Saturday, February 26, 2011

Believing in Fairytales

One can only imagine the kind of responses one gets as an adult that believes in fairytales.  We are a dying breed.  I am not received well by others when they find out I have never denied the existence of Santa Clause.  I don't see why I should when there is no proof he doesn't exist.  I believe the burden of proof is on them, as they try to prove a negative.  Good luck. 

It's ironic to me that adults, who are consumed with discussions of freedom during these colossal upheavals in the Middle East, are actually in an extreme bondage.  There is a major lack of freedom in our world and it is the freedom to believe in something.  The irony is that one must not believe in anything, because to believe in something is to exclude something else, and excluding is considered hate crime in Today's public mind.  To think and reason is fine, as long as one does not draw a conclusion.  What a hopeless state to never be allowed to come to the end of a journey of discovery.  One can believe in reason itself, but one cannot actually have an outcome.  And Heaven help the one that comes to an outcome that isn't logical to the world around us.  Which is what Tabitha and I have done.  We have come to believe that the world we see is less and less real than what the world tried to get us to believe. 

I remember once as a kid someone showed me a hologram toy.  Put a penny in a slot and it would appear in the middle of a bowl.  Grab for the penny in the bowl and it wasn't there.  I believe that sums up how people try to grasp at the things of this world.  Tabitha and I are foolish enough to believe in another world, another reality.  We even dare say this reality is merely a hologram of the real, and we desire to find the real which God has hidden for us (Prov 25:2). 

We are finding more and more the truth of reality.  That Jesus Himself is the substance (Colossians 1:17) of Heaven and Heaven is what we desire.  At some point as Christians, we must say that scripture is the defining point of our thought/belief process.  The inspired, with out error word of God is either correct or wrong.  CS Lewis once said that we truly know what we believe when the belief becomes an issue of life or death.  Or G.K. Chesterton commented on people's habit of making absolutes out of correlations by saing we don't count on it as much as bet on it.  We have seen so often that first one must do this before this can happen, drawing a direct link, and do admit in reality there is no solid connection, merely a correlation.  We are on a search to discover what our hearts know to be true, that God is the only real thing.

Scripture says this in lots of ways.  Mathew 6:33," Seek first the Kingdom of God...".  We all love that verse, but rarely practice it as an absolute.  Just a few verses earlier, Jesus warns to build up our stores in Heaven where moth, rust, and thieves cannot touch them.  Hebrews describes the physical Tabernacle as only a shadow of what was real.  It was something that could be touched and experienced, but it was far from the real thing.  The Song of Solomon tells us that when the day comes the shadows will flee.  Tabitha and are doing our best, Holy Spirit in us is doing most of the work, to recognize the real, so that when the day comes, what we have devoted ourselves to won't be merely a shadow that disappears when the light of day comes, but something of substance that will be revealed in dimensions and beauty that we could never have guessed at.  So we believe more in what we can't see, as if NOT seeing it is better proof that it is real than the circumstances we are physically living out.  After all, faith is the substance of things hoped for and not seen.  The reality of all these things are found in Christ (Col 2:17). 

It may seem like we have begun some sort of risky venture, but it's not actually risky to us.  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot.  The job, the apartment, and other tangibles, weren't actually real.  They were merely holograms of the deeper truth; God is provision.  We are so grateful that so many of you are traveling with us deeper into this Kingdom.  This fairytale where it doesn't matter how many dragons there are, the Prince will always slay them in the end.  Where maid doesn't remain in bondage to familial or societal tradition, and will one day become the Bride.  Where the poor will eventually inherit the Kingdom when the King arrives and sits upon the Throne.  We're so grateful that you believe in fairytales with us and we hope you will continue reading about ours. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back to Brooklyn

"There is a spiritual principle that anything which comes too easily or too quickly is usually insignificant. If you want to be a part of something truly significant, you will have to pay the price." --Rick Joyner A Prophetic History Part 1

Scott and I used to always pray that God would take us through such intense times such as the one we are in right now. I can recall many nights at college where I would stay up late in the night in prayer and worship, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone with God. Hours would pass and I feel like all I would say was more,more,more Lord. I would cry, and pray, and beg the Lord to let me know Him more, to let me experience Him in ways that would radically change my life. See I knew from experience, and from reading stories in the scripture, that to KNOW something usually literally translates into, to experience something. I knew full well that to love God, and know God, and pursue God the way that I desired would take more than reading the bible and going to church every Sunday and having some Christian friends. It had to be deeper, and it had to shake me and rearrange me and my thoughts and my perspective or else real physical life time change would not occur.

