Thursday, October 16, 2008


8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. Psalm 71:8 NIV

Tonight, my husband upbraided me for being a slacker about Blogging this past week, and I totally deserved it. "But I have nothing to say!", I protested. This has been an exceptionally rough week, and frankly, it's not that I didn't have anything to say, it's that I haven't had anything good to say!

I don't know about you, but I'm a ducks-in-a-row kind of girl. I like all 64 crayons in my box, thank you very much, and while you're at it, let's just tie up all those loose ends, shall we? It's just the way I'm wired. I like light bulbs that work, full tanks of gas, and especially bills that are paid. So my whole ducks-in-a-row thing doesn't really jive with the whole planting-a-church thing. The very term "church planting" implies that a seed will need to be planted, and it will need tending, nurturing and time before it becomes a full grown church.

Why does it continually surprise me, then, that patience is required for this process? Today, I read the Blog post of Hal Mayer, one of my husband's church planting coaches, and he wrote about trailblazers, pioneers, and settlers in terms of church planting. I decided I am a settler (the ones who like to move in, settle down, and line up their ducks), doing the job of a pioneer (the ones who are willing to risk leaving civilization in pursuit of something new). Over the years, I have often told Gene that I would have made a lousy pioneer. You know, no running water, no electricity, no Holiday Inns.....So, I find it ironic, and totally irritating to discover that I actually am a pioneer! Uggh!

This is not easy stuff, girls. I like to know I have everything I need before I need it! I don't want to pray and fast and ask the Lord for office supplies, ok? I just want to open the cabinet, and see paper clips and rubber bands. I don't want to have to continually stay before Him, making my requests for Starbucks and Krispy Kremes for the lobby known to Him. I just want some coffee and donuts, alright? I know, I know, if I could make it happen on my own, if I never faced any resistance, my faith wouldn't have an opportunity to grow, right? On a day like today, that would've been just fine with me.....

As I write this, I am reminded that God has supernaturally provided everything we have needed so far. Every gifted staff member, our sound and lights and projection, our buildings, favor with absolutely everyone, and most of all....the people. We've only been doing this since February of this year, and God has changed the eternal destination of over 80 people. Selah.....So maybe I could trust Him to take care of a few bills, and a few donuts, and maybe I could ask Him on my knees to forgive my unbelief and let me do this for another day.

Prayer for today: Merciful Lord, please forgive my lack of trust in times of testing. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Forever good, forever faithful. Thank you that Your hand has provided all I could possibly need, and I am grateful. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for being that pioneer. Honestly, I dont know where Matt and I would call home if it wasnt for crossroads. Be encouraged, you ARE making a difference, not just in people's lives, but in the community as well. I am right there with you on "ducks in a row". I mean, I would like to have the next 5yrs planned out so I know exactly what I am going to be doing and when. Unfortunatly we have seen that God doesnt usually work that way, huh. Something about patience being a virture....Anywho, I know we're still watering but you're right...eventually that seed grows into a full grown church, and what an awesome day that will be! We love you both, and now that we are on our knees praying as well.

Leslie Oden said...

Thanks, Hollie! You and Matt are such faithful pioneer souls! Honestly, I'm content to be a church on the move forever, as long as we never lose sight of why we do this-to connect people to God. And as long as He takes care of the donuts and paper clips.....

Anonymous said...

Just re-reading my blog and finding out that I totally cannot spell.
HELP...I need a speak and spell!