We Need Your Help Collecting School Supplies

Join Us!

We are collecting school supplies to benefit our schools & the children in our community. Please consider purchasing any of the following items:

Backpack – Large (Without Wheels)

Binder – 1” (View – Clear Front & Back Sleeves)with pockets or regular,

Binder – 1 ½” with pockets

Binder – 2” Three Ring Zippered

Calculator – Inexpensive, Scientific (Casio Scientific Calculator FX-300MSPLUS)

Colored Pencils – 12 Ct Crayola 7”

Construction Paper – Package of Assorted Colors

Copy Paper -Ream of White

Crayons – 8 Ct, 16 Ct, 24 Ct, 48 Ct

Disinfectant Wipes – Clorox

Dividers – Package of Five (5) or Eight (8)

Dividers with Side Index Tab – Package of Five (5)

Dividers- Notebook with Pockets

Dry Erase Markers EXPO (Thick Chisel Tip, Low Odor, Fine Tip, Wide Tip, Slanted Tip)

Dry Erase Eraser

Eraser – Large Pink Bevel

Erasers – Pencil Cap

Facial Tissues – Large Box, 200 Ct.

Flash Drive – 2 GB

Folder – Durable Plastic (Blue)

Folders – Plastic Pocket (No brads, Green, Red, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Blue, Green)

Folders – Pocket (With brads, Red, Blue, Yellow & Green)

Folders – Pocket with 3 hole punch

Glue – Bottle Elmer’s Washable School (4 oz)

Glue Sticks – Jumbo, Regular, Small, 77 oz

Gym Shoes

Hand Sanitizer

Highlighters – Wide-Tip,Yellow, Assorted Colors

Index Cards – White 3×5 or 4×6, 3×5 spiral

Markers – Set of Thick Classic Washable (8 Ct, 10 Ct, No bold or neon)

Marker – Black Sharpie

Notebook – (Wide Rule) 70 Ct Spiral, 5 subject vinyl cover

Notebook – 70 Pg Steno

Paper – Notebook Filler (package) 200 Ct, 150 Ct

Pens – Red Ballpoint, Erasable Ballpoint (Blue or Black), Blue Ballpoint, Black Ballpoint

Pencils – #2 Wooden Yellow, Mechanical

Pencil Pouch – Regular & 3 hole punch

Pencil Sharpener

Ruler – Standard & Metric Markings, Wooden, Plastic

School Box – 8” x 5”

Scissors – 5” Fiskar Pointed, 7” Fiskar Pointed

Walmart Gift Cards – Any amount

Watercolors – Crayola 8 Ct or set

Ziploc Bags – Sandwich, Quart, Gallon

If your student needs help with school supplies, contact us at 722-8020, ask for Leta Brown.

Following Jesus………

What an incredible journey we have been on over the past three months. We have seen hundreds of new folks walk into the Goddard Campus, had our first baptisms at the Campus, packaged 53,000 meals for Africa this past weekend, and now we have had our first Easter services. Time sure flies when you are having fun Following Jesus in Community for Others. That phrase probably sounds familiar and possibly you could be tired of hearing it. I want to tell you that this so much more than a slogan, a phrase, or the tag line to the name of the Church. This phrase is how we as a Church want to live in a world which desperately needs to see the life that only Jesus provides.
You may be asking yourselves, what exactly do the phrases mean? Well since you ask, lets dive in.
Following Jesus…. Being consumed daily in the pursuit of making Jesus the leader and savior of your life. This is the first step for any believer but it is also the ongoing step that all who following Jesus must make. Every day we must be consumed by Jesus and him alone. If you have not accepted Jesus as savior and leader of your life, that is your first step and we would love to help you take that step. For those of us who have accepted Christ, the greatest challenge in following Jesus is that truly following him means saying no to other good things in this world and ultimately saying yes to him who is great.
The greatest challenge for us is that so many things in our culture compete with following Jesus. For many of us this challenges us to be committed to Sunday Worship Services as a first step. We must be faithful in the small things so that we can be faithful in the larger things. Sunday services may seem like a small thing but worshipping God is a big thing. There are many reasons not to be in weekend services. Kid’s sports, family vacations, NFL football, or simply being tired are a few of the reasons. I am not saying these are bad, in fact I would say these are good. But many times in our lives we choose good over great.
In John 4:23-24 Jesus said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
The truth is that we were created for one major thing, the worship of the God of the universe. Sunday services are about God and not about us. The danger when we say yes to other things that keep us from weekend services is that we are communicating what is truly important in our lives to our kids, our friends, unbelievers, and even to God. Radically following Jesus is about not being normal. It means knowing who God is and being consumed by Jesus so much that he is the priority. This often makes our lives look weird to the worlds standards. This commitment to following Jesus then spill over into the rest of our lives when we commit to pursue Him passionately as we gather to worship him together every week. I heard it said once this way, “If we cannot focus on worshipping God on one day for an hour a week, how it can be possible for us to truly follow him and change this world for him the rest of the week.”
Many of you may be uncomfortable with what I just said. Well, here comes the big challenge. I want to challenge you to track your attendance at weekend worship services over the past 2 months. If you see a pattern that you have not been in weekend services 75% of the time I would challenge you to see what has gotten in the way. Maybe God desires you to say no to what is getting in the way so that you can do what he created you to do, worship Him.
Please hear me out. I am not talking about legalism or questioning any ones faith in Christ but I am saying if we want to reach this world for him, step one is worshipping him in Spirit and in truth together.
In the next blog post I will be tackling Following Jesus in Community. I will be blogging at you then.