I really wanted to need God. Scott and I always said when we were married, that we wanted to live in a way that we were completely dependent on God. Not just that we would sometimes have to utter a prayer to get us out of  jam, but that we could literally walk through our whole life pointing to anything and everything and saying that's from God, this is from God, God did that, and this...EVERYTHING. We didn't want to be able to say anything came from the work of our own hands. Its a nice idea. Makes you feel courageous and really bold when you pray it. But when it actually begins to happen, you feel completely helpless. We are at a point in our lives where we can't do anything to better our situation. We don't have the resources to make things better, we don't have the status in the world to just quickly climb up to some sort of good standing. All we have is Him. And we can feel it. And its good, but it costs a lot.

We got a word from a friend a few months ago in prayer. She said she really felt like the longer we stayed in NY the more chance for us to get hurt.

What I might have failed to tell you is that Scott and I have felt God calling us out of Brooklyn for almost 2 years now. I think we were just too afraid to step out into anything. We wanted to have all our ducks in a row. Things just kept coming up, at first it was that we were newly married and had no money, then we were pregnant, then we had a good church, then we had a new born, then our whole family lived close by, we had security in our apartment. Things just kept coming up. And guess what, they always will. For the rest of your life, something will happen, something will come up, its un-ending. Life never stops moving. Even if you sit completely still and hold your breath and close your eyes, it still keep moving.

So we were back in Brooklyn with two pieces of information. One was that we could stay at the conference center at morning star for a small monthly fee. And the other was that we could stay with a family from MorningStar whom we had met on our trip to Charlotte. They often rent out rooms in their home for students at the MSU (morning star university) and offered a room in their home to us for an even smaller fee than at the conference center. Although the money side of it was enticing, we wanted to make sure we went where God wanted us to go. So we waited and prayed and eventually really felt like staying with this family would be the best option for our family according to Holy Spirit:)

We are quite private people. I know you might find that hard to believe, but we have established a lot of boundaries when it comes to our family time and our home time. Not that we keep people out or never invite anyone in, but we are very intentional about having days when its just us in our home with no distractions and no plans. So we really feel like God will grow us a lot by living with another family and we are a little scared but since we are facing so many challenges right now, we are at a point where welcoming one more really doesn't matter! Plus we feel that there will be more of a blessing in store by spending time with this family than we can see right now!

Once we felt like we finally knew where we would go, which was last week sometime, we sat down to pray and discuss what date we would leave.

Keeping that word from our friend in mind, we really felt like we needed to make the date sooner rather than later. We also felt it needed to be sooner because, something would come up that would prevent us from leaving soon and we felt like we needed to just put our foot down and claim a date. So we literally sat in our living room and said "OK God we need a date to move" the date I kept having in my mind for the past couple of weeks was February 23rd, but when I said that out loud (by the way this decision was made on the 12th) Scott quickly said, "sooner!". But eventually we both agreed that February 23rd felt good. It gave some time to be with people and pack up, but not too much time to allow things to keep coming up and pushing our date further away. The date wasn't the best date to our family, but we felt like it was God so we are sticking to it.

We have been facing so much opposition about this move. In ways that are seen and ways that are unseen. There as been a lot of anger between our families since we picked that date, Selah has been sick, then Scott and I got sick. We have no car, and renting a vehicle one way to get our stuff down there looks pretty much impossible right now and really expensive. Things keep coming up.

Which is why I wrote that quote at the beginning. We are confident that we have to fight for this word. We are stressed out, overwhelmed, literally sick and tired, but we have intense peace that it is all for God. So we won't give up. We are encouraged by the many that call us, text us, and write us messages every day telling us they are excited for us and that they really believe this is God. We are being held up by His word and by your prayers for us. And it is working!

