a rebel with a cause

Five  random facts about Lorretta that you may not care to know:

1) Lilac is my favorite flower. I’ll take a fist-full of lilacs over a dozen roses any day.

2) My middle name is Lynn…making me, yes…. “Lorretta Lynn”. My mother hoped I’d be the next Country & Western star. She tried naming my baby sister “Tammy Wynette” but …thankfully, no.

3) I skipped kindergarten, becoming the only 5-year old in first grade and sealing my fate for social awkwardness for the remainder of my school career and… possibly for  life!

4) I come ridiculously undone in the presence of Jelly-Belly jellybeans.
It’s not pretty people; all social courtesies go out the door. #donottouchmyjellybellies

 

Finally…

5) I have a warrior spirit.  I am a fighter….and a bit of a rebel...with a cause.

a rebel with a cause

 

I almost joined the Air Force right out of high school and seriously considered the Peace Corps as well. Neither happened and I don’t quite remember why but in my heart, I knew it wasn’t a good fit.

I was right.

 

By God’s grace, I married instead and for many reasons, I  see how that decision has been used to hone my rough edges and temper this Warrior Spirit within me.

 

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My husband has a warrior spirit too. I oughta know; he’s fought for me.

This is the guy who wanted to be a war photographer.  Back in his photojournalism days, he loved being in the middle of that breaking news story or on the edges of that raging wildfire. He did join the Air Force and for a time, that experience took us on many little adventures.

This is a drawing from the journal we kept when the Air Guard moved us to Reno:

 

Reno or BUST 2

 

As you can see, it was quite the adventure, and the adventures just keep coming!

 

Nearly twenty-five years of marriage and the raising of three children have served to purge a great deal of selfishness and immaturity from us, leaving behind a friendship forged and tempered in the merciful fires of God’s testing.

It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t always been great, but it’s good and getting good-er all the time.

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So why am I telling you all this?

 

Well, fourteen years ago….yes, FOURTEEN years ago…God began to speak into our lives and gave us a vision. It was then that our walk with Him got real. We started seeking hard and praying together and in the midst of a very large move-of-God project, we heard the call to missions.

 

Unmistakably.

 

We got all excited. Hubby quit his job. We started our own video production company with a media missions emphasis and knew deep in our hearts we’d be on the field telling God stories in no time .

 

And we weren’t going to do weddings because only lame film companies do weddings. We were media missionaries and we were gonna do important God-work.

 

Which meant…. weddings. Lots of weddings.
And humbling. Lots of humbling.
And pain. Loss. Uncertainty. Fear.
Bad choices and  bounced checks.

 

Feeling….thinking, ” Were we wrong? Did we misunderstand God?” No, we didn’t misunderstand God but obviously… we needed some schoolin’… and some time.

 

Fourteen years.

 

Fourteen years to learn what God’s call to missions is  not. To learn how to serve Christ alone, leaning on God alone.

 

To serve with a Spirit of humility, working hard at whatever God brought our way. Weddings, volunteer projects and short-term missions with (and outside of) our church, cultivating in us a sensitive heart for God’s people everywhere.

 

We’ve had to learn to do it joyfully, often thanklessly and with complete humility and integrity. We’ve had to learn how to fail, repent and rise and walk again.

 

Most of all, we’ve had to learn to trust in the Spirit’s leading and God’s timing–to hear his voice, and to take our eyes off our selves and OFF THE CALL (yes, off the call) and keep them fixed on Jesus and letting the ministry of the Gospel apply to our own lives first.

 

 Sounds easy, right?

 

Fourteen years.
Apparently we rank up there with Moses and Joseph at the top of the class in the School of Hard Knocks and Great Love.

 

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the spiritual life
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So we come to today with humble hearts. Because God is sorta “graduating” us. There’s more to this story (always!) than I can relate to you here and now but I’m grateful to announce that we

 

are going to Africa.

 

We are not moving to Africa, no. But there’s a wonderful project I need to tell you all about, done through an agency I’ll tell you more about, working with partners and fellowships already in place and seeking to meet the needs of people all around the world.

 

It’s BIG.
It’s BEAUTIFUL
It’s so very GOD.

 

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So with our 15-year old son we’re headed to Kenya and Swaziland! We’ll be gone most of July visiting and encouraging partners in the field as we seek to tell the stories of the lives being touched through Baptist Global Response and their hospice bucket project.

 

Hospice buckets….for the dying...from old age and terminal diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

 

HIV/AIDS is taking lives by the thousands every day in these countries. Swaziland alone is on track for EXTINCTION (no lie) if  something doesn’t change.

 

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So we’re going to tell the stories of what’s being done to help and of the Great Healer and Hope behind it all.  We’re going to help connect people in need with people who care.

