December 21, 2012

Looking Back...and Ahead!

Be back in 2013. But first, allow me to share a few things with you...

I'm looking forward to an incredible new year of challenges and opportunities to share the love of Christ with others and make an impact for the Kingdom of God. Our family is currently walking through the journey of adoption - asking the Lord in His perfect timing and in His perfect way to bring our lives together with this child that He has planned to graft into our hearts. Morgan & I have been constantly reminded, broken over, and at the same time overjoyed by the fact that we have "received the Spirit of adoption as sons (and daughters)" - that we can cry out to the Father because of the work of the Son. God isn't just in favor of adoption; it's His heartbeat! We appreciate your prayers as we walk this road, seeking His will and waiting on His direction.

Moving on, I've never openly revealed this, mainly because of the accountability that would come with it, which I just wasn't ready for. That said, it's time to lay the cards on the table and let you know that I'm writing a book. I'm not sharing this because I think you should be thrilled, impressed, or overwhelmed by this earth-shattering news, but mainly to ask for your prayers as I try to articulate this message the Lord has laid on my heart over the past five years. This is a great part of the reason why this blog has been neglected over the last months. I'm praying it bears fruit. And to be specific with you - further heightening the accountability - my goal is to have this written by my birthday, August 6. So here we go!

I think I have read more books this year than in the last 2-3 years combined. There are days I almost battle frustration at wanting to ingest way more than I possibly have time for. As a result of one book I am currently wrapping up, I am considering a couple of things in my life that I am almost certainly convinced need change. And by change I mean complete transformation and overhaul. Rather than go into great detail on that, I would simply say that if you want to know more - and if you're ready to have the Lord pick up your worldview, turn it upside down, shake the mess out of it, and pour it out like salt on french fries - pick up a copy of "7" by Jen Hatmaker. But I warn you, do NOT open this book if you're content with staying right where you are spiritually, emotionally, habitually, or relationally. The Holy Spirit will take his invisible, hot finger, press it in on the areas of excess in your life, and cause you to examine and inventory what it is that you've allowed to occupy the throne in your heart. Fasten your seatbelt!

I could not be more excited about the team we have leading at The Brook. Our church family constantly causes my heart to explode because of their generosity and hearts of service. And our staff encourages, challenges, and pushes me constantly to be a better leader and pastor. We have some very strategic and intentional crossroads we are approaching together, very slowly moving our church body toward missional community and working with Auxano over the coming months to gain clarity over our mission, vision, and how the Lord has uniquely gifted, equipped, and called our church to advance His Kingdom in Madison, Huntsville, and around the world. Much more to come on that...

What an incredible year this has been. It's felt like a constant uphill climb, which has been insanely difficult at times. But the reward - the view of not only what's behind but what's ahead - is so worth it. I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks of renewal and retreat, and can't wait to see what the Lord has ahead.

See you in 2013!