Like many of you all, I’m sure, I (Jay) just cannot believe it is already November. It feels like just a few days ago we were saying goodbye to friends in Kentucky and packing up our U-Haul. Now, we are over here making Thanksgiving and Christmas plans with family. How is that possible?
This month’s update, unlike past months, kind of snuck up on us. Life is getting busier, in a good way, and on a lot of levels. Several weeks ago I remember sitting in my Fight Club, which is a group of guys that I’m walking in accountability with as we seek to “fight” our sin together. We talk about work, family, sin struggles… all of life. At this particular meeting, I recall voicing a bit of discontentment in feeling like I didn’t have enough work on my plate, feeling that I could be used more. (Related question: Have you ever asked God in prayer to give you more patience? Did he just miraculously make you a patient person in an instant OR did he provide, let’s call them “opportunities,” for you to become more patient?) It’s safe to say that I no longer feel like I need more to be added to my plate.
We’ve got a lot of exciting things going on here at Providence Road. This past weekend, we hosted a church-wide tailgate after our Sunday gathering. If you follow Brooke or I on social media, you likely saw something about this event. It was a great time for the church family to come together and connect with friends. We had inflatables, corn hole, and lots of food. I was asked to run with the logistics for the event, so much of my time the past couple of weeks was designated to putting it together.
On top of that, we announced this past Sunday that on January 22 of the coming year, we will be launching a second service. Our space is tight in a lot of areas: kids, parking, and meeting space. For several reasons, our elders and leadership believe adding a service is best for the church. Again, this is super exciting, but we have lots of work to do so that we are prepared for January 22, 2017 and beyond. I’ll be overseeing a lot of the behind the scenes work to help us be prepared for that. Along with these things, we’re working on a new church website, recasting vision for the church, and discussing how we can refine our membership and leadership development across the board.
So, again, I no longer feel like I need more work added to my plate! That being said, I am pretty excited about the future here. One of things that energizes me in ministry is helping people to run in their lanes of gifting – finding out how God has gifted them and help them to use those gifts for His Kingdom. What is the role of a pastor/shepherd/overseer? “…To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). So much of what I’m being asked to do here is just that – find out what talents and gifts people have and help equip/train them to serve in the “work of ministry” so that the entire body is built up. To me, there are few things more rewarding than seeing other Christians serve Jesus and His bride with joy, knowing that they are being used to help other people find freedom and joy in Him.
So many of you have prayed for Brenda, my step-mom, over that past year and a half. I received a call today stating that the cancer, though it is back, is now decreasing and that her current chemo treatments are working. I think we all have a love/hate relationship with chemo. Right now, we are thankful that it is working to decrease her cancer and we pray that it will all be gone soon.
As you can tell, Henry had a good time on his first trick-or-treating experience. Brooke and I had fun once he went to bed, digging through his loot! We aren’t the only ones, are we? We have good friends just up the street that we went with, and they have two little girls. As you’d expect, friendships are deepening with people here and we certainly feel “settled” into life in Norman. Henry has been enjoying his new big boy bed and room. More and more, this place feels like home. We’ve landed on a name for baby girl coming in January. Despite Henry’s best efforts, we won’t be calling her John. Stay tuned, I’m sure we’ll be sharing that with y’all soon.
As always, thank you for reading, thank you for praying, and thank you for supporting us in this journey. We love you all, much more than you know.