By Rodney Elliott, Goddard Campus Pastor

Congratulations!!! It’s a New Campus

By Rodney Elliott, Goddard Campus Pastor

In life, very few moments are as special as the birth of a new baby. New life in a family creates joy, excitement, challenges, and new experiences. In our Pathway family, the new baby has arrived with the launch of the Goddard Campus on February 5th. A new beacon of God’s light began to shine.

If you haven’t been a guest at the Goddard Campus on a Sunday morning I would encourage you to attend. The feel at the Goddard Campus is like when I walked into my cousin’s house for the first time after they had their first child. Their home felt different, smiles were everywhere, there was a new energy, and the family was very focused on their new mission of providing and giving life. The house was alive.

For all of us who now call the Goddard Campus home, we all feel like parents of a new born? Pathway Church Goddard Campus is definitely alive in a powerful way. The launch made all of us think about how we got here.  We remember the day we found out, the first campus meeting, praying together, dreaming God sized dreams, learning our role, but most importantly we remember that only God could make it happen. We remember handing out invites, bottled water, and bracelets out at the Goddard Fall festival in October. We all remember handing out the invitations door to door to over 600 homes. We remember the hours and hours of training and preparation as we learned to be a portable church. In the last 8 months, God has grown this dream to a reality in our hearts and through the sacrifice of his people.

On February 5th, we saw God’s vision become a reality. The Goddard Campus was born. God blessed us with 531 people on 2.5.12. The greatest gift God gave us was that 120 of these people have never been to either Pathway Church Campus. Many have not been to church or consistently attending church for years. Many are not followers of Jesus.  The most exciting thing was to hear the dozens of stories of our launch team who could not believe the guests they invited came.
One of the greatest gifts God has given the Goddard Campus is the people who make up the launch core. Each week, we are all blessed by over 120 volunteers who make church happen at the Goddard Campus. These people have sacrificed hours and hours of time, energy, and resourses to make the mission of Jesus come alive at the Goddard Campus.  Several times on February 5th I looked around and couldn’t help but think; only God could have made this happen. This journey for all of us has created new life in our souls in a way most of us have never experienced before.

Where does this new life come from? It only comes through the person of Jesus Christ and living lives that are focused on his mission. Jesus is in the habit of new birth and he has delivered in a God sized way.  It turns out that God’s dream is better than anything that we could have ever imagined.  That is the power and the hope that Jesus always brings to the table.  Carrying that hope to the world is the “why” we are here.  What an awesome addition to our Pathway family!!!

The Next Chapter

 By Jerrod Byrne, Worship and Arts Director

I finished the last blog with a scripture. It was the biblical season that I was in and still
am, “being made new,” Ephesians 4: 22-24 remember. Well, Iʼd like to open up with
another scripture. Many of us have a favorite, our life song, this oneʼs mine. Hebrews
12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it
produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
I share this part of the story for one reason, it shows off God. He met us in the most
unlikely place, in the most unlikely of way, just because he can.

