3:13-21 "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
I had heard the other day that many from CR that we had ministered to, loved on, cared for deeply, were hurt and felt like we had abandoned you when we stopped doing CR and left TRC. Please know our hearts were never to hurt anyone at all. We love you all deeply, and still to this day love all of you and pray for you still.
While at this point we do not believe that we are to come back to TRC for a visit just yet, we want you all to know we love you, and never meant to hurt anyone at all. The cancellation of CR was not due to us — this was the Lord. He was the One who cancelled it. Why? Only He knows. Could it have been handled differently? Possibly. But what we want everyone to know is that we love you and miss you from CR terribly. It grieved my heart especially when the Lord told us He was moving us. I remember coming to a CR night and looking at all the beautiful faces the Lord brought to us, and couldn't hardly make it through the meeting. I left several times sobbing at the thought of not seeing you and loving on you in person.
For many months I have struggled with anger and hurts towards people in how it was handled, but here's the thing, this was how the Lord had it come down. The details at this point are unimportant. I have forgiven others, and forgiven myself and now I am looking forward to what He has in store for us next. I think that it had to happen the way it did so that it would move us into what His will is for our lives at this point — we probably wouldn't have left otherwise. It had to happen the way it did.
My mom gave me a great analogy that when its time for baby eagles to leave the nest she removes many of the fluffy feathers from the nest making it less comfortable and pokey. Its not harmful to the eaglets, just pokey enough that it causes them to fly out of the nest. The things that happened that hurt us weren't things that were harmful, just uncomfortable enough for us to start seeking God and finding out what He had for us next.
The thing is no matter what church you attend there are going to be problems with people — because that's just the way it is. How we handle it and respond to it is what causes us to grow and mature further in the Lord. Our hope and faith should be in the Lord, not people. If we seek the Lord with everything we have and do as He commands, which is to love Him with all our hearts, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourself, then we are able to forgive those things and continue to love our neighbors.
I know people don't understand fully, and sometimes when you have to step out in faith and do something the Lord wants you to do — you may not understand it fully either. That's all apart of growing in our faith and trusting what His will is for our lives. Remember this — we don't tell Him what His will for our lives should be, we ask Him what His will is for our lives. We submit our lives to Him — His will. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 16:24 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Basically in terms we can understand today — it would be an electric chair for us today. Pick up your electric chair and follow Him. The cross was a means of punishment. So what does picking up our cross and following Him mean?
It means we do what He asks, go where He wants us to go, go through the some of the things that He went through — we will have trials and tribulations, suffering but we are not to lose heart because Jesus Christ has overcome the world for us. John 16:33 Jesus said "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
I have so many scriptures running through my mind to post here, but the final one I will leave you with is this Hebrews 5:7-8 "While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the One who could deliver Him out of death. And God heard His prayers because of His reverence for God. So even though Jesus was God's Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered." God didn't deliver Him from going to the cross, because going to the cross was God's will for Jesus, and Jesus knew it.
Psalms 105:19; James 5:10-11; 1 Peter 4:19; 1 Peter 3:4; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Deut. 31:6
I will never forget the time we spent leading Celebrate Recovery, nor the people the Lord brought to us. I will love you all forever — that will never change. I wouldn't ever change a thing that happened during that time — many people came to know Christ, came back to the Lord, got much needed healings, and worked through many hurts, habits and hangups, began going to church, began serving in the church, and so that they could move forward into what God had for them next. Our time there was for a season, but now we ALL must look to the Lord (always) and seek what His will is next for ALL of our lives. I love you all — and pray that the Lord blesses you in all your new endeavors and what His will is for your lives next. We love you all, Michele