I looked at her face and could see the frustration-- my heart went out to that pretty, intelligent woman because I've so totally BEEN THERE.
It wasn't a skin-deep frustration, like a news anchor's frustration on Fox News, you see. She wasn't just grumpy about Obama or stressed out about the border. It was a spiritual frustration. Why? Well, this is what I believe: we were meant to be lead by God's spirit where His love is without borders. We were built with a larger capacity to bring forth God's Kingdom than we realize in first world, secular America...in a world of selfies and smart phones...in a world of sparkly distractions and no real threats of impending doom. She feels that, I believe, like I do. She can't sit still. Restless in her heart, discouraged and confused in her spirit.
Here's the problem: she feels like we are all left to twiddle our thumbs and update each other on the news. After all, our church is quite small and the majority of the heads in our pews have gray hair. Our sermons typically consist of updates on world events, those events' Biblical parallels and then encouragement on how to hang on through all the sadness, violence and fear remembering that God is in control. It is what we NEED to hear, and edifies my spirit and Jay's quite a bit, but...
That's frustrating to someone young and capable. I mean, it kind of means (perhaps) that we just "trust God" and "wait for Him" remaining uninvolved in the world as we've been instructed to NOT conform. See the problem there? I do! We are prone to wander, after all! Sitting in our little church for one day a week? That doesn't seem to be working for Lindy. So, we're stepping up!
Not all who wander are lost, right? We sure aren't!
I have a confession to make: I have been lazy about sharing the Gospel and loving on people who REALLY need it in our hurting and hopeless world. See, yeah, I blog about God's love and my desire to serve Him with reckless abandon, but I'm LITERALLY preaching to the choir. I'm assuming most of you are also believers in Jesus' finished work on the cross. I'm assuming most of you though discouraged and scared by certain current events parry that with God's Word and the peace that that does truly bring. If you don't feel that, please message me. I'd love to talk to you and share the GOOD NEWS!!
Anyways, long story short? Jay and I are now youth pastors. Here's what that means: Our youth group consists of mostly family, but it still means what it appears to mean. We are going to empower and encourage our youth with God's promises...with strong apologetics to combat the ideologies sprouting up in every nook and cranny of their world and with actual ministries here in our state. We are going to be reaching others because that it what our kiddos are hungry for.
More importantly, we are going to bring them into what we have already found as life's TRUE JOY: actively participating in life UN-PLUGGED, getting OUT into the world and experiencing God's FULL CREATION. See, that is when Jay and I know that we are giving our utmost for HIS highest: when we fellowship with Him outside of our home's comfortable walls (as it COMPLETELY contradicts the New Testament life we were called to live, after all).
We'd appreciate your prayers and support-- especially for our young people and yours! My prayer is that we can be active participants in the world as informed and capable young Christians until such time as we are all called home...that up until the end we can minister to others, share God's love and fellowship with one another outside of social media and outside of our own four walls. I realize that my calling in Nolan's life (that calling I've shared where I never take a moment for granted with him and live a purpose-driven life in the context of God's commandment for my life) has larger implications. I'm excited to see where else God will lead Jay and I. I know we are equipped and willing.
The title is really misleading, guys. ISIS didn't have much to do with this...but in a month of suicide, beheadings and absolute hopelessness, we've decided it's time to get out of our pews. We're going to be LEADERS here and we'd encourage you all to do the same! <3
Here we go!