Tag Archives: The CORE

When God Says Go

Before I say anything, I need to say this: Only by the grace of God and His strength in me am I taking this leap of faith. My deepest hope is that HE is glorified.

I find it very fitting that we started a series called “30 Days to Live” tonight at church. A night when I announced a decision that I can honestly say I never thought I’d be making at this point in life. I announced that I would be leaving my church. Our church is officially just over a year old and never did I think I would be leaving so soon, for a long time I didn’t even consider the thought of ever leaving. But, as is usually the case, God has different plans.

I made that decision two and a half weeks ago and it will no doubt rock my world. It will take me away from my church, from my “family,” and from some of the people I have done ministry with for seven years. It means stepping farther outside my comfort zone than I ever have before and truly trusting. I mean, sure, I’ve always said, “I trust God, He’s got it under control.” But, I’ll be honest, my life didn’t often reflect that. I held tightly on to as much control as I could. I made my plans. I followed my plans. I always had a plan.

All the while, I would admire and be slightly envious of those who had the courage to live their God-given dreams, to go when He said go, who fully and completely trusted God with their lives. I would think to myself, “someday, I’m going to live that way…someday.”

Well, the day has come. God has been stirring in my heart for quite some time now a discontentment, a discontentment that He wanted to use to push me forward. I successfully ignored this whisper from God until it got so loud that I couldn’t any more.

That was two months ago. Two months ago I started seriously and prayerfully considering whether or not God was calling me away from my church and onto a new chapter. Those two months were not fun. Wrestling with God is painful! But, He has given me clarity & peace. I believe with all of my being that God is telling me to go. I don’t know exactly where yet or to what, but the fact that He is saying go is loud and clear.

For most people, knowing you only have 30 days to live would change how you live, what you do, who you see, where you go, etc. I’m incredibly grateful that God is moving in my heart to take those risks now, to re-prioritize before it’s too late. Believe me, I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride. The next year will likely be an especially painful molding process. But, I’m so excited for the end result.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”             Ephesians 3:20-21

Why Are You Still Here?

In his sermon on Sunday, our guest, Pastor Jason, asked a question that has haunted me in the time since, “Why are you still here?” His answer: “Christians, you are here because God wants you to invest in someone’s eternity.”

Wow! That was like a punch in the gut for me. Working at a church, I do the church thing every day. It is my life. But how often do I personally invest in someone else’s eternity? If I’m honest, I’m ashamed of the answer.

Today I hit the streets of Appleton to shoot a video for worship on Sunday that reminded me of the urgency of the work God has called us to do. There are so many people in Appleton, young and old, who don’t have saving faith. I have to continually ask myself what I am doing to invest in their eternity. I talked with parents who desperately want their child to find their way back to church and rekindle that personal relationship with Jesus. Again, I have to ask myself, what am I doing to invest in their children’s eternity.

God has called me and you, not just the church, to share our faith. How will you do that today?

Get Dirty

Loss – that’s a tough thing to deal with, I don’t think anyone is going to try and deny that. Loss spans the spectrum and goes beyond losing an individual. For me loss is a bit more abstract and a bit more subtle, but it’s there and it’s very real.

On Sunday Ski said or rather shouted (if you were there you know I’m serious) “Churches want to put out their hand to help people out of the mud, but that’s not what our Savior does. Our Savior climbs in the mud with you and pulls you up and helps you out. That’s what we’re about.” We are about that because we recognize that Christ has pulled us from the mud countless times and he calls us to reflect that love for His glory.

That means sometimes we’re going to be uncomfortable. We’re going to do things we never wanted to or thought we’d do. But there are people who are hurting. People who need Jesus. And the way in which we bring them the good news of the Gospel is by climbing into the mud and getting dirty. We can’t picky about who or when or where, we just have to do it.

When was the last time you jumped in the mud to help someone else out? Who in your life right now is in the mud and needs your help?

I Wonder as I Wander

Do you ever stop and marvel at the interconnectedness of humanity? Maybe that idea seems far to deep and abstract for some of you, but seriously, just try thinking about it if even for a brief moment. It baffles me really.

Here at The CORE today we have had 8-15 people from one of the homeless shelters in Appleton stop in. They’ve been fed, given something to drink, and of course heard that Jesus still loves them and forgives them in spite of all of the mistakes they have made. And can I tell you something? Each of those individuals has now made an impact on my life. Perhaps it is a very small impact, but nonetheless an impact because we are all connected. At the end of the day, we are the same. We are poor miserable sinners in need of a Savior. And if you think otherwise, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you are missing the truth.

I am someone who remembers people, I remember experiences, I remember conversations, I remember faces. And when I stop to think about all of the people I have come into contact with in my life I can’t help but thank God for those experiences and deeply regret the times that I wasn’t aware of the others, that I thought myself too good to interact with certain people. He uses people to do his work here on earth, how humbling is that!

Have you stopped to thank God lately for the people he allows to come into your life – Even if for a very brief moment?

I’ve Been Watching You

“Never underestimate the importance of simply being physically present in the place God wants you. You may not be asked to perform some dramatic ministry, but simply being there is a ministry.” – Warren Wiersbe

We have had tons of different people in and out of The CORE in the last two days. For me, this means lots of people watching – or people observing if your prefer that term. Call it what you want, but I pay attention to people’s actions, to their body languages; perhaps almost more than their words at times. And let me tell you what, God has blessed us with some amazing people around here. People who live the quote above, people who may not perform some dramatic ministry but participate in ministry simply by being in a certain place at a certain time.

Yesterday, I sat and watch a 70+ year old man walk up and make conversation with a stranger who walked into our building. A stranger who may not have a home, who probably hasn’t showered in a couple of days, who may not be in a right state of mind. I took note of that 70 year old man’s actions. His actions tell me there is something different about him.

I sat and watched a middle aged man sit down and make conversation with a young woman visiting our building. She sat in our building for hours and very few people walked up and talked to her. That man may have made her day.

I am someone who always wants to be doing something, always wants results. I want the “dramatic ministry.” I have to stop and remind myself that I am God’s tool. He will use me in the way he sees fit. And sometimes, that may mean talking to a stranger who walks into our building. Because bottom line is, those people are looking for their Savior too. They are watching his people – their actions much more than their words.

What would people think of your actions? What ministry are you doing by simply being present in a place?

It’s Not You, It’s Me

“It’s not you, it’s me”

That phrase came to mind as I listened to Ski’s sermon about making disciples this week. Now, typically, that phrase evokes sadness, anger, bitterness, disappoint, and a whole host of negative emotions. But, when that phrase is spoken by our Heavenly Father, it’s a different story. Ski said in his sermon, “It’s not about you, it’s about what is behind you.” How true is that. We have God on our side and his Word behind our attempts to spread the Gospel. He continually whispers in our ears, “It’s not you, it’s me!” Remember that the next time you want to pass up an opportunity to share the Word out of fear.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9b