Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Season of New Beginnings

Originally Written April 2010

When we moved to Downtown Orlando nine months ago we could never have anticipated the changes that lay ahead. Settling into life in a new home, in a new city has been challenging and filled with many struggles and triumphs. We are excited to share with you all God has been doing in our lives.

In October, Jason was offered a part-time job at a local cigar store. After only six months on the job Jason has been promoted to manager! This job not only allows for a steady income but also gives Jason the opportunity to work daily in the mission field that is Downtown Orlando. He has many opportunities to witness for the Gospel and has already seen some fruits from his labor.

Joy on the other hand searched for a job for many months without receiving so much as a call back. She decided to steward her time by serving wherever she could until God provided. Her patience was recently rewarded as she was hired to work with Converge Worldwide as the Assistant to the Director of Church Planting! This is an awesome opportunity for her to work firsthand aiding the work of church planting, an area she is obviously passionate about.

The past nine months have taught us many lessons and given us the opportunity to wait on God’s timing. Through prayer, seeking Godly council, and learning more about ourselves, we feel that we are to remain at Celebration Community Church for this season. While a passion for church planting and a burden for the people of Downtown Orlando are still on our hearts, we are keenly aware that we are not designed to be solo church planters. We hope that in the months and years to come we can join a church planting team and one day see the vision God has given us for Downtown Orlando fulfilled. We continue to be involved in our small group as well as the prayer ministry at church. Jason is able to serve the church leadership in various capacities and Joy is faithful to be a willing servant as well.

We are so thankful for your prayers and financial support up to this time. While it is our hope and prayer that you would continue to take this journey with us, we recognize that our time frame has changed from what we originally planned. We understand if this change affects your monthly support of our ministry. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have and may the God of all peace continue to bless you richly!
Jason & Joy

How You Can Pray for Us:
Pray that God would continue to reveal His plan for our future ministry

Pray that Jason would be faithful to live missionally while he works

Pray that we would serve diligently at CCC

Pray for Joy to transition smoothly into her new job as she balances working full-time and being a wife

Pray that we would have a growing Godly marriage as we seek to build a family

A Year of Transition

Originally Written December 2009

Following the emotional roller coaster of 2008, this year was one of many joys and challenges. We  united our hearts and lives in marriage on January 17th on Bradenton Beach. Two weeks later we traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to an Acts 29 Church Planting Boot Camp. Then, in March we reflected as the anniversary of Darryl’s first Heavenly Birthday arrived...

After six months of marriage, we moved to downtown Orlando with the hope of planting a church in the future. With this move came much celebration and trials. Joy resigned from her beloved job at Chain of Lakes Elementary in Winter Haven due to the move and has still not found full-time work. However, God has been faithful to provide for us by sending people to partner with us financially for our ministry downtown as well as providing Jason with two part-time jobs.

Another answer to prayer has been the great relationships we have formed with our small group at Celebration Community Church. We began attending CCC in November 2008 and started meeting with our small group in March 2009. This group of ten other men and women (and their children) have strengthened us spiritually, prayed for us regularly, and helped to lift our arms ( Exodus 17:11-12 ) in the most trying of times. We are grateful to God for planting us in such a mature and loving body of believers during this season of seeking His direction for future ministry. We hope to be able to serve the people of CCC with everything within us until God calls us on. 

In 2010 we ask that you would pray for us as we continue to seek God’s will and timing for our ministry.  For you, we pray that God would be your strength in times of trouble  (2 Cor. 12:9-10) and continually draw you closer  to Himself. Merry Christmas!

Impact Church Orlando

God has given us a desire to see Downtown Orlando impacted for the glory of God. As we walk its streets we see among the homeless, the partiers, and elite of society, a common thread; they are all worshipping. Many worship sex, money, and alcohol. But all of them have misplaced their affections for the one true God and raised idols in His place. Our goal is to lift  up the truth of Christ so that all men might be drawn to Him (John 12:32  ). If you would like to partner with us by joining our prayer team or supporting us financially please contact us.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When's The Last Time You Preached On A Street Corner?

Originally Written November 22, 2009

In the spring of this year we began going to downtown Orlando (before we moved there) regularly on Friday nights. We wanted to begin getting a feel for the city as well as gauging the culture. We also began joining with a group of open air preachers who witnessed downtown. We met the men of Bring the Noiz through the church we are attending together in Celebration. On a typical Friday night they would preach the gospel on a portable sound system for hours on a street corner in downtown Orlando. Now, I’m sure some of you reading this are rolling your eyes, and I’m asking you to just stick with me a minute more. Regardless of what you think of “confrontational evangelism” or even the theology behind it, you cannot help but be impressed and humbled by the guys. Day in and day out they live out The Great Commission. They pass out hundreds of gospel tracks and witness to even more people regularly. Now I’m sure we’ve all seen this type of evangelism misused, I know I have. But the I’ve seen the guys of Bring the Noiz put down their mics to witness one on one to those who so desperately need the Gospel. I’ve seen them spend hours talking to individuals and often praying with them. I’ve also witnessed them being threatened, persecuted, and shamed for the sake of the Gospel. So what I’m asking you today is when’s the last time you preached on a street corner?

I know you’re saying, “but that’s not my calling.” And I agree that not everyone is called to preach in the middle of downtown Orlando every Friday night. But you are called to spread the good news of the Gospel. Maybe for you that means seeking out someone at work to share God’s love with on a regular basis or being intentional about your conversations with the people at the restaurant you eat in or the grocery store you shop in, or it may mean seeking God about finally sharing His truth with that family member you’ve prayed for all these years. What I do know is that we all have our own “street corner” and God will hold us accountable for how we use it. So I ask you, what has your life been preaching lately?

So Who's Doing All This Confessing Anyway?

Originally written October 3, 2009

About the Writer

I am a twenty-something wife of a future church planter. My husband and I moved to the Downtown Orlando area in July of 2009 to ultimately plant a new church. I have a degree in Church Leadership and my husband has a degree in Christian Education. We are theologically reformed. Our hope and prayer for Downtown Orlando is to see Jesus lifted up that He may draw all men to Himself (John12:32). We want to see people saved, families united, and men and women living missional lives in relationship with Jesus Christ.

Just for Fun

My husband and I live in a house built in 1926 with our Bassett Hound, Sam, and attend Celebration Community Church (www.CelebrationCommunityChurch.com). We are both avid readers and like to listen to the teachings of Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, Matt Chandler, Tony Evans, and Alistair Begg, just to name a few. I am currently exploring cake decorating as a hobby. I love rock music but have become more eclectic as I’ve gotten older. The short list includes Leeland, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Jimmy Needham, U2, Natalie Grant, Matt Kearney, and Rascal Flats. I especially enjoy watching NCIS, The Big Band Theory, and Sell This House.

Why Another Dumb Blog?

My purpose in sharing my “confessions” is that ultimately Jesus would be glorified and that maybe, in some small way other ministry wives and church planters might be edified and encouraged. Plus I’d love to hear how everyone out there is surviving because this is tough stuff and we’re only just beginning!