Saturday, August 15, 2015

Next Chapter

God has begun a new chapter in the life of my family. The story is still the same. We exist to bring Him glory and to make His name known. But God has brought about a lot of change in the everyday make-up of the life of our family.
All my children are now in school, and the wonderful days of pouring myself wholly into my home and my children have drawn to a close. Those precious years have been priceless and well worth the struggles and challenges we faced. I now pray God would honor that time and yield  strong holds for the roots that grew in the lives of my children. I pray they their faith would be sure and steadfast, and that it would be truly THEIRS. I firmly believe God has a special calling on each of my children. I rejoice that four of them have already heard that call to be His. I also believe that, because they are His, He has a purpose for them in the here and now---in their youth. I pray that they would be walking beacons of light in an increasingly dark culture. ~Father, give them strength.~
Because of this first change in our lives, I have felt compelled to go back into the workforce. I LOVED being home and making it a safe haven for family and friends, but as my children go out I must find others to pour into during the day. Most women today work outside the home. I personally believe there is TREMENDOUS value in being at home, but I found myself struggling to connect with working women. My call to them to devote time with God felt pushy. I could see in their eyes the thought: 'sure you have don't work all day.' I pray that I will be a shinning beacon of light to an increasingly dark culture. ~Father, grant me favor. Please open doors of opportunity for me to boldly share You and Your life changing grace.~
In addition to those two rather significant changes in the life of our family, God has also done something else. He began first in the life of Luke to stir in him a desire to be more efficient in reaching the lost. He planted in him the desire to start a new work. We have been blessed in the last ten years of our marriage to pour of ourselves into the life of the already established church. We have been able to grow and work alongside other mature believers. First, Luke's, and eventually my desire has become to be more active in the first stages of the life of the believer. To see the lost come to Him. 
God has done many things over the last six month to bring about this change. Anyone who knows me, knows my love of the rain. The thought of living in the desert would have NEVER occurred to me on my own. Only God could convince me to do that! He has moved our family to Maricopa, Arizona. We are about 15 miles south of the Phoenix valley area. Maricopa has grown incredibly over the last five years and shows no signs of slowing down. For some perspective, there are roughly 2 million  people in the state of Oklahoma (where we just moved from,) and there are roughly 2,000 Baptist churches there. In Phoenix and the surrounding area there are aroung 6.5 million people and only 400,or so, Baptist churches. This means that you cold have up to 16,250 people per church! Of course that is not happening, but the need is great. 
We are so excited to see what God is going to do. 
Will you please pray for our family, and this new adventurous chapter God has begun in us? Please pray for courage, strength and wisdom. Please pray for favor in our encounters with the lost. Pray that we would all be beacons of light, that we would stand in stark contrast to the darkness of our culture and the sin that plagues us as a fallen people.~Father, please go before us.~