I wonder what life would be like…

It was the summer of 2008.  Our family had already brought home two precious daughters from southern China and we were in the process of bringing  home a son from Beijing.  I was in the kitchen listening to the radio and a new song came on.  It was Big Daddy Weave “What Life Would Be Like”.  I collapsed to the floor in a mess of tears when I heard the bridge:

All our hearts they burn within us.
All our lives we’ve longed for more.
So let us lay our lives before
The One who gave His life for us.

I know what you might be thinking, because I’ve heard it before.  “Mrs.  You had already adopted twice and were waiting to bring home a third!  That IS more!”  I totally hear ya.  And, I agree.

I think C.S. Lewis said it well:

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.

The insatiable burning in the heart of a believer is that desire or longing that cannot be filled this side of heaven.  We lay our lives down for that longing – knowing that our sacrifice is not in vain.

I still feel that longing for something more.

I still tear up when I hear those words.

I think I’m learning that it’s not about doing more.  It might simply be about letting Jesus live through me and letting the Holy Spirit do more.

While I’m here, I’m trying to press heavily into Jesus and ask Him to order my steps.  And in that faith walk, I’m trusting that the longing in my heart will be satisfied on some level in my daily relationship with Him – in glimpses of eternity…

 

Not a church planter? You might want to think again…

 

 

 

It is a great privilege for me to review a new book about missional living and church leadership!

whcp

The Wholehearted Church Planter: Leadership from the Inside Out

When I picked up “The Wholehearted Church Planter” (Karr and Bergquist), I fully expected a book about… well… planting churches! What I discovered between the content page and the index was so much more than that!

One chapter at a time, Linda Bergquist and Allan Karr build up and encourage the apostolically gifted leader. Whether you are a church planter or a parachurch leader, they offer relevant insight to propel you forward in your ministry.

The content of this book centers on wholehearted followers of Christ serving a greathearted God. Linda and Allan consistently point the reader back to the Word of God as the ultimate authority in leading wholeheartedly. They certainly have the authority, thru their lives and experience, to write a book on church planting, but they yielded – chapter by chapter – to Scripture.

This book speaks to the relational aspect of church planting and missional living. It speaks not only to loving the people in your micro-community, but also to falling in love with the community you are in. I was inspired to more fully engage in the place I am currently planted and to extend the love of Christ in a more wholeheartedly missional way.

Can church planting really be reduced to the Great Commandment? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27; ESV) It is a simply profound idea and one that should absolutely empower wholehearted followers of Christ to passionately and obediently build the kingdom and lead “from the inside out”.

Linda Bergquist speaks directly to my heart.  Linda truly is a Missional Mrs.  I’m inspired by her example as a strong, female leader in the church.  She is an amazing woman of God and I am thankful for her insight.

On a very personal note, I think it’s good to share that Linda is my aunt.  I believe all these things to be true apart from that bit of information!  I am an incredibly blessed Missional Mrs. to have the personal encouragement and affirmation that Linda has given to me as an apostolic leader.  Every woman in Christian leadership needs an “Aunt Linda” – cheering her and affirming her to press into God’s gifting and love His church well.

Thank you for doing that for me, Linda.

I am so blessed… to be a blessing.

Consumers and Givers

con·sume
kənˈso͞om/
verb
use up a resource
give
giv/
verb
freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to.

Today’s vocabulary lesson is courtesy of one of my children.

Said child had to look up these words in a dictionary and reflect on how much they consume in our family vs. how much they give or contribute to our family.  That balance gets out of whack for most of us at times, but the Mr. and I are seeing a pattern and it is affecting our entire family.

Life stages dictate – on many levels – how much a member is able to give and how much they consume.  Newborns and small children consume by far more time, energy and resources than they are ever capable of giving to the family.  At the same time, parents (adults) give far more time, energy and resources to the family than they generally consume.  A lot of that is the ebb and flow of life stage.  It’s natural and it’s good.

But, there comes a time on the journey between infancy and adulthood when the consuming and the giving should start to level out.  Again, this is natural and it’s good and it’s part of maturing.  When that does not happen,  the family life is out of whack.

*Clearly, there are exceptions.  Special needs and disability are contributing factors.  For the sake of this example, I am going with the assumption of typical function.

We’re taking steps to level this out in our child – for the overall good of our family.

All this intentional parenting and thinking leaves me feeling like there are some deeper life lessons to be observed here.  Maybe even some involving the Church?

It’s your turn!

I’d love to hear from you!

Consume.  Give.  How do we view consumerism and giving in the Church?  How do we view the Church as be consumers and givers in our communities and in the world?

Leave a comment.  Let’s talk!