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563 weeks ago @ Cultivate Her - Are You A ‚ÄúChristmas... · 0 replies · +1 points

Sharon, I resonate with your post. I hit that point in my life where my faith tree was so dry that it couldn't hold things up any longer. We can keep trying, and doing the things we have done before, but ultimately we need to die and to be made new. I think as believers we have this sense that we only need to do that once, but especially when major issues arise in life that derail or alter us it needs to happen again. In my journey that dying was the most painful thing I have ever gone through, but it has brought life, hope, and new direction. I have come to know the Lord like never before because my life truly depended on Him for everything. I would never trade that.

Thank you for the words to think on and heart of truth.

570 weeks ago @ Ron Edmondson - What if We Did Church ... · 1 reply · +1 points

Or maybe, as has been true in my life, it would change our hearts and teach us how to live lives that are poured out in worship through serving others. Serving one day and seeing it makes a difference might inspire more service and deeper relationships the other six days a week. Thanks for helping me to continue to rethink and grow Jesse.

574 weeks ago @ Jenni Catron - The Geek's Guide to Co... · 0 replies · +1 points

Jenni, great to see you at Story. I agree with Pam that I was incredibly blessed by the experience.

The one other thing I try to do it prepare my heart and check my expectations. The expectations we walk in with will often shape our experience in either a negative or positive way. As I drove in to the conference on Thursday I was really honest with God about where I was at, and that I wanted his agenda and his vision. I wanted to be transformed by the experience, and I have been (I can say that with confidence even hours after the conference).

I have been attending conferences this year alone because my church plant doesn't have others who are ready to join me. The difficult part of that is I don't have others to process with after the event. The blessing of it is I am forced to interact with others, watch, listen, and step out more. When we go with others we often can be so connected with them that we don't really connect with others.

Attended Catalyst One Day Seattle last month and hope to go to Catalyst West in the spring. Also am waiting to find out if Verge will hold another missional conference. Right now, those are the only immediate plans but then three months ago I wasn't planning to attend the two conferences I did this month.

574 weeks ago @ Jenni Catron - I'm Just Wondering... · 0 replies · +1 points

Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago. Safe travels.

575 weeks ago @ Jenni Catron - I'm Just Wondering... · 2 replies · +1 points

Jenni, it sounds like tough but good wrestling. I wish I had good biblical answers, but I can only answer from my experience. I have found there are many open doors, or at least doors that look open, and going through them just because they are open can be dangerous or misleading, or it can be great. There are many routes from point A to point B, and I think what is most important is the process.

We can have a really mixed up belief that good things are from God and bad things are not. What if God wants you to go down a really hard path because that is the one thing that will change you and make you into the person or equip you to be the person that he wants? What if you are the person that can best live out something that will bring him tremendous glory? The real question is will we follow, no matter where he leads. If we are pursuing an opportunity for our glory instead of his, then we are not truly following. In my life right now these questions leave me wrestling with giving up some really good things to pursue being faithful and hopefully seeing even better things. Maybe that is part of what you are wrestling with too. Praying for you to find wisdom, direction, and peace. Not matter what, choose him!

575 weeks ago @ Jenni Catron - On Empty · 0 replies · +1 points

Glad to know I am not the only one with that hiccup. = )
I've been struggling lately with the collision of scripture and culture, one where my understanding and faith have been blown apart and my heart is shattered (in good ways). In the midst of that it has been hard to come, to rest, to receive because I fear the collision will grow. I am finding I am not only not resting, but actually hiding.

Thanks for a good and direct word!

577 weeks ago @ Stuff Christians Like ... - What do you do for a l... · 0 replies · +1 points

Paid job: Technology Project Manager
Life work: advocate, speaker, equipper, volunteer, outreacher, church plant team member
Suburb of Portland, Oregon

577 weeks ago @ Stuff Christians Like ... - Permission to Speak Fr... · 0 replies · +2 points

I am sorry. It is clear my heart has not come across well here. What has been heard is the hurt and pain, and what I want you to hear is God's amazing work. He is healing my heart and I would never turn away from his church. This situation rocked my world and I had nothing left to do but fall...forward onto his grace and his care. He provided and brought hope. He led me to new connections with churches. He has placed me in more leadership, service, and connected relationships than ever before in my life. I experienced disconnect between scripture and the actions of others, but ultimately what I saw was the disconnect in my own life. I came face to face with my sin of unbelief, and my poor representation of faith and life as a Christian. I am not ashamed of my story and I don't live in the pain, I want to proclaim what God has done! Through our brokenness we can boast of our weakness and show his strength. I want to represent Christ as one who forgives, loves, shows compassion, reconciles, redeems, never gives up, has faith in the toughest of times, and lives a life that is radically different than the ungodly values of this world.

577 weeks ago @ Jenni Catron - Leading the Flounderin... · 0 replies · +1 points

This is really good. Much of my leadership now is in support roles so I am not often in a role to "give up". I believe God doesn't ever fail us, so personally I don't believe it is ever okay to give up, but I have been the person given up on. You are right that sometimes more time or a different way of approaching the situation could lead to different outcomes.

Today a friend called who retook a test she had failed and passed. She believes she just needed more time for the information to gel before she could be tested on it. One leader gave up because he felt I was not being submissive or receptive. He felt I was responding out of fear. Hindsight shows that God was doing some really deep work in me and there was about to be a breakthrough. After he gave up, I entered discipleship. Deep change happened after only 3-4 sessions concentrated in God's word. We got to the roots behind the symptoms of the “lack of submission and fear”. The leader didn’t try different methods or give time to process through things. He depended on worldly wisdom and leadership instead of trusting God and asking questions like these.

577 weeks ago @ Stuff Christians Like ... - Permission to Speak Fr... · 2 replies · +2 points

I understand what you are saying Melanie, but that verse is about judging others. We must be very cautious whom we condemn as dogs and swine, and not do it until there is clear evidence and full evaluation. You have only heard a snipet of my side of a complex story. I was at fault in many ways, as were they. God loves and forgives us both, and so do I.

Even if they are hurtful, they are leading others. How can I just leave others to be deceived and hurt? I care about them and those under their leadership. God believes everything can be redeemed and no one is beyond his grace, and that is what I am trying to believe too. Life isn't about me and my comfort. Boundaries are important, but what I am most concerned about is God's truth and glory.