This Face says it all, we are heading home!
This face says how my whole family feels about our move back to Ohio. Oh whoops, did I not tell you the news. After months of praying for God to add to us, stop taking people away and reopen doors that were closed to ministry, I have resigned as the pastor of The Church at Kapolei and we began to move our people to another church plant. For a while this decision was killing me. Every time I tried to stay and make a plan, frustration would meet me. During counseling with another church planter, our prayers shifted from "God help us to be here or send us home" to "God, I'm good with whatever you want. I am willing to stay, just help me stay near you". At that point, we (Michelle and I) both felt the Lord leading us back to Ohio. I began to worry about my kids and they became excited about heading home. I began to worry about the organizations that were backing us, but they affirmed the decision with grace. Then I began to worry about where we would live and God gave us back our house. At every turn that we are unsure, God has met us there and answered incredibly. He has been so good to us while I struggled with what to do. He has led us to peaceful and fulfilling waters in this last month.
I would like to stir your hearts for a moment before I finish this writing with our plans. I just read an article that said don't listen to your heart. I had taught that many times, however, God has ripped that view from me. While on this journey, I had been confronted with what Christ has done for every believer. When He came into our lives, He cleaned house and put His Spirit in us (What fellowship does darkness have with light). He put a new heart in us (Ezekiel 36:26) and given us His mind (1 Cor. 2:16). He has taught us (and is continuing to teach us) to delight in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart - Psalm 37:4. It is God that gives us His will and thoughts as we pursue Him. This is what we have been doing in pursuing Him and He has placed the desire to head back to Ohio. I know, Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is wicked, but looking into this passage we forget that God promised a new heart and Spirit (Ezek. 36:26) and that the people in the O.T. did not have the Holy Spirit living in them. God places His desires in us, it is our call to be intimate so we can tell the difference between sinful flesh desires and Christ's Will (Romans 12:2). The question I want to ask you is: are you delighting in the Lord?
We plan on flying into Nashville, TN Sept. 30 and drive down to Memphis to spend time with family. There, I will be looking for a van and preparing our family for the trip north. The following week, we will be heading north and staying with friends and taking a mini-vacation paid for by my in-laws (I love these guys, just don't tell them). From there, we will begin to clean our home, replace carpet and flooring and move back into the house. We will need several things such as: dishwasher, winter clothes, desks and bookshelves, yard equipment, etc... Then we will begin to see what God has for us next. It might be a staff position somewhere, it might be secular ministry. When I said "God whatever You want" I put myself into His trust (which we were already in). We are so excited to see many of you. We are also saddened to leave 12 great people from our core team, so many great friends here and the weather (particularly the beach). Please pray for our group as we attempt to join another church plant before we leave.
Remember that picture? It is how I feel about coming home. See many of you soon!