5.06.2015

Mother's Day: A Day to Celebrate & Mourn

As we count the days down to Mother's Day, I know for some, it is a wild card.  Mother's Day is something that I have come to celebrate and even enjoy over the years.  But early in my adult life, it was a day of torture to endure.  Celebrate was not a word I would use for the day.

Though Mother's Day was intended to be a day of celebration, it can often be a reminder of past hurts and current trials.  As we celebrate with our families, please join me in praying for those who who will struggle this weekend because of an abusive or traumatic childhood. Maybe they have loss their mom or a child.  Especially for the families that are struggling through infertility, who often keep it a secret and suffer right under our noses. 

The Church is called to celebrate and honor all of life, to give thanks together and to mourn together.  Please don't misunderstand me, celebrate this Sunday! Rejoice with your family and truly enjoy the day.  Laugh and have a great time, it's totally cool to do that.

But if you know someone who will struggle this weekend because of Mother's Day, just consider taking a moment from celebrating to give them a call, to give them a hug and let them know you are thinking and praying for them. Take time to honor them. They won't expect you to fix it, but knowing you care will mean the world to them.

4.22.2015

Practicing Biblical Hospitality

Join us this Sunday at Casa Ishee as we practice our Missional Rhythm of EATing and hospitality.  As a tribe, we strive to share at least 3 of our meals each week with others inside and outside the church.  Once a month, we gather as a tribe to practice this act of hospitality together.  Hospitality is key in missional living and must be lived out in the church as well as outside the church.  This is a time to gather, take a deep breath together and share life.

We'd love to share Sunday with you.  Everything gets started around 10:30am with a time of reflection and prayer.  Our feast starts at 11:30am, so bring your favorite side dish and drink.  We hope the weather is nice enough to spark up the grill, see you Sunday.

For more information about gathering, contact us at info@lifechurchaustin.com.

11.11.2014

Operation Christmas Child

Join us this Sunday for our Operation Christmas Child shoebox party. 

For more information, contact us at info@lifechurchaustin.com.

10.26.2014

Tired? Worn out? Burned Out?

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-32
This passage could not sum up the last 6 years of my life any better.  It nails me to a T.  I was done with religion, or what I thought was "proper" religion.  I remember telling Amy that I was done. I quit vocational ministry and gave up on my "calling."  I was going to go make sandwiches or toss chicken wings for a living, but I wasn't going to be a pastor any more. 

God, of course, changed that.  Being a pastor wasn't the problem; I was the problem.  The way I knew how to do my job was the problem.  Maybe the system was the problem.  I thought not working was the solution.  Then Jesus hit me with it.
"Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it."
The real problem lay in my example.  I was watching how everyone else did ministry, how they did "religion."  I took my eyes off my true inspiration; I stopped looking to Jesus as my example.

I was doing what those around me were doing, as they were having breakdowns and relational fallout.

I was doing what the next great author suggested.

The last thing I was doing was the very first thing I should have been doing, walking and working with Jesus.  Watching Him do it, seeing how He went about life, not ministry, but life... all of life.

This journey started right before my 30th birthday.  I am 36 now and have 4 years until 40.  Most people dread 40, but I excitedly await it as I believe it will be my greatest decade yet.  I am a work-in-progress, enjoying how Jesus is molding and sifting me.

I like what I see.

I am losing weight, the lightest I've been in my 30s.  My mind and perspective are shifting, taking on a more holistic approach to life.

Are you tired?  Are you worn out?  Are you burned out?

Do these questions resonate?  Crashing and retreating is not the response.

Walking and working is and  we just need to change what walking and working look like.  That's my journey. Let me know if you want to join our tribe of former burn-outs.  Life is getting better!

10.22.2014

Neighborhood Cookout

Join us this Sunday at Casa Ishee as we practice our Missional Rhythm of EATing.  As a tribe, we strive to share 3 of our meals each with others inside and outside the church.  Once a month, we gather as a tribe to practice this act of hospitality together.  Hospitality is key in missional living and must be lived out in the church as well as outside the church.  This is a time to gather, take a deep breath together and share life.

