First off is the NEW look of the blog. Do you love it? I'm so happy that it reflects this new season in my life. Cody McGhee (aka son-in-law #3) designed it and helped update all the information. He worked with another marketing genius, Ashley Scanlan. I think they did a superb job. I can't wait to hear your thoughts. (Special thanks to Amanda Bock Hoggard for my original design. I loved it so much I hadn't changed it for 10 years. Well done!)
There are several NEW things I want to share with you today. They seem to have all come about while we are in the middle of a New way of living. And while I'm writing about many new things, they really are New things simply coming from many Old things.
Let me back up and explain.
|Sunday Coffee with GGC|
This picture represents the NEW way we're "doing church." Frank and I serve as lead pastors for the most amazing congregation in the history of forever, Garden Grove Church. They love us and one another as ardently as we love them. For us to be socially distanced from one another is genuinely painful.
Fortunately, our fantastic associate (John Schreck, aka son-in-law #1) and the media team he has developed were able to help us with the disconnection part. They stepped up to the challenge and were able to help us begin broadcasting our services online from the very first week. (If you zoom into this picture, you'll see Frank on the TV screen behind the cups.) We tape our entire service on Saturday mornings then air them at our normal time, 10 am, on Sundays.
|Sunday Worship Service in our Living Room|
This is very new for us. But fortunately the services and relationships and truth shared were all familiar elements. We've spent fifteen years learning together and developing our mutual love for God's Word and for one another. So the new approach didn't rock us, it simply breathed New life on what was already an Old, well-established fire.
Feel free to join us before or after your own Sunday services. Go to: gardengrovechurch.com and it will lead you to our Facebook page. Services can also be viewed after the fact.
Then there's this New thing:
|My Newly Created Professional Page|
It looks so official because well, it IS official. I have this other New thing to share on my new author page.
|I'm a Published Author!!|
I have dreamed of becoming a published author since first learning to read. That magical draw of words pulling us into stories both truth and fiction has had a hold on me for decades. The dream of offering my own words for readers to enjoy is rather old. But I find myself in a wonderful new season where the old dream is taking shape in new venues. And I'm thrilled!
(Special thanks to Becky Smith for once again editing my work so that the publishers made almost no changes. You're the BEST!)
So what does all this new springing from the old have to do with you? Had you wondered that? Well, let me turn the question back to you.
What in your life is New from the Old during this time of upheaval?
During our trip to Israel last year, our tour guide Eli taught us an amazing truth. "How is it that we can say this olive tree is over 2000 years old?" He asked the question as we stood in the Garden of Gethsemane looking at trees that would have sheltered Jesus as He prayed.
"The answer is found in the way an olive tree grows," Eli motioned us forward to better observe the tree. "Do you see how the new shoots are growing inside the bark of the tree?" He pointed to the tender shoots as he went on to explain. The older parts of an olive tree actually expand making room for young shoots to form. This way the youngest shoots are protected from external elements and have the best chance to flourish.
|An Olive Tree in Israel|
New from the Old.
The ancient olive trees never really die because they continue to provide room and nurture new growth. I cried standing in that public place listening to Eli explain the process. I cried because I knew two things were certain:
- I need to never bury a dream no matter how old. That dream is the incubator serving as a safe place for the new things in my life to spring forth.
- I must watch for those around me who need the nurturing protection of my life experiences in order to be encouraged toward their own dreams being realized.
That's a lot to ponder on a Monday afternoon. But for someone, it's a timely question. Spend some time thinking about your own experience during this pandemic. What is New that is springing to life from the Old for you?
I'd love to hear about your observations in the comment section below. And please take a moment to visit my new author page. If you would, please click the like button. Blessings!