Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Calling All Prayers!

This is it! It's the week of our first service!

We have been getting ready for this week since we landed here in the fall. We have been looking forward to May 1st for months. We've been working on the building, on the worship service structure, and on getting in tune with God's vision for His church here in Jamestown. We've met with our partner family, and they have worked hard on the lighting and the nursery. We've sent 2,200 invitations to Jamestowners, and we've purchased five billboards around the area.

And you've been a huge part of this process, too! You've been praying, begging God for His help on our behalves and on behalf of the city of Jamestown. Some of you have sponsored chairs. Some of you have sent us encouragement that came at just the right moments. Some of you have come up and worked to give this church plant an awesome start. Thank you!!

But church isn't church without people. We have literally no idea who may show up on Sunday, and that's pretty scary. So now is the time to hunker down with us and pray with a little extra fervency, a little more dedication, and a whole lot of the Holy Spirit. 

Please pray that:
  • God will get the invitations to the right people at the right moments.
  • The weather won't keep anyone from coming.
  • People will be drawn to the church.
  • God will clear the path to church for people who may be struggling.
  • Those who attend will feel loved by us and by our Father.
  • The Holy Spirit will pour down over the service on Sunday.
  • The Spirit will prepare the hearts of those who come.
  • The Word of God will be faithfully preached and joyfully received by the people who attend.
  • The truth of the Gospel will penetrate hardened hearts and strengthen weak souls.
  • God will be worshiped and adored as He deserves.
There is nothing that you can do that is more powerful than praying to our God that He will act, and we need and deeply appreciate your prayers. Thank you so very much for coming alongside us!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Why Write?

This is the question that I've been asking myself. I've been trying to build a writing career for years, and so far it has cost me far more than it has made. Very few writers make a living by writing. Most use writing to supplement their income or invest in writing as a promotional tool for other services that they offer, such as conferences.

So here I am, a writer by birth, still asking the question, "Why should I even try?"

There are two answers. First, I can't not write. I've tried a hundred times. I've really tried to give up. It's a very painful thing to face the rejection and disappointment that comes from failed attempts at a writing career, so I have tried to work "regular jobs" and put away all hopes of writing. But then I find myself behind a keyboard, desperately working on something that just has to get out. Sometimes I share it. Sometimes it gets published. Sometimes it never sees the light of day. But it always gets written. Why? I just have to write. It's how God wired me. 

Do I wish that He had wired me to be content in a steady paying job with insurance and no desire to write?

Did He ask me? 


The second answer is a little less practical and far more romantic. There's just something divine about the written word. It's practically immortal. Even if my words are only read by a handful of people, that conversation becomes a permanent part of their story. It may not be a highlight. They may not even remember the experience, but it never ceases to be a part of who they are. That's a huge responsibility, and that's an immense privilege! 

Consider it for a moment. When I read Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, I am thinking the same thoughts that William Shakespeare thought in 1599. Now whenever I hear the word honorable, I think of Antony's speech. ("For Brutus is an honorable man.") It shapes how I respond to the world around me. It changes me.

I will never have the ability or notoriety of William Shakespeare. (And that's okay because I'm still much happier than he ever was.) But I can impact other people through writing. 

It may never make me a dime, but through the written word, I get to be a part of other people's lives, and if I'm very faithful and very blessed, I may just have the immense privilege of drawing other people closer to Christ.

So that's why I write.