Recently we had an amazing call from a friend of ours. Our wonderful friend wanted to financially bless us with a portion of the funds that his ministry/business brings in once it is up and going. We're not sure what that will look like, but it really brought us some serious joy to know that a friend would do that for us even before we even know what our ministry will be! C'mon Father! Our friend asked us to write out what our ministry will look like so that the people overseeing this other ministry will know what they are supporting. We, of course, don't know the what we will be doing exactly, but all the same I sat down and wrote out what our heart is for the future. What came out was really exciting! Jessica read it and the first thing she said was, "Man, I want to be part of that ministry!" And I agree! I thought it would be fun to post it for our friends and family so you can see where our focus is for the coming years:
Our ministry will consist of equipping the saints for "greater works than these." Training in our identities as Priests and Kings. That we have the full mind of Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit living in us as well as Christ, the hope of glory! Discipleship will be a major part of our ministry as we, ourselves learn, and teach others how to walk alongside and encourage new believers. We teach how to build people into strong, unmovable (in His word, both logos and rhema), Christ-grounded, Spirit-led and filled sons and daughters.
We will probably have a church, eventually, where we can come together as a family and be close and worship together. Worship will be the main thing and everything will be second. "Power evangelism" will be a focus as we learn to to evangelize like Jesus did. Power evangelism is evangelism done with "signs, wonders, and miracles" (all of which are designed to point people to God, not distract people from Him). Prophesy will be another major part of the equipping ministry because Paul thought it should be and it is such a amazing way to build and edify the church, and is also an incredible tool for evangelism.
Above all, though, we will not forget the poor in spirit and in pocket book. Our firm belief is that God can do more with a recovering addict that is passionate for the Man, King Jesus, than He can with a luke warm college student who only desires to fill a seat in church and live a "good" life, void of power and encounters with God's word and Holy Spirit.
Everything we do will be based on a culture of "honor". A culture of honor opens the door for disagreement among each other, but keeps us in unity because we honor and love and value each other. When we have value for one another, we learn how to love without an agenda. When people are honored, they are no longer targets for us to "practice" evangelism on, they are a son or a daughter of God and deserve our love and respect, no matter what they believe. It is out of this place of freedom to disagree and "belong before they believe" that we will foster a place of TRUE LOVE, where people come to God because they are drawn by His grace and abundant love, not by our persuasive words or fear tactics. Love conquers all. Honor allows sons to be sons and fathers to be fathers. It lays down performance mentalities and frees people to dream bigger without fear of being shut down because it's outside the box; and dreaming is important.
In summary, we will have a ministry that seeks the presence of God, as we show others how to seek His presence also.
What is YOUR focus? What are the dreams that God is putting in you? What ideas do you have right now? Focus and Vision! Write down what you are seeing, even if you don't know if it's the right direction to go...at least it's a direction! I encourage you to pray into the direction you feel God is moving you in, sow into those ideas. Share this with others close to you and ask them to continue to encourage you in these areas!
Any area of your life, that does not have hope attached to it, is under the influence of a lie.
The first leg of our whirlwind tour began in Newport Beach, where we stayed with my parents for 3 wonderful weeks. After returning from Europe, it was a great place to relax and unwind from the volcano fiasco...and deal with the travel insurance people (thanks, honey!).
On top of relaxing with the family and taking care of paperwork, we had plenty of time to visit with friends. Kat and Justin Prince drove up from San Diego for the day and we had a wonderful time bike-riding, kayaking, paddle boarding, and of course, stopping by Balboa Island for frozen bananas!
Justin, Kat, and Jesse at Dad's.
Jesse and I taking a wine and cheese Duffy cruise.
(Did I mention my parents live on the bay and have 3 boats? :))
While in Newport I also had the opportunity to sell my book, "Hungry", at a women's luncheon. A family friend was hosting the luncheon and invited me to join the other vendors. Great time meeting people and chatting about the book! My mom was my biggest marketer (and boy she's good at it!)
My beautiful momma and I at the luncheon.
View on the terrace - lots of women and lots of hats!
We had time of worship, which was nice.
Here's my little table where I sold about 20 books!
The next day, at 5am with Starbucks in hand, Jesse and I hit the road. First destination? San Francisco...sadly in two separate cars.
After 7 hours, we arrive in San Fran and found a gym to stretch out our legs. After working up a sweat and an appetite, we met up with Jesse's college friend and his wife, had a wonderful home-cooked meal, and spent the night. (unfortunately I forgot to take pictures).
The next day we hit the road again. This time it was only about 3 hours to Redding. We had already put down a deposit for a great 3 bed/2bath house a mile from Bethel, which we are to be sharing with another couple, Tawni and Trevor (good friends from San Diego). Some friends of ours were just moving out so we knew from what they told us that it was gonna be perfect. And it was! Here's a quick tour:
We went to Lighthouse that night (a weekly homegroup with tons of cool Bethel peeps!), and spent the night in our empty house on our wonderful (not-so-wonderful) air-mattress.