We don't know how we will pack our stuff, let alone how we want it to be packed. We are in such a weary state right now, and yet we feel so victorious. We just want to encourage you to keep going. In whatever you are fighting for right now. Even if you literally have no strength to fight. Please just put your confidence and trust in God. We promise He always wins!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 days to accomplish something

"In my mind I'm going to Carolina...can't you see the sunshine can't you just feel the moonshine, aint it just like a friend of mine, it hit me from behind. Yes I'm going to Carolina in my mind"--James Taylor

Scott and I spent many a day playing this song on repeat over the passed few months. Amping each other up for our big move, and trying to encourage one another and help us keep our focus on what we felt like God's vision, our vision was for this next season. So when we pulled into Charlotte a couple weeks ago for out mini vacation/scouting out the land trip, it came as no surprise to us to hear James Taylor singing this song on the radio the moment we crossed into Charlotte. We turned it up really loud, sang the parts of the song we actually know, and could not wipe these ridiculously cheesy grins off our faces. God is so fun. He does such awesome things for us to comfort us, especially in times when you have no idea if you're actually following His voice or not.

Well, we had no idea, until we spent 10 days in Fort Mill South Carolina just outside of Charlotte. God was pretty clear with us on this trip. He gave us confidence to go back home and tell everyone whole heartedly that we know we are supposed to move there.

When we got into town we grabbed some coffee, found a hotel, and then took a ride to our friends home for some fellowship and much needed encouragement. The Norbergs moved to Fort Mill about 3 years ago from the D.C. area with a journey/story similar to ours. Without wanting to share the details of their lives to publicly, they just felt God telling them to move there, and so they did! They didn't have jobs, but they had a home and they had a word from God and just followed it. We got to spend a lot of time with then while we were down there. And we are just so grateful for them! We really feel like we are getting an awesome taste of the fullness of God's love through these people. They don't reach out to us or encourage us out of obligation, but out of the sincerity of Christ working on and in their hearts. They hardly know us, but they love us, and that is Jesus:) We also met another couple that same evening, whom we soon came to find that we would actually be moving in with! But I'll get there later:)

The next day we went to MorningStar for church, I was expecting to have this overwhelming feeling when I stepped onto the grounds of the MorningStar campus. Feelings like: this place is famous, or these people are so different, or God is so present here! ...and I guess in a sense I did, but without all the glam only because I just felt like... it was normal. People dancing in the isles, and people up at the front of the church painting during worship, the thickness of God's presence on everyone I encountered. It just felt like, our niche, like we belonged there.

The days after were not so comfortable. There was a lot of frustration, a lot of toil, I woke up every morning with the need to have an agenda, and Scott had a need to just rest and listen to God. We just kept fighting each other on this for a couple days, trying to make things happen and go a certain way. Maybe there is a place for this in Christ, and maybe not. I've heard many debates. Some say, well you can't literally just sit back and do nothing because that's irresponsible, however I feel like Scott and I often argue the point that what if you don't hear God tell you to do anything? Does that mean you should just do whatever you come up with?  Or what if you feel at peace with what you are doing, and it just doesn't look like a good idea to the outside world around you? Should you start producing works that please your human flesh or please man, just to feel valuable, or responsible?

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

"Lord I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God." Psalm 38:15

"On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command, Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about." Acts 1:4

"And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised." Hebrews 6:15

I guess something we came into contact with once again while we were in Charlotte was the concept of waiting. And when we shared this with mature people of the faith that we looked up to, they seemed to have this intense assurance, as they would just sit there and say to us "just wait" "just wait on God, He'll show you" , "seek God and wait on Him for the answers" why do we justify the not waiting? instead of the waiting which we find so evident written throughout the scriptures which we call our bible...our law.

So while we were in Charlotte/Fort Mill, we waited. We enjoyed ourselves, God put a lot of people in our path to confirm our moving down there. And He put confidence in us. We thought we would come home with jobs and a place to live, but we came home with more confidence in God and His design than we had when we left.

We prayed to God to give us a sign, to give us one physical thing we could bring home with us to show. Something we could have and say look, this is good, there is harvest and fruit in what we are doing!

On our way home from Charlotte we stopped in D.C. to visit our best friends Mitch and Katie where they presented to us a beautiful blooming yellow lily. Katie told us that while she was grocery shopping she felt Holy Spirit prompt her to purchase this plant for us, and she heard Him say "New life". She felt like God was saying we are going into a season of New Life, a life we had never experienced before. A life completely different from the ways of life than we have ever lived before.

That statement held much more weight than we knew of. We had faced so much opposition the first couple of days in Charlotte. It seemed like everywhere we turned people were steaming at us "THE ECONOMY THE ECONOMY!" constantly letting us know and wishing us luck on finding jobs...or belittling us because we didn't already have jobs, but we were planning to move there soon.

