Monday…Monday!

I start off this fine Monday feeling rather encouraged.

Yesterday was a good day. It wasn’t because we had some record breaking attendance at church (because we didn’t). It wasn’t because of something someone said. It wasn’t because of anything I can put my finger on…it just was. I loved it.

I loved my husband’s message. The Laws of Motion – Disruptions. This was out of Acts 19. You can listen here.

Something else happen yesterday…

I went to a church I’ve never been to before for a Sunday night service. I’ve heard about this church for a long time. I read the book that the pastor wrote. I read it 6 weeks before we had our first service as Revive Church. It was a timely, thought provoking and challenging read. I highly recommend! Since I read it, I knew what the lead pastor’s convictions were. I knew what the vision of the church was. I knew what massive efforts this church continues to make to serve the city. I’ve heard of the community that exists in this huge church. Walking in, this was obvious.

I’d like to take a moment to share what struck me.

Ray was on his way back from being gone with some of the guys from our church. So, I went solo. Meaning, I sat by myself. Awkward! I wasn’t going to let it stop me and took the opportunity to be observant.

I sat alone for a little bit, then a couple asked if the chairs beside me were available. They sat for a whole 2 minutes before they introduced themselves and started asking questions. They asked if I had been there before. I said I had heard of it for a while now but had never attended. The girl looked me in the face, eyes wide and said, “this place is legit”. After that, she proceeded to share with me the vision and ministry emphasis of the church. It wasn’t some long list of what they have, it was a list of the passions of the church. Clearly, she shared it. It wasn’t some overbearing conversation. It was refreshing.

Eventually we started talking specifics. They seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say. They shared the excitement as I shared about Revive. For the second time in a week, someone looked at me and said, “every church starts that way” as a way of encouragement. It was a brief but encouraging conversation.

This was not a church staff member. This was a seemingly involved church member who loved her church.

It had me thinking about how people will talk about Revive Church. I can’t escape how clearly she was able to communicate the vision of the church and her genuine joy in being a part of it.  My communication was challenged.

So…dear members of Austin Stone…thank you for your passion! It was exactly what this church planter needed 🙂

Seven Months as Revive Church…

Yesterday marks seven months for us as Revive Church.

I get that it is a random thing to acknowledge. I haven’t written about any particular month mark up to now. We were thrilled with hitting the six month mark. Hello month #7!

Pump fists in the air, we had made it six months! It sounds sarcastic. It’s not!

If you’ve been where I am, you may be nodding your head in understanding. You may also be shaking your head as if to say “honey, you haven’t a clue”. You dear reader, PLEASE message me! We should probably be friends. We need each other. It’s only unhealthy when you remain alone in your insanity. There is strength in community 🙂

If you haven’t but are heading in the same direction, don’t be scared. I’ve never seen God’s faithfulness like this before. I’ve also never felt most of these emotions and sense of urgency before this past year…and a whole lot of other stuff. He carries! He corrects! He reveals. He loves. “Just keep swimming”!

If you are my family and wondering if I’m ok…fear not! We live but not without some stories…and that was just the first six months. It’s all good. After all, what is life without some stories? We are just getting started.

Reflection is good. I got to talk to a dear friend before she headed back to China (she’s a missionary). She mentioned how being back in America for a month, while it felt weird, was good. It caused her to look back and see God moving as she shared what was going on with others. Reflection is good. We have much to reflect back on.

I keep saying that we are in a good place. I feel like we are in the starting block. A tipping point if you will. Input analogy here. It’s true and it’s strong. I know it serves a purpose.

Something feels different. Reflecting on the last short/long seven months, I can’t avoid God’s faithfulness. He continues to shape us as individuals. The passion in our hearts continues to grow. We as a church have a lot coming up. There are some opportunities to serve our community and a greater urgency rising in us to get out there and put this tension we are feeling to action. This thrills me like you can’t imagine.

If we do nothing with it, we fail. Without love, we are nothing. He commanded, so let’s “go and do likewise”.

Happy seven months Revive Church! The Best is Yet to Come!

Weddings, Baby Showers and Gratitude

Ready for another week and all that it holds. Before this week gets going, I’m slightly reflective of last week. I’ve already written about Easter Sunday. I loved everything about it.

This past weekend – we went to San Angelo, saw people we love but hadn’t seen in a year and threw a baby shower. By we, I mean Ray and I went to San Angelo. Did I mention we went child-free?! We were out of town, alone, for a whole 24hrs. It was wonderful! This will have to be a more frequent occurrence.

This was yet another youth (former student…now grown up) wedding. I’ve got a lot of these ahead of me. These don’t make me feel old at all! It was a joy to get to see Christy and Ramiro say “I Do”.