My wife has been a Michael W. Smith fan since she was a little girl. I became familiar
with who he was in high school when Jen and I started dating. She would play his music
in her car, (on cassettes,) ancient history I know. Someday kids will be looking at
cassette players in glass cases at the Smithsonian Museum, sorry, stay focused.
Anyways, we were at one of his concerts at Central Christian Church and saw that he
was going to do a “M.W.S. and Friends Cruise” to Alaska. I remember looking at my
father-n-law and saying, “I donʼt know how, but I gotta make this happen for Jen.” Well
let me tell ya how that worked out, my mother and father-n-law got to go and Jen and I
couldnʼt afford it. NIce right? Well all things in Godʼs timing remember.

They went and had a FABULOUS time and were sure to tell us all the details of their
AMAZING experience. (I tried to be exaggerated there.) Beautiful scenery, marine life,
morning devotions with M.W.S. worship, private concerts, front row seats, pictures and
autographs and on and on. (You must know, my in-laws are great people, great people.
This is strictly an enhancing way of describing how we were pouting, and by we I mean
Jen, ok me too a little.) Moving on, it was all that we suspected it would be and more.
As a matter of fact, it went so well, Michael and his team planned another one for the
following year in the Caribbean, this was my chance. Now to place this correctly on the
timeline weʼre following here, Jenʼs parents went on their cruise at about 2 1/2 years
into my illness. We got our chance at about 3 1/2 years in, and as I said, we were about
to break. Jen had been fighting like crazy to find out what was wrong with me. I was
hanging on by a thread, and had truly reached the place of hating who I was, and at the
same time I loved what God was doing to me. So there we were, boarding the boat,
excited, in much need of a break from the life that had been beating us up daily. We
were truly praying that we would encounter God in a way that was new, different, and
ultimately in a way that gave us confidence that He still knew we were here. We needed
Him to reveal the next chapter of all this. Sure we were praying for healing, but we had
honestly excepted that this was a season that He needed us to be in, we were just
ready for the season to change. Well the first morning we woke up on the boat, in came
change.

Jen and I had no plans what so ever on this vacation, not a single excursion. All we
wanted was to get away. We learned the first evening of the cruise that there would be
morning devotions led by a Pastor from South Africa named John Sheasby. This of
course was not mandatory, but it was exactly what we were looking for. Following the
devotion would be a time of worship led by Michael and his piano. Well we woke up
early and arrived to the first morning devotion, (6:00 A.M., not what we had planned for
vacation.) Quickly we realized we would be getting up early our entire trip because the
devotion time was so amazing, and the music was so Spirit filled, there was no way we
were gonna miss it. We were truly ok with this, because we were there for a very
specific reason. As we sat down in the small theater style room that first morning
something interesting happened. Michaelʼs parents, Paul and Barbara walked in and
asked if we mind if they join us at our table. “Absolutely” I replied, this was super cool
for Jen. You see Jen is quite the baker, and her favorite thing to do besides be with her
family is to cook and bake. Well it just so happens that Michaelʼs mother Barbara has
published several cook books, and Jen has been using them for years. And there they
went, they started talking home made butter rolls and smothered chicken dishes, and on
and on they went. As for me, well it was very noticeable that Michaelʼs dad Paul, walked
in a crippled fashion. As him and I began to strike up conversation I quickly learn that he
has suffered tremendous back problems for many years…..interesting right. We finished
our devotional time and worship, and Barbara says “say, do you kids have plans or
would you like to grab breakfast and continue chatting?” Well, by design, you know we
had NO plans. So we agreed, and had the most wonderful time learning more about
them and about how our lives were strangely, “very similar.”

I gotta share this part cause it was just, well, pretty cool. As you know from me
mentioning the first cruise that Jenʼs parents went on, everyone would get pictures and
meet & greet time with Michael, front row seats one night, the works right. Well as weʼre
leaving breakfast that morning with Paul and Barbara, weʼre exiting the dining hall and
Barbara says, “say, come here Jen, I want you to meet someone…..” Yup, she marches
right over to her son, Michael W. Smith, and says, “Honey, I want you to meet our
friends from Wichita, this is Jen and Jerrod.” I donʼt have to tell you how this went…but I
will. Ok, Iʼm not a girl, but Iʼm married to one, and I also have one for a child, so I know
how complex this species is, (well not really but Iʼm continually learning.) I do know this
though, little girls go through some very dramatic events, (even if there not.) And at 13,
14 years old, and then 16, 17 years old, life can be pretty tough. There are the boy
problems, making friends, losing friends, heart breaks, and definitely challenges with
your faith. Well for Jen, she loves music, still does. And a lot of the music that she
listened to going through lifeʼs ups and downs was M.W.S. stuff. So when she was face
to face with the person that made her smile, laugh, cry, (and every other emotion that
girls tap in to) she was….letʼs say, filled with yet another emotion. Seriously, it was a
pretty cool moment.

