Tag Archives: Move

Explosion Begets Expansion

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.
Acts 8:1 (NIV)

In the past week the world has watched as the