We'd love to share Sunday with you.  Everything gets started around 11:00am, so bring your favorite side dish and drink.  We will grill up some chicken and hot dogs for the kiddos.  See you Sunday.

For more information about gathering, contact us at info@lifechurchaustin.com.

Look! A Sunrise. Where's My Phone?

Did you see the sunrise this morning!?  What a beautiful piece of art!  Our Creator is truly an artist.  I saw several people out this morning trying to snag photos of it with their cell phones in the air as if a UFO had just appeared in the sky.  I have to confess, I too was guilty of snapping a few pics. 

As I was taking the picture, I was instantly dissatisfied with the results.  No matter how many pictures I took, it just didn't do it justice.  I was incapable of capturing the reds, the blues, the shadows, the bright rays of sunlight bursting through.  It was un-photographable!


Terry's horrible cell phone picture! You had to be there.
In my frustration, I could hear God speak to me, at that very moment.  "This sunrise isn't here today for you to enjoy later.  Enjoy it now!"

This artistic masterpiece wasn't created for me to enjoy through a copy via horrible cell phone picture, but it was to be enjoyed in the moment.  This moment!  God created it for His people to marvel at it today, to be enjoyed now, not later.

Let's not put off enjoying what God desires for us to enjoy today.  Hug your kiddos, call up a friend you haven't seen in awhile; I pray that you are finding ways to enjoy God today, at this very moment.

10.19.2014

12 Simple Ways To Be On Mission This Halloween



Here are a few ideas for how you can more effectively walk through the open door that Halloween presents to us as Jesus’ missionaries.

BE HOSPITABLE:  Don’t just give out candy.
1. Give out the best Candy
Please, don’t give out gospel tracks or toothbrushes or pennies…kids are looking for the master loot of candy. Put yourself in their shoes.

2. Think of the Parents
Consider having some Hot Apple Cider and pumpkin bread or muffins out for the parents who are bringing their little kiddos around the block. Make your entry-way inviting so they want to come closer and hang for a bit if possible.

3. Be Present
Don’t hide out all night. Come out to the door or hang out on the porch and if they stop to have some cider, get to know their names and where they live in the neighborhood.

4. Be Encouraging
Tell the kids you love their costumes and to have a great night. Practice building others up with words.

5. Party
If you’re really into it, you may want to throw a pre-Trick or Treating party. Provide dinner and drinks. Then, send the dads out trick or treating with the kids while the moms continue hanging with some hot apple cider, coffee or tea. Then reconvene with the parents and kids together to examine all of the loot (kids love to show their parents and other kids the loot).

6. Learn the Stories
If you are out Trick or Treating with the kiddos or staying back with the other parents, ask questions…get to know their stories. Pay attention to their hearts and their felt needs. Look for opportunities to serve them later.

GO TO THEIR PLACE:  Join what is happening elsewhere.
7. Attend the Party
If others are throwing parties, you may want to join them. If so, bring drinks, food or whatever is needed. Then, serve by helping to clean up.

8. Join the Community
If your community has key events, join them and invite some neighbors to go with you (then get to know their stories along the way). Our area has a trick or treating event on a main street where all the businesses give out candy, the firemen give tours of the fire engines, etc. We go with a group of friends to this each year and consistently meet more people to reach out to.

9. Head to the “Watering Holes”
If you do not have kids or are not going to engage in the Trick or Treating activities or events, consider going to the local pubs, restaurants or clubs near you for their events and get to know the people there. Make it your goal to learn the story of at least one person who needs Jesus and walk away with some next steps on how to serve them. You will want to do this with others so that you don’t go it alone.

BE PRAYERFUL:  Ask for the Spirit to lead, guide and work.
10. Pay Attention
Ask the Spirit to open your eyes and ears to the real needs around you.

11. Stay Dependent
Ask the Spirit to help you listen, care and serve those around you.

12. Open Doors
Ask the Spirit for open doors for new relationships and gospel conversations.

*Edited Post by Jeff Vanderstelt on Verge Network