Saturday, January 21, 2012


There has been a lot of uncertainty in my life. I’m sure for yours as well. There have been times where I wonder where the road I am on will lead. I’ve had those moments in ministry. Most recently it was earlier this year as 3 of our 4 pastoral staff were appointed elsewhere and we, as the church were left with the uncertainty of how things would be with a new Senior Pastor and Associate pastor. I was left with the uncertainty of how that would be for me, for the church and even for my family as I knew the role I had as a pastor would change. Then there has been our journey with foster care. Where would it lead us? Who would God bring into our families? What would his or her needs be? Could we meet them? Would they stay? Would they go? How would we deal with all of it.
Uncertainty. Bleh!! I didn’t think I was a person who liked a plan. I’m more of a go-with-the-flow type of person. Yet, in these recent years I’ve found myself wanting to see further down the road. I think it’s because I  feel the need to think about all of the possible scenarios and process them and plan how I will act/react to them.  
I was thinking about Jeremiah 29:11 that says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” This is from the New Living Translation and I had to kind of chuckle when I saw one of the words that this translation uses: “disaster.” Well, I don’t know about you but I have definitely had times where I thought, “this is a disaster, what is God thinking!” There are those moments in life that feel disastrous; those moments or times when it feels like God possibly could not have wanted that or could redeem it in any way. Maybe that’s where one’s strength in faith can come, in those times where all seems to be falling apart. Once you live through those, you experience the fulfillment of God’s promise that there IS a future and a hope that is possible even in those times.
 As I was saying before, I want to think through all of the scenarios that the road I am on could possible lead and how I will react. Well that’s the thing with God. Sometimes what happens in life is so much more than we can humanly imagine. I could not have foreseen some of the blessings that I have been able to experience and how they have shaped the person I am today. At the same time, sometimes what we go through is so much harder than anything we could have imagined and is not something we CAN plan for, it is truly God who brings us through it. All of this takes a whole lotta trust! Trust to know our lives are in the hands of the Living God, who loves us more than we can ever know. May we able to be able to rest in the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 and know that it we do not go on this journey alone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

To Share or Not to Share…

You just never know when or where God will give you an opportunity to share your story. The other day, I was with a group of women that I just met. We could sit wherever we wanted at a table at a local restaurant. Wouldn’t you know it that the person I sat next to, would ask for advice about foster care and adoption. She is a pastor and had a congregation member ask her about agencies and general advice. She wanted to know if any of us had any suggestions. It opened the door for me to share our story. If I would have chose to sit at the other end of the table, I would have never heard her question.  If I chose to go home that day rather than fellowship with this new group of women, I would have never been there to be able to give an answer AND once the question was asked, I could have chose to give a quick answer of an agency recommendation or two because when I open up and share our story, questions usually go to a deeper level.
Have you had that experience:  the one where God opens a door to have a deeper conversation; one that may include sharing your faith and/or part of your personal testimony and pain. Then you have a choice: to share or not to share, that IS the question.
God often opens doors for us to share how God has moved in our lives. It usually includes, the good, the bad and the ugly. It is our story of redemption, of transformation, of not having it “all together,” of pain, of joy, etc. But in sharing our story, God can plant seeds of faith, can open up new relationships, can speak a word of healing…but we have to be willing to share it first.
Are you willing?