How does that saying go? …The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry?
While our plans haven’t necessarily gone awry, they certainly haven’t gone exactly as thought!
Good news for our financial health! Some friends and peers from my previous career offered me a job in Panama City, Florida beginning the end of August! I accepted and that means Cyndi and I are packing and moving in the next few days! Loading a truck tomorrow and will store our belongings in the area. Hoping to find a short-term rental (off-season) in Mexico Beach where we can at least enjoy the transition! Excited for the opportunity!
We will still continue to serve at City Church Tallahassee each week. Down side is that it doesn’t appear that we will get to participate in community groups (Panama City is located in Central Time Zone, Tallahassee in Eastern Time Zone – making it really difficult to get there in time!). Of all the things I’ve had the opportunity to do at City Church, community groups have brought me some of the most satisfaction.
Random happening this morning – two young deer were trapped in our neighbor’s back yard this morning. Easier said than done trying to show them where the gate was for an easy exit. Twenty minutes later they finally were able to push the fence up far enough to crawl through – they had no desire to go the easy way I wanted them to go!
Excited for Cyndi as she sold an item from her Etsy store this weekend! You can check it out here: SeaEverything. It’s says I’m the owner but all the stuff is hers!
Also shipped some things from All Tide Up to a friend who will rep the items as he performs his original music in Panama City Beach!
Oh, and did I mention there is a storm that is expected to become a hurricane that could be in Central Florida by early next week?! Never a dull moment in our lives!
Cyndi and I have participated in community groups (small group Bible studies/discussion groups) for a number of years. I think we both feel that church and our faith is best lived out in small groups. Worship services are fantastic – we both love them! But authenticity among fellow believers is best when the surroundings are more intimate and the level of trust is high among the participants.
When we first began a small group at our home, our hopes were high. Hopes that through weekly gatherings, we could develop a sense of community among friends that would transcend the artificial Christianity that is prevalent in churches across America. What we discovered was that people have a tough time being real with each other. I think in part that fear is based on our on shortcomings. “What will people think of me if I tell them how I really act or talk or think?” What I learned in that first community group is that it is tough to find community with people who don’t want it! As our relationship with Christ grew, Cyndi and I were challenged to make changes in our lives – changes that demonstrated our walk with God! As we acted on that developing relationship, some of our community began drifting away – distancing themselves from us!
For the past 11 months, Cyndi and I have commuted weekly from Inverness to Tallahassee to lead another community group and attend City Church. It’s been a sacrifice that could only have been accomplished with God. We have travelled over 16,000 miles and spent thousands of dollars on gas and food. But what I have realized most recently is that God has used us in this group in an incredible way. Not our leadership but simply our obedience to Him. Listening and acting on what He has called us to do has had an incredible impact on a number of people – mostly those who we share our lives with each week in community.
I told our group last night that as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week, let’s reflect on what we are really thankful for. Let’s not just say the words that others expect us to say. I am thankful for our community group and the opportunity I have each week to invest in their lives and to let them invest in ours.
Community is important. I hope you find a spot in one where you can be real and allow others to support you too.