Final 2013 Thoughts

2013 has brought incredible changes to our family. Blogging has proven to be a very therapeutic process throughout all these changes, and so thank you so much to the growing group of people around the world who are reading it regularly.

This will be the last blog for 2013, and as I look back I am flabbergasted by God’s provision through what was a very cloudy future when the year started. We left Immanuel Christian Reformed Church, a community we loved and continue to love. I went through a residency that took me to Florida and Grand Rapids. We went through a visioning process that took me all over Wake County day after day meeting pastors, church planters and people all the while discerning where exactly God wants us to plant a church. The visioning process produced the website and all the information on the website. It has led to coffee/lunch/dinner meetings, a part-time job coaching gymnastics, Christmas parties and a Christmas parade, and practical things like an office, business cards, a logo, defining church statements, and much more. It’s been a full and enriching year.

The good news is that we are ending on a real positive note. As of today, we found out that Christ the King Presbyterian Church is another local congregation taking us under their wings. I had the opportunity to preach there this past weekend (and if you want to hear it, check it out
here), which was a real privilege. I am excited to see that local partnership grow along with the current local relationship with First Reformed Church of Cary. I look forward to monthly meetings with a local support group of church planters, as well as a monthly retreat with established pastors and other church planters. I am thrilled that three people are wanting to be a part of this new church plant in 2014, which makes hosting a Bible study a possibility sometime in the new year. Coffee meetings with perfect strangers are starting to pick up. I am surrounded by mentors, coaches, and family who pour into me and my family. The Lord has provided for us people who have helped us get through this year through their resources and finances. The Lord led us through a very challenging year, and we stand in awe for His provision.

So entering into 2014 brings a sense of bright optimism for us. Just two months ago when we went through the installation service, I was overwhelmed and a bit lost- even after a 6-7 month residency! Now that 2013 is coming to a close, I am excited to start this new work.

I do so, my friends, wearing God’s Armor. Ephesians 6: 10-20 remain a daily encouragement to me as we continue to draw people to Jesus, to challenge people with his message, and to be released as missionaries with that message. These verses from the Bible will conclude the blog for 2013 because they remind me of what is essential going into 2014. We wear God’s armor because of what Jesus has done for us, and so we stand guard for Thee because Jesus has work for us to do being his Body and his ambassadors:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.