Archive for the ‘Guest posts’ Category

I am so pleased to have a special young woman guest posting on Kindling today.  I think you will so glad to meet Bethany Winz, the daughter of a co-worker of mine.

“Set yourself on fire and people will come for miles to watch you burn.

Bethany Winz

Though the author of this quote seems to be elusive (it is often wrongly attributed to John Wesley), its words ring with such truth. In January, 2011, I set myself on fire. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it was God who set me on fire. It was a fire He had been preparing in my heart for years.

The fact that slavery still exists today is horrible beyond words. I first learned about it four years ago and the more I learned about it, the more passionate I became about seeing it end. My passion finally culminated on January 11, 2012 when I started wearing a certain black dress. My goal? To wear it for a whole year as a way to raise awareness about modern day slavery. (more…)

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All the time I challenge people—and especially God’s daughters—to discover who God made them to be and to live out what He created them to do.

All of us—occasionally or as a way of life–settle for less than God’s best for us.  Sadly, we women are often encouraged to settle for less, or readily choose to, robbing ourselves and the Body of Christ of the best contribution we have to make.

The mission Christ gave us requires what we have to offer.


So click on over to Jenny Rae Armstrong’s blog to read Limping Along: Why We Can’t Let Half Christ’s Body Atrophy.  I’m so grateful to be guesting with Jenny.

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I’m a mom and a grandmother (Jeedoo is my grandmother name.)  And all you young moms, I know how weary you can be.  But I tell you, I am weary too–and it has to do with the lifelong nature of motherhood.  So I am thrilled to tell you about a wonderful little resource:  Hope for the Weary Mom by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin.  Here’s an offer you can’t refuse.

Do you know what is powerful?


“Hope” is the kind of word that makes us close our eyes and think ,“I could use a little bit of that tossed my way.” We need it in the morning when we stir our coffee and we need it as we lay our heads down on our pillows at night to drift off to sleep.

I know a thing or two about needing hope.  Last year I was buried by the task of mothering my four girls. I decided to pour out my heart in a blog post called, “Steve Jobs, Me, and Being Fresh out of Amazing.”  In it I said:

“I’ve pretty much fallen short in every category. I am tired and not really good for much right now. The trouble is, Lord, I need to be amazing and I’m fresh out of amazing. At least it sure feels that way. Lord, I’m dry. Empty. Hit the wall. I got nothing.”

To my surprise this blog post resonated with women. Out of it grew a blog series with my friend Brooke McGlothlin and from that a tiny e-book called “Hope for the Weary Mom” was born. Along the way we found thousands of other moms who said, “I could have written this book.”  The only complaint we received about the e-book was that I wasn’t long enough.  So we decided to expand the original e-book by 50%, add new chapters, resources and a Q&A section. The newly expanded e-book released yesterday on Amazon.

Brooke and I are just two weary moms who met God in the middle of our messy lives and found each other. We are pulling back the veil, sharing real stories from our lives and pointing women to the only source of true hope, Jesus.

Our desire is that every mom who needs it will be able to pick up this new book. We are offering “Hope” today (10/24/2012) free for Kindle readers through Amazon. We actually opened up the free offer yesterday and saw the neatest thing happen. Hope began to spread.

We are trusting God with this message. Hope has always been His idea. He is the one who chose to write the story through us. We are humbled to be used by Him in this way.

You can find your free copy of “Hope for the Weary Mom” here.

While you are at it, why not send it for free to a friend? All you need is her email address to send it.

“See, hope is not a wish or a sprinkle of magical fairy dust. Hope is a person. Hope comes with flesh and blood in Jesus. When I call to Him, He comes quickly,” P.22

Let’s share Hope today and watch what happens.

Stacey is Mikes’s wife and the mother of four vibrant girls. She is a believer and writer who loves God’s Word and connecting with women. You can find her blogging at 29lincoln Avenue and on Facebook and Twitter where she usually hangs out with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Stacey Thacker

blog :: 29lincolnavenue.com

:: a place to grow, connect and encourage hearts

twitter :: stacey@29lincoln

my ebook:  Hope for the Weary Mom is now available on Amazon

:: get my newest resource “What God Wants You to Know” free.

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I’ve been bearing the weight of a long journey, especially the past few months.  So fellow Redbud Writer’s guest post on Bearing the Weight really ministered to me.  I know you will feel like Dorothy has come along side you as well.

