Thursday, April 20, 2017

A New Hope

God's timing is perfect! At some point, I'm sure you've all heard this said before. I know, I know, it sounds cliché and chances are, it was probably said by someone that may have unknowingly rubbed their "perfect" life in your face, causing your blood pressure to quickly rise. Rest assured that's not where I'm coming from.

Though my family has had some incredible opportunities and memories this past year (check out my pics), our year in the city started off with our youngest daughter in the hospital for almost a week, and it seemed to be one challenge after another for the months to follow. Hang with me. I promise this isn't a Debby Downer post. But have you ever been there? Of course you have! You're human, and sometimes life is hard. Sometimes life is really hard! Just know that you're in good company with the rest of humanity.


Here's the deal...God knows what he's doing! Imagine that. The creator of the universe knows what's best for us. Sure, I could look back on this past year and wonder, what in the world was going on! Or, I could look back on it seeing God's providential, sovereign hand in every part of it. I love NYC! There, I said it. It is truly the greatest city on the planet! I have dreamt of living here since I was in high school, and I will forever be grateful that God granted me this dream. With all its challenges, it has been an incredible experience! However, it didn't quite turn out the same as I had envisoned it when I was 15 years old. Things rarely do.


For those of you that know me well, you know that I never shy away from an adventure, and these last 20 years have been just that. Now, we are once again following God's lead back to where our adventures all began in Nashville, TN. With this "full circle" in mind, I want to go back to this idea of God's timing being perfect". I can honestly say that my life has been a huge testament to this truth. By making this statement, I'm inferring that our timing can be a bit more anxious than His. Patience is generally tested in multiple ways during these times of waiting. But in the end, God always comes through (even if it doesn't look just like we thought it would). 

At this point, you may be asking yourself, what's the deal with the mysterious yellow circle and lines at the top of this post? No, it's not the symbol for the illuminati. It is a logo though...and one that I am very excited about! In fact, if you want to know more about it's meaning, just click HERE. It's the logo for New Hope Community Church in Brentwood TN, and I can finally say that I have taken a new pastoral position at this amazing church! I find it very comforting, and no coincidence at all that the name of the church is "New Hope". I'm feeling very connected with Luke Skywalker right now! We're still solidifying all that I will be responsible for, but in a nutshell, I'll be fostering community in the church, leading worship, and teaching. More to come on that later. 

If there's one thing I want you to hear today it's this...do not be discouraged! Know that God has your back. Not only that, but he has your front, your sides, above you and beneath you. I love this verse from the Old Testament...

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deuteronomy 31:8

Once again...Do Not Be Discouraged! 

 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," - 1 Peter 1:3

Be Blessed friends.


  

Monday, April 3, 2017

Encourage the timid


Good morning friends. The family & I just got back from Nashville working out some of the details of our move there this Summer. More to come on that soon. Until then, check out some of my new pics at medington.vsco.co...or, just click the "Photos" logo right over there ----->

Before hitting the streets today I wanted to quickly remind you of the importance of an encouraging word. This morning I was reading in 1 Thessalonians and came across what is really a very short verse. Actually, it's just a part of verse 14. You could miss it if you weren't really paying attention...

"...encourage the timid, help the week, be patient with everyone." - 1 Thessalonians 5:14b (NIV 1984)

The timid? Eugene Peterson's Message Bible calls the timid "stragglers". It then goes on to say "reach out for the exhausted". Living in NYC, no matter what you want to call it, these people are all around us! And let's be honest, that person may be you. 

Yesterday, while out on a Postmates run, I ran into a good friend. We gave each other a hug & she took the time to encourage me in my writing, specifically regarding this blog. You know what..I needed that. I didn't know I needed her encouraging words, but God used her to reach deep inside of me to any insecurities that may have been lurking in the dark corners of who I am. To my friend...Thank You!

The bottom line is simple (or is it?). Keep your eyes open for the timid, the stragglers, or possibly in my case yesterday...the exhausted. 

I challenge you today to get outside of yourself. Look for opportunities to be an encouragement to someone...anyone. You may not know how much that person needs it, but trust me, they do.