because of you

so it’s october, for those of you who needed a reminder-it’s pastor appreciation month, and i just wanted to share with you a little insight as to why exactly it is that i find myself in india.

i have amazing parents…

they love God passionately and have poured out their whole lives for His bride.  they have pastored churches that you will never know about, in places you have never heard of for the glory of His Son Jesus Christ.  they were an excellent example to me of faithful obedience, even when the next step did not make logical sense.  now, they serve through an organization you may have heard of once or twice…and are having the time of their lives, running the race better than ever, with BGEA.

i grew up with a firm foundation, under a great pastor-my dad.  i also spent a significant amount of time willfully out of line with my Father’s heart.  i suffered consequences from my actions, but rather than leave me in my mess, through him (and my mother) God brought amazing beauty from the ashes of my past.

i have a place in an incredible house…

after years of restoration and healing God brought me to this house.  never in my life have i experienced anything like life with this body of believers.  there is something special here.  when i first arrived at providence high school…for church, we had just launched our second campus at another high school.  i had no idea what was just around the corner as we now have 6 locations and more extension sites than i know how to count.  i learned how to actually be a part of the body of Christ here.  what it means to get up at 5 am to set up a temporary church in a high school…just so people far from God can be filled with life in Christ.  what it means to be held accountable…for real.  what it means to constantly be under the metamorphosis of growth in my Savior.  i am planted firmly in this house and am forever grateful for the blessings that have saturated my life because i am a part of elevation.

i serve under the leadership of an unprecedented pastor…

my pastor is an incredible man of God.  he has a stellar track record of obedience that i can only strive to repeat.  and i have learned nothing if not obedience from this man.  it is true that today we are a part of a huge movement of God.  but it hasn’t always been like that.  each step of the way…if there were 7 couples sitting around a table in a blue room…or a hundred in a high school atrium…or over 10,000 in an enormous stadium for Easter, he has sought the Lord and then been obedient.  may i be so faithful, no matter the sphere of my influence.  i know sometimes he wonders if what he receives from God translates and is applicable in everyday life of the average person that walks through the doors on a weekend.

i am living proof that it does…and it is.

i was selfish and arrogant when i began sitting under his teaching.  i could always think of someone else that needed to hear it more than me.  i thought it was odd to have a “notes” section in the worship guide.  i couldn’t believe that led zeppelin and def leppard made it to the play list for a service (not that i minded, i actually loved it…just didn’t know you could do that in church).

i’d love to wrap up here and tell you that i now i’m perfectly selfless and humble at all times and yadda yadda yadda…but truth is i’m still just as human as i was when i arrived.  but significant things have changed.  after all that foundation from my parents, God used him to sand off my rough edges, remove the build-up and uncover the way i was taught to go.  he is the instrument my Savior is using to refine me.  to put me in a place where i never never want go back to those ashes again.

i can’t, because you see, i have a calling…

a purpose

a place in the body that only i can fill.

it is not easy.  i don’t always like what he has to say…but i can’t ever think of anyone who needs to hear it more than me, i sit in the front row (when i’m on that side of the planet), i worship like never before and i take notes like its my job.  i find myself with that internal struggle of what i really don’t want to do…but more often than not, i tell my flesh to shut-up because it’s not about me and i have work to do.

don’t get me wrong…these two pastors are simply men who were obedient…nothing more, but certainly nothing less.  the glory is due the Father.  and i give Him praise today that He provided these faithful, obedient examples for me to follow at just the right time.  He knew when the soil of my heart would be tilled and ready to receive what He has for me.

so thank you…you have no idea the profound effect you have had on my life.

daddy, your encouragement that i was saved at birth for a significant purpose resonates in the corners of my heart every day.  i want to marry someone who has character as strong as you.

pastor steven, your fire and passion for people who are far from God have seared my soul.  i am in india because you have given me tools i needed to actually believe the code, our faith confessions, and that He doesn’t call the equipped, but equips the called.

you both have no idea how often i quote you.  thank you for your quiet, faithful, obedience.  i am in india…

because of you

 

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