I woke at 5:00 a.m. to the sound of wood scraping against the clapboard. The three birch trees outside our bedroom had gone from upright to nearly horizontal in the course of the night. It was a brutal storm.

Since we’ve not yet had a killing frost, most trees were cluttered with leaves which acted like velcro for the snow. Camera in hand, I headed for the conservation land at the end of our road hoping for a spectacular sunrise. Instead I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of trees taken out by the storm.

Saver of the Trees

I assumed a familiar post snow storm role – saver of the trees. Moving from sapling to sapling, I shook off the snow from as many as I could get my hands on. I don’t mean to come off as a pantheist, but I deeply identify with nature in crisis.

Due to a more than a decade long battle with chronic illness, like the trees on this October morning, I have many times felt incapable of standing erect. Fibro pain. Eighteen years of disrupted sleep. Sometimes all it takes is one thin coat of ice to make me feel that I can’t possibly shake off the burden and stand up.

With or without a medical diagnosis, many friends fight their own devastating storms: death of a spouse, failure of a marriage, loss of a crucial relationship, the unrelenting nature of caring for a disabled child or poorly aging parent. And that’s just here in a civilized nation. Those who were born in a region that lacks potable water, adequate food and medical care, or a stable governmentsmust clear the snow off their trunks at the advent of every sunrise. I have traveled enough to resist self-pity.

It’s odd to realize that something in and of itself so light could become such a burden. A single snowflake, perhaps even a thousand snowflakes would not even register on a scale. The cumulative effect, the unrelenting nature of chronic pain, be it physical or emotional, pushes it from barely noticeable to unbearable.

Pain Progressing

The leg and arm pain frustrated, but failed to sideline me. When it progressed enough to prevent me from skiing, swimming, and playing basketball with my sons, I tilted a good 30 degrees. And in the course of this past year, when conflicts in our community came crashing down around us, I could feel my back bending another 45 degrees. A few more inches and my nose will be scraping the ground.

Though I’ve rescued many trees before, I learned something during this storm. Typically, I tap the bent trunks and limbs causing just enough movement to free the wood from its burden. While that worked for the young saplings, it failed miserably with the older trees. The snow was too wet and the weight too substantial. The first limb I used this technique upon snapped decisively.

Needing a new method, I pondered what would serve me and realized that if someone sucker punched me, even if they had the best of intentions, I too would break in half. Instead, I reached under the limbs, ever so gently shaking the snow off, while gradually pulling it up. Even with this white glove treatment, I had a few additional breaks. We lost our peach tree completely and a good section of our dwarf red maple.

A Compulsion of Empathy

My trees saving compulsion reveals both my need as well as my pastoral instincts. I do for the trees exactly what I do for others and what I myself need. My instincts to serve those who bear a crushing burden issues less out of co-dependence, or a need to rescue, and more out of empathy.

I get it. I’ve had enough mornings when it takes all of the courage I can muster to just get out of bed and face another day. And more sleepless nights than I care to recall. Looking past my own limitations and reaching out to another eases my aloneness even as it practically serves them.

On some days however, despite my heroic efforts, I can’t lift my burden let alone anyone else’s. I often find myself turning to written words, seeking meaning and inspiration from others who have travelled this road before me and stopped long enough to write down their experience.

From King David in the Old Testament book of Psalms:

I lift my voice up, to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from you, maker of heaven, creator of the earth. Oh how I need you Lord. You are my only hope. You are my only prayer. So I will wait for you to come and rescue me, to come and give me life.

If you’re anything like me, waiting is hard. Sometimes excruciatingly painful in and of itself. Even as I dutifully freed many branches and saplings, the unmistakeable report echoed through the woods from trees that succumbed: a crack, followed by leaf covered branches plummeting down to earth. I have my moments when I wonder, Will I succumb too?

The only thing I know to do then is cry out to God and those around me, asking them to lighten my burden, come alongside of me, shake off the snow and gently lift me back up. And as soon as I have a shred of hope and strength, turn and do the same for the ones standing next to me whose heads are still bowed down.

Dorothy Greco is an extraordinary photographer who also writes.  She lives with her husband and three sons outside Boston.  You can see more of her beautiful work at http://www.dorothygrecophotography.com/

Photo by Dorothy Greco

What about you?  Where are you bearing a great weight?

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Questions!  I love questions!  I learn so much more when I ask questions—especially good questions.  That’s why I so like my friend Bob Tiede’s blog Leading with Questions.  And I’m honored to guest post there today!

