A friend shared this and it struck me. This is such a beautiful image of our Father God's heart. I often think of God as pretty busy... it's hard to really absorb the concept of His omnipresence and omniscience - that He is present with us as He is present with those in Syria or in the remotest or most populated places in the world. He orchestrates all while we are awake and while we sleep... while we are in the company of many and while we're alone, He is with us. I think there are multiple times in our lives where we come to a point of asking God, "where do I sit?" Or "what's my place, God?" But, TRUST that God is for all of us, & yet, a Personal God with a specific place and plan for each one. Hebrews 4:16 says, "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." God is never too busy for us. He is never caught off guard. He is not the God of chaos but of order. And more than that, He desires for us to approach Him and seek Him, our Constant One. It's always a good time for Him. That humbles and brings joy to my heart. And emboldens my belief that the Church should do and be the same. We should always have a place for people. We should never be too busy for them or be caught off guard. The Church should be a place that extends the grace, mercy, hospitality that we have experienced, with a cheerful heart. “Therefore receive one another as Christ has received you, for the glory of God.”• Romans 15:7
Oh Hey There TBR Family!
Happy New Year!
I wanted to thank yall for an amazing first year in service to churches developing their Guest Services Ministries. I've said it before, but if this was just me, just my initiation and doing, then I would look like a fool and this would not bear Jesus-fruit. Every night, I humbly thank God for making it clear to me that this is what He called me to do after years of prayer 2 years ago and as He continues to make it clear. I am so grateful for the ways He has made it clear by guiding, equipping, giving discernment, holding back, establishing new friendships in the field, growing old friendships, and opened the doors of His Church and the heart of His Bride. Guest Services is an eternally significant work that I pray every church invests in wisely. It is the front lines of discipleship... it Gospels people, glorifies God, and graces members and guests. This time last year, as I was praying and casting vision, I set a goal of hoping to serve 5 churches. This year God has shown this is all Him because, as of this past December, I have the honor of serving 7 churches, along with the exciting partnership with the North American Mission Board! We've seen churches grow in their leadership and service to the souls they've been given to attend to and care for. Doing life with God is beyond the imagination exciting!! I pray for more of a closeness with God in 2017 and to see more of His goodness in the land of the living!
Habakkuk 1:5 says," The Lord replied, 'Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it." God said this to His prophet in the midst of the prophet expressing his deep concern about the state of his world at the time. The fact that the Creator God listens and replies to His creation (as seen here and in our daily lives), is a miracle in itself. But, the fact that He promises to show up for us constantly, despite us constantly turning from Him and trying to fix things on our own is a miracle that should daily bring us to our knees in joy! I pray that you and I press in to His presence in ways that we have not done... I know God is stirring something up in our day and He wants to use His Church, His Bride. Let's all unite in the work to build the Church and the Kingdom, for our good and His glory, in Jesus' name!
PS. Thanks to my amazing and hotty hubby (Phillip Carlisle) for his support, wisdom, humor, love and encouragement!!! Love you so much!!!
Passionate about Jesus and people, I've added this blog to communicate strategy and thoughts about Biblical Hospitality and The Church as a movement, rather than just people in a building once a week. It seems like everyone is blogging these days, (which is awesome!) and I know that there are always better and more insightful thoughts, but God is leading this so I'm just writing in obedience.