Monday, September 8, 2008

A New Start

Well, we've only just begun. What a great day we had with the start of our new Compass Christian Church site in Roanoke. We had 247 on our first day open to the public! I'm amazed by that. I'm not much for numbers in church, but it's exciting to see how many people knew that our doors were "open for business." Our church put a huge ad (including the front cover with a picture of Jeremy & Trevor) in a local magazine ("Living" Keller/metroport edition) that went out to like 28K houses in the area. We had about 20 people say that they came because of that ad in the magazine. The article is really good and represents the heart of our group really well. We had several people make a decision for their lives yesterday including some who want to be baptized next week. How exciting is that? The angels are having a HUGE party right now! I can't wait to see all that God has planned for this community!

I have to admit I was very scared to move away from our home for the last 9 1/2 yrs, but God has continued to bless us for our obedience to His call. For those of you reading this who know us well, you know that we lived way out in the country for the last 2 yrs in Katy and had to drive A LOT! It made life difficult at times to be able to be in community with people and we really missed that. We now live about 5 minutes from Jenna's school and our church. We have Wal-Mart & Home Depot around the corner from us and are loving the small town feel of Roanoke, yet being about 15 minutes from the city life. God continues to bring new people along our path that we just get to love on and share life with.

In my last blog, I wrote about "friends for life" and am still seeing how God is using people in our lives. We have a dear friend who was in our youth ministry for 4-5 yrs who decided that when she graduated college that she wanted to come work with us. She is now Trevor & Jeremy's admin, Jeremy's asst soccer coach for Jenna's soccer team, and my dear friend. The team that we have to work with in starting this church is awesome. Each of them brings such a unique heart and desire to serve the Lord that encourages me even more with each day.

I thank God for this new start in ministry. I thank Him for not allowing us to get burned out, but keeping life fresh and new each day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Friends For Life

Have you ever tried to figure out why certain people come in and out of your life at different times? Or maybe you've just wondered why certain things have happened to you in your life. For some reason, these thoughts have crossed my mind more than a few times in the last couple weeks. People from my past (childhood, college, etc) have "be-friended" me on facebook and it has brought back a lot of memories - mostly good thank goodness! :)

You see, I look back on my childhood and remember my best friend from growing up. We were only 2 days apart in age and lived in the same houses until we graduated high school. Eric was such a great friend growing up. I remember having cheerio eating contests, wrestling matches, trampoline contests, swimming contests, birthday parties, and just sharing the ups and downs in life while growing up.

Then there's the girls I cheered with, played piano with and made it through Jr. High with. One of those girls became like a sister to me and her mom a mom to me. Thank God for them during 9th grade when I lost my parents. We are still friends today and I'm so thankful.

I then think about what a special place my sister became in my life once she moved back home with me after my parents died. I wouldn't have made it through high school without her. This leads me to remember my preacher who always just checked up on us and loved us through a very difficult time. Thanks Glen! I also had a tremendous youth minister and his wife. I dreamed to grow up and be just like them. My youth group and youth sponsors held such a special place in my life - more like a family to me. Well, thank you Kari, because I was a youth minister's wife for 10 yrs because of you and loved every moment of serving those kids. (we are still in ministry just with adults now instead of students.)

What about the friends made in youth group and at summer camps. One in particular had just lost his mom after I had lost mine. We had a lot to talk about and share with each to encourage one another to keep going. It blows my mind how God brings people to us when we need them most. What about the "bonding partners" made at camps as well. Those who you share those deepest joys and hurts with. You continue to pray for them through the years even after you lose contact with them. It's fun to reconnect 5-10 yrs later and find out how your prayers made a difference in their lives.

Then there's college - some of those friends I would like to just forget, but know that God brought them into my life for a purpose at the time. Like the relationships where I learned best that God is right - "don't be unequally yoked." My "pledge daughter" was brought to me so that I wouldn't stray too far away from the Lord. What a friend she was and still is.
College years are fun to look back to and see how people had such an effect on your life. I was in a sorority for 4 yrs and I have to admit, there's a lot of good that came from it, but also some bad choices were made. I had an awesome boss/pastor that the Lord brought into my life who helped me to see that poor choices made can be forgiven. Thanks Watson! Watson helped me find that dream again to be in ministry. During this time of ministry, I had a student in my youth group who became a great part of my life. Shoot, she's one of those people I can just sit with and stare at a box of rocks and still have fun! :) Love you, Corey!

That's when I headed to Joplin to take 1 more yr of college at Ozark Christian. I met this really great girl and we were instant friends. I love you Heidi! She then introduced me to this really great brother of hers who I am now very happily married to and serving in ministry with.

Now to the "adult" years of life. Once we moved to Katy, I was about 12 hours from all my friends and family. God loved me so much, he blessed us with yet another great church family. Oh the memories of starting a family. One friend came into my life b/c we were pregnant at the same time and even though she didn't think she needed a friend at the time, :) I pushed my way in and we've shared many great moments raising our kids together. I cherish our friendship. Our children are special friends and will be through life. Who knows, they may even get married some day since they have a "pre-arranged marriage" from Papa Wayne. Then there's the adopted "grandparents" and "aunts & uncles" who took us and our kids in as their own since we didn't have biological family nearby.

There's always the people you work along side in life. When I didn't think I needed another friend or could have time for another friend because my life was so crazy with family, ministry and my grandma - the Lord brought me someone who might as well be my sister. She & her husband became our very best friends, not only at work, but in life. I love you guys and miss you so much!

Most of all, I'm thankful for the husband that God brought to me. I couldn't ask for a more supportive, loving, encouraging man to work alongside and share life with. We've shared many ups and downs in these last 10 1/2 yrs together and I have to say - there's no one I'd rather be with. Jeremy & I are starting a new season in our lives with our move to Roanoke and starting a new ministry. God continues to bring new friends and people into our lives and I'm excited to see what role they will play.

I was just recently sent this in an email and it is what brought this blog to my mind.
"God determines who walks into your's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.

Father God, bless all my friends in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of your peace, prosperity and power as they seek to have a closer relationship with you.
Amen. "

I love all of you and thank God for you everyday! I couldn't make it through this life without you!