Say What?!

You really do have to appreciate the times where things you never paid much attention to before seem to scream at you. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes serious…regardless, the thoughts continue and they demand the time to process and see what is behind it. I can say with certainty, I am right there.

In part, I can thank author Jon Acuff for his book ‘Stuff Christians Like’ (for his blog, here). It made me laugh out loud and take a nice little look into what we say and do as Christians (read it and you will never be able to pray for a hedge of protection without a little giggle). As of the last couple of weeks, several other things have really caught my attention. Some things about the church (as a whole), leading worship and the way we speak. I know it seems like a vague list of thought and I won’t go into all of the details of these thoughts (though surely I will in the future). I will continue to pray and delve deeper into what I can’t seem to get away from.

When it comes to worship, I am not out to attack one’s music style. While I have opinions about it (and who am I kidding, my opinions are strong), that’s not what this particular post is about. I know that there is more to worship than what we currently know. After reading these articles here and here , I am further challenged by the purpose of the worship leader and corporate worship. I don’t have an answer but I welcome the challenge.

A question of culture presents itself. Have we created a church culture (our church vernacular…) that hinders us in our purpose as the church? I know that I am not the first one to ask this question…books have been written about this question. I’m just stating that lately, this is my question…

As we continue to move forward with launching Revive Church, these are some things that have been on my heart and mind. While these may seem like incomplete thoughts, I admit they are. I believe that these challenging thoughts are what will continue to mold vision. There is a great big world out there and an even greater and much bigger God. Let’s not fear the challenge…we just might discover something new. I am excited!

My sweet Sophia Grace is 3!!!

Three years ago today, our sweet Sophia Grace entered the world! I can hardly believe she is three, even though every ounce of what she does and says points me to it.

Sophia is a bundle of all kind of personality and independence (and I mean some freakish independence). Her 2:02am arrival was the first indicator that she was going to let us know what she wanted and when she wanted it (and how). The story of Sophia before I was pregnant (or I just like to say “Bryce is a prophet”…another story for another day) is quite the sweet one. While it is always a surprise going in to find out the sex of the baby, we knew we were having a girl and her name was Sophia Grace.

In just the last few weeks she has grown into the funniest little girl. She has always been a joy. She loves all things pink and shiny. I love that she will play with her tea set and then play cars with her brother. He is a good sport and a great brother.

I am so grateful for the gifts that God has given Ray and I in our children. I can’t wait to see this journey of her growing into who God has called her to be. It is a joy being her mother.

Oh…there is one last thing I must share. One very sweet moment I had, while in labor, I realized that my cousin Macayla was getting her wish. She and Sophia share the same birthday, exactly 10 years apart! I remember going to the hospital in the middle of the night when she was born (I was 15). Happy Birthday Macayla Tyanne!!!!

Also check out Ray’s blog about our sweet girl http://rayjortiz.com/

So this is different…

I’ve written about new seasons and rest before but these last few weeks have been the beginning of a new season for our family. While there is a lot going on, it looks totally different than ones past. This past Sunday we visited a new church. While it was a great first visit, a few things struck me. I must also say that this first time guest experience wasn’t really fair since we knew quite a few faces and were surrounded by friends. There were a few things that screamed that this is a new season.

Something that seemed strange to me was something I clearly hadn’t though through. I didn’t know every song the worship team sang. For years, I have been one of the ones learning the song for at least two weeks (and sometimes much longer) before the congregation sings along. That was a little odd.

We had to tell Cephas he couldn’t take his guitar to church. This may sound strange if you don’t know me or my family. Just about every Sunday morning worship practice at CFC included Cephas with his guitar, planted on stage, fully convinced that he was heard…and more fully convinced that he was awesome while doing it. Prior to CFC, Cephas was a constant figure during worship practices in Oklahoma…even when it was from a pack n’ play. Even then he had his “rake” guitar and make shift pedal board. It was another reminder for me that this is new for me…and this is new for Cephas. He can participate in practices again soon but for now…

This season looks a little different. I know that it won’t look like this forever. In fact, I know it won’t last long. The past did teach me that I should enjoy these moments while they last. I also have learned to take advantage of seasons of preparation while I can. The growing and learning doesn’t stop, hopefully you get this point…this is different. I am beyond excited about what God is doing, what people He is putting in our path and for everything being set into motion with Revive Church. I am so excited!