Questions are bread and butter for a journalist.

In my years of journalism training and experience we had six specific questions drilled into us:  the five W’s and an H.

First we had to get the facts:  Who, What, When, Where.

You can read the post here.


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Today please welcome Connie Jakab to Kindling.  A Redbud Writer friend, Connie just released her first book, Culture Rebel, last week.  I am posting her first chapter here, hoping to entice you to hop over and order it for yourself.


I like to live on the edge. I’m a brave, gutsy, ADD type of gal who can’t sit still. The problem is that I’ve lived on the wrong edge for the last 20 years.

Since my first full-time job, I have lived a life with me at the center of my attention, and now I have nothing to show for all my years of work, college and career. Coming close to 40, this has caused much introspection. What I’m discovering isn’t nice to look at.  Ask me how much I’ve saved in 20 years?  Zip. Well, that’s not entirely true. Thank goodness I have a savvy hubby who saves.  So yes, I have some savings … through him.

That Shiny Silver Card

Even more pressing, ask me how much I’ve given in 20 years? Okay, that I can brag about a bit; I love to give. I consider myself to be pretty generous. I love taking people out and giving lovely gifts; it’s nothing, really. I just put it on this shiny silver card that I carry in my wallet, and I don’t feel a thing. The problem with this shiny card is that they send letters to my hubby, and he’s never in a good mood after he opens their mail. What’s that about?

Ask me where I’m sitting right now writing this book.  Starbucks, but isn’t that where all the cool writers write?  Yup, I’m pretty trendy sitting here with my five-dollar coffee that’s already cold.  I think I must own stock in this place.

Oh, no, I don’t mean their bean stock, which I’ve heard great things about.  I’ve decided to go a more modest route:  If I buy one five-dollar coffee per day, let’s see— I’m not so great at math, but that’s got to be around $1,625 a year.  (Pretty impressive “estimate,” eh?)  Okay, I totally used my calculator, but getting back to my “investment,” with all that five-dollar coffee inside me, I should be heading toward becoming a part owner of this place one day!  Or maybe not …

Clothes and Bling

Are you wondering where else all my money has gone in the last 20 years?  Me too, but I have some ideas.  I love movies.  Actually, I really just like the popcorn; the movie is an added bonus.  I also love clothes … and “bling.”  Not Tiffany’s “bling,” but “bling” nonetheless.  I’m not a show off, but I really like those big rhinestone earrings that hit the shoulder (from their great length) and make my head go lopsided when I’ve put one in one ear.

I’ve lost my wedding ring … twice. I’ve owned some great clothing too, but I don’t know where half of it has gone. I did see one of my items in a local Salvation Army store, and I almost bought it again; it was beautiful!

I’m not a “shoe person.”  I don’t fully understand those people.  I mean, what a waste of money.  Not to mention, what a clutter nightmare! Don’t get me wrong. I do own a pair of heels that I bought in three different colors to be sure that I could match all the basic wardrobe essentials.  I have boots with heels and without (because sometimes you just don’t want to wear heels while you are grocery shopping), and each of these are in three different colors.

But that’s all just practical, isn’t it?  I have runners for dance (naturally in every color to match my hip-hop Adidas jackets).  And of course, I purchase new runners every six months for running because I don’t want to injure my coming-up-to-midlife knees!  Nope, I’m definitely not a shoe person; I think I’m more of a coat person.  Now that makes more sense to me.  I have a coat in every shape, color, size and style you can imagine—leather, tweed, fleece, down.  I consider this shopping addiction more practical, as I live in a winter city.  Keep warm and stylish.  Win-win.

Diet Books and Fads

I’m also a sucker for diet books and trends; if there’s a diet book out there, I own it.  I’m considering opening my own library in my basement.  Name a diet-fad product, and I’m sure I’ve tried it: pills, shakes, bars, metabolism-boosting drinks, and stretch-mark cream (what a farce!). I’ve done every diet program out there: Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, raw food, vegan, drink-nothing-but-soup (I passed out on that one), Eat Clean, Balkan, and fitness model. (On that last one, I got to put chocolate pudding powder in my protein shakes! What a treat!)

Then there’s all the equipment I’ve purchased. (Old exercise equipment makes lovely side tables, by the way). There’s the BOSU, the band, kettlebells, a treadmill, the yoga block, a medicine ball, a bender ball, a pilates ball (really anything that ends with “ball”).

