispering voice of God.

Thank you, Father, for answering my prayers.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


New job. New state. New home. New location. New church family. New weather. New!New!New!
The word "NEW" is exciting to me! When things get old, sometimes we say they are "boring." NEW excites us and forces us to imagine the possibilities. NEW gives us energy. NEW makes us ready to meet new challenges.
But sometimes NEW is scary! The closer we get to this NEW stuff, the more anxious I get! Will I succeed at my new job? Will the church fully embrace me and my family? Will we find close friends? Will I be able to fit in?
Jesus said, "I make all things NEW." God the Father said, "It is good" when He created the world. I guess I should take courage in the fact that everything God created is good...even NEW experiences!
Please don't misunderstand, while it's a bit scary, it's also EXCITING!
Anyone else understand what I'm saying?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Extended Family In Omaha

Having never been to Omaha, Nebraska, I was pleasantly surprised by its gorgeous scenery, shopping and restaurants, and caring people.
When driving near the church building, I noticed a huge steeple. I really like the layout of the building, from the offices and auditorium to the classes and gymnasium. That's right...I said "gymnasium!!"
Every restaurant where we ate was delicious...and they weren't the chain restaurants that I am used to! In fact, there is NOT a McDonald's on every block of this city. It definitely has a unique feel.
We really enjoyed visiting with Tracy's aunt and her family. They are super-nice people and they told us they would LOVE to have family living close to them!
As we drove out to our host's home, we gawked at the vast amount of homes in the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city. What an AWESOME opportunity to share the story of Jesus with people who don't know Him!
Most of all, though, we were impressed by our extended family at the Southwest Church of Christ. These people were SO kind to us that we IMMEDIATELY felt a part of their family! We got to meet several of the younger families and immediately knew that we could have close friends.
The teens spoke up in class and at the devo, even though I was warned that they might not talk! We had great fun playing Catch Phrase, too!
The shepherds are a group of unbelievable men who really know their sheep. They could tell me where the teenagers worked and what extracurricular activities they were involved in. By the end of our visit, I felt like I had known them all for a long time.
I am SO glad to know that I have such a gracious, loving family serving the Lord in Omaha, Nebraska! I pray that God will bless them (and I'm tempted to be selfish in my prayers and ask that God will move us there!)

Monday, April 03, 2006

What's Next?

Yesterday was perhaps the longest day of my life...
It was sad as I began by telling the teens in my youth group that I would be searching for another job. Several of them were visibly shaken and a few were downright mad. I know our elders had to make a tough decision about the youth ministry here, and I hope the church can accept it.
The church embraced us and assured us that they appreciated our work in Ponca City. We have such a loving church family here. It will be hard to leave them! I pray that this congregation can grow again. Maybe one day they will be able to support a full-time youth minister again.
We were reminiscing with one of our teens and a college student who used to be in our youth group. There are so many good stories we will take from here. Some have resurfaced, so I may blog about them in the next few days if I find some time!
Until then, continued prayers for direction are appreciated. Where will God lead us next?!
Grace and Peace!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Tough Times Ahead

How do you break sad news to people you really love?
I'm not sure...but in about 12 hours, I will find out.
The people at Harford Avenue Church of Christ have been so good to us. We love our youth group. They are such a great bunch of kids...even if they don't realize it.
The writings of Paul make so much sense now:
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers..."
"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. " (1 Thess. 1:2 and 2:8)
I will share soon what is going on. Thanks for your patience and, especially, your prayers.