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Friday, August 28, 2015

Ministry Update: August 2015

It has been nearly 14 months since James stepped into ministry at CrossPointe PTC.  It has been both a great privilege and an incredible challenge to step out in faith as God has called us.

So here is a snapshot of how we have seen the Lord work throughout the last year:

June 2014
James was called into ministry, and despite my objections, went forward taking the position as CrossPointe's Creative Arts Director, and faithfully began support raising!  Also, God provided us with a wonderful bed from generous friends, when we had been sleeping on the floor for a few months...


July 2014
Our good friend Michael took family photos for us - one of my favorite events of the month.  We have not printed any of them and that was already over a year ago.  :P  Miles attended his very first VBS at Four Corners!!

this one shows the real us

August 2014
We moved into our own apartment!  It was remarkable to see God orchestrate the timing and provision for all of this.  Of course, we celebrated Jas' first birthday, amid the boxes and packing tape!

keys to our own place!

unpacking our DVDs

September 2014
I began leading a discussion group for the women's day class for Bible Study Fellowship, an opportunity that would minister to me for the entire 2014-2015 study year!  James and I began leading a community group at CPPTC, a call to leadership that allows us to live life alongside those who join us every week.  We have seen so much growth here, in the folks who have committed to come to our group, as well as in ourselves!  We also got to expand our family to include so many loving people who play with and hang out with Miles & Jasper.
from the corn maze at Southern Belle Farms

October 2014
Our apartment was in need of repair due to the "great flood of '14," but it allowed us to get to know the Poeffels really well, as we stayed with them for 11 days!  God knit our hearts together so much during that time!  And we were given the chance to visit California for two weeks!!
adventures with the Poeffels

California cousins

November 2014
I began seeing some of the fruit of my ministry - mothering my boys!  I was so encouraged as each week, they would come home from BSF singing hymns and able to converse with me about the life of Moses!  We were also blessed when Mark drove down from Missouri to turn around and drive us right back to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Browns!  We got to meet sweet baby Callie, and go to Silver Dollar City for JB's birthday.  Such a wonderful time spent with family.

Buddy Lee showed up at our community group

December 2014
James had moved to full-time ministry in the fall, but the pressures of competing priorities proved to be more stressful than we had anticipated.  He received training from Great Commission Ministries (now Reliant), and after time spent in prayer, he moved back to part-time at the church/ part-time at the warehouse.
hanging with Miss Daniela at community group

January 2015
James preached his first sermon!  We saw God's faithful provision for our needs through the lean times earlier that winter, and then a huge blessing after the holidays (which I know was His purpose - we probably would've spent it all on presents/travel).  I know that God will continue to use the are of finances to deepen our faith in Him on this ministry journey!
James Brown bringing God's Word

February 2015
Our lead pastor and his fam transitioned to a new position in Florida, and Jesus so graciously provided a new lead pastor so quickly that the transition was nearly seamless.  The Vizzinis moved here and it seems like they have always been a part of our family - which they already were, in Christ!  Their trust in God's call to move to Georgia, and obedience to do what He asked has been a huge example for me.  Their story sounds so much like ours, it's a bit uncanny.  I don't think it's an accident that so many of the families in leadership at CPPTC have so many parallels in each of our stories!
praying for the Vizzinis

Sing About Love
cafe night

community group bowling night

March 2015
We were all finally well after a bout with a nasty stomach bug that Jasper, James, and I got, and we saw it passed around multiple families at church.  But God truly spoke to me in those quiet times at home, away from friends, outside of my 'normal' routine.  I've heard it said that you don't really grow inside your comfort zone.  And routine, and social interaction are certainly where I am more comfortable.  So I had to depend on Jesus to be my friend, my small group, and my pastor on the many Sundays we were out of commission.  Though I can live without that illness, I do cherish that sweet time with the Lord.
playdate with friends before the Potter's move

April 2015
I've had the unique privilege of seeing restoration in relationships over the last few months.  Couples, families, and individuals.  It is amazing that God will continue to use what James and I have experienced as a couple (and apart) to minister to others who are going through similar situations.  I began a study in practical theology that has truly transformed my outlook on understanding Jesus, the Gospel, and knowing your Bible - and its application to the big and little things!  God wants all of His children to know Him - not just pastors, leaders, or ministers - EVERYONE!
silly faces with friends after church

May 2015
We announced the big news that God has blessed us with baby number three!  Little bean is due December 20, 2015 - which is coming sooner than I realize.  James and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary in Charleston.  The BSF Life of Moses study came to an end, and summer heat came with full force!

Miles, Miss Kim, and Mitchell on the last day of BSF

Miss Angie, Jasper, and Miss Jean on the last day of BSF

June 2015
We celebrated the book launch of one of our dear friends, Katie Marie!  She published her first novel, and it is amazing - I read it in four days!  Miles discovered his love for painting, starting with his gift for James on Father's Day.  It is amazing to have to opportunity to stay home with our children - I am so thankful God called me to this ministry three years ago!  Miles also began a fantastic summer friendship with one of the kiddos in our apartment complex, and they played together nearly every day.  I love seeing the light of Christ in Miles as he interacts with his friends, and praying prayers of thanks at the end of the day for new friends.

photo with published Young Adult Author, Katie-Marie Stout!

painting a masterpiece

July 2015
God blessed me with an irreplaceable family and a super close knit group of friends who celebrated my birthday with me.  Sometimes, I can't believe how Jesus carved out places in our lives for each other so perfectly.  I cannot imagine my life without them.
We got to drive to Missouri to visit Mark for a week, and spent a lot of time with Beth and Callie as well!  It was a much needed visit, and I am so thankful for the memories the boys, James, and I have with our family.  It is truly God's kindness that the trip went well - driving 13 hours with a four and (almost) two year old could've been crazy!  But they had a blast with their Grandpa, Aunties, Uncles, and cousins.  It was a blessing to know that James prayed for his Dad, and that they were able to talk about all that is going on.
The Butchers and the Browns in Missouri
photo credit:  Miles

*  *  *  *  *

Clearly this post is way too long - which leads me to current day - the end of August already!  Jasper's second birthday has come and gone, and the schools are all back in session.  Obviously, I need to write out ministry updates more frequently, and that is one of the goals I am setting for myself!

This month's ministry recap:

  • CrossPointe PTC now has a prayer ministry in the works!  I met with two wonderful women who have hearts to intercede for others, and I am excited to see what comes from God's leading in this area.
    • Our first campaign is 21 Days of Prayer and Feasting, which started August 9, and continues until this Sunday!
    • PRAY as we heed the Holy Spirit, and plan what will come next for CPPTC's prayer team
  • We are moving as a church body in the themes of 'Gospel,' 'Community,' and 'Mission' as Pastor Jamey preaches through the "Why Church?" sermon series
    • The 21 days of prayer coincide with these themes, and can all be found on the church website, along with the sermon podcasts!
  • I am gearing up to lead a small group with BSF again this year, and I am also doing some at-home-preK with Miles and Jasper starting next week - definitely areas I can use prayer!
Jasper turned TWO!

church after church

Of course, there is always more to come, and I will be updating our experience in ministry, at least quarterly!  Until next time...