Moving in T-Minus 1 day

Good morning my fellow bloggites!

I can’t believe the move date is so close at hand. It seems like it was only a month or two ago that My family and I decided that God was calling us to up and move to Worcester. We are soooo excited to get our move on.

So, I haven’t blogged since 2/18/08. Wow, time flies, when you’re busy moving…Hmmm. What the heck does that mean?!!?

Where do I begin in explaining this move?

Towards the beginning of 2007 my wife and I began a period of change, specifically in our spiritual lives. We changed ministries, started questioning if where we were at that time was really where God wanted us. We felt uncomfortable and unsettled. It was strange to feel that way in a place that always felt like home to us, our Church. We really felt that God was gearing us up fr something dracstic; a huge change in our lives.

We now fast forward to last August.

My wife and I got together with one of my best friends, Marty, and his wife Carie. Erica and I used to attend Fellowship Church while we were in college, and when we got married we moved back to my home church in East Longmeadow MA. So, Marty was there to ask us to pray about moving, and to tell us bit (actually it lasted about 5 hours) about the vision God had given him for Fellowship Church.

Erica and I felt as though God, in one fell swoop, confirmed what we had been feeling for months.
I met with my Pastor, Dave Brown, and discussed the idea. I called on some people who I trusted, and was confident that they would pray for us. Then in October, we decided that this was the direction that God was calling us.

We began going out every other week. We would spend one Sunday in East Longmeadow First Baptist, the next in Holden at Fellowship Church. This has been the procedure for the last 5 months, and God has done some incredible things through that time of waiting.

I have said many times that this whole situation is bitter sweet. Sweet, becuase Erica and I have gotten a hold of what God wants us to do with our lives, and received true direction from Him. Also sweet is working with a great team, having some awesome responsiblities, and so many new friends.

It is bitter, because we leave behind our family, friends, and many many loved ones and memories.

So, here we are 5 months later. God has worked out a new job for me, which I start 2 days after we move. Good timing eh? We have a place to live, and are still looking for a permanent place. Keep it in prayer. God has toatlly confirmed this move for us. We don’t even have to pay for the moving truck, or the gas for it!!

Well, what I’ve learnedin all this is…God will always provide the way, and usually makes it much better than you could ever have expected. If you’ve never trusted God with anything, I challenge you to try Him. See how He proves to you His ability and power to get you through anything.

Living Out Loud
Al

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What Light are You Shining?

So, I was reading Luke 19 today, and came to realize a few things. Jesus was always who He was, no matter the circumstance, the difficulty, or pressure around him. People knew what they were getting when they encountered Him. There was no faking, no masking the truth. He was 100% Jesus, 100% of the time.

How often can I say that of myself? How often do I put up a front for others? How many times have I altered my behavior, personality, etc. to suit the situation?

Living Out Loud
Al

Diggin’ for Treasure…Arrrr where’s my Booty

I hope everyone had a fabulous Valentine’s day, and had someone/someone’s they could share some love with. Having someone to love, not just romantically, is really what I think being human is all about.
My wife and I had a great night out. My parents watched the chillins’, which allowed us to have some time together. Alone time is rare, but much needed, especially when you have two little ones.
We started the night out at one of our “hot spots,” Olive Garden. Big ups on their Zuppa Tuscana. That itself was a big to do. We decided that it would be better for Erica to head up there and get our names in, since they don’t do call ahead or reservations.I rushed over to my parents to drop the kids off, and got a call from Erica. She told me there was a 75 min. wait, and suggested I try Texas Road House. Well, everyone in the city of Springfield must have been trying to call them at the same time. I tried about 15 times with only a busy signal.

I dropped off the kids and had a thought,”Chinese.” Who goes to a Chinese Restaurant for Valentine’s day anyways? I called, and they weren’t busy. I realized that nearly 30min. had already gone by. By the time I got to Olive Garden, Erica tells me that there is only 10 minutes until we can be seated.

