Ablaze Church Updates July 20, 2009

zions fire block party june 2009I know it has been a while since I’ve posted any updates on our mission start being sponsored by the Lutheran Church of Our Savior. It is not that we haven’t been doing anything, it’s that we’ve been doing so much that I have not been able to post.

I love the looks I get when I tell people that the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is trying to plant 2,000 new churches. They always seem astonished at first and then genuinly interested. Yes, LUTHERANS planting churches, is that cool or what?

Our team has really jelled into a bit of a working rhythm. We have a couple who have dedicated themselves to our youth, taking them places, teaching Bible Study and just being there for them. They have become wonderful hands and feet to these kids. They are truly Christ with skin on. Because of the generosity of our home congregation, I am happy to report that we are able to send 10 kids to Camp Lutherhoma this summer. None of these children have ever been to church camp before, and this has been an exciting adventure. Erick and Jen also picked these kids up and drove them to Vacation Bible School this summer at Our Savior.

Our Web Page is finally up and operational thanks to our drummer and technical guru. You can check it out to see what all we are up to.

We have wonderful events coming up in August. Tony Mac, convicted drug dealer and murderer turned Christian and Evangelist will be visiting and sharing his testimony with us on August 1. You don’t want to miss that.

On August 5, our families are invited out to Cactus Bar Ranch for a time of fellowship and horsemanship.

August 15 we are having our second annual Stokin up the Community festival with live music, inflatables, facepainting and even some comedy via yours truly and my friend Michele Van Dusen. It is going to be an awesome afternoon of fun, fellowship and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our numbers are growing strong and we can always use prayer – for the families that come and for those God is still calling. We have outgrown our present facility and are in great need of a permanent home. I know that God has a place in mind for us, so please pray that it becomes available soon and we are able to move in.

Thank you for checking in on us. Until next week.

Pax

Mission Monday – A New Thing for Redemption’s Heart

Having a blog or a web page that brings value to readers, isn’t as easy as one would think.  Blogging is about community. With the advent of the Internet, our world is expanding and so are our communities. Thanks to some wonderful new friends who are sharing with me their ups and downs, and their media successes and mistakes,I hope I’m moving in the right direction.

You dear readers are the reason I am here. This whole blog originated with the purpose of keeping our out of state friends up to date on the happenings of Ablaze Church (LCMS) as well as life in general. My readership has grown and I need to be a better steward of your time.  Over the next few months I will be implimenting changes that will make things easier for all of you to find what you are looking for. The first major change I have made is in my editorial calender.

  1. Mission Mondays – Every Monday I will be posting updates on Ablaze Church as well as Our Savior news.
  2. Traveling Tuesdays – Today’s family is on the go. At least ours is. I will be exploring different and fun places to be in and around the Tulsa/Broken Arrow Communities.
  3. Wordless Wednesdays – Photos and art that strike me.
  4. Thoughtful Thursdays – Here you will find Book and Bible Study reviews, guest bloggers, and pieces of my own personal story.
  5. Fun and Fit Fridays – I’ve added something new to my life – as a caretaker I have learned – mostly the hard way – that taking care of others without taking care of myself, leaves me tired, negative, and overwhelmed. The fact that I am also in full blown menopause also helped push my need to change up how I do things.  Fridays will be the day I post new ways to have fun and eat well while taking care of ourselves.

I hope you like the changes.

Stay tuned to today’s post on Ablaze later this afternoon.

Blessings

Deana

An Eye For beauty

Some things are just so stunningly beautiful that my soul cries out in joy. I find myself moved in such away that to leave the moment unnoticed or unspoken feels like deceit and I have to say something before it’s lost. I am open to beauty right now, because I’m intentionally looking for it whether it is in poetry, art, nature, or people.  

I read dozens of blogs a week. I don’t read all of them every day, but I do visit when I can. Some speak to my heart words of comfort, truth and beauty, some speak wisdom, others speak cruelty and I don’t listen to them anymore. My heart is far more vulnerable than I give it credit so I’m learning to protect it.

 My heart hungers for beauty, truth, and love. I’ve been so caught up in the trappings of everyday, that I’d forgotten to feed it. My heart is playful, joyful, giving, and strong. There are also broken places that are mending and I need to remember the gentle hand of God while he tends to those inner beats.

Our Sunday Morning Women’s Class is studying the book Captivating. I am the facilitator and I’ve struggled with it. Not because it’s a bad study – quite the contrary. I’m struggling with it, because it is so humbling and requires me to stretch and remember.

