The family who own the home we’re renting when we return to Wimbledon is wonderful. Last week we stopped by the house for one last look before visiting the US. The home owner told us he has bunk beds in storage his daughters used when they were younger, and we may use them for our kids. Blake is ECSTATIC! So are we. Blake doesn’t see the bunk beds as hand-me-downs, rather they are extra cool because his babysitter (home owner’s daughter) slept in the same beds when she was younger.
The home will eventually undergo additional remodeling. What will one day be the utility room is currently our kitchen (to give you an idea of its size). We saw the refrigerator for the house last week and Blake was thrilled at it’s small size. “I can open it myself, Mom! You won’t have to stand on tippy toes to reach things!”
While I am thankful for what God provides our family, deep gratitude is growing in my heart as I replay Blake’s refreshing comments in my mind. A child’s perspective on things often reminds us what truly is important, doesn’t it?
Is there an everyday relationship, circumstance, or item you’re taking for granted today?
We’re really pleased to have had nearly 20 people at last night’s service. Schools are on half-term break this week and church attendance is generally down, so it was great to only have a few less bodies there. We even had some new faces, and that is the greatest encouragement of all. Changes in set-up and service details were made and provided improvement. We’re truly in a learning phase and agree with the many people who told us last night they can’t wait to see how things unfold after we’re back in June.
Today will be a whirlwind day of packing and moving our belongings to storage. We stay with some friends tonight before flying out at 3am OKC time tomorrow morning (Tuesday). We are scheduled to land in OKC after 5pm.
Please pray for our family’s safe journey and God’s protection of our friendships and growing relationships in ministry here while we’re gone. We are jittery with excitement to see family, friends, have a little rest, raise funds, and absorb all we can about ministry from LC.tv over the next 6 weeks.
With a lump in my throat, I want to acknowledge the extreme care, direction, and provision God’s provided over these past 5+ months in England for our family. We laugh now to remember how little we knew about why we were moving here as compared to our return to the states with so many doors having been opened to us simply for showing up as God asked. Thank you for following us through this blog and in prayer over time. We look forward to seeing each of you during our time in the states to recharge our ministry batteries.
With much love,
These are challenging questions Craig Groeschel asked on swerve.lifechurch.tv this week.
Ten Questions: Family
Posted: 02 Apr 2008 06:11 AM CDT
- Am I closer to my spouse today than I was a year ago?
- Have I read God’s word with my family this week?
- Have I prayed with each member of my family this week?
- Do my children know they come before the people in the church?
- Are my children joyfully experiencing Christ at church or do they resent the church?
- Does my spouse feel close to me spiritually?
- If my spouse could have me change one thing about me, what would it be? (Why haven’t I changed in this way? What am I going to do about it?)
- Are we honoring the Sabbath as a family?
- Do my wife and kids enjoy being around me?
- Can my family clearly articulate our family values and vision?
“Ever wonder if you’re missing something in life? Our pace in life seems so fast. It can force us to get frustrated over things like our email going too slow or the cell phone’s poor reception. We have access to so much, but we don’t seem content. I think you need to laugh more. Smiles and laughter begin in the heart.
One thing that allows a heart to be merry is contentment. Consider times when you’ve felt contented and at peace with God and your life. Now think of your discontented times. How easy was it to be merry when you were longing for a better job, for your spouse to change, for more money or a better home, or for more disciplined children?
Being content begins with understanding that God’s in control and his plan is better than ours. Freedom happens when we trust him completely and then express our gratefulness for all that he is. That alone should bring joy in the midst of a busy and stressful life!”
Source: Gary Smalley
Blake and I made a visit together to a local McDonald’s bathroom earlier this week. Always the one to make a race out of any event, Blake was done and out of his stall with his pants still unzipped in record time. Since the two of us were alone in the restroom, we carried on a conversation as he washed his hands. I continued speaking to him even though his back was to me, and as he used the motion-sensor hands dryer he discovered my voice couldn’t be heard when he waved his hands under the dryer. Giggling with delight, he kept his back to me and yelled between dryings: “I!” (dryer) “CAN’T!” (dryer) “HEAR!” (dryer) “YOU!” (giggle, giggle). I had a laugh, too, and thank God for the joy of raising a boy who loves to tease as much as I do.
Because I already forget what we’d been discussing when Blake began his hand dryer antics, I know it wasn’t a very important conversation. But had I been trying to tell him something necessary, I know I’d have quickly become frustrated and maybe even angry with him for intentionally ignoring me.
Sometimes we get in the habit of making noise and turning our back on God as a way of shutting out what He’s trying to tell us. “No, Lord – I’m not so sure I want to hear what you have to say to me today!” When we strive to have ears and hearts poised to hear Him speaking to us, we will find He’s surrounding us with His wisdom and direction.
“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48
Yesterday we took a tour of the school we’re applying for Blake to attend.
We also also made one last walk past the home we’ll rent upon our return to the UK. The owner is completing a major renovation on the house, and it was fun to see the progress! The pic above was taken of the kids yesterday in the home’s dining room.
We’ve had several viewings of the flat now. Interest is growing as people are making second viewings – we trust one of these prospective renters will sign a contract this week and ask you to pray with us that our deposit and April/May pre-paid rent is refunded to our family.
Chris has asked a few people to meet him at the church tonight and they’ll brainstorm on some adjustments to make to set up before this Sunday evening’s service. He plans to stand in the city square with a friend from church tomorrow to distribute invitations to the service as well.
We leave London in 6 days to spend 6 weeks in the US training so we may further develop our ministry here when we return. Another primary purpose in our visit (in addition to hugging our loved ones, of course!) is to raise funds so our family may continue serving here.
If you would like to speak with us when we’re in the US to learn more about our work in London or would like more details about our fund raising needs, please e-mail me at email@example.com. All donations are tax-deductible.
I believe the One Prayer series can change the way churches around the world unite as “The Church.” Without a doubt, we’re praying for the opportunity to use this teaching in our ministry in London. Follow this link for more exciting information.
It was extremely fulfilling to spend the day with like-minded people this past week.
Bobby & Kevin from LifeChurch.tv were in town and we drove up to Leeds for a visit with Mosaic Church, Leeds and then back down learn about Milton Keynes Christian Center.
The conversation in the car reminded me of why LC has so much success. Bobby & Kevin both bring excellent thoughts about how a church can reach the lost. Much of this comes because a.) they have experienced the launch of more than 10 different LC locations, b.) they have not been afraid to try innovative approaches to ministry such as satellite broadcast of the message or the Internet Campus, and c.) they bring a great perspective since they were both successful in the business world before they came to LC.
We got to meet with Matt and Chris from Mosaic Church. Lunch at the Pizza Express was a great time to hear about their approach to ministry to the up and coming city of Leeds. They are already in a great building that will be able to serve them well and are ministering to over 300 people at just 3 years old.
Dinner was in Milton Keynes with Mark and Billy from Milton Keynes Christian Center. They are leading a growing church and trying some excellent ideas to continually reach new people. It is great to hear from people who could sit back and feel that they have arrived but they want to continue to stretch themselves and their church to reach more people. /Mark & Billy – thanks for the great introduction to Indian food./
Our trip was a great reminder to spend time with like-minded people. You will be energized and excited by the ideas you can come up as you simply discuss the thing that you are passionate about.