Yes this definitely is a new life. It should be normal, but it hasn't been to us. This intense faith. We want it to be normal. We don't want to say "having your ducks in a row=godliness" just because that is what makes us comfortable. We want to be blown like the wind, and by the wind of the spirit. And this is the new life, we have finally submitted to.

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the spirit." John 3:8

We did get to look at some apartments, dream about owning a house someday, visit a couple dance studios, and I got to take a ballet class:) We had fun, we enjoyed each other while Selah stayed back in NY with her grandparents. We sought God and we rested, and it seemed as though that was all we needed to do in order for things to start looking like we had some sort of a plan.

Friday, February 11, 2011

An even better offer we would not turn down!

"He's gonna turn it all around, just wait and see, He's gonna make everything beautiful, just in time"--Misty Edwards

In October some time, we were in church here in Brooklyn, and our pastor was talking about prayer and talking to God. We had a short little time after the teaching to just sit quietly and talk to God, and listen. It seemed as though the second I closed my eyes God began to speak. I heard His so clearly, in that kind of voice that fills your whole entire body, and you almost wonder if anyone else can hear it outside of your head and heart. I heard Him say 3 things. January 28th, Your move will be fast and surprising, Pack the two closets in your living room now because they will take the most effort.

I got really confident and encouraged from these words:) And Scott and I went home from church and began packing our closest. God was right, they did take a lot of effort;)

The January 28th kind of stuck in the back of my mind. But I never really believe God speaks that specifically until I see the thing He spoke happened. And then I always get really surprised ha.

A few days before January 28th we had a couple that really loves us make us an offer. They offered to pay for our way down to Charlotte for a week or so in order for us to scout out the land. Their idea behind it was, if we get there and find out we actually don't think we should be there, we would save ourselves a lot of hassle. Also they had hopes that we could have some time to rest, pray, get to know the area, maybe find work and housing before moving to the Relocation Center. We were so thrilled with this offer, and excited that we would actually be driving down there in just days!!

We couldn't stop thanking God for His awesome provision through these friends of ours. Once again He had written a better story! And we were so grateful. We had no idea what we would do once we got there. We had some people we wanted to spend time with, we wanted to spend time at MorningStar, and spend time with our friends Christopher and Katy, an awesome couple that had really prayed for us getting there, and even opened up there home if we ever wanted to stay with them! We had lots of ideas, but no plans, and on January 28th...we started to drive:)

An offer we could not turn down

Remember that verse I wrote a few posts ago from Psalm 138?

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me..." vs. 8

Guess what...its TRUE!

Somehow I came across a relocation center at this church MorningStar down in the Charlotte area. The one Scott has been following for years. And now our family had started to follow and support together. Anyway, I had gone on their website almost EVERY day for months and months. Reading about all they have at their church, reading about their leaders and their schools. They have a university, a day care, AND a k-12 program! ...that's a side note:)

So after looking at this website daily, I finally noticed they had an extended stay program/ a relocation center. See, the campus that MorningStar is on used to be where PTL was. PTL was a huge ministry back in the day, maybe the 60's and 70' by Tammy Fae and Jim Bakker. They had a dream of having a Christian resort, for people to come to from all over the world and stay at their conference center/hotel and attend conferences with well known speakers/pastors. Anyway, their dream came true! And eventually they had to leave that property, but Rick Joyner and his wife Julie took over the property when God had them start MorningStar.

Because so many people move down to the Charlotte area, I guess MorningStar thought it profitable to rent out rooms in their conference center for people who are in transition. People like us:) We found out all the information quickly, we would rent a room at this hotel for extended stay $500 a month. And with the awesome provision God had JUST given us of about $7,000 this was possible! We crunched some numbers ;) and found that we would easily be able to afford to stay there, continue to pay off whatever bills we currently have (school loans YUCK!), and still have enough to buy groceries and have extra! We figured we could stay there for about 3-4 months before our money would completely run out:) But we were confident God would give us a job and a place to live before that time was up.

So we applied and got a room reserved for us for February 1st. We were scared, but everything seemed to be falling into place so quickly and so smoothly! And all we had to figure out now was how we would actually get there! So...we started to pray.

OK, now what?

