Over the past year, I have struggled to get words, whether it be cultural analysis or personal reflection, down on paper. This has been both in a metaphorical sense and literally down on actual paper in my journal. I described it recently as a barrier between me and my Bible. As I have taken another step, I realized it was not so much a barrier between me and my Bible, because almost every day has been filled with reading, but more as a barrier between me and my blog.
I have felt that I needed something profound to say. Some incredible insight on this wonderful journey of church planting. I needed pithy saying which encapsulated my central theme without always resulting in alliteration. I have been bogged down by saying the right words. Maybe I should have purely just said something.
2018 was hard. I learned a ton. 2019 has gone relatively swimmingly. For some reason, I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like, no one can have it this good. When I say it is this good, I really do mean that it has been good.
I have had four major prayer requests answered so far this year.
- A meeting space to engage the community
- A staff member of different ethnicity
- A resident/intern to serve on staff by the launch
- For Generations to meet it’s budgeted financial need for 2019 through fundraising commitments
In some ways, I am almost ashamed to share the good news. There is rampant evil within the world. I have family members struggling with disease.
It seems as if I have been conditioned to only share the negative, the critique, or the half-hearted “God is working.” Am I actually allowed to share anything good?
It’s easy to copy. It’s hard to create.
Those words were written on August 26, 2019. I did not publish those words then. So why now?
Because God has been faithful. In the past several months there have been tough moments and difficult situations that needed navigating around Generations. I do not want to pretend that everything has gone well or even exactly as pictured.
I was reminded in a conversation the other night about something I had told our staff team. I had said, “remember those moments good, joy, and God-sized breakthrough that make this journey worth it. We will need those moments to remind us why we are starting a new church together when we face hard times and are on the verge of pride. We will need reminded of what God has done, is doing, and will do.”
In this recent conversation, it occurred to me that those words were not my own, but steeped in a time when I kept reading in my Bible God’s words of REMEMBER.
“And remember I am always with you to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt; carefully follow these statutes.” – Deut. 16:12.
“On that day David decreed for the first time that thanks be given to the Lord by Asaph and his relatives:
Give thanks to the Lord; call on his name; proclaim his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him; sing praise to him; tell about all his wondrous works!
Honor his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
Remember the wondrous works he has done, his wonders, and the judgments he has pronounced, you offspring of Israel his servant, Jacob’s descendants — his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God; his judgments govern the whole earth.
Remember his covenant forever — the promise he ordained for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed to Jacob as a decree, and to Israel as a permanent covenant: “I will give the land of Canaan to you as your inherited portion.” When they were few in number, very few indeed, and resident aliens in Canaan wandering from nation to nation and from one kingdom to another, he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their behalf: “Do not touch my anointed ones or harm my prophets.”
Let the whole earth sing to the Lord. Proclaim his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his wondrous works among all peoples. For the Lord is great and highly praised; he is feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.
Ascribe to the Lord, families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; let the whole earth tremble before him. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea and all that fills it resound; let the fields and everything in them exult. Then the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.
And say: “Save us, God of our salvation; gather us and rescue us from the nations so that we may give thanks to your holy name and rejoice in your praise. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting.” Then all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”” – 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 CSB
May we remember the stories of God’s faithfulness so that we we live faithfully in the next season of life.