Ready…set…go…and different is ok…

Here we go! Some thoughts on fear…

Take a deep breath, and here we go.

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.

It is one of the first scriptures I ever remember my mom insisting that I remember. In all honesty, it is the only one I can remember her making me memorize. There were others that I learned because of my mom, but this particular one was never really an option.

You see, I was afraid of EVERYTHING! My family can attest…to say “everything” is not an exaggeration. The short list is starting from my earliest memories –Kevin, because he had long hair and a mustache, my cousin’s boyfriend because he had braces, clowns (who can really blame me here…they are creepy), the dark, dogs and from what I am told, angels…my mom would pray that “the Lord would send His angels to encamp around about us and protect us”. I freaked…I was afraid of seeing angels!

As I got older I did overcome most of those fears. I got over my fear of Kevin, guys with braces and my parents got us a dog (that bit the neighbor…my fear wasn’t that out there). I still find clowns a little creepy and would prefer to see my hand in front of my face…but I don’t mind the dark like I used to.

My fears changed…I grew to “stress” (which a lot of the time is another word for fear) over things like money. I have come a long way in this department but that is another blog for another day. I have no problem at all whatsoever admitting that I am not an adrenaline junkie. I have no desire to jump out of an airplane or ride the tallest/fastest roller coaster…you can call that cause of fear if you want. I prefer to say, it’s not my cup of tea. All that to say, fear was something I was quite acquainted with.

There are things in life that seem scary. I don’t minimize those things. Here is the thing, fear can cripple or even paralyze us and among many things on that list, it can blind us to the great things in front of us. It’s just not worth it letting fear hold us back.

Sometimes, we are supposed to pray, take a deep breath, say here we go…and walk.

Water – who knew

There has been a particular verse that I keep going back to lately…I thought I would share…

Isaiah 58:11 – The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

If you read all of Isaiah 58, you know that there is a lot that leads up to this verse. I’m not just picking this one out of the chapter because it sounds pretty. I love how the previous 10 verses leads us here. It speaks of the purpose inside of us. I love the imagery here of a “spring of water whose waters do not fail”.

I got to thinking about water. This may make me a bit odd but I love imagery and try to figure out why certain words were used. I don’t over think everything but on occasion, I am convinced I am on to something. I did just that with this particular scripture.

The more I sit here, thinking, staring at this verse on my computer screen, the more thoughts I have and the more challenged I am by this verse. I have no concrete answer, I am challenged and I hope you are too. What does this verse look like? What image does it portray? I think about how I see this verse come to life in our personal lives. What are we to other people? What does it say about what our character must be? What does it say about heart? Where is it shown in our actions? I see this come to life as the church. It is constantly moving onward and outward, life giving, producing, flourishing, bringing change to everything it comes into contact with. I know who my eyes and heart must be set on to be these things…I am still very much challenged by it.

What does it mean to you?

Happy Monday Everyone!

Life and Family Update

Family and Life Update

Please forgive my delay in writing…moving takes it out of you. It’s not that the thoughts weren’t there, the time to write simply did not exist (thank God for Evernote, it kept the thoughts organized and easy to access….check it out at www.evernote.com).

Our last week in San Angelo was incredible. Our last Wednesday night with our students was hard with lots of tears. What an amazing group of students! I cried off every spec of makeup on our last Sunday. There are faces and hearts that will be missed. We are SOOO blessed! There was nothing better than being sent out by Pastor Todd and Shelly (they are amazing). This is one grateful heart!

As for the move…

WE SURVIVED! I’m not sure if you saw the weather over this past week, but we moved to Austin on a few of the coldest days in about 20 or so years. Our last few days in San Angelo were gorgeous…it was Texas weather showing off its finest. Then it changed…and it was ridiculous! I did my share of driving through snow and ice. I’m good now, proved I could do it and don’t care to drive through that again anytime soon.

Now we are back in Austin…and excited! Many thoughts going through my head (as usual) and I have a lot of writing ahead of me.

Ready…set…GO!