During this last summer I experienced the overwhelming feeling that we were supposed to leave Real Life on the Palouse. Worshipping at Athol Baptist before we moved taught me that leaving a church was a serious decision and should not be taken lightly. When you consider that the church is the people, or rather the body of christ, the decision to leave the church is ultimately the decision to leave the people you have committed to worshipping with, fellowshipping with and growing with in the Lord. With that said, I believe that there is only two reasons to leave a church. 1. They are practicing things expressly forbidden in the Bible or 2. God moves you. Believing the former to be truth I was very confused about my feeling to leave Real Life, were we a had met life long friends who had suffered, cried, laughed and celebrated with us over what has turned out to be the most trying year of our lives. Being confused about what appeared to be an irrational feeling, I did what any natural born procrastinator would do and ignored it.
The middle of October, God explained that feeling to me and all the rest of what he was trying to communicate, in one clear, concise plan.
Scott & Denise Thompson along with their 3 wonderful children recently moved to Pullman, Wa. in an effort to follow the Lord's calling for their lives to plant a church atop one of Pullman's many hills. When I met them the middle of October, their love for the Lord and desire to do his will was intoxicating and possessed a gravitational pull that I didn't want to resist. At that time we had responsibilities in our care group and did not think seriously about the opportunity God was laying before us. A few weeks later we had dinner with our new friends and they invited us to be part of what the Lord would do through them in the Palouse. During our conversation with them, I don't think that Mandy or I had any intention of leaving the home we had made at Real Life to begin an adventure with some crazy people from Kennewick.
I told Mandy as we drove, "I can't wait to get into the Word tonight and see what God has for us!" Great time to point out that I believe the Word of God is a living thing in which we encounter the Holy Spirit. It does not always matter what you are reading but rather that you are reading, creating a direct line of communication between you and God.
That night I read a few chapters in Hebrews. Hebrews 6 outlines the difference between a new Christian that is sustained by milk and the mature Christian who can only be sustained by the meat that Christ has to offer. In that moment I felt convicted that for 27 years I have been raised in a family that professes Love for Christ, and I still pretended to not understand his voice. Last year I fell on my knees devastated before Christ and found comfort, understanding and purpose in His arms, but now found myself unable to move forward. Finally, when I knew that the Lord was calling me to support, grow and serve in ministry that is sprouting right around me, I had that audacity to continue to ask God for further conformation and what ended up just being...MILK. In that moment I apologized to God and chose to follow what I now know, without a doubt, was his calling. In that moment I pledged to receive meat from the Lord and become a vessel for His kingdom.
I pray in the days, months and years to come that I will learn to run when I hear His voice, even if that is to the desert just to meet a Eunuch in the middle of nowhere and lead him to Christ. I pray daily that I will no longer require milk but rather thrive on the meat that God is offering.
After tearful goodbyes and difficult conversations, we concluded our time at Real Life and more importantly our time with our Small Group. I would like to express my deep love and appreciation for John and Emmy Salisbury because without their love, encouragement and desire to see the Lord's will be done, this last year and especially this transition would not have been so seamless. We will attend our first Bible study at our new church this Thursday and Restoration's very first church service will be Sunday, December 11 @ 1030am.
As always, I am encouraged by the Lord and what he is always doing. I look forward to seeing what He has in store and I encourage anyone reading this in the Palouse to check out restorationchurchpullman.com or call Mandy or I with any question about services and how you can be involved!
God is at work and He is always there waiting for us to jump on board.....