Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From 43,000 to 35...

About two and a half years ago, Aaron and I were asked to go on a six-month journey with our current Pastor, Tom. Tom asked us (along with 33) others to help bring to life, his and Jackie's vision of building refuge of hope. This hope was to be called Thrive Church.

Aaron and I were forced to make a difficult decision; like Orpah and Ruth, we were called to choose between going back to our comfortable and familiar environment (our home church of 43,000) or step out in faith to a new and foreign land (a church of 35). Fortunately for us we listened to the Holy Spirit as did Ruth (Ruth 1:6-17). We accepted the path God led us to, and as Ruth, we said "...I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live..." (Ruth 1:16). Ruth acted selflessly and considered her mother-in-law, Naomi's, need as a widow and she was willing to give up her homeland for a new territory that awaited her. Unlike Orpah who chose to return to her familiar homeland.

This walk of faith has helped me see what a big God we serve. From a humble beginning of 35 people to now 580 in regular attendance at Thrive. I am humbled at how God used us to help further His kingdom. For if it weren't for Tom and Jackie laying their faith, trust, and hope in the Lord, we wouldn't have had the opportunity nor the resources to share the hope and healing of Jesus Christ with so many broken and hurting sinners in the Katy/Richmond area.

Our journey of faith has also taught us to rely on God to provide for our family in everyway. It has given us a hope that when we thought we were leaving the best behind, God was just adding to our cup so that it overflows with blessings. (Psalm 23:5) We want our commitment to God and His people to be woven together so closely that they are almost inseparable.

As for Naomi and Ruth, their relationship is a beautiful example of how God can turn difficult circumstances and decisions to one of blessings. (Ruth 4). As God has used us and Naomi, he can use you too bring others to Him if you are willing to step out in faith and leave the comfortable behind.

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