Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Witnessing reconciliation & life change

Me, Kelli & Addie (that's our dog) moved to Washington state five and a half years ago.  I cannot believe it's been that long.  We crammed ourselves into our U-haul and made the LONG trek across the country battling snow & sickness the whole way.  We arrived in Snoqualmie naive enough not to be scared and excited enough to press on toward the calling God has placed on our life.

While we were in Snoqualmie we became really good friends with a young couple who ended up getting married a short time before we left.  They were in our small group, lived down stairs from us in our apartment complex and became good friends in a short time.  Some time ago we got word that they were separated and that he had made a lot of bad choices and was running away from the marriage.  She left the state for a few months to try and "recover" from all she had been through and to be honest, we prayed for them, but I was sure their marriage was over.  I chalked it up to another marriage down the tubes... a small battle won for the enemy.

This past weekend our church did not gather for worship on Sunday.  Some of our Intentional Communities gathered together for bbq's and some informal fun, but we encouraged everyone to spend Sunday resting, relaxing and investing in their families.  Since we had the morning free, we decided to visit with our old church in Snoqualmie but we had no idea what we were about to witness.

We had heard rumblings that this couple had encountered God in a radical way and that they were trying to work on their marriage after months and months apart and divorce papers on their way to be filed.  But we hadn't talked to either of them or seen them in a long time.  But just as the gathering was beginning to start they walked in.  It was amazing to see them together.  At the end of the service the husband went to the front of the congregation.  With sincerity and strength he confessed his sin to the church, professed his love and gratitude for his Savior Jesus and his love, devotion, remorse and thankfulness for his wife.  He shared Scripture, got down one his knees in humility as he expressed gratitude to the church for their love and grace during his rebellion.  He stated in no uncertain terms that it was the power of prayer and the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit that had reconciled his broken marriage.

Wow.  Awe.

As much as I could not believe their marriage had fallen apart I was even more astounded that it has been restored.  But why?  Why am I amazed that the God of the universe, the God who is completely invested in the business of reconciliation, why am I surprised that he could... that he would restore my friends marriage.  The brokenness, humility, love and grace on display in that room was a perfect picture of the gospel.  I was so thankful to be abel to witness that.

The service closed with the church gathering around this couple and praying for them together.  United against Satan and his schemes, acknowledging the long road this couple has ahead of them, the church took a stand for love, took a stand for marriage, took a stand for the glory of God and his ability to bring reconciliation and life change any time, any where.

The husband shared a passage of Scripture from James that I will close with.  I hope this is an encouragement to you that hope is not lost.  There is hope for the lost.  There is hope for the broken.  There is hope for anyone reading this whose marriage is broken or life is falling apart.  I believe there is hope for Tacoma.  Hope is found in the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.  and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
                         -James 5:15-16

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Faces of The Pathway

We were blessed by a photographer on Mother's Day who came in and took pictures for our families for FREE!!!  It was an awesome gift to all the mom!  As I scrolled through the pictures I was in awe of all the lives God has touched through The Pathway.  I thought I would share some of them with you so you can see some of the folks that you pray for!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Mom... and 3 Prayer Requests

While my mom is not perfect, she is committed to following Jesus with her life.  She is committed to learning, growing, and playing the role God has called her to play in life.  As a child she taught me in Sunday School, mission friends, and more Vacation Bible Schools than I could ever count.  But more than that, she taught me about missions in our home.  I remember learning about Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot... all from my mom.  

I remember praying for missionaries and I remember seeing my mom pray for missionaries.  I remember giving to missions.  I remember giving pennies, that led to dollars, that led to generously giving to support those doing a work in places I could not go.  My mom taught me what it means to "go."  She taught me that it started with Jesus' "Great Commission."  She laid the foundation and I'm so thankful for that.

But more than just teaching me about missions, my mom has always supported me in missions.  When I wanted to go serve down at the Texas/Mexico border in high school, she supported, prayed (and probably paid) for me to go.  When I wanted to go spend a month serving on University campuses in Washington and Oregon as a college student over Christmas break... my mom supported and encouraged me.  When I wanted to go to China for a month to serve Jesus, my mom was excited to help me learn and prepare.  When the trip had to be changed at the last minute because of the SARS epidemic my mom didn't pull the plug, she let me follow the Holy Spirit through an open door that led us to Greece.  

When I told my mom that Kelli and I were starting a process that would take us oversees permenantly... she told me she may not come visit (love her honesty), but that she was thankful and excited to see us go where God called us.  Finally, when God shifted our direction and I told my mom we were moving to inner city Tacoma (and I know she researched all the things mom's research about inner city areas), she supported and prayed for us all the more.  My mom gives to support us, she prays to support us, she travels to support us... my mom is a BIG reason why God is doing what he is doing and has done what he has done in and through my life. I just pray Kelli and I can follow in the foot steps that she and my dad have modeled for us.  I love you mom and I am SO thankful for you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Pray BIG:
1) Please pray for Jason Downing.  Jason served with us as an intern 3 years ago and he arrived in Tacoma yesterday to plant his life here and help us saturate our city with the gospel.  Pray that Jason gets settled, finds a job and that God helps him learn to be the church with us!

2) Please pray for our Mother's Day gathering and the work of the Holy Spirit leading up to it.  God has given us the opportunity to bring in a photographer to do family pictures for our church this Sunday.  We are opening it up to the community and encouraging people to invite friends.  Please pray that our people will invite and their friends and family will respond.  Please pray that God will use the invites we are sending home with all the students in 4 elementary schools this week!  Pray that God brings people to hear the gospel and that they respond!

3) Please pray for a young family in Texas that is sensing God's call to move their lives to Tacoma.  They sense that they could fill some leadership needs that we have and they are working through the "go" process with their church.  Pray for clarity and wisdom as they seek Jesus on this!