“Be Holy as I am Holy” Ehh?

As Christians, especially those of us who are "lifers" {been in church since the womb}, have a hard time naturally "sharing the gospel". Can I get an amen? 😉

I think the biggest reason this is unnatural is because we're taught so often that we are to be holy. And we are. And we don't get what that means. We are supposed to be holy -set apart- but that doesn't mean separate [from "heathen" things]. Set apart does not mean separate. Christians are "set apart for God". We are chosen for a purpose. We are chosen to be a part of God's plan.

I think it's kinda like a recipe. Let's say the recipe ingredients calls for 2 cups of mozzarella cheese but in the directions is says, "Mix in 1 and 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese in to [yada yada] and set aside the other 1/2 cup to sprinkle on the top at the end. We are the 1/2 cup of cheese set aside for the top. We are set to the side because we have a different, more specific purpose, not because we aren't to be part of the main dish. God has a plan to spice up the recipe!

Holiness: Set Apart as Part of the Plan to Spice Up Life

Well, hopefully that made any sense. You know He's a lot smarter than my cheesey illustration and our purpose is much more grandiose than extra creaminess. {budump bump} 😉 Basically what I mean is, we are not made to huddle together with those who believe, think, look, parent, talk, dress, etc just like us. We're meant to get our hands dirty with the real ingredients of life. It's not always pretty, it will be a LOT of messy, sometime challenging, but it'll taste awesome when it's done.

Be Holy -------> Jesus -------> Friend of Sinners

We're told to be holy. Holy like Jesus. Jesus was a friend of sinners. So what should we be doing? Befriending sinners! Not walking along side them at the store/game/restaurant and thinking how much better was are because we follow Jesus. We are to break down our misplaced pride, remind ourselves we are just as sinful as the next person {follower or not}, and actually care about others.

Holy means set apart for a purpose. Not just tossed to the side to be looked. That's wasteful and there is no waist in the economy of God. Don't separate yourself and become useless. Be Holy as Christ was Holy.

 

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The Great Commission: not so scary

Missional living is about using every aspect of your life to live for the mission of God. In order to do that, we need to know His mission.

God's Mission: make disciples of all nations.

empowered way of living that will have world changing results

Okay, now that we've got that, now to do we do that? It's kind of scary and overwhelming when you first hear that. How in the world am I supposed to make disciples much less of all nations? The same way you eat an elephants! One. Bite. At. A. Time.

Matthew 28: 18-20
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

My understanding of this passage comes from years of confusion, fear, and several wise dudes. Let's break it down!

  • Go- as you are going {recognize anything- yeah- live by it}, while you're doing life.
  • Therefore- He's referring back to the "given all authority" buisness right before this. That means, because He/you have been given all authority in heave and earth, do this...and don't be a chicken because He's qualified and equipped you with everything you need to do it and do it well.
  • all the rest- you're going to do this by living like Jesus lived

See, not so scary. It's not a long list of do's and don'ts or a bundle of tracks. The great commission is an empowered way of living that will have world changing results. God has invited us to be everyday radicals; to join in the journey, mission, story, adventure of His that He's going on with or without us.

 

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Memorial

I love taking pictures. Pictures of basically everything. I think I may have an unhealthy fear of loosing my memory some day and these captured snapshots will be all I have of the past.

recite-10978--1025679852-x5quoc

I started a {multiple} cute little scrapbook(s) for Mags {my 6yo and eldest} as soon as she got here. I loved coordinating the paper and choosing which adorable picture from each month I would memorialize in that month's page. We all know where that went with baby number two! Don't get me wrong, I was not naive enough to think this wouldn't happen so I planned strategically to minimize the things I kept and the professional pictures I took. I was preparing to be overwhelmed as other children came into our family. I only did what I thought I could pull off with the next kids. Well, I almost made it...I printed pictures for Izzie's scrapbook. lol And we're kinda close to the same number/aged pictures for each child hanging on the wall.

This is a big deal to us. Remembering. I was never one of the cool kids who complained about History class in school. I kinda understood that history was for us to learn from our past and I really enjoyed story. Names and places are fine but unless they were attached to a significant story, it was lost on me.

As Christians, remembering is what we're built on. If story hadn't been pasted down, we would be way worse off than we already are. Knowing there's a loving creator whom we offended yet has a history of chasing down His people passionately. Story after story telling of our attempts to make things right and then falling back into the arms of a never-shaken Savior. Every story in the bible points to Him, Jesus. Stories of conquering battles, unmerited love, and ultimate sacrifice.

Often, when we are touched by something, {person, event, words} we like to memorialize it. We never want to forget what happen or when it happened. It becomes a cornerstone on which we started something new and want to build on it.

As Christians we need to remember. To build on the heritage of faith before us BUT the ultimate mission of God is not to make sure everyone remembers where we've been, what He's done in the past, or even what we stand on/for. "We need not memorialize Jesus but Build The Church." -Michael Frost {Sentralized 2014} Memorials are temporary and easily torn down.

In many years, Maggie will not remember the story behind all those pictures in her scrapbook. If it even survives until she's an adult or lets even say until her grandchildren come along as well as the stories attached to them that I'll share with her. Memories of a joyous time of the past will make no impact the future unless action in life is taken to preserve the action behind the memory.

After Israel crossed the river on dry land, Joshua had 12 men build a memorial in honor of that event that became a turning point in their history. 12 Giant stones were there to remember what God had done for them. The significance of that was lost in just a few short generations.

The Church is one generation away from death. We need to focus on what we're called to; God's indestructible Church- the People.

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Sentralized 2014

Sentralized 2014

My hubs, Matt and I went to an amazing conference this past week. He's attended before and we've been journeying through the paradigm of missional living. You've likely hear be bumble through trying to share what that means and how its fleshed out but this group of people helped me hear in new language and see it through practical living. I just want to start sharing with you some of those things {guess that's a good place to jump back on the blogging-wagon, ehh}. Today though, I just want to tell you a little about Sentralized, the conference we attended, and the foundational verse this years gathering was focused on.

You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.

You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.

Isaiah 58:12 MSG

Sentralized is designed for anyone who calls him or her self a Christ follower. It's the perfect learning opportunity for pastors, church planters, individuals, and teams of church members that are working through the issues and ideas of missional living, learning, and leading.
First, we believe there is a need to continue to bring clarity to the missional conversation.
Second, we want to ensure the missional conversation moves beyond theory.

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Ministering Outside the Wall of “the church”

If you've been here for any time at all, you have heard me share about both The Church not being a building but the people chasing after Christ as well as The Valley {church} we have been blessed by helping plant here in central AR a little over a year ago.

worship on the slab

The Valley came to this community looking for where God was at working and join Him there. Along with this, we are contentiously choosing to work where others aren't already hard at work. We are here to "build the heard not steel sheep." Because of this, it has been fun finding ways to minister in original and sometimes random ways.

Being the new kids in town, for a year now, we have been fighting to find ways to love on the people her but sometimes shut out because it "wasn't needed". Well, H.E.L.L.O. God is bigger than practicality and also a bigger redeemer than natural disasters.

The most recent storms that hit our town wiped out close to 150 homes and took the lives of at least 9 here in Vtown. We can't believe the doors God is opening through this. Oh, did I mention, God busted out of our "box" via this storm? Yeah, our meeting space was kaboshed giving us an acceptable excuse to love this community in unconventional, non-church-y ways.

Enter childcare and Mom's Night Out stage left:

The Playplace

The morning after the storm, it was evident to me that I wouldn't be able to serve like the rest of the valley church in the way of clean-up or collecting donations and felt useless. THEN another mom suggested maybe we could take turns watching one another children and working in town. YES! I can do that. So the next day I opened my home for childcare to those in our valley families who needed somewhere for their littles to go.

Little did I know that God was birthing this same service opportunity in the heart of an individual at a sister church in Conway. I was contacted about the idea and God birthed it into a huge community blessing. We were allowed to use the local Primary School's "big room" and outdoor playgrounds, restaurants catered for free, and tons of others including Target, Dick's Sporting Goods Store, and out-of-town friends contributed to hundreds of "summer buckets" full of simple toys that were sent home with the children attending the "Playplace".

When school started back the next week and most of our community went back to work, there was no immediate need for this ministry and again I felt helpless as I tried to "get back to normal".

organized school room

Monday I has glanced at my calendar at once coveted plans and realized Mother's Day weekend was coming up and a girl's night where we were all supposed to be going to see the new movie "Mom's Night Out". That seemed to pale in compassion to the current dismal state of Vtown life.

THEN, I realized maybe I could score some tickets for "needy" women from the movie theater. I mean, Target had stepped up and even though this is way outside my comfort zone, I could try.

They could give me 4...

I decided to compose an email to the Allume team contacting a short briefing on who I/the valley was, what had happened to our town, and how I'd learned about the Mom's Night Out movie via their conference back in October.

Tuesday, I sat and cried as I tried to declutter and reorganize our play/school room. All I could think was "we have Too Much Crap!" I wanted to give it away but all those who needed it had no home to put it in. We were created to bring glory to God and sitting sifting through my stuff, I felt like I was doing the furthest thing from glorifying my God.

Taking a break from it all after my poor hubs tried to comfort my inevitable meltdown, I decided to check out during nap by gracing social media and my email. I was never so shocked to find an email from Elizabeth, of Provident Films saying among other things, "Will you please call me at your earliest convenience and we'll discuss next steps." Call? Next Steps!?

Ahhhh!!!!

I am terrible on the phone {AWEkward} but I snatched up my phone and ran outside. Never had a I been more excited to make a fool of myself if it meant I could be of use to this community in its time of trouble. My world was a world-wind from Wednesday until Saturday night but well worth it!

Mom's Night Out

The night turned out to be a huge success! We ended up having a banquet room in a Chinese restaurant with comped buffet, pre-movie pampering, and a therapy room movie theater FULL of healing women. {That will be a post in itself.} Later, I was told by a guy from the valley that he was bragging on me to someone who expressed her gratitude for the much-needed MNO. I was excited to tell him that,

God had it all planned before me so I just had to find where he was working and connect the dots.

I really do believe it is that easy. Find where He is already at work, grab your pen, and get to work on the pieces that He has already given you the tools to connect to accomplish the ultimate goal. I have been so energized by what God has freed up the valley to do here and am loving watching our lil valley family grow closer together all while reaching out to a hurting world!

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