"I believe there is a writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us, interacting with us, even, whispering a better story into our consciousness" --Donald Miller Searching For God Knows What

Searching for God knows what. That's exactly how Scott and I have felt these past few months. I'm sure Selah at her young age could even feel it too. The uncertainty, the stress of trying to muscle together some sort of plan. Even though there already is one. And its better than any we could come up with. Why do we do that?

Our small group talked this week about Jacob and the details of how God's plan worked out for him. God promised the birthright to Jacob even from birth. The moment he was born God said that the older which was Esau, would serve the younger which was Jacob. And for some reason, Jacob's Mom got worried that this wouldn't really happen. I guess she freaked out thinking God wouldn't actually do what He said He would do, she still thought that Esau would receive the blessing. Even though God clearly said Jacob. So she created this manipulative plan, covered her son Jacob in fur because Esau was a furry man. And tricked their sick and practically blind father into blessing Jacob whom Isaac (the father) thought was Esau. This then made a huge ruckus in the household, causing Esau to burn anger toward Jacob to the point that he was ready to kill his own brother. Jacob had to run away from his family, and faced all the crazy consequences in his life. All to cheat his way to the promise God had already given Him.

The craziest part is. God STILL kept His promise. Even after this kid tried to steal and deceive in order to get what her wanted.

Find this story in Genesis 25-33

We all sat there confessing to trying to mess with God's plans for us. We hear/feel/see/think/dream about some sort of story for us.  Everyone does it. We feel like there is a big story that we are apart of just like Donald Miller writes about in his book that I referenced above. And I have been proven over and over again, when I allow the writer to write my story, its better. And I'm better. I'm a better character in God's story than in my own. I don't know how to write myself as well as the writer does, of course not, He's the Author! and perfecter!

Anyway, all that goes to say. We got really tense in our house. Where are we going to live? Where will we work? How will we get there? BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH noise noise noise planning toiling toiling...worrying and worrying which gets you know where. I once had a friend that said worrying is like sitting on a rocking chair. All you do is rock, but you get no where.

When we finally settled down, and committed once and for all to go about this in the way we felt most peace about. Doors started to open. We stopped toiling. We stopped applying places, sending out our resume's, trying to basically sell ourselves in order to get down there. We just gave up. And gave in. And it seems as though, that was exactly the story the writer wanted to write. Because the story started to get good, instead of hopeless.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wait=to remain in readiness for some purpose

Our little apartment has been in the slow process of being packed up in anticipation for God's word to manifest. Some days Scott would say where is my...I felt like my answer was always "its packed!". We've not had to rip open many boxes, but it has happened more than once:)

To many of you North Carolina still doesn't make much sense. So I think I should share a bit what has happened inside our lives which has brought a connection to the Charlotte area. However, I want you to keep in mind, you don't need a job,person,or place to bring you somewhere. You just need a word. One word from God, and we will go. If we had nothing in North Carolina and God told us to go we would. It may sound foolish to some. People wonder, do you have family or friends or ANY support down there? And my thought is always...who cares?

We've come to a place in our lives where disobedience is not really an option. We don't really have the choice for God to ask us to do something and to just say no and give the reason why we can't or shouldn't or won't do it. We've seen his faithfulness so many times in our lives by saying yes. And even if it looks foolish to man, its wisdom to God. The one who is wisdom itself. So no offense, but we've stopped caring what you all think:) I hope you agree that, that is a good idea, rather than a bad one. But if you still think its a bad idea to live this way, we don't blame you, especially if you haven't given it a chance. How can you believe what you have not experienced? We can only let you follow our story and see how it works out for good. And invite you to take the same kind of journey. But we can't MAKE you believe that how we live is a good idea. And that's OK with us:)


What is MorningStar?

MorningStar Publications and Ministries is a diverse and expanding international ministry founded by Rick and Julie Joyner in 1985. It began with the biblical mandate of Matthew 24:45-46:

Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?

Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.

To comply with this mandate, we seek to always serve the Master's household, not be served by it. Our ministry motto is:

“We will not use people to build our ministry, but we use our ministry to build people.”

One of the primary ways that we are called to do this is to provide the household of faith with the highest quality spiritual food that is timely, or “meat in due season.” Our goal is to help strengthen the church by helping believers become the strongest Christians possible, and therefore true light and salt in the earth. This is the focus around which every aspect of the ministry revolves. 