Our devotion friends turned out to be pretty God sent. I began to open up to Paul about
where Jen and I were in life with this chronic pain thing, Jen began sharing with Barbara
what things had been like for her through this journey, and ultimately if there were two
people that could relate, we had found them. They even took the time to share with
Michael and Debbie, (Michaelʼs wife,) what was going on with us, just to get them
praying also. I know this because Michael comes up to Jen and I after supper one
evening and asks if weʼre having a good time. We of course said yes and he tells us
that he and Debbie have been part of the same prayer group for more than 20 years,
and they were gonna go home and prayer for us. I said thanks, and he stops me and
says, “no, I want you to know that we are really gonna pray for you guys.” He goes on to
tell us that they have experienced God do amazing things through hard prayer, and that
they were gonna truly pray for us.

Something happened that night. Neither Jen or I could completely put our finger on it.
There was a calm that came over all of the pain that we were living in. Together,
although we didnʼt know how, we felt like things were gonna be okay. We felt like God
saw us and he had been hearing our prayers. Now understand, we didnʼt claim so know
what God was up to, if anything we were a bit confused. But we had that “peace that
passes all understanding” rest over us.

Well the rest of our cruise was pretty amazing. Turns out we were on the same floor as
the “Smith” group. We found ourselves being pulled out of line to go in to the concerts
early with the family. I got up on stage and played Michaelʼs guitar and got to sing a
song with him. (Oh, I failed to mention that when this illness hit me I found myself
unable to do most of the things I was use to. So I picked up a guitar that I had, I had
always wanted to play. I began watching You tube and singing along with the current
Christian artists. What I found was far more than just music. I found a language in which
I could communicate with God when I didnʼt have any words to say. I had always loved
music but these were more than songs.) Okay, where was I, yes, I was singing with
M.W.S. This was actually my first experience playing or singing in front of people. Up to
this point all I had done was sing and play around the house. It was quite funny actually,
as Iʼm walking off the stage Barbara looks at me clapping and smiling and says, “Honey
I didnʼt know you could do that?” And I replied, “neither did I!”

At this point I was beside myself. I didnʼt know what to think about all we were
experiencing, but I knew this. I walked off the stage that night and I knew that I wanted
to sing. I wanted to sing for God, to God, about God, I didnʼt care. I didnʼt want to sing to
entertain people, and I still donʼt. I knew in that moment I wanted to sing to God, and
whatever that looked like was what I had to do. So far Heʼs made me leave my career
and as you know, Iʼm singʼn. I hope Heʼs just getting started making me uncomfortable
with the mundane, but for now the cruise is over and Godʼs getting ready to show off,
donʼt miss the next one.

I Saw God Today

By Rodney Elliott, Goddard Campus Pastor

I know some people like country music and some don’t. I am in the like it camp.  George Strait had a song a couple of years ago that was called “I Saw God Today.” That is a pretty interesting title for a song. The title evokes many questions for me, but I won’t get into all of those. Honestly, I just like the song because it points to seeing God in the incredible, good things in life.  If you are not a country fan and do not know what I am talking about, go online to YouTube and check it out.

I want all of you to know that I saw God today. No, I am not crazy nor did I have a burning bush experience, even though sweat was involved. I simply was at Goddard High School this past Sunday for the first pre-launch service. I witnessed the body of Jesus Christ in motion. No, the second coming of Christ did not happen at Goddard High School, but his body was definitely there. I saw his hands holding an infant in the early childhood area. I saw his mouth preaching the good news to children. I saw his feet running around playing “freeze.”  I saw the strength in his arms as the Tech and the Roadies teams set the church areas up at 6 a.m.

The one key thing I saw that lets me know I saw the body of Christ was sacrifice. I have witnessed countless people sacrifice time and energy for the cause of Christ in ways I have never seen before. You all have shown me what being a disciple of Jesus all is about. I can honestly say that more that ever in my life, I know Jesus is alive and well because I saw his body in action in an incredible way.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14  Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

The power of the body of Christ is so incredible when we join together and are about the business of Jesus. Separately we are just parts, but together I saw the body of Christ shining for all to see. God has put us together in such a creative way that when we are together we function as one. God’s design and glory are the only explanation.

