Archive for November 6th, 2008

Because I Can

I have some things on my mind and on my heart that I need to let go of.  And since this is my blog and I can do and say whatever I please–here goes.  (This is going to be long and emotional so bear with me!).

I am tired of Christians that just don’t get it.  For those that don’t know, my hubby and I moved to our current location almost 9 years ago to start a church with some friends from college.  We had no idea what we were doing or what we were getting into and in the course of 9 years, God has taught us SO much about ourselves and other people.

About 18 months ago, our traditional “Sunday morning” church transitioned to a network of smaller churches–also called house or micro-churches.  And ever since then we’ve been dealing with people that just don’t get it.  They don’t understand our vision or our mission.  They don’t understand why we do things the way we do.  Are we a “normal” church?  No.  Are we a relevant church filled with people who love God and love others?  Absolutely YES.  We take care of one another.  We pray for one another.  When one of us hurts, we all hurt.  When one is rejoicing, we all rejoice!  (I’m starting to hear that Pointer Sister’s song in my head–“We are family . . !”). 

Recently we have been confronted with people–all Christians–that totally don’t understand the micro church concept.  And yet again today I was reminded (and offended) by yet another Christian who just doesn’t undertand.  Seriously the person made me cry because I felt like we were being looked down on and that we basically are not a legitimate church because we don’t run 1000 members and we don’t have a “normal service” to invite people to.  I ran into the same type of thing a few weeks ago from another Christian.   

Aaron preached at a church that we attended while we were in college a few weeks ago.  After the service the minister was asking me about our plans for starting another network of house churches (we are moving to NC next year to do this). He said, “So Aaron’s just going to be moving from full time ministry to doing it part time now?”. I just said, “Yeah.” My answer I wanted to say was that our LIVES are a 24/7 “ministry”. We want every part of our life to be a ministry–and if God is calling us to return to a ‘secular’ job and lifestyle then that is what we are going to do.  We don’t compartmentalize our lives into “ministry time”, “job time”, and “family time”.  It is all blended together and it is our hope that we are fulfilling our life’s mission–to love God, love people and serve the world.  

Why are we choosing to give up paid ministry?  Why would Aaron go to college for 4 years, rack up student loan debt that has taken us 9 years to pay off just to get a secular job that has nothing at all to do with his college degree?  Because God wants us to.  God is calling us to do this.  We are confident that God wants us to surround ourselves with broken people.  He wants us to be in the midst of the lost.  He wants us to redeem unholy places back to him.  He wants us to do this.  He is calling us to do this.  The easy thing to do is to tell Him “no” and let Aaron find a nice comfortable church to serve at.  He could write his three point sermon every week, teach Bible study on Wednesday night, kiss a lot of butt to keep everyone happy and get paid lots of money to do it.  We’d be secure financially but would Aaron, or I, be happy?  Would we feel that we were able to minister in the way God is calling us to in that type of setting?  That would be a resounding NO. 

Our most often asked question about moving is, “So has Aaron found a church to go to?”  Then I have to explain it all to them and they act surprised.  Someone even said, “That’s kind of sad.”  I thought, no, it’s totally NOT sad.  It’s awesome!  So please, don’t discount Aaron because he chooses to NOT get paid for his Kingdom work.  God has not called everybody to be a “professional Christian.”  There are a lot of people out there reaching lost people for Christ that are not getting a paycheck for it every week.  We want to tell and show people that you don’t have to go to a 4 year Bible College to lead people to Christ.  That you don’t have get paid for leading a church.  That you can glorify and serve God without getting a paycheck for it.  Aaron can still be a pastor without getting paid for it!!!  His ministry to others is absolutely legitimate whether he gets paid to write fancy sermons or he serves up coffee at Starbucks. 

I take much offense to people that berate my husband and his life’s work.  I think that is why I got so offended today.  When I read this person’s e-mail, I got the idea from him that he felt that our work wasn’t important because we don’t have a church of 1000 people.  Basically, that we were wasting our time doing this.  Tell that to Heather.  And Reber.  And Wendy and Shelby and any other person that attends Discovery.  THEY are important to God.  THEY are important to us and I am thankful everyday that God led us to this place because of THEM.  They are changed and are continuing to be transformed.  And I don’t care if all our work was for 1000 people, or 10 people.  In fact, the last 9 years would have been worth it all if it was only for ONE person.  You know why?  Because that one person would matter to GOD.