This is copied straight from their website

Which we could encourage you to look into!

Scott will come and write more about what's behind MorningStar for him and his family. But simply put, Scott has been following the ministry, their pastors, teachings, and writings for over a decade. He went to a conference there years ago called Harvest Fest and heard Rick Joyner the lead pastor say something along the lines of "if you don't have a home, we invite you to come make us your home"

Scott has been interested in, and extremely passionate about prophecy and prophetic ministry since he was young. He loves the idea of receiving words straight from the mouth of God to deliver to a person, or a church in order to bring them guidance, direction, and encouragement! He has sought after mentors, books to read, teachings to listen to on the gift of prophecy. And has found that its just either not very acceptable in most churches (not all, but most) or its just not at the level that he longs to see it at. MorningStar is based on prophecy. The whole church and ministry started all from words from God. It wasn't a man made idea or plan. It was all given to the pastor and other leaders around the world through visions, dreams, and prayers. They love prophecy there. And we do to! We really feel like becoming a part of this community will grow us and challenge us in ways we've been crying out for. And we want to move down to that area and invest in that fellowship because of how much they have invested in us through the years.

But like I said. We feel like MorningStar is a huge reason why God is calling us there. But not necessarily the ONLY reason we are going. The only reason we are going is because God said to:) As of now we think its for MorningStar, but with our experience in the past, its always so much more than the thing you think it is. We are so limited in our thinking, dreaming, and perceiving. Which is why we follow God. His ways are ALWAYS better.

Knowing the what and the how

Here's an entry from my journal on November 10th 2010

"I'm feeling overwhelmed about moving. We know you have called us to North Carolina. It is just in us, and we know its true. But we have no idea how it is supposed to happen. Are we supposed to look for jobs? Are we supposed to just move? We really have no place to go, and we definitely don't have the fund in our bank account:) but we don't doubt that you will and can do anything. So I just, we just, need to pray. Please God, how we are supposed to get to North Carolina. Open doors for us. Show us the peopled and the places that we can get in touch with...We trust you, and we surrender this situation into your hands trusting that you are guiding us. Speak Lord!"

The months between October and February were a shock to us. We've been living from paycheck to paycheck in Brooklyn. Partly because of our low income, but mostly because we felt God leading me to stay at home with Selah and not work. So it was mostly a choice that we would live very simple, frugal lives in order to have me stay at home with Selah. Its been a sacrifice, but one that we feel is obedient and that really pays off every moment:)

We always feel its best to be honest. If we are not honest with where we are at and where we were at in this season, then people don't have all the details and tools to be encouraged with. So in all honesty, we had some things come up where we had to use our savings, I had to have a lot of dental work, we are still in the process of paying baby bills from having Selah 10 months ago! Our savings account as of a few weeks ago had about $10 in it, and our checking account was hardly ever above $200. And we continued to pay all of our bills ON TIME, and to spend money for fun things as well. Like I said we've been frugal, but God still stretches every dollar so that we don't feel suffocated by finance issues.

In the natural it looked impossible to move the three of us down South. With our eyes we could see the facts, no money, no jobs, no job openings, no place to live, and no car to get there!

North Carolina, although we felt strongly we could be there by January, was looking further and further away with our eyes, but feeling close and closer in our hearts. It was a strange time to look and see nothing, but to feel such abundance and harvest and clarity in your spirit that you are supposed to go through with it.

Here is a verse I held onto in this time, sent to me by an awesome friend of ours called BJ:)

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving kindness, O Lord, endure forever; forsake not the works of Your own hands" Psalm 138:8

Everything looked like it was sitting still. People were questioning us left and right "any word about North Carolina?" "any jobs lined up? " "got a moving date?"

Our answer to all of the above: "Nope. Just a word from God."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

October: We went into a season change just like the world outside

"For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified

Our family has been feeling the tension of a need for change ever since Scott and I got married and I moved in with him in Brooklyn. We really love Brooklyn. Let me re-phrase, I really love Brooklyn. Scott wants to be out in the woods!, but we really have enjoyed what God has brought us to here. Especially our awesome church community at North Brooklyn Vineyard. Scott and I both agree, we've never been to a church that is so full of fellowship and friendship! Its amazing!! I think in the second week we were attending this church we were invited to dinner at our pastors house along with some other new couples in the church. We were plugged in and connected to people so quickly, and not just "church" people, but people that were real and genuinely wanted to know us and pursue a relationship with us, while we all continued to pursue a relationship with God. Its been a really healthy atmosphere for us. We've had so much support, especially with the birth of our first daughter 10 months ago:)

So although we didn't see ourselves planting roots here, we really love the community here. We are by no means running away from something we dislike, but we are just trying to run into obedience to God. Which even if its hard, its always the BEST way to live.