And I can’t forget to mention my workout DVD library, which consists of Jillian Michaels, Windsor Pilates, yoga (every type just to cover all my bases), Hip-Hop Abs, P90X, and Richard Simmons.  Did I just say Richard Simmons?  Geesh, how did that get in there?  Who has that one, right?

I should probably just make a quick note about my love for my hair; it’s my crown, and I love doing funky things to it.  There’s nothing like a trip to the hair salon!  I have to dye my hair.  No, really, I do; you should see how many gray hairs I have!  I even have them in my eyebrows, which also calls for a trip to the spa to get my brows plucked and waxed.  Maybe add a manicure onto my bill while you’re at it.  Add a pedicure for ten dollars?  What a great deal! Twist my rubber arm!

Last thing, I promise.  Mascara. I have yet to find the one that gives me the lashes that Drew Barrymore has on the commercials.  One day, I will find my dream mascara.  It’s a long-term goal that I have. Wow, I think that’s it—

Yes, as you can see, I’ve made a huge investment in a product called “me.”  It’s the edge I’ve lived on the last 20 years. It’s the edge that keeps me thinking that a new shirt, a night out, a manicure, a new diet, and a Starbucks will give me the life I’ve always wanted.  I will be hot.  I will be sexy.  I will have the respect of everyone around me.  That’s what the advertisement said just before it said, “I’m worth it.”

Yet I’m discovering that this “edge” really isn’t an edge at all.  It has become dull and unfulfilling.  I’ve given it a real “go” for a while now.  It keeps promising me “babe” status, but I find I have to keep going back for refills.  I’m sick of it.  My hubby’s sick of it.  Actually, I think he’s sicker of those letters he keeps getting from this strange person named “Visa.”  Maybe you relate?

A self-centered existence leaves us with a life without purpose.  I have found a new edge that I’m dying to tell you about.  That’s what this book is about.  I want to share my journey with you in the hopes that you may also find the strength to make the shift to a more altruistic, adventurous life filled with the purpose you were born to find.  It’s not about money or stuff, but a way of living that, in some strange way, delivers the promise that all of the stuff I just mentioned tried to promise but couldn’t deliver. It’s called being a culture rebel.  What does this look like?  Let’s find out.


Connie Jakab, the author of the blog, Culture Rebel, is passionate about rebelling against status quo living and encouraging others to branch out. She is an active member of poverty reduction in her city, the founder of WILD (women impacting lives daily) as well as Mpact (www.mpactdance.com), a dance company that produces shows based on social justice issues.  You can read her blog at Culture Rebel , find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter .  And you can order her book, Culture Rebel, here

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Please welcome Redbud Writer Dorothy Greco as a guest writer on Kindling today.  I love what she has to say about forgiveness.

True confession: I was venting, maybe even railing, yesterday during the time I had set aside to be still and try to connect with God. Due to some unfortunate and protracted circumstances, I feel backed against a concrete wall with no visible form of egress. And I’ve been in this position for too many months to count.

As I was detailing my complaints and the impossibility of the situation to God, I lofted a simple question in his general direction, “What do you want me to do?” God’s response? “Forgive them.” (For those of you who don’t buy the possibility of connecting to God in this way, I realize that sharing this dialogue may damage my credibility. Hold off on coming to any negative conclusions until you read through to the end. Then, feel free.)

In the gospel of Matthew, Peter inquires of Jesus, “How many times shall I forgive my brother or sister when they sin against me? Seven time?” I’m certain that Peter assumed others would find him quite magnanimous for his suggestion. Jesus multiplies Peter’s figure by 70. A shocking number given its application.

My husband and I have been married for more than 20 years now. I don’t think we would have lasted more than two if we did not admit our mistakes and forgive each other. We tend to be quick to do so, fully understanding that delays potentially widen the chasm between us. Over the course of these 20+ years, we have probably each wronged and forgiven one another at least 490 times.

It’s really not that remarkable because we always (well mostly always) admit when we have failed one another and ask each other for the gift of forgiveness. Given the current mess, I find myself wondering, did Jesus leave any loopholes for situations where the one who wrongs me fails to see or admit their mistakes?