I don’t want to argue or debate with anyone.  I don’t want to offend anyone.  I just want wish that Christians didn’t have to argue about what method is best, what type of service is going to reach the most people, which person’s ministry is most “legit”.  Because we’re all working towards the same goal and that is showing Christ’s love to the world.    

OK, off my soap box now.  This has been an emotional week for me and I have had some serious blog posts.  Hopefully next week I can get back to blogging about other lighter things.  Like my painting project for this weekend!  And maybe I’ll even throw in a recipe or two just to lighten it up a bit around here at Counting My Pennies!

My 20 Year Obsession

As promised, here is a photo I found today tucked away in a dormer upstairs.  This was taken in the summer of 1990 during the height of my New Kids on the Block infatuation.  Even then–I was a Jordan girl as you can see from the photo (I’m holding a photo of him!).  And here I am 18 years later and still slightly obsessed with those 5 fabulous boys men from Boston!  So go ahead and have a laught at my expense here.  The HUGE glasses (Mom–why on earth did you let me pick those out?!), the braces, the big bangs and the frizzy hair.  Yikes!  This is only one small portion of my room–you can’t see that every single wall and door was covered.  In fact, I ran out of room and starting putting posters on my ceiling!   

This is actually a photo taken of a photo (because my scanner is not hooked up right now!). 

laura-the-dork

I talked to my dad tonight and he told me he was cleaning out his attic and throwing a bunch of stuff away.  I told him to make sure he didn’t throw out any of my New Kids stuff!  I am missing a box of buttons, shirts, hats and other stuff and I will be very sad if he gets rid of it!

A Productive Day–finally!

I was able to get the day off work today.  I was on call on the weekend and last night (though my pager didn’t go off at all which is highly unusual–thank you Lord for that answered prayer!) so my boss let me be off today.  Aaron and I got a lot done and we still have a lot we are working on (in fact, I need to write this quick and get my butt back upstairs so we have a place to sleep tonight.  The bed is covered in junk to be put away!). 

First stop was Target where I needed to get Fancy Nancy invitations for Madalyn’s birthday party.  She loves Fancy Nancy!  While there, we also got her birthday present (a Fancy Nancy doll), some clearance items (wish I could post photos but they are Christmas presents!), and a few Halloween items that were 50% off (including some dress up clothes for Madalyn). 

Next stop was the thrift store where we dropped all this off:

van-thrift-store

(Does my blackberry take great photos, or what?  This was loaded straight from the phone with no editing at all!)

Then it was off to Second Time Around.  I dropped some things off about a month ago–mostly baby and girls clothes and I made about $25.  So I stopped by on Monday and got some things for Madalyn but one of the pairs of pants was way too small.  So we took those back and dropped off about 6 more items.  I love consignment stores!  What a great way to make a little bit of cash!  Of course, I usually end up spending mine there but I ended up getting Madalyn 3 pairs of pants, two sweaters, a shirt and a pair of boots and I only spent $9 our of pocket!

Our last stop was CVS.  Aaron had to get some meds straightened out (they were suppose to give him 180 tabs of a certain pill and he realized they only gave him 80!  What a big mistake that was!).  So I looked around and found some clearance Halloween candy (to use in Madalyn’s birthday goody bags) and a couple other things.  I haven’t been doing much CVS-ing lately because I haven’t been driving to Harrisonburg as often.  I usually go “to town” about once a week but here lately it has been less than that because I have been working so much. 

So now we are home.  Aaron is out straightening the shed so that we can move about 20 boxes of stuff out there to store until we sell the house.  I am amazed at the amount of stuff that one family can accumulate.  I have been packing and reorganizing and labeling like crazy.  Hopefully this will make for a smoother move once we do sell the house. 

This weekend is going to be our next ORAM.  According to my plans, we should have already done the upstairs bedroom and the outside.  Well, October got a little crazy and we didn’t get that done.  But this weekend we have decided to go ahead and do the living room and I may start working on the upstairs bathroom as well.  I’ll try to remember to take before photos this time! 

That’s it for now.  I’m off to get back to work!   Oooohhh–I did find some fun photos in one of the dormers that I am going to try to get posted on here soon.  They are circa 1990–should be good for some laughs!


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