We had an amazing weekend, and the journey will only get better. One of my favorite stories this weekend was a conversation I overheard between a young boy and his sister right next to the coffee and doughnuts. His sister told him that the Westlink Church at Goddard is her favorite church. Her older brother quickly corrected her and told her that it is not Westlink Church — it is Pathway Church. She asked him why the church is called Pathway. The young boy said, “Our church is Pathway Church because Jesus is the pathway.”

The awesome thing is that our mission is so simple a 7-year-old boy knows what this is about. Christ’s body is in action because he is the only pathway for a dying world. God has given us his Holy Spirit and each other to carry this message to this world that is cloaked in darkness. The awesome news is that a beacon of blinding light started to shine in Goddard High School this past Sunday, and the darkness cannot stand against his light. I am so proud to be on this journey with you. Let the light shine.

John 1:4-5  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Darkest Chapter

By Jerrod Byrne, Director of Worship & Arts

Jerrod ByrneSo, I’ve run into a few people who have been check’n out the “God Loves Goddard” blogs. One good friend of mine’s wife said, “When you were talk’n about the ‘Fireman,’ you weren’t talk’n about my husband were ya?”

 

No Ma’am, I was not, Your husband’s faith inspires me. And for the gal who’s been itching to hear what the “four-year illness” was, here comes the darkest chapter of my life.

 

Okay, quick recap: It’s May of 2005 and God has been politely tapping me on the shoulder. Due to my selfishness, arrogance and (my wife’s favorite) stubbornness, the tap wasn’t working, so I got punched right in the mouth. DISCLAIMER: Okay, before you  email Pastor Elliott and ask him why his Worship & Arts Director is saying that God punches  stubborn people in the mouth, hear me say … God never punched me (although I’ve certainly deserved it at times). What I’m saying is that I could’ve learned this lesson a much easier way, but due to my own fault, God allowed me to enter “The Pit.”

 

“The Pit” is a place that most of us have been in. If you haven’t, just wait, you will. See, God promised us that “in this life you will have trouble,” John 16:33. Now when I read that I think “trouble,” the kind I can handle, trouble that I’d rather not be annoyed with or bothered by, but manageable. What I don’t think about is the kind of trouble that paralyzes your will to wake up and live another day. The kind of trouble that tears at every fiber of your marriage and robs you of wanting to be a parent to your children. The kind of trouble that takes you to a place where you begin flirting with the idea that if this is the new reality of the game of life for me, maybe I’d rather not play anymore.

 

Let me define the place I found myself as I woke up that morning in May: “Chronic Pain.” Now you may be think’n, “That doesn’t sound so bad.” Well the problem with chronic pain is that you may deal with it ok at first, but eventually you become a product of how you feel, and if everyday you feel horrible for long enough, you become a horrible person.

 

I went to bed the night before feeling fine, and by “fine” I mean pain-free, selfish and remember, I was two different people who did NOT get along, kinda fine. I was a Jesus “fan” when I went to bed, and when I woke up, (I didn’t know it at the time), I would begin the lifelong journey of being a Jesus “follower.”  I got out of my bed and within five minutes of being up that morning, I started having this cramping, spasm-type feeling in the right flank area of my back.

 

I had four years to learn how to describe this pain, and the best description is this: You know that soft area of skin between your thumb and your pointer finger? I’m not talk’n just about the skin, but if you use the thumb and pointer finger on your other hand and reach way back where you can feel the tendons, the real meaty part, now squeeze that until you can’t stand it, and then let go. You’ll notice that the pain doesn’t leave immediately; it lingers a bit as if to remind you of what just happened. That kind of pain hit my back in a single moment and would come and go at will. Maybe it did this for an hour, then gone a while, or maybe it decided to drill me all day long. (I will say it would start and stop a lot, but there were plenty of days when it was just flat relentless.)

 

My initial thought was that I had pulled something or over used a muscle perhaps. If you recall, I was a pretty intense mountain biker and I did my share of tumbling. I let it go the first few days. I couldn’t let anybody know I was hurt’n. (That would be far too smart. People might think I wasn’t the toughest thing go’n.) A week later, I called my doctor, and he prescribed some muscle relaxing pills (which did nothing). So I found myself in his office getting a steroid shot in my back — after all I was describing this as “cramping spasm-type pain.” Again, no help whatsoever.

