I woke up Saturday morning in Greenwich, CT, taking part in a retreat with Origins Church where Charlotte and I have been attending since late April. I didn't sleep particularly well, but when I did achieve consciousness I was distinctly aware of God's presence with me. In that early morning quietness some things became very clear for me: I am in New York City for a purpose and that purpose is to take part in a missional community. It is a call that God put in my life about six years ago that eventually brought us to Manhattan. During most of that time as God has been at work in my life and I have been struggling to understand my place in His Kingdom, I have felt like Moses in the wilderness, wondering why I had "left Egypt."
About six months ago Charlotte and I began to attend Origins Church and found a community that was living in harmony with their stated mission: "Living in the way of Jesus...in the context of the city...with heart for the world." At the retreat our pastor Jon shared more in detail what living in the way of Jesus means: 1) Identity--living as dearly loved children of God, 2) Community--being called into a new family through the blood of Jesus, and 3) Mission--called to something bigger than ourselves. God made it so clear to me Saturday morning that He has called me to this and has been using this "wilderness" time to prepare me for this. He has brought many experiences and relationships into my life that now intersect at this point.
About six weeks I renewed a weekly time together with a dear brother in Christ. We talked about being a friend like Jonathan was to David in the Old Testament, who was not afraid to speak truth into David's life--something David lacked desperately after Jonathan's death. So a few weeks ago we agreed to live in that way--whatever the cost! That has been a tremendous blessing and challenge, but a key ingredient to living in the way of Jesus...in the context of this incredible and needy city!
So in the past six days God has given me insight into how He has been working, not so my life is safer or saner or financially more secure--but for the great adventure we are all called to. Last evening we had our first time together as a Life Group and I asked the group to describe their spiritual pilgrimage over the past six months, or six weeks, or six days. It was exciting to hear how God is working...taking in a coworker who doesn't believe in God and doesn't have a place to live because she just broke up with her boyfriend...proactively promoting a walk for Polycystic Kidney Disease because a roommate has PKD and that roommate who is burned out on the church because of previous exposure, is now very open to the expression of love that she has seen through our community...being a genetic counselor at a major medical center wondering how she could have an impact for Christ and realizing that God has place other believers in the same office that He wants to use to minister through their professional skills. God is helping Charlotte and me also recognize that we have an incredible opportunity to minister in our jobs. When we head off to work--it is ministry, pure and simple!
I mentioned the walk for PKD. Our group will be walking this Sunday morning at 10:00 in Battery City Park with others of the Origins Community. If you are interested in participating by walking or giving connect at www.pkdcure.org
I finished an interesting book called "A Matter of Justice" by David A. Nichols that recounts the role of Dwight Eisenhower in civil rights in the 50s. It gives a new perspective on Ike.
It is exciting to hear how God is working in His world through His children. Share with me as you have a chance.
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