Two Years of Writing

I am a writer.
I think I can say that now.
I have always been an artist and I have always been a reader, but writing?  Writing I have only toyed with.  Until now.
Two years.
Two years of steady writing.
Two years of writing several times a week, sharing a new essay or poem every single week.
I have worked hard and have come a long way in the practice of my craft.  I still have a long way to go.
I began this blog as a result of a stirring of the Holy Spirit.   I felt that God was asking me to write and to share what I wrote.  I don’t yet feel released from that request, so I will continue to share what I write.
Besides, it’s kind of fun.
I love words and I love visual art, and I love crafting the two together to form my own kind of art.  I also love studying and learning.
So I will continue to write for myself.
I love when what I write connects with someone else.  I love when I hear that I have touched someone or helped someone with the words that I have put down.  We are made in the image of a relational God.
So I will continue to write for others.
I love that this studying and writing process has helped me grow closer to my God.  I love how much I have learned about Him and how my learning makes me fall more in love with Him.
So I will continue to write for God.
I still have much fear in my heart.  I am afraid that my writing is not very beautiful.  I am afraid that people will not like it or, perhaps still worse, will not even read it.  I am afraid that I will get something wrong and God will be disappointed.  I am afraid that I will reveal my heart and people will turn away.
This kind of fear is not from God.
I still have big dreams.  I have dreams of publishing articles.  I have a book written that I don’t know what to do with.  Yet my time is mostly taken with these little ones that have been entrusted to me and there is little time left after my writing to pursue publishing.  So perhaps this is a season of practice, of preparation.
Chances are that God has something in mind for me.  Chances are that it is not what I expect.
This is where I am after two years.  Still writing.  Still hoping that my writing will help others.  Still pursuing God through my writing.
I will end this second year as I began:
Whatever the reason for my writing, here I am in this space.  I will continue to obey, even though it is hard and often causes my heart to feel fear.  I will write.  God will listen.  I pray He will continue to be pleased.


This week’s post is written by Jason Wetherholt, who serves as the family minister at our church. Along with his ministerial role, he is also an accomplished musician and I have a lot of fun playing in a worship band with him for our high school service. He is an amazing leader and a godly man, one whom I respect and am glad to call a friend. I pray that he is still around, leading our family ministry, when my girls reach high school!


God is preparing you for what he’s prepared for you.”
I heard a speaker make that statement somewhere around 50 times during a 30 minute presentation at a conference a few years ago. I didn’t really like it that much when he heard it. To be honest, I thought it was lame.
Enter the long list of platitudes that make us all want to puke. “The speed of the leader…if you can’t take the heat…people don’t care how much you know…blah, blah, blah.” So into the mental cache file it went, never again to see the light of day…or so I thought.
Fast forward a few years. Some friends and I decide to start a band. Because I work at a church [specifically with teenagers] and this band plays secular music at bars in the community, I went to great lengths to make sure this had nothing to do with my church life. I said on several occasions things like, “Now listen, if I were to build model airplanes in my garage as a hobby, would I need to invite students? Am I not allowed to do things on the side that have NOTHING to do with my church job?”
They’re totally separate from each other…well, I thought they were.
In case you didn’t know, starting a band and finding places for that band to play in the community…well, it’s like taking a crash course in small business management.
Marketing. Branding. Sales. Navigating the goofy rules Facebook has for pages. Getting someone to feel comfortable enough in a 3 minute phone call that they agree [without ever meeting you] to give you a little bit of money and a lot of time on a Friday night.
All totally separate from my church job…or so I thought.
Then all of the sudden, as a church staff we decide it’s absolutely time we address a huge “Communications” need we’ve known about for years but weren’t sure how we were going to handle. But we’re probably not ready to hire a full time person, and we certainly don’t have the money to pay them what they’re worth.
What we really need is someone who could shift their current role a bit. Someone who cares deeply about Communications. Someone who has been growing in the areas of Marketing, Branding, Sales, Navigating Facebook…
Wait…are you making the connection? You’re probably doing so a lot quicker than I did.
God…preparing someone for what he’s prepared for him.
I won’t bore you with all the other ways he’s been working in my heart and mind during all of my years of work…both before and during full time ministry…since about age sixteen till now. But it’s obvious when I look back that this is a season for which the preparation started long ago.
It’s been amazing to watch God connect about twenty ostensibly unrelated dots over a sixteen-year span into his plan for the next season of my life.
Might God be preparing you right now for what he’s prepared for you in the next season? How will you ever know if you don’t invest yourself fully and learn everything you can?
 Jason Wetherholt
Assistant Regional Blogger

Craving Connection

Fairly regularly, my eldest will call to me after I have put her to bed for the night.

When I ask her what she needs, she will say, “I just need you, Mommy. I just need you for a moment.”

I will crawl into bed with her, she will wrap a strand of my hair around her finger, and we will snuggle for just a moment.

My little ones need my touch. They need me to look into their eyes, they need to feel my skin touching theirs.

Why is this so necessary for them? Not just desired but truly needed.

Every mother knows this instinctively, that their babies need their touch, but it is also a documented subject of research studies. A 2009 Cochrane Reviewof studies found that infants who have their skin stroked regularly cry and fuss less than those who don’t. Science also has shown that skin-to-skin contact lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Funny how we need science to prove to us what we already know: that we need connection.

Why do we need this connection, both with others and with God?

One clue is in how we were created.

As God created everything in our world – light, sky, islands, dolphins, lions, sparrows – He spoke. Powerful, yet a bit impersonal.

When God created man? He breathed.

His face leaned in close to the dirt and His breath brought us into being.

That closeness is what we need, what we crave. That connection is what we were created to need.

God’s intention, though, was for us to always have what we needed, to always have a perfect connection to Him. In a garden, long ago, we threw it away.

So He once again gently leaned in close to us and became a soft, touchable baby. A baby that we could touch and hold and kiss.

A baby that would once again breathe on us and in that final breath on the cross, reconnect us to our Abba.

What will we do now that we once again have that perfect connection with God? Will we again throw it away, or will we cherish and nourish it?

Will we continue to seek to know God as intimately as He knows us so that our connection with Him can flourish? Will we lean in close to those we meet and breath grace on them so that they, too, can be connected?

What will you do?