Wednesday, July 21

Watering the "Plant"

Well ... a different kind of plant than we're used to ... the rain is taking care of those in our yard ... we're talking about Real Life Church, the church plant that we are so excited, thankful, and blessed to be a part of! This week we have had the opportunity to gather with those from the core leadership twice already, and have truly enjoyed the fellowship! Last night was our weekly "Launch Team", or core group meeting. The group has grown from less than ten people to over twenty, and it is unimaginable how perfectly God is bringing everything together ... He is perfect and God is moving in a real way!

At the launch team meeting, Pastor Pat from Westview Community Church, our current church who is partnering with plant came and gave us some encouraging information about Westview. They intend supporting us in a number of ways, and their "jumping on board" with us is such an answer to prayer! The meeting was encouraging ... we are enjoying the opportunity to meet and fellowship with people with such hearts for missions and church planting ... and a genuine and deep love for the Lord. We are becoming a family, and David and I are so thankful for what the Lord is doing in both our lives, and Real Life Church!

This evening we gathered at Jenna and Derrick's, two RLC launch team members for a surprise birthday party for RLC's pastor, Eric Norris. It was again another time of great fellowship, fun, lots of food ... and dessert! :)

Please be in prayer as we continue to gather, that God will give us wisdom and guidance as He directs us to the next steps in the process of planting His church. We want His will to be done ... and your prayers of great value in making that happen!

Thought for the day:

In my devotions this morning, I read Ephesians 3 ... and specifically studied verses 14-20 ... where Paul prays and asks God to help the church at Ephesus reach a deeper appreciation of Jesus' love;

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, and so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

These words really resonated with me, and I think a lot of it has to do with the journey that we are embarking on with Real Life Church. I know that God cherishes me ... I hope that you know that He cherishes you ... because He does. This verse, as many other verses in the Bible testify to His love for you and me ... but sometimes it's hard to truly feel in our hearts what we know in our minds. It's so beautiful ... special ... encouraging, when we begin to understand "how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ" ... by owning that, and believing it in our hearts and minds, living each day with that truth; that is when we are truly changed.

I pray that you, that I, that Real Life Church and others that we are all ministering to daily in whatever capacity are able to own that love ... to value it ... to share it ... to be it. By accepting the unconditional, genuine love of our Savior, we are able to become all that He has created us to be ... how amazing is that!?

And now ... more vacation pictures!

David was preparing for the ride of his life ... you've never been tubing until you do it with Tom Kinnan in the driver's seat ... extreme tubing!

He may dish it out, but he can definitely take it, too! Tom put Jeff and David to shame! :)

The cell phone...they found it ... and they know how to use it! Hayden and Ailee had so much fun together, and the rest of us were entertained for the week!

The Semple's 
What a great picture! We had a great time with Jeff, Heather, and Ailee!

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