After a horrible night sleep, we hit the road again. This time up to Northbend, Washington to stay with Jesse's parents.
Luckily, we were able to leave my car at our house in Redding.
This was my view for the next 9 hours:
Lots of pasture and books on tape.
On the way, we decided to stop in Portland, OR. I showed Jesse around Powell's bookstore and we picked up a few novels to keep us entertained. We then hit up a wonderful rose garden...
and took some time to smell the roses.
They were beautiful!
Then we met up with Sarah (our reason for stopping in Portland)!!
(My best friend from college and maid of honor at my wedding.)
Here is a classic Sarah pose, complete with color pulling.
Of course she took us to a typical Portland eatery with lots of hippie food.
Here's Jesse and I with our Kale/sprout bowls (we added chicken),
and that is "digestive yeast" I am excitedly about to sprinkle on my food. :)
After dinner, Sarah took us to a yummy coffee spot.
And we found that color-pulling yellow really brings out the orange in one's face.
We didn't have any fun.
Sadly our visit was short. We got back on the road after dinner.
Continuing on to WA, we passed a rainbow
and I managed to capture the pot of gold at the end of it.
Lots more green,
and beautiful skies.
We were pretty tired of driving at this point and got a little delirious.
We arrived in Northbend late at night and fell fast asleep at Jesse's parent's house. The next day, more relaxing, and biking, and then the whole family got together for a big spaghetti dinner.
Here's the fam!
Riley (Jesse's step-dad), Jesse, me, Sarah (Jesse's sister),
Diane (Jesse's mom), Sam (Jesse's bro-in law)
and Elsa (Jesse's sister and Sam's wife) is taking the picture.
There was beer in all sizes,
and Diane baked a wonderful peach and blueberry pie!
Elsa and Sam's dog, Atom, was much of the evenings entertainment.
The kids of the family
And the fam, minus Sarah...someone had to take the picture.
While in Northbend, I had the chance to visit with some of my side of the family. My aunt and uncle, Leigh and J.D. and their three grown kids (my cousins) Anne, Kate, and Michael, all live in Washington. Makes it easy to visit whenever we're with Jesse's family!
While her kids were napping at the in-laws,
Kate snuck away to meet us for coffee at Zoka's.
Later we had dinner with Leigh and J.D. at their beach house, which is just a 10 minute drive from their house in Tacoma and a great little getaway.
My Aunt Leigh is a phenomenal cook and her "let me just see what I can throw together" always turns out to be a gourmet meal.
Here's what she rounded up and prepared:
A beat salad with goat cheese and toasted walnuts.
Aunt Leigh and me (iphone lighting isn't the best).
Jesse and Uncle J.D.
As we were leaving for the evening we were offered the house for a few nights! Woohoo!
The next day we packed up our stuff and "moved in" to Leigh and J.D.'s beach house on the Sound at Salmon Beach, Tacoma. All the houses are built on stilts right out over the sound since the tides swing by about 15 feet every day. Their beach house has such a fun, rustic feel to it, with all kinds of fishing/ boating memorabilia. We spent 3 wonderful nights there.
Here's the front.
Entering the house...
The "master bedroom" upstairs, with AMAZING views!
From upstairs looking down over the railing.
View of the front from the water
Out on the porch...it was so gorgeous there!
That night we got to have dinner with my other cousin, Ann, and her husband Eric who also live in Tacoma. Ann cooked us up a yummy Thai peanut soup. Sadly, I didn't take pictures, but Jesse managed to snap a few of the kids.
And precious Clara.
Our second day, Jesse and I went exploring a nearby park...
I forgot to mention the 300 steps we had to climb to and from the beach.
Sucks when you forget something.
View of the beach house (the smaller brown one) from the stairs.
In the woods we found this thing, and Jesse climbed it.
A huge uprooted tree.
Experimenting with color pulling
We had a wonderful lunch on the deck
just before the rain hit.
And did LOTS of reading while the rain came down.
After the rain finally let up, we ventured out for dinner at Anthony's,
then returned to chop some wood for our fire.
Go honey, go!
Out on the deck.
We partook of some yummy Cold Stone ice cream sandies,
and watched the jelly fish float by.
The current is really fast so the jellies were haulin!
God is so cool.
High school picture pose.
Then we had some fun...
These are for you, Aunt Leigh and Uncle J.D.!
Thanks for letting us stay at your beach house!
The next morning at 6am we woke up to this!
Luckily I snapped 2 pictures while half asleep and lying in bed
because 2 hours later the rains started up again.
That morning we packed up our stuff jumped in the car and began the 9 hour journey back down to Redding. And so concludes our 2 months of traveling and visiting.
Stay posted for "Life in Redding," updates!