(back-tracking) What we’re doing in Colorado

11 09 2010

I realized that some of you who read my blog may have missed some key info. One minute I’m living in Celina, TX and the next I’m in Colorado Springs, CO. Well for your sake I will back-track a little and get you caught up.

I have stepped down from my job at Lifeway Church as their Worship Pastor to attend the New Life School of Worship in Colorado Springs, CO. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for several years but haven’t had peace from God to pursue it, but rather felt He was saying to be patient and wait for His timing. However, through wise counsel and spending time with God I have discerned it is undeniable that He is saying, “Now is the time!”

The question I’ve been asked most frequently is, “Why?”

A few years ago I was asked the question, “If you could be a professional at one thing, what would you like to be professional at?” My answer was fast and easy. I said, “I want to be a professional worship pastor.” Now, I don’t mean that I have any aspirations of wanting to become the next big thing to hit the Christian music scene, but I do want to become proficient at what I know God has called me to do. Just so we’re on the same page in our definition of “professional”, my definition of a professional is someone who is not only “good” or even “great” at what they do but they understand the “why” behind what they do and can then turn and teach someone else to do it. And not just share some tips and tricks they picked up along the way that only works for them, but to be able to teach successful principles that work for everyone.
I once hear heard Mark Hall (lead singer for Casting Crowns) being interviewed about a project he was collaborating on with Steven Curtis Chapman. He was asked the question, “What was it like working with such a legend in the Christian Music industry as Steven Curtis Chapman?” His answer became my inspiration. He said that working with Chapman he very quickly realized that he was in the presence of someone who was a true “master of his craft”. The scripture in Proverbs immediately came to my mind and has since become a driving force in my life:

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.”
Proverbs 22:29

With all my heart I want to offer the Lord my very best. I want to be able to leverage the gifts, talents, abilities and desires He has given me to help others find and follow Jesus Christ. I believe that is what being a wise steward is. Being content with mediocrity will not get that job done.

While my mind was still trying to wrap around this idea of becoming a “master craftsman” God prompted me with another verse from King David:

“…I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”
1 Samuel 24:24

I am reminded of something that happened to Diana and me when we were first married.
After the wedding we, like most people, waited until we were settled in to our new apartment together to open our wedding gifts. Before opening this one particular box we of course first read the card to see who it was from then proceeded to open the box. Inside was a nice porcelain fruit bowl and a matching pitcher. However, inside the pitcher was another unopened card. So, not wanting to miss out on a possible card with money in it I opened that card as well except the “well wishes” were not to me or Diana but rather was to the person who gave us the gift. Yes, we had been “re-gifted!”

If I only serve God with the talents and abilities He gave me and never take the time or make the sacrifices necessary to cultivate those gifts I have really offered him nothing he has not already given me.

Becoming a professional will not come easy nor will it come fast. It will require a lot of hard work and many sacrifices.

The time will come when I stand before God and in response to His Holiness, I will bow before Him and I will lay my crowns at His feet. When that time comes I want to give him a massive crown. I want to say with excitement and anticipation, “God you freely and graciously gave me these abilities to reach out to those who didn’t know you and by your favor and grace I cultivated those gifts and was able to reach many more people.” I passionately want to hear him say on that day, “Good and well done my faithful servant!”

My family and I are on an exciting journey and I hope you will stay connected by subscribing to this blog. We covet your prayers and support.

Jeremy, Diana and family

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Our “New Life” in Colorado Springs

17 08 2010

Well we have begun to settle into our new apartment and we are now down to those famous last few boxes. You know the ones that you question whether you should find a place for the stuff or just get rid of it all. I vote to get rid of it! (insert a manly Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunt here)

All of us are still not feeling quite 100%. The locals tell us that it usually takes at least 6 weeks to get fully acclimated to the altitude of the city, which according to the Garmin GPS is approx. 6800 ft. Another adjustment that has proven challenging are the roads around here. At least the multiple directions that they travel. It’s not like our small rural town where for the most part county roads run pretty straight, North and South or East and West. Here, one minute I’m headed North, then East, then North and then the road will actually turn West and eventually back North again. I’m sure I will eventually get my bearings and won’t have to rely solely on the GPS or Google Maps to find my way around.

Last Sunday was our first Sunday to attend New Life Church. It was fantastic! Jared Anderson led worship and the teaching was brought by Pastor Brady Boyd. (Pastor Brady is formerly of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX) He did make a couple of jokes at Texas during his sermon, mostly about the heat. And since it was 104 deg in Celina when we packed our Uhaul truck and 75 deg when we arrived in Colorado Springs, just this once I let him slide. After the service was over my social butterfly of a wife had already met about 100 different people. One couple in particular had just moved back to Colorado Springs recently and was telling us a little of their past and about their children. When they asked where we were from Diana replied, “Dallas.” We figured it was much more recognizable than Celina. They then asked where in Dallas so I said we were from a small town north of Dallas named Celina. The husbands eyes opened wide and said, “I’ve eaten at your Burger Fixins!” The world really is a small place! We drove 800+ miles, attended a new church which runs on average of 15000 people and the couple we choose to sit beside has eaten at our local burger joint back in Texas. Amazing!

Braden, our 6 year old, started 1st grade this week. He’s so excited he get’s to ride the bus this year the long 3/4 mile journey to his school. Cruz will start doing some workbooks at home to prepare him for Kindergarten next year and Mia… well she’ll just be her normal little bossy 2 year old self.

I still have a couple more weeks before my school starts (New Life School of Worship) after Labor Day. I finally received our reading list for Module 1 and hope to get a head start on the book list.

Thank you to everyone who had a part and continues to have a part in this journey that my family and I are on to help others find and follow Christ.