The process of forgiving someone does not deny that an offense was perpetrated, even though that’s how modernity most often views it. Many years ago, I had an assignment to photograph a top executive. His assistant repeatedly communicated, “You will only have 15 minutes with him. You have to be completely ready when he walks in the door.” Being the obedient type, I was ready and promptly waited for more than an hour. He waltzed in and breezily said, “Sorry for being late.”

Normally, when we find ourselves in such predicaments, we try to make the offender feel better by saying, “That’s OK,” even though normally it isn’t OK. Since he had inconvenienced me, I sincerely responded, “I forgive you.” Dead silence. Then he narrowed his eyes and nearly hissed, “Who gave you the power to forgive me?” I balked. Was he inviting a theological debate or asking a rhetorical question? I ventured in and humbly explained that I believed Jesus gives us authority to extend forgiveness when someone hurts or wounds us. And then I apologized if my beliefs offended him – he was Jewish after all. He softened and miraculously, the shoot went well.

By dropping the charges against those who have sinned against us, we are not excusing their actions, minimizing the damages, or as many fear, opening ourselves up to further mistreatment. We actually go on the offensive, spiritually speaking, when we choose to cancel the offender’s debt particularly when the other refuses to see that their actions or words have stung, or in some cases, drawn blood.

Un-forgiveness is like a land mine. The anger, frustration, hurt, and confusion all serve as explosives packed tightly together with a short fuse. One false move and we all blow. (It’s messy but does have moments of carnal satisfaction!) I’m not proud to admit that I sometimes find excuses for not forgiving. I feel somehow justified because, after all, THEY wronged me! Jesus doesn’t seem to share my perspective. In his economy, holding onto wrongs ultimately leads to death via bitterness, health issues1, and fractured relationships. Not great options.

Conversely, forgiveness disarms the mines. Forgiveness lifts us above the fray and permits us to gain objectivity and sometimes, even empathy for the one who has wounded us. In light of this, I would be a fool to resist God’s directive. Perhaps the suggestion to forgive was his way of dropping a ladder over the concrete walls that have become my prison. Though it would be infinitely more satisfying to have the ones who wounded me at the top of the wall, extending their hands to help me over, I can’t wait for them. Hand over hand, I’m climbing out.

Dorothy Greco is an extraordinary photographer who also writes.  She lives with her husband and three sons outside Boston.  You can see more of her beautiful work at http://www.dorothygrecophotography.com/

1 According to an article in the January 2004 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch, forgiving those who hurt you can improve your mental and physical wellbeing. http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/power_of_forgiveness and from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/forgiveness/MH00131

Photo by Dorothy Greco

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Please welcome Redbud Writer Karen Yates to Kindling.  I think you will like what she has to say.

I ran away for the first time when I was five years old.  I packed a little purse of a few stuffed animals and made it as far as the house two doors down, the home of my friends Ericka and Laura.  Their mother called my mother.  Running away morphed into a glorified playdate, complete with dress up, giggles, and a sugary treat.

When my mom picked me up, the only reminder of my running away was FeeFee, my stuffed hippo, stashed away in a little handbag.  And my parents that night, telling me how much they would have missed me while I was gone.

Truth is, I have always been a runner.  As I matured, running turned into ‘pulling back,’ which sounded more reasonable, but was of the same genre.   Bottom line is, when it gets too close, too scary, too overwhelming, I collapse in, pull back, withdraw, or run.

I take comfort in knowing that, no matter how much I run, how much I pull back, my Heavenly Father is there.  I simply cannot run from Him because I am in Him and He is in me.  He is with me when I am grounded, and He’s with me when I’m afraid: “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139: 7-10).

There is no running from Him because I have been grafted in—I’m a co-heir—I’m a member of His Body: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15: 4a, 5).  Is there anywhere I, the branch, can go, even if I’m withered from worry and fear, even if I try to escape, that is not connected to the Vine?  No! We are attached—He and I.

This realization that I am connected to a Source that never runs dry, to a river that reaches every secret hiding spot of my flesh and sin, brings great comfort.  And overwhelming joy.  Perhaps the bigness of God, the fact He is with me everywhere, should make me afraid.  But in actuality, I genuinely and sincerely do not want to be alone.  I crave His comfort.  I long for His peace to rush into me.  I desire intimacy and community and confidence.

One of my favorite books is Hudson Taylor’s biography, “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret.”  In it he describes the joy of realizing his true identity in the Vine.

  . . . It is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Savior, to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves. Can Christ be rich and I poor? Can your right hand be rich and your left poor? Or your head be well fed while your body starves?

