Monday, November 16, 2009

Happiness is . . .

the first snow of the season, boisterous belly laughs, the American flag, wind chimes, the colors of Fall, tulips, babies of all species, Christmas lights, grandparents, the feeling of belonging, a committed marriage, hot apple cider, sour cream chicken enchiladas, NFL football, time with my Bible, Starbucks peppermint mocha, March Madness, lightening storms, white water rafting, the symphony and opera, crazy patterns and bold colors, the beach, authentic worship, Jitterz granitas, new socks, a heartfelt hug, the quiet of a wintery forest, waves crashing at sunset, puzzles, serving others, limitless imagination, being understood, a kiss from your spouse, walking a journey with a friend, discovering your children's gifts, candles and bonfires, singing with great acoustics (elementary school bathrooms), road trips with good music, the Oregon Coast, . . . (to be continued!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Call

We sang, we reflected, we communed, we listened to God's heart, and we sang again . . . all the while, we worshipped. Pastor's were thanked, gifts were given, applause was heard. And joyfully, the Call was made. The Call to serve. The Call to love. The Call to lead God's people. The old church: full of mature saints and tattooed babes; bursting with life under the age of 35 and over the age of 60; ministering to those seasoned in the denominational dogma of the Free Methodists and those who identify more as spiritual mutts; drawing in those desperate to be known and authentic and not lost in a crowd; now has a 30-year-old man who longs for God's heart as their pastor. Support, affirmation, encouragement. Prayers raised, tears shed, weight felt. Humbled, honored, ready, joyful.

On Sunday, November 1, 2009, James was officially appointed as Senior Pastor of our church, First Free Methodist. I still am amazed at how God brought us to this place, and James to this position. I remember while we were dating, when James finally allowed God full control over his life, that God began planting in James the desire to pastor. Perhaps it began even earlier as a young child listening to his grandpa preach, believing every word was spoken just for him. Though that desire has waxed and waned over the last 12 years, often more because of me or our culture than because of James, it has been clearly evident that James received his vocational calling long ago. What a joy to be in God's will and see it carried out to completion. There is much work to be done in us still, but it is rewarding to live in obedience to the One who is doing the work. May we carry this mantle well, relying solely on our God who has Called us.