Saturday, May 12, 2007

Returning and Being Sent...

Everyone who knows me understands that I gravitate towards the dramatic. I have always loved being swept up into a story, especially when I sense that God is clearly at work in the story. I am clearly in one of those times right now.

10 years ago, I accepted a job offer to work at Microsoft for a summer. The summer of 1997 was full of adventure and challenges. I seemingly went to work for a software company but I was actually sent to start an intern Bible study and let God work miracles through me. I witnessed God show up in ways that still make my jaw drop when I consider them. That small group and all of the surrounding prayers and relationships showed me how powerful a prayerful group can impact the world for Jesus Christ. After that summer, I could have taken a job at Microsoft the following year but I opted to return to the east coast to work for an IT company in Virginia.

One of my favorite prayer locations that summer was Gasworks park on Lake Union. I often found myself standing by the water looking over the city of Seattle and praying for the city, that God would show up and change lives through his amazing grace. The picture above was taken recently at that exact prayer spot.

10 years later, I now have accepted a call to serve at Maple Valley Presbyterian Church to serve as an associate pastor for small groups. I talked with the chairperson of the search committee last night and we both expressed our wholehearted enthusiasm for where the Lord has brought us. I had no idea that my initial training as a small group leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at UVA followed by an incredible time with small groups at Frontline Ministries (McLean Bible Church) followed by a young adult community startup (WatersEdge @ Leesburg Community Church) and then Princeton Seminary would lead to this...

I am returning to Seattle! On the one hand, I can't believe it. On the other hand, it seems to fit exactly what God has been doing in my life all along. I am returning and being sent to Seattle at the same time.

Last weekend, Laurie and I visited the church for the weekend and we sensed a clear calling to serve with the congregation of Maple Valley Presbyterian Church. There are still steps to be completed in order for me to be officially installed as an associate pastor there but I am well on my way.

Wow! That is word that comes to mind. Followed by "Praise the Lord for his unending grace and guidance in my life. You, O Lord, have taken that which is broken and made it into your vessel for noble purposes. Use me as your instrument to serve others and bring everyone I encounter into contact with your amazing grace, your Son Jesus Christ, who knows what truly is best for us and then provides that grace to make it happen."

I will finish this entry with the Psalm that I read before the phone interview with Maple Valley a few weeks ago... I picked up my Bible and prayed through the following before they called.

Psalm 37:3-7
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pature. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.