 

Can I be honest?  I’m rightly terrified.  For all the reasons I could be and should be, I go in fear. But my awe and trust in God is far greater. All I have to do is look back at what He’s done and see how He’s patiently prepared us for this moment.  Fourteen years.

 

And if God thinks we’re ready, who am I to argue?!
But we need you. We need other warriors.

 

Prayer warriors who will join us in praying for wisdom and discernment, for provision and protection as God sees fit.

 

We need prayers for our strength as we travel to places we’ve never been, and for our hearts as we seek to hear God’s story through the lives being touched by this project and changed by Him.
Then prayers to do His work and tell the story well.
Yes, we need your prayers. We have set up a prayer page and if you’d like to join us, we’ll be happy to send out an invitation.

 

Will you come too?

 

open road of prayer
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I hope so.

 

In the meantime….nothing’s changed. Not really. I’ll just be hammering away and telling the stories of our very real God, very real and present in my very real life today. And I’ll be telling you more about this adventure along the way.

 

And weddings….if you know someone getting married, we’ll gladly come!  After all, it’s where Jesus began His work as well.   Let’s celebrate!

 

In Christ alone,Lorretta signature

were you there?

Flame of God 2

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings,
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
2Corinthians 1:3-5

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God could have chosen to restore us to Himself in any way He wanted.
He could have chosen not to.
But He did.

Yesterday marks the day It was “FINISHED.” So why today? Why do we have this whole dark and lonely day of waiting before we get tomorrow?

I believe it’s because we need the time to grieve, reflect, mourn and then greatly desire, understand and appreciate the beauty and gift of tomorrow.

I often think of the disciples..all of Jerusalem who woke to the darkness of today feeling no hope. They’d heard it was finished but they believed it was over.

Their grief was deep and real…..God allowed this full day between yesterday and tomorrow  so they…so we…. could remember and feel the pain, shame, regret… EVERYTHING.

“Sometimes it causes me to tremble…..tremble…tremble.”

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Today’s darkness was necessary so they could experience the deep joy of realized hope purchased for us at that cross and in the resurrection.

That joy was so real that it’s changed the course of history for all time–we can be assured of this because here we are, 2000+ years later and the truth goes on. Lives were changed in the midst of today’s darkness so that when the reality of tomorrow rose with the dawn ...no one could ever be the same again.

Knowing this, how can any of us ever be the same again?

God’s invitation is that we don’t rush past today simply to get to tomorrow. To think about what this day means and hold the truth of it all…feel the weight of the dark sorrow and bright hope mixed together.

This is THE story.
Is it your story?

Praise God, it’s mine:

I was lost. I was STUCK in the darkness without hope. Overwhelmed by my sin and separated from God. At the cross,  Jesus purchased my pardon from God’s wrath and hell and my life is risen with His at the resurrection we can celebrate tomorrow.

I am saved…I am ransomed, I am free! My life is truly and forever changed….and changing more day by day.

 Just as the grieving disciples, stuck for a moment in the darkness of Saturday long ago  would soon discover,  I live from the brilliant joy and truth of tomorrow:

 The Lord is risen, Hallelujah!
THIS is good news!

Happy Resurrection weekend!

Lorretta signature

 

Linking with Sandy and Diedra

the view from my broken marriage

It’s Holy Week.

A week of remembering the moments surrounding the single-most important person and event in all of human history:   Jesus.  

Life. Death. Burial. Resurrection.

A week to remember the everything before and after and to rejoice that we can now live from the center of

“It is finished!”

the view from my broken marriage

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Yesterday, my youngest and I occupied a pew in the little Episcopal church here in town for the first of five services our community will host this week. Today we’ll be at the Methodist church. It’s one of the many things I’ve come to love about this small country town. One week out of the year we gather in one another’s churches before God, united in the Spirit to worship our Lord and Savior; Jesus. How beautiful is the body of Christ.

 In the brief moments before the service began, I recalled this time from years before and was filled with so much peace and joy for the life in Christ I have today. Because I was remembering how just 4 short years ago, I sat in a pew alone, sin sick and heart damaged by so much pain and confusion.

 Everything I thought I knew about all I thought I could depend on was falling apart and crumbling beneath my feet. I was lost amidst my own shattered illusions of what it means to be a minister of the Gospel, a woman, a wife, mother, sister and friend.

I’d come face to face with my own empty definitions, which somehow had become detached or maybe had never been truly attached to their meaning in Christ. I was a lost sheep in crisis and didn’t know if I’d ever find my way back home.

I didn’t know where home could be found and mine……… was falling apart.

Let me tell you more…