Creating margin…..

Chaos!  How to deal with it?  I needed to process some life altering decisions but couldn’t……  I had to get my mind focused on the upcoming retreat that I had been asked to lead several months ago.  No time to think!

Lesson Number One:  It was a good thing that I didn’t process information before spending some quality time with God in prayer and in His Word.

To create margin, spend time with God.

I got up to the mountain retreat and was told there was absolutely no cell phone service or wifi or any connection with the outside world.  What?  Wow, that rocked my world.  I really should have considered this might be the case….but was too busy getting from one thing to another to think!  After I just resigned myself to it, and trusted God to take care of my family and any emergencies that could arise, I experienced something very interesting…… my mind started to relax.  It was a very weird sensation!

Lesson Number Two:  Disconnect from your normal life and from technology regularly.  It will feel weird…but it is good for you!

From all the rushing around, I didn’t think about what I might need for the camping experience (linens, towels, shampoo!)  Thankfully, my friend who drove us there thought of it all for me and had everything packed before we left to drive up the mountain. What a delight to be surrounded by friends who just naturally step up to help and encourage you!

Lesson Number Three:  Depend on your friends to help you in your weakness…..and be grateful for it!

What a great weekend for connecting with God and disconnecting from the regular pressures of every day.

Loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reflection One: Examine my schedule.

A couple of questions from Sunday really caught my attention:

Evaluate:  Is the road you are on now taking you to where you want to be?  Is this the road you were meant to be on?

I was excited to begin this evaluation when I took a trip to St. Louis and found out that our ministry office in Tijuana would be closed in 15 days.  Wow.  That threw a monkey wrench into my evaluation.  Or, maybe it made me view the question with laser like attention!  Now the possibility of some changes coming down the pipeline wasn’t a complete surprise but the reality of it was a major shake up!

That question from Sunday helped me get a handle on life this week:

1.  What a blessing to have this question to return to:  “Is this road taking me to where I want to be?

2.  What a blessing for “unexpected margin” to be able to examine life.

I have lots of important thinking to do.  I am so glad I am doing it in the context of this series, “Speeding Up By Slowing Down” and together with the great friends and community of Concordia.

Thank you for friendship.

I am privileged to pray for those exploring these questions for the first week this week in HOME groups.  I know it is an important first step in creating margin in our lives so that we can live on mission.  It is a worthy examination.  It will bless your lives. It will help you live on mission.

I know things will be very different for me at the end of this series than at the beginning of this series.

I am grateful for the renewing and creative work of God in my life.  Pray for me too as I pray for you.

If you haven’t yet connected with a HOME group, talk to me on Sunday……or email me.  melissa@concordiachurch.com

Join us this Sunday for the next step in this journey of discovery.  You won’t want to miss any of it!

Unplugged!

What a great object lesson on what is coming up……a direct mail piece hit homes in the neighborhood this week about our New Message Series Lauch: “Speeding Up to Slow Down.”  Our major blackout last night taught me how important it is to “unplug.”   And….that sometimes what havoc can be created if we are forceably “unplugged” before we find ways to unplug a bit ourselves from our frenetic, overscheduled lives.

I don’t know the particulars of the six weeks that we begin this Sunday…..but I can’t think of a better “into” than experiencing a taste of being unplugged!

For me……the sensation was strange.  Yes, that means I need to unplug more. My mom and neice came over and together with my two university aged kids, Andres and Elizabeth and my two Chinese “daughters” (exchange students Jing and Ting)…..we just sat and laughed and chatted and got the board games out.

Wow…..unexpected conversation.

Then, my mom and a friend went outside in the warm evening to just enjoy the moonlight and the stars…..(that is a new experience!) and as we were watering the lawn (no automatic sprinkler system…) we just chatted under the moonlight.

Wow…unexpected conversation!

I loved it. Just connecting with people in my life that I love and need to connect more with….that is evident and apparent to me that I need to create more space in my life to do that more!

Where will I take this glimpse of teaching?   I am not sure but I believe there is some important teaching coming up in the “Speeding Up to Slow Down” series that is meant just for me.   There is something probably very important for you to hear in these next six Sundays too, huh?

I hope to see you there.  Maybe we can talk about what God will be teaching us together and debrief.  I’m up for it….

At my house on Tuesday evenings at 7pm?  That is when my home group happens to talk about the truths we will be learning and what God wants to do with that learning in our own lives.  There are other groups meeting throughout the week. If you are interested, email me or talk to me this Sunday.  Join a group.  The encounter with God’s truth and with other people seeking God’s truth too will change your life.  Encountering God’s truth always does!

Come on Sunday for the lunch…..at 8:30am for Classic worship and 10:30am for the interactive Fam Jam service.

This Sunday…….

I am so excited for the new message series launch this Sunday.  “Speeding Up by Slowing Down.”  We all need some tools to help us make space in our lives to really live out our best lives!  In this crazy, overscheduled life……we can’t seize the unexpected beauty or opportunity of each day if we have every moment scheduled!  Make some time for the unexpected beauty.  Its a process…..and we will look at this over the next six weeks.  Come on out.  I know God will meet you where you are.

1695 Discovery Falls Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91915  at 10:30am  THIS Sunday!  I’ll be there.  Come on by.

 

Summer is ending!

I have sorely neglected my blog!  This summer has been a blur and now we have launched into fall.  The cooler weather seems to have me thinking about fall……and the fact that I am working on lining up hosts for the fall launch of HOME GROUPS!

We have been involved all month in Vision Group Gatherings where we have been able to share with people who are interested…..what Concordia is about….how we are doing in carrying out our vision and what do we need to focus on in the next 8 months to Easter.  We are in a growth period and our goal is to double by Easter!  The most significant thing about these times in homes and with the great people of Concordia (some only connected with us over the last few weeks), is that we get to challenge people to think about those areas of service that they are perfectly suited for…….suited for because that is how God made them and intends for that giftedness to count for growing the family of God too!  Did you read pastors blog post on something related to this?

Lots of activity this summer at home too!  Andres and Elizabeth are in the flurry of fall classes in what I think is their last year in college!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!  It is going to be an exciting year!  We also have two exchange students from China who will be studying at a private Christian high school near my house. They are 16 years old and everything here is so new and different.  What an adventure this will be throughout the year.

New challenges, new experiences force you to look at the familiar from a fresh perspective. Its a good thing!