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Every time I become crippled by fear or insecurity about the unknowns and “bigger-than-us” calling we’re stepping into…
…or when I get fatigued deep in soul and become plagued with a sense of
“I just don’t know if I want to do this”…
...or when my ego becomes overinflated with pride and I become deceived by the illusions of self-sufficiency and forget my desperate need for the Spirit to breathe life into my plans…
…our Father is faithful to keep doing His good, slow work in me to get my eyes off of me, my desires, my sin, the insane prices of Denver homes on Zillow (I think you get the idea), and lifts up my head to get a glimpse of who HE is, what HE has already won for us, what HE is working even when we cannot see, and what HE has promised He will do.
By His grace and through His Spirit, I pray I can linger there.
With every step on this journey, we go deeper in a knowing of His almost-to-good-to-be-true grace, His comforting presence, His steady never-giving-up love, His faithful work of cutting off the barrenness in us to make room for the fruit of a fully formed us that is like Jesus. And we’re learning that ‘Denver’ and ‘The Oaks’ isn’t really the destination. The destination and goal is more of Jesus…and the beauty of the journey is that anything and everything is being used to die to self and come alive to all that He is for us. This adventure has been beautiful so far, but it definitely hasn’t looked exactly like we thought it would. It’s not as hard as it could be by any means, but it’s definitely been anything but easy or comfortable.
Yet I look back on how He has so sovereignly and wisely led us down paths we never would’ve walked on our own and I am overwhelmed at His good, sweet providence. He really is writing a better story for us than we could ever write on our own. I don’t know what the specifics of obedience looks like for you today and in this season of your life, but…
trust Him with whatever it is. He is better.
Remembering God’s faithfulness in our pasts and being aware of how God is working in our present is what fuels hope, courage, and boldness that
motivates and sustains us to take steps of obedience into tomorrow-
whatever that may hold.
Last week Cayla and I spent a few days in beautiful Denver spending time with two couples who are praying about joining our team as some of the first members of The Oaks and missionaries to Denver. Above is a photo of one of those ‘moments that a church planter will never forget’, as this group of new friends read and prayed Isaiah 61 over the city of Denver in a neighborhood we love and believe may be a great place to plant roots to live our lives next year. As we prayed, verse 11 was shouting at me…
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.
We have great anticipation of what God will do in this city and among the nations through The Oaks and we are overwhelmed with the reality that it is utterly impossible in our own strength. Just as the physical world grows and reproduces only by the work of God in slow, often unseen ways, so God is the one who will cause the growth of our joy and the joy of others to sprout up into Oaks of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may display His beauty.” (Isaiah 61:3) We are resting and clinging to the reality that success is God’s work; faithfulness is ours. God has been working in Denver long before He called us there and He will continue long after we're gone. We're just eager to join Him.
Here’s how you can pray specifically for us
as we pursue faithfulness this month:
- Pray for our team| God is stirring in the hearts of many who are living in a posture of surrender, willingness, and trust to however, wherever, whenever God would lead them. Please pray for those who are seeking discernment of whether or not that means Denver and joining our team. Cayla and I’s faith has been so strengthened seeing how God has put the vision of The Oaks down deep in others- some we know well, others we had never met before. For those who are still uncertain, pray for clarity. For some who are to the point of looking for jobs and housing, pray for the needed open doors and wisdom to know which ones to walk through and grace as they begin to transition from life where they are to their new city. And will you pray for yourself, personally? Is God calling you to join us?
Pray for our development| We are so thankful for the people of Sojourn Community Church here in Louisville. Being part of this community has been so good for us. The residency and training I am receiving is affirming and deepening our calling and clarifying the vision and mission God has put in my heart and helping me strengthen these muscles to better live it out when we get to Denver. Pray for us to continue to balance things well and to grow in the ways we need. Cayla and I will have a final assessment with our partners with The Send Network (NAMB) sometime in October/early November (date TBA soon), which will help clarify a lot of specifics about partnerships and specific details about our first year once we move to Denver. Please pray this will be a helpful ‘next step’ in this journey. Pray for wisdom and direction on a specific timetable for our family’s move to Denver. It’s so surreal that we’re getting close to finalizing these things.
- Pray for partnerships| On Saturday, November 11th Cayla and I will host a Vision Dinner at Tri-Cities Baptist Church Gray Campus. We are finalizing details over the next few days. Once everything is set, I will send out another update and official invite of how you can register for this. I will also be preaching in all 3 services at Tri-Cities on Sunday, October 15th providing an update and details about this, as well.
But for now, here’s what I'm asking of you...
1| Mark this date (11/11) on your calendars
2| Set a reminder on your phone to remember to pray for us once a week. As you pray, please pray for the right people to partner with us and for our needed finances to be provided
3| Will you pray about how God would have you partner with us financially by giving monthly or a one time gift to help with start-up costs? You can do that now at theoakschurch.net/partner by clicking “Give Now.”
We love you. Thank you for loving us by praying for us.
Until we see His face,