The sweetest part, . . . is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient. .. His resources are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me.

Are you a runner too?  Do you find you pull back in times of fear, worry, or pressure?  What can you do to remember that you are connected to the True Vine? 

Karen Yates lives in Orange County, CA and is a partial homeschooling mother of 3 children. With a BA in English from Westmont College, Karen has worked for 12 years in the Christian non-profit sector, is an adoption advocate, blogger, and member of the Redbud Writers Guild. She blogs at www.KarenEYates.com and tweets: @KarenYates11.

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I have a question.

That’s what my friend Bob Tiede says all the time.  At least in his blog, Leading with Questions.  As Director of Global Operations Leadership Development for Cru, Bob focuses on helping our staff around the world grow in their leadership skills—by asking better questions.

Bob invited me to guest post today.  

What’s Better Than Small Talk?

The introvert in me resists social settings filled with strangers I must talk to.

But that is a common component of my job:  meeting, greeting, welcoming new people.  Casual conversation at a reception or over dinner.   Exactly the kind of interaction I don’t prefer.

But my goal is to make these people feel comfortable, to get to know them and introduce them to our ministry.  To begin to build a relationship—with me and with our organization.

To read the rest of the post, click over to Bob’s blog, Leading with Questions.

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I’m on the road again, and once again a Redbud Writer has provided a guest post for me.  Margaret Philbrick shares from her journey.

“Can God set a table in the wilderness?”  Psalm 78:19

10 years.  Not really that long when compared to 40 years of Israelites wandering in the wilderness.  But when you’re in your 40’s and 10 years is one quarter of your lifetime, it seems like a long time to be wandering in the wilderness, looking for a home.

Our church, Church of the Resurrection, www.churchrez.org, lost our building when we left the Episcopal Church in 1993.  We met in schools, gyms, even tents.  We became fluid, agile, adaptable to a freedom in the Holy Spirit which can come when we release ourselves from the tangible things of the earth.  Our fellowship grew.  People liked meeting in a school with our money going to ministry and not into a building.

But a few of us longed for a home… so we started driving the suburbs, scouring for empty warehouses or affordable vacant land.  After years of looking, we found the perfect spot, a 22-acre parcel in the midst of a picturesque neighborhood with a large pond, giant trees and an open, flat area to build our church upon.

It seemed like a no-brainer

I was given the task of leading this effort which in the beginning seemed like a “no-brainer.”  Who would not want a beautiful new church in the middle of their well-thought- out cul-de-sacs and country roads?

After 18 months of planning, thousands of dollars of exploration and endless hours of prayer, the County Board voted against our project.  The neighbors didn’t want it and they fought us with a vehemence befitting a mother Saber Tooth Tiger protecting her cubs, even to the point of spitting upon and swearing at members of our church in public hearings.

The end result of our hopeful journey was one of disappointment and pain.  Something I believed in as God’s will for our faithful, loving community vanished in a 30-second vote.  I will never forget how, moments before the vote, as we all sat there holding our breath, one of our pastors turned to me and said, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

“She’s not dead, only sleeping.”

We thought about suing the County and held a tearful meeting in our home, calling upon many church leaders to share what we should do next.  A wise woman shared Luke 8:52 in which Jesus responds to the death of Jairus’ daughter, “She’s not dead, only sleeping.”  We didn’t file a lawsuit and I clung to this verse in the coming years of waiting on God for the next step.

God sets a table in the wilderness by the giving of his word through his faithful people.  As we seek him for His way with our lives, we pray and wait.  In the waiting he comes.  Sometimes in dreams and visions, but so often he comes with the still, small voice of his word.  How many times have you heard just the right verse given to you for a particular challenge you are facing and you say to yourself, “That just can’t be a coincidence?”  It isn’t.  The important step of obedience is our listening and looking for it.

The wise woman was right.  Our church building project was asleep for a time, but the Lord, as only he can do, awakened us to a building that is so much better than the piece of land we thought was “perfect.”  Last night we rode our bikes over to look at it under construction.  Pressing our sweaty faces against the glass we saw steel beams being put in place and staircases ascending.  We hope to move in by the end of this year and we will be inviting people from the neighborhood, who cast us out.

Psalm 23:5  “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.”


Margaret Philpbrick identifies herself as “author, gardener, teacher.”  You can read more about her and from her at www.margaretphilbrick.com and follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/margaret.philbrick.9.

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