Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Update # 3

Here's another update from us Durham's as we journey with Him.

The first and second week of the church planting residency are in the books. We are so blessed to be here.
Fellowship Bible Church is going to be a great family to be part of and have already proven to be so. The leaders that I have the privilege of working with are godly examples and they have so much wisdom to share. The other residents that I’m working alongside of are so awesome and it is truly crazy how similar our hearts are. It’s an honor to work alongside of these men and women.

Here’s just a glimpse of what a typical week looks like for us: Just about every week we have three things due; a book report, a church planting case study, and a critical review of a sermon. On Sundays, we are expected to be part of the church services, as any staff or elder also would, and then Sunday nights we have the Greenhouse service. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we have meetings for about half of the day. The rest of the week is for us to pray, plan, research, meet with people and develop our ministry partner team. I'm also going to be attending several conferences with Crawford and the other residents (Resurgence, Catalyst, Thrive, Passion and Orange).

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity of preaching at the Greenhouse service. I was humbled by the opportunity and I felt like God moved in and through me with the message I was able to deliver. We are on our third book now, Dangerous Calling, which as many of you may already know is a book that transformed my life. The other residents and I get to process these readings with Crawford, and then pray through the things we are learning. We also have a breakfast once a week with Crawford just to do life. Our time with Shane, Tim, Mike, and the rest of the staff is so refreshing.

There is so much to be thankful about here. I think the most humbling thing about being here is that Holly and I are here. Wee know we've made a ton of mistakes. We know we are broken and messed up people in desperate need of God’s grace on a regular basis. We know that apart form Him we can do nothing.

We can listen to the lies of the evil one and focus on those past failures and let Satan, the world or our flesh define who we are to discourage our journey, or we can look to Jesus. We can look to His Word. We are choosing to trust in Him and walk by Faith in Him. In Him there is redemption. There is freedom.

First Timothy 1:12-17 has been such reassurance for us as we have been here. Here’s what it says:
1Timothy1:12   I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,  13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,  14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.  16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.  17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

This is what he has called us to do. We are so humbled by this call. There will be some who don’t support us, our obedience to God's call or the vision for ministry God has led us to.  This is HIS service. This is the calling HE has given to us. We are trying to be obedient to HIM. We must do what HE has called us to do, and we are confident…with a confidence that can only come from His Spirit and through the confirmation of mature believers…that this is what we are supposed to be doing with our lives.

Another thing that has blown us away is the opportunity I get to sit under Crawford Loritts. Crawford is an example of what it looks like to be godly leader. His wisdom in the things of God also blow me away. The things he says on a daily basis leave us all looking for something to write with so we can record that thought...probably to tweet out later.

I believe there are two compliments that you can give someone that are greater than any other compliment. First, to call someone godly is the highest compliment we can give anyone on this planet. The second is to say that someone inspires you to be like Jesus. Crawford deserves both of those compliments.

The things the Lord is stirring in us are exciting. We are running to His Word for our main inspiration. The things we are praying over, dreaming about and talking through are humbling and awe inspiring. I cannot wait for people to join us on the journey he is going to take us on wherever it is that he leads us.

We are looking for ministry partners to join with us on this journey as God leads us to begin a community in a diverse metropolitan area. If you are interested please email me at bedurham@gmail.com, and I would love to set something up to chat with you about the Lord’s call on our lives and the vision He has given us for ministry.

Thank you all for your love, prayer and support! We need all we can get!


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