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!
Wow! So excited for you and the new things that are happening! It's wonderful to see good things springing out of this time when there has been so much loss. Thankful God can bring beauty from ashes.ReplyDelete
This has been probably the most challenging time of our lives as we step away from our pastorate of 12 years, Randy begins the process of becoming a chaplain, we sell our house,buy a house in our new community and look for jobs. All in the middle of a pandemic. Believing that God will bring new life and purpose in this season.
We have enjoyed your services on line very much--great job to all of you! And I will certainly go check out your new page!
Love and blessing to you!
Thank you, Deb. We've been praying for you and Randy during this transition. Believing with you that God will open the doors HE has designed and answer prayers you had only dared to whisper. Love you, Friend!Delete
Oh my goodness, i love your new site. So excited for you with the new things happening. We have been enjoying many different churches online during this pandemic. We follow our own church, former pastor, and our nephew, who has his own church. We will have to see if we can find yours too. I am going to spend some time thinking about a few dreams I've given up over the years, especially since I became ill. I loved singing with our worship team, but since going on oxygen that has come to an end. That hurts. Have a great week.ReplyDelete
Hi Cathie, Thank you! Glad to hear you're able to connect with so many church friends online. This has also been a great time of reflection for us, too. I'm sure the Lord is still honored by the worship coming straight from your heart.Delete
Rejoicing with you in old dreams and new seasons. I can't wait to see where this new season takes you.
It was an honor to get to edit your piece and be a small part of getting your message out. Proud of you!
Thankful for you, Becky Smith!Delete