It was equally as wonderful seeing a bunch of our CFC family that we hadn’t seen in over a year. Fact – a year was far too long. We hadn’t planned on being the last ones out the door but that is exactly what happened. It was us, the Moore’s, the Butler’s and a cleaning crew remaining. This was a church we served at for two and a half years. We grew a lot during our time there. We made some great friends in our time there. Some moved with us to plant Revive. Many remained and we miss them. I was grateful for the time to catch up, reminisce and hug some of my favorite teenagers. I’m still thinking about it and grateful for our time there.

Saturday was babies shower time. Yes, babies! This was a shower thrown Revive Church girl’s style. I love this group of women! Not all of them were able to make it, but it was special. We are excited about the arrival of Revive Church’s youngest! You had better believe that when Audrey and Angelene Martin grace the world with their presence, there will be a blog post complete with pictures. Their Momma is praying to make it to 37 weeks…agree with her in prayer please 🙂

There is much stirring in this heart of mine. I was grateful for a couple of days to unwind, rest, spend uninterrupted time with my husband, catch up on some reading and did I mention some time to rest…

It’s Monday! I’ve already hit the ground running…figuratively and literally. I got in a quick run this morning. I’m ready to face the week. I’m ready to run. I’m ready to write. I’m ready for what God holds for today and the week ahead.

Easter 2012

I was like a kid at Christmas for weeks leading up to Easter. It was our first as Revive Church.

We worship every Sunday, celebrate the Resurrection of Christ and what that means. As a church we live in community, we encourage, challenge, serve and just plain do life together…this happens all the time. There is something different about Easter Sunday. It’s like how we celebrate Christ’s birth all the time but Christmas is still a little bit different. Right or wrong…I loved today and wanted to tell you about it.

We had quite a few new faces. If you are one of those new faces, I hope our enthusiasm for you joining us didn’t scare you away. Surprisingly, we’ve toned it down a bit since our first few weeks as a new church plant. Some faces had been invited for a while now. We rejoice 🙂

I loved our time of worship. We did do one special song. You can watch that here.

I loved my husband’s message. You can listen here.

Our kids love church. They got their memory verse right this week. Its John 16:33 – In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.

Last week, my kids said “in this world, we will make trouble”…glad we got that cleared up.

Revive Church – I love you!

Lastly, I loved how we got to spend our afternoon.

A bunch of people got together and had a picnic, including a mom new to the area and her two boys, a friend who couldn’t make it home to her family out of town and family in town for the weekend. Sounded like a party to me.

Later, we headed downtown with the Kendig’s and the kids. The Moore’s ended up meeting us (be still my heart y’all…I love these people). We joined Austin New Church for their only Easter service, which they happen to have downtown, where there are a lot of homeless men and women. They have a time of worship, communion, a big ole cookout, more music and necessary items for those who need them.

What is amazing is being surrounded by people, lots of those who have a home and lots who don’t and for that moment in time, there were no barriers. This was just people hanging out, eating, talking and prior to all that, partaking communion together. Brandn got to talk to a guy some of our guys met during our Christmas backpack outreach. He said he loved it because that was one time that he felt normal. People need dignity and sometimes, that is offered in the form of a burger, watermelon and just talking (also known as community).

Lastly, I loved the text messages I got from Katie and Tracy after we got home. The text from Tracy saying they wanted to go with us in the first place made me cry.

You can read Katie’s post about her Christmas response here.

Today’s went like this

Same parking lot, same people, 3.5 months later…too afraid to get out of the truck then crying out of shame…to getting a shout out for being the only person dancing. Very grateful I’m not that same person

Tracy’s –

I took a hot shower, sat down in my air conditioned, well stocked apartment and drank clean water and was a lot more thankful for all of it that I usually am…we need constant reminders.

This ended with…and we need to physically do something about it.

It’s time to be the Good News that we hear and say we believe. This Easter was my favorite so far. I truly believe that the best is yet to come 🙂

 

 

Running Woman…a fitness goal

I’m going public y’all!

Time to finally hit my fitness goals and stop coveting the 13.1 and 26.2 stickers I see all over town. Those with the 70.1 stickers – they are crazy (and awesome…but I don’t covet those stickers). If you are question what “covet” means…it’s in the Ten Commandments. God says not to. I should probably stop it, so here it goes.

Fitness has been important to me for some time now. Honestly, I got convicted about it back in 2008. I have hit goals along the way. I quickly started to love running. This has been something I have wanted to do without doing for far too long. I have some slightly driven personality tendencies. Going public kicks that into high gear.

I’m starting a 90 Day Challenge. I want to be running 13.1 miles at the end of it. I do have goals beyond it, but I have to start somewhere and I am starting with the 13.1. The furthest I’ve ever ran was 10 miles. I know this is doable…the doing is the hard part.

I am changing my eating habits a bit, replacing lunch w/Vi Shakes instead of being tempted by what I see at Chili’s…or just being plain miserable hungry.

So…here I go! Care to join me? There is strength in numbers. I can start singing “We’re All in This Together”…my daughter loves High School Musical…it’s in my head.

What is your goal? No shame in starting small…just get started 🙂

Ready….set…GO!