In October we went to visit with our best friends Mitch and Katie. Every time we visit with the Luse family we leave more fired up about following God than we were when we came. We receive intense encouragement and God always shows up and ministers to the needs of both of our families when we are together. We are so grateful for our friendship with them! And especially for their honesty with us for what they feel like God is saying about our situation.

We could barely finish our first meal together before Mitch and Katie jumped on the opportunity to pray over us and ask God what He was saying for our next move.

The presence of God came in an unmistakable way as we sat around the dinner table. We could feel Him and hear Him so clearly, a time that we will always remember.

God was speaking to Scott and I about leaving New York. Telling us clearly and bringing the four of us (6 of us if you count our babies:) into agreement that it was time for us to pack up and transition to a new beginning. However, there was a very serious spirit of poverty that Scott and I needed to be delivered of before God could continue to show us where we were to go.

I will write out here a few characteristics of a spirit of poverty, if you identify with any of these feelings, don't hesitate to ask God to come into your heart and remove these lies! He has come to give us a life and give it MORE abundantly! (John 10:10)

  • Feeling that there is never enough
  • Feelings of constant lack
  • hoarding--not just with stuff, but with money as well because you feel like if you let go of anything you will not get it back
  • fear of giving
I think the biggest thing that Scott and I struggled with was a fear that there wasn't enough. This could be a spirit that we picked up on our own, or something that we've carried through generations. Whatever it was, we were set free from it! Praise God!!! Since being freed from this poverty spirit, we've been able to give more away than ever before. Because we are really confident that "The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not lack" Psalm 23

We were feeling like if we left Brooklyn we would not be provided for like we have been here. We were scared to step out because we weren't sure of the outcome. We've built up a certain security in Brooklyn, that wasn't based on God, but that was based on our finances and our home and our things.

Now don't get me wrong, Scott and I don't feel like its wrong to have things. We believe having money, a house, a car, nice stuff like my new iphone:) and our sweet Macbook pro are all GREAT! We don't think that following God means you have to HAVE to have NOTHING and content. We just think that in putting your contentment and confidence in God, that no matter what you have how much or how little, you still believe in Him and you still believe He is good! He is good because that is who God is. Not because of what He does. Although what He does is amazing also:)

Anyway, we left DC feeling a new sense of freedom in God and ready to seek Him on where we were to go! And when:)

An Ephesians 3:20 life

"Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think-infinitely beyond our highest prayers,desires,thoughts,hopes or dreams-to Him be the glory..."
Ephesians 3:20 Amplified

One thing Scott and I have been sure of from the moment we decided to do life together was that we wanted more. We wanted our lives to be full. Full of everything God has to offer and like this verse says, even more. We knew full well that when we committed to live out this verse in Ephesians that there would be a great cost. And we surrendered our dreams, our thoughts and desires. Everything we ever wanted and thought we were supposed to be and do with our lives. We gave that up and told God, we want more. We want more than we could possibly dream of we want it for our marriage, our careers, ministry, friendships, children. We want MORE than we can imagine, and we will do anything to give you complete control so that we can live an Ephesians 3:20 life.

There are many ways in our life that we find God working this verse in us, and making this word to be true in our life. However we are entering into the most gigantic leap of faith we have ever thought capable in our little lives. And we invite you to share in our journey. Whether you believe in God or not, we want you to follow us, watch what God does, and be encouraged! He's alive! And He is GOOD, so good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

We really believe that God has an awesome design. And great dreams for our life. And we agreed to allow Him to work those out in us forever, literally now and for all eternity, to do whatever He wants so that we can experience the absolute best. Like I said before there is a cost to live this way. It takes an intense amount of faith that cannot come from our own efforts, but only through a relationship with God. It also takes a lot of surrender, release of control over our lives and the lives of our children in a way that may seem crazy and unpredictable, but we will never say No to God! Its not in our vocabulary!

Come join us in our victories and our struggles. And praise God with us for His goodness!