Wednesday, September 22, 2010

and the season changes

Today is the final day of Summer, Fall officially starts tomorrow. I find it quite fitting that just as the seasons are changing, Aaron and I are in a season of change and transition.

Immediately in my head when I think of transition - my mind goes to volleyball. For more then half my life i have been "practicing" transition. It is the movement from offense to defense back to offense to defense (you get the idea) - it is the flow of volleyball. Constant movement.

So I am not at all surprised when life also parallels volleyball.

The Lord has Aaron and I on the move again.

This past Sunday Aaron announced that he will be transitioning out of the role as Brookside Community Church Senior Pastor. A position he has filled almost 4 years, in addition to serving as the Northview Church Urban Pastor. Over the past 4 years both ministries (brookside and urban) have grown to the point each is in need of a single focused leader. After MANY months of seeking the Lord, Aaron felt the Lord was asking him to focus on developing Northview Urban Ministry. The search is is on for a Senior Pastor for Brookside Community Church.

I am still processing what this looks like for me ... I have been VERY involved with the Brookside Church Youth Ministry (Sunday and Wednesday) along with helping to train and place volunteers. I believe I will continue to train and develop volunteers for urban environments, to be placed all over the city of Indy - with a focus on the Brookside Community. I have heard it said "urban ministry is bigger then brookside" - I am certain that Aaron and I needed the experiences of Brookside Church to be equipped to do work beyond our imagination.

I am open to how the Lord will use me, we are planning to continue to be involved with Brookside Church on Wednesday Family Nights, and attend Brookside Church one time a month - and Aaron will preach every other month, one time.

Last weekend the Brookside Church Leaders gathered, the Lord has raised up a fantastic group that will continue to serve the Brookside Church congregation. There is stability that has been established over 2 years that will provide a foundation for the next leader to continue to build. What an amazing blessing to step back and say "LOOK AT GOD!" He has been so faithful, and I pray I can do my part and be obedient.

Love the following scriptures ... all from Joel this week:
"But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph…"
(2 Corinthians 2:14, AMP)
"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose"
(Romans 8:28, NIV)
“Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]”
(Philippians 2:5, AMP)

Prayers are welcome as Aaron and I enter this transition ... as well as for the Brookside Church family. I am rejoicing that the time has come for the Lord to raise up more leaders that will be serving the Brookside Community and the Near Eastside of Indianapolis - ultimately transforming lives and a city!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010


i have recently started to run ... specifically because i am tired of jiggly parts and desire for my clothes to fit a different way. i have yet to return to pre-baby weight/size ...
the word from Encouragement for Today ... right to me!

September 15, 2010 Defined By God | Shari Braendel

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11 (NIV)

Devotion: One word. Flabbergasted. That was the emotion I had coursing through my body as I sat at the coffee shop discussing my weight issues with a friend. I told her I had recently cut out certain foods from my diet, but was continuing to maintain my "happy weight," that number the scale just seems extremely happy to faithfully report whether I have eaten healthy and exercised that week or not. We had a good laugh as she described how sometimes she locks her scale away so she's not tempted to jump on it every day just to find out if she's still her same "happy" self.

As a result of this conversation I realized that if I am not careful I can easily allow the scale, or the mirror, to become a compass that shifts my focus and points me in the wrong direction. It seems illogical, yet at times I look to this digital device, or this earthly reflection to gauge my emotional status and essentially define me.

The Bible tells us that the God of the universe is enthralled with our beauty. Seriously? Yes, indeed! He thinks we are amazing and wonderful. Unfortunately, more often than not, we look in the mirror and only see our flaws; hair that's just a mite too frizzy; a tummy that's a bit too fluffy; and thighs that have a few too many dimples on them. My friend Renee likes to call her cellulite "the fingerprints of God." One time I shared that with a group of women, and one of them said, "Well then He must have REALLY big hands!"

So, what would life look like if we accepted God workmanship? Can you imagine how different we would feel about ourselves if we glanced in the mirror and told God "thank You for making me so wonderfully"? If you listen closely, I bet you would hear Him respond, "All beautiful, you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you" (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV).

No matter your size or shape, the number on your clothes tag or your scale, you are beautiful! Let's embrace that we are fine just the way we are because if God says so, then it's true!

Dear God, thank You for making me the way I am. Please help me to have more confidence. I will practice defining myself through Your eyes and not my own. I am grateful, and humbled to be Your beautiful daughter, and I can feel Your approving gaze upon me. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Application Steps: Make a list of five things you really like about your outer appearance. When you find yourself in a funk, remember to define yourself through God's eyes. Accept a compliment with a smile and a thank you.

Reflections: When was the last time you gave yourself permission to treat yourself to something new? You are valuable to Him, and to those who love you. It is okay to take care of yourself too. Does my scale define me?

Power Verses:

Psalm 139:14, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (NIV)

Song of Solomon 4:1, "How beautiful, you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!" (NIV)

Ephesians 2:10, "We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)

I will continue to run and accept this new body - that will never quite be the same, just like inside i am not the same ....