 

I will fast forward this part a bit. I went to a chiropractor, acupuncturist, physical therapist, neurologist, orthopedic surgeon — you name it, no help. I even flew to New York to see a doctor who was a “muscle specialist” (which was a nightmare in itself). I found myself in serious trouble, and this time I couldn’t fix it. My attitude was tank’n, my will to do stuff with my wife and kids was disappearing. It was all I could do to go to work.

 

Lots of things began to change over the next three years. (That’s how long we searched and struggled to find any answers as to why this was happening.) It’s interesting how close you grow to God when you wake up every day and turn to him, all day, just to make it through. He literally took me down to ground level and started sculpting all over again, because I had become something so far from what he could work with. Piece by piece he was building me up, making me new.

 

Now hear me say this: We disagreed at times, I mean really disagreed. I’m talk’n the kind of disagreeing that finds you cussing at God. Oh yeah, I said it, I cussed him out, told him what I thought of all the spiritual progress “I” was make’n and how much “I” was doing, and his lack of empathy for my pain. If I’m totally honest, He p*#@ed me off, big time, more than once. After all, “I” had been do’n such a good job, the least he could do was answer this one little prayer of mine, and do it on “my” timeline. Please tell me this sounds familiar to some of you and I’m not on an island here.

 

Okay, for those of you who are still trying to catch your breath cause I cussed at God, let me help. This God we serve, and I’m talk’n about the Risen Lord, the Alpha and Omega, is ENORMOUS, and his love for us is SO GREAT that if it’s jealousy or trust, patience,  lack of strength, anger, forgiveness or anything else that is squeezing the life out of you, he can take you further than you would ever want to go, knowing full well he’s gonna be the punching bag along the way, just to get you past it, cause he can take it, and GOD IS THAT AWESOME, and he LOVES you that much. Can I get an AMEN?

 

God knew I needed to talk to him that way. You see that way, when he brought me through the pit (in his time), I would know that he was a God who loves me — not because of my performance (because my performance was pretty pathetic at times, I think we would agree), but because I was his child. I’ll admit, I thought for a long time that God’s love for me was a ladder I moved up and down on. It’s not at all; it’s more like an ocean with no banks. Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” That tells me his love is based on his principles, not mine; I live under his grace, not my lack of grace. Come on, that’s just good stuff right there.

 

I look back at the evenings when I had to excuse myself from the dinner table because I couldn’t compose myself due to the pain, or all the times I told my kids “No, Daddy can’t play right now,” or the nights that my wife would listen as I told her this might be more than I’m willing to deal with. You know, let’s spend a minute talking about my wife. I’ll start by saying she’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. This woman  has saved me from myself more than a few times. She fought for me through this dark season like William Wallace. She prayed for me, cried with me, and took on the responsibilities of mother, father, wife, husband, and anything else she had to be. She spent countless hours on the phone talking with different doctors, and even more time researching on the computer for anything that might shine a light on all this. You see, one of the horrible things I was dealing with was watching my wife’s life change because of me. I had a problem, it wasn’t her fault, yet she was being freight trained by it. I’ll wrap up with this: For a long time I came across as the “tough one,” the “strong one,” but she is without a doubt the toughest thing I’ve ever seen. Thank God for praying wives!

 

Here is a picture that describes where we’re at in the story …. On day one, I started praying that God would take this pain away so I could get back to the selfish life I was enjoying, and now three years in (and a lot of battle scars), I was praying that God wouldn’t take it away. (What is that all about?) I had become so dependent on him every day just to make it, I was afraid if he healed me I would go back to the same old me that only called on God when it was convenient or when something was broke that I couldn’t fix.

 

In the most “Do you trust me or not?” moment from God, I got challenged to follow him in a way that would surely leave everyone thinking I’m crazy. Jen and I were about to break; we had prayed so hard that God would intervene in a new way. We set out for a cruise, just the two of us, truly hoping to encounter more of God at this specific spot in our journey. Only this was no ordinary cruise. This would be God showing us just how big he is. Remember the “ocean with no banks” kinda love? We were about to swim in it….

 

Ephesians 4:22-24: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”