Sunday, April 27, 2008

Reflections from Orlando Pt. 1

It's been a few days since I returned home from the Exponential Conference, and I think I'm ready to post some reflections from our time in Orlando. The biggest takeaway is that I'm once again reminded what a joy it is to serve with Jason. I am so glad that I'm not doing this by myself. God directed our steps in such profound ways throughout the week, drawing us to His heart and to His mission for our church.

Most people don't have this type of partnership within their line of work. However, if you're married, you'll know what I'm talking about. Often God speaks first to one spouse, then, as the couple talks and prays about it, God brings them both together. This is at least the way it works with Mandy and I. I remember one time, though, when God spoke to us simultaneously. It was May, 2003, and we were preparing for my graduation from Golden Gate Seminary and our move to Las Vegas to work with a network of house churches. Unbeknown to us, God had other plans, and in the span of less than 24 hours, He whispered these plans in both of our ears, at the same time. We knew that he was calling us to move 30 miles away to San Leandro, where Mandy had been teaching the previous three years.

I mention that story because I believe this is what happened with Jason and I this week. God whispered a few things in both of our ears, and really brought us together on what has seemed like a few missing pieces of the mission of Neighborhood Church. We realized that we have definitely made a few mistakes along the way, but we were also affirmed in so many ways that much of what we are doing is good, and even though it is difficult to see the results, it is what God wants us to do.

I'll mention more of those mistakes and affirmations later, but for now, I am grateful that God has revealed his plans to both of us. A few Scriptures come to mind (Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 Chron. 12:32, 2 Chron. 20:12, John 5:19).

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