For two months, we’ve studied beauty and I’ve purposefully sought her face in my surroundings, in my travels, in my backyard, and in the mirror. Beauty is not as elusive and one would think. God has a beauty to unveil in his universe, in our lives, and in us. I’d lost sight of that, and need to retrain my eyes.

I’ve been spending my time lately reading poetry, drinking new wine (literally and figuratively), and being still until I couldn’t sit still anymore – my spirit has been rewarded with a new sense of peace and I love it.

“A woman at rest communicates that all is well in the world.” – Staci Eldridge

 

It is a glorious day

watching the sun rise

knowing that dawn awakens my spirit

whispering sweet nothings to my soul.

Eyes closed

I listen to the soft sounds of morning,

blissfully in the moment.

My soul sings

with joy and peace.

God speaks in the dawn that rises

and the birds that sing

returning my voice

and filling my heart

with beauty to share

and a reminder that all is well.

- Deana O’Hara

 

A Time for Every Season

Do you remember the Byrds? “For everything, turn, turn, turn..” I love that classic song. It’s taken straight from the book Ecclesiastes and it reminds me that there is a time for every season.

I’m looking around and listening to my friends and my own life, and I see a common theme.

Weddings

Graduations

Funerals

College

Camp

Kindergarten.

Almost everyone I know is in a season of letting go and moving forward at the same time. In Bible study, we’re even talking about where we are at, season wise, and what things we are letting go of and moving towards. What things we are excited about, and what things scare us. Camp came up alot.

Scripture says that God nevers changes, but life does – Solomon tells us so.

Over the past few weeks we’ve even talked about letting go of old ideas so that we can make room for God’s ideas. I got serious in a blog post yesterday and people have been asking if I’m alright. And yes, I’m better than alright. I found it in my old prayer journals and am thankful for seeing the changes. Sometimes women (and men) can confuse our cross with someone elses in trying to be that helpmate, or that good parent, or that good employee – and we wear ourselves out, and we harm the other individual. There is a letting go in that as well.

Right now, a lot of us are learning how to let go of our kids. We are learning to let God be God and relax in who we know Him to be.

What are you letting go of today? Would you like to share it?

letgo

Letting Go (Let Go and Let God)

Once upon a time, or as most tales go, a young gal with a heart full of love and compassion heard a story that made her very sad. Being two pennies short of common sense, she came to believe that she could fix this problem and therefore set herself up as a shield of protection.

Forgetting the words of John the Baptist,

“I am not the Christ.”

she stretched out her arms

and stood in the gap

between those who threatened harm

and the one she was protecting.

If she just tried hard enough,

she believed or fought hard enough,

protected long enough,

everything would be okay.

Only everything wasn’t okay. The harder she stood her ground, the harder they fought and the more he seemed to need her. The more she did to protect him, the less he seemed willing to do for himself and the less honest he became.

Once she realized that no man

carries a burden that someone else

is willing to bear or faces a truth

that no one is willing to tell him

and that he’d grown weaker

and not stronger like she’d hoped,

she laid down his cross

and took up her own.

She meant well and it almost cost her life. In time she remembered the words of the one in the desert. The one who’s role was to make straight the crooked path, and point believers to the one who would come after him. She remembered that “standing in the gap” means standing in prayer and support, not in self-sacrifice.

She found a note one day, written just for her and other two-penny-short friends who mean well. Together, she and her new friends, trudged the road of happy destiny. They laughed, leaned on each other, and stayed under the protective wings of the God they no longer needed to pretend to be.

Letting Go

  • To “Let Go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
  • To “Let Go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another. To “Let Go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
  • To “Let Go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
  • To “Let Go” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.
  • To “Let Go” is not to care for, but to care about.
  • To “Let Go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
  •  To “Let Go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
  •  To “Let Go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
  •  To “Let Go” is not to be protective, it is to permit another to face reality.
  • To “Let Go” is not to deny, but to accept.
  • To “Let Go” is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
  • To “Let Go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.
  •  To “Let Go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
  • To “Let Go” is to fear less and love more. – Unknown.

Letting Go – is my knowing that I cannot play God and believe in God at the same time.

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S-Anon S-Anon is a program of recovery for those who have been affected by someone else’s sexual behavior.

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This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. July 22 2009 and may not be copied in any way shape or form.