To make this long part of the story short…We shared a appetizer, and both enjoyed our entrees. The point of this blog though is not focused on our dining plans, or how that all worked out.
We ended the night going to the movies. We saw “Fools Gold.” It was fantastic, and certainly worth the price of the ticket.

The movie hit me in a few ways. First it reminded me of one of my Life Goals. I have set a goal for myself that I will be part of some archaeological expedition. Whether it requires an ocean dive, or a shovel in the sand, I will at some point have some part in unearthing history.

The second way this movie hit me is that it reminded me that love is a very powerful thing. The two main characters in this movie are married. The man is an immature, treasure hunter. He cannot hold a steady job, has large debts strung throughout the world, and a wife that is fed up with it all and divorcing him.

The wife is a beautiful, intelligent, motivated…well, you get the point. She loves this guy despite the fact that he seems to be a loser.

Now, love is powerful, but human love is not perfect. It has limitations, it can fail when needed most, and can hurt even when the intention is most noble. Yet this movie reminded me of the ability that mankind has to share and express love with one another. It reminded me that love is not a feeling, but a choice that we make each and every day of our lives.

It’s incredible to think that God loves us like this woman loved her husband. She chose to love this buffoon, even when he acted like a complete idiot. She admired him, even though he had weaknesses, which to most were glaring.

I can really relate to this. I think most of my weaknesses are extremely obvious to most people, and yet God loves me with a fervor, a passion like none other.

Have you ever experienced a love like that? A love that looks passed your faults right to your needs, right to your heart, to your very soul? A love that is deeper, truer, and unwavering?

If not, I invite you to look at John 3:16, and read about the love that God has always had for you.

Living Out Loud
Al

Sunday @ Felllowship Holden

Can I just say Holy Rock!!!

Sunday morning was an incredible time. We opened with a rendition of “Machinehead” by Bush. It was awesome! The worship music was right on, and the message that Jeff brought was insanely good!

I never realized how much I whine about my “Difficult” or “Full” days. How about how often I justify not reaching out on a regular basis, because I’m too busy. God really impressed upon me that I need to incorporate outreach into every facet of my “Schedule.”

* What’s up with me and the ” ” marks today!! Oh well.*

Seriously though. Outreach can happen any where and at any time. I need to ask God to keep that in my mind.

Be ever watchful for oportunities to share the love of Christ with people.

Living out loud
Al

Can pick your friends, Can pick your nose, But…

So, I’m listening to the Christian Morning Radio Show again. I’m getting scared about this, because I tune in pretty much every morning. It’s weird, but I really like them. Like I’ve said I usually don”t like Christian Talk Shows.

There are two hosts and they have some really great topics. If you’re ever in the Western MA area check out 99.7FM. They’re doing a great job there!

So, we are called to be in this world, but not to be of it. What does that mean? What does that look like? (John 17)

Jesus calls us to do some radical living. We are to be ever engaging our culture, yet never buying into it. We are to be ever loving the people lost in this culture, but never in love with or lost to that culture.

True Christianity, the kind that we see in the New Testament of the Bible is radical, controversial, a kind of cultural antithesis.

So, here is my thought.

What would my life be like if I truly loved like the Bible says to love?

What impact would I make on this world, but more importantly on the world to come?

How would my life be changed, those most closest to me, and the lives of countless others be changed?

Just some thoughts for us today…

Living Out Loud
Al

Weapons

I was thinking about that word today. There are many things this word can refer to. It can refer to physical, destructive weapons, i.e. Rocket Launchers, AK-47, RPG, etc. It can also have a spiritual meaning. Many of you are thinking, “Whaa-Whaat?”

Yeah, the bible talks about spiritual weapons. The study on it is incredible, but that is not really the focus for today. I wanted to talk about war. Actual, physical, destructive, devisive war.

My Blog is simple today. I am posing one question…

Should Christians participate in war?

Take that to mean what you will. Whether you think the question refers to fighting, hand-to-hand combat, military war, etc. All of these are correct when answering the question. So, please feel free to reply.

Much Love
Al

P.S.
Is it ironic that I end this with Love? No more questions from me.