Sunday, May 26, 2013

One Year Down...

A little over one year ago today I was pulling into Bozeman ... man, does time fly! I was excited for the adventure God was about to send me on, not sure what was in store but trusting in His provision one day at a time.  One of my favorite names of God in the Bible is Jehovah Jireh - the Lord who provides - because He has faithfully done so in my life over and over and His plans are always far greater than my own.  He has grown me and challenged me and humbled me to the dust as I have seen Him work in the lives of so many as well as in my own.  I praise Him daily for the love of those back in Nashville and so many other places around the world who have prayed for and supported me on this crazy journey - that is definitely one of the greatest reminders of His faithfulness in my life.

I am also reminded daily that religion is not what saves; Jesus does.  He pursued me, loved me and saved me by His amazing grace and that is where HOPE is found.  I think of the song "The Stand" with the lyrics, "I stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all.  I stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered.  All I am in Yours..."  When we are taken out of our "comfort zone" and what is familiar and surrender our lives to Him,  everything He does becomes magnified and we come to know Him in a more intimate way - that has definitely been the case for me over the past year.  Through the great times and the very challenging ones alike, He has the ability to humble and teach us and make us even more in awe of Him.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -John 15:5

We are gearing up for a busy summer here in Montana.  At Kirkwood, we have four mission teams coming in to help with summer activities including Block Parties, Parent's Day Out, Vacation Bible School and Sports Camp.  Some members of our church are also heading to Utah for a week in July to help First Baptist Provo with a Backyard Bible Club.  We are excited to see what God has in store.

The second week of May we were blessed to have Mike James, Minister to Adults and Assimilation at Judson Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee (along with his wife, Kathy) come out and lead a training session at Kirkwood on his book, Velcro Church.  It is always sweet having a slice of home come to visit.  Both Kirkwood and myself could not be doing what we are without God's provision through having Judson Baptist as a partner church.

Dr. Mike James leading a training session

With Mike James and his wife, Kathy

Mike and Kathy with Pastor James and family

Mike and Kathy with the Lane family

On Friday to kick off Memorial Day weekend we had a Mexican Fiesta Game Night at Kirkwood as a time of fellowship.  With about 40 people there, we all ate way too much food, played games, laughed so hard it hurt and really enjoyed time together.

This summer I also have the privilege of working on the side at Bridger Creek Golf Course, which sits right at the base of the Bridger Mountains.  The people I work for are incredible and it has been a great way to get to know more people in the community.  It is the first time God has opened the door to step back into the golf arena since the fall of 2008. After years of trying to get my back healthy and finally having four nerve endings burnt off in the lower part of my back last year, I have been able to play a little bit again and I just give God the glory now allowing me to share the passion I have for the game, and for Him, with others.  I wouldn't trade the perspective I have now for anything and the chance to use this gift for His glory in whatever way He leads.  God's plans are so much greater than our own.

Also, after much prayer and seeking the Lord, I will also be remaining in Bozeman past this summer.  I have recently accepted a position to serve as the Athletic Director and Kindergarten and 7th/8th grade P.E. teacher at Heritage Christian School in Bozeman.  I am extremely humbled and very excited to have the opportunity to assist the school in being a light for Jesus outside the classroom using sports as a platform to share the Gospel with everyone around in a city where many do not know Him.  This will allow me to continue working at the church as well this fall ... God is truly Jehovah Jireh - the God who provides in ways far beyond what we could ever ask or imagine.

Sending my love to everyone in Tennessee and elsewhere - your prayers and support mean so much and know I always love to hear from you and how I can be praying for you!

Please pray for:
- For the four mission teams that are coming to help us this summer at Kirkwood - that God would be glorified through all the activities and fellowship opportunities.
- That God would be at work now preparing the hearts of those here in Bozeman and that they will hear and respond to the Gospel.
- Pastor James and family while they are currently in Tennessee visiting family.
- For God to use me in the work at Kirkwood, the golf course and at Heritage Christian School, and that I would abide in Him and remain obedient one day at a time and be intentional each day representing Him.
- That I would be able to keep in touch with and continue to mutually encourage so many I care about that don't live nearby - so thankful that God's love bridges any distance and that He is faithful to provide for us when we walk with Him.