time flies when you’re… busy!

I can’t believe it has been a month since my last post! It is amazing how busy you can be without a full-time job! Here’s a few thoughts and updates on what’s been happening:

I’ve been leading worship a couple of times a month during May and June at First Baptist Church of West Monroe, LA. It has been a great experience for me and one that has confirmed some things in my own heart. I now know that God is not asking me to lay down the gift of leading worship that He has given me to pursue solely an administrative and organizational role. It has also provided some much needed income for us.

After flying back to Atlanta after one of these weekends leading worship in Louisiana, we took the family to see Pixar’s “UP.” It was a great movie and I was struck by some of the parallels to our family. First, one of the characters was named Ellie (our eldest daughter’s name). Second, the dog in the story was sentenced to wear the “cone of shame.” For those of you who have followed my blog or my Facebook profile, you might remember that our miniature schnauzer was attacked by a german shepherd and had to wear a cone on his head for more than a month. Third, the married couple in the movie had a shared passion which led to an exciting adventure much the way Suzanne and I have stepped out on faith to start browns mill church–an amazing adventure. There was also a broken arm. Our daughter Sarah broke her arm on May 29th. I could go on! It was a great movie and I highly recommend it! What I’m dealing with: Jesus told us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Well, after over 4 months without a regular paycheck, I now know that prayer well! The trouble is, I don’t know that I want to keep living this way. I want God to give me the “sure thing” (whatever that is in this economy!). Health insurance would be really nice–especially with 3 active kids who seem prone to various injuries. But God has been faithful. We have not missed a meal or a payment. At the same time, it’s easy to watch the shrinking bank account balance and wonder what’s going to happen if I don’t get some sort of regular income soon. Please pray for God’s provision for our family. I guess you can pray for our “daily bread,” but it sure would be nice to have the security of something a little longer term!

browns mill church continues to plug along! It is exciting to see what God is doing to change lives literally right before our eyes! We’re averaging about 54 people since we began holding weekly gatherings on March 15th, 2009. This past Sunday, we had our first Parent/Child Dedication and it was a precious time. We don’t have to set up or tear down for the summer, but the school is an absolute mess right now because they are doing some remodeling. All the desks and classroom equipment is piled up in the hallways. Not exactly the look we’re trying to achieve for our first time guests. Oh well! What can you do!

As I write this, I am about to head out the door for a 2nd interview with a local computer IT company. It is a commission only sales position. The optimistic part of me says, “hey! It’s an unlimited income potential!” But the other part of me worries about doing a lot of work for no pay! Well, that’s all for now!

do you still not understand?

Some concepts are hard to learn. I remember being in school and the class was having a difficult time grasping the concept of present participles, the quadratic equation, or some other hard to grasp concept. The teacher could explain it, draw it on the chalkboard, explain it again, draw it on paper and it still wouldn’t make sense to the class. Sometimes the teacher in her frustration would say something like, “Do you still not understand?” She was exasperated because she had been over and over the material and her students still didn’t get it.

In Mark 8, Jesus had just fed 4,000 people with 7 loaves of bread. Keep in mind that the disciples had already witnessed the feeding of the 5,000 at this point. Just a few verses down, the disciples began to worry because they had gotten into a boat and had forgotten to bring along some bread. Jesus asked them, “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up? …And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” …He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

During these uncertain financial times, Jesus wants us to look to Him for our provision. We worry about our 401Ks, our stock portfolios, our jobs, and Jesus is saying, “Why are you worried about your finances? Do you still not see or understand? Is your heart hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember how I’ve provided for you in the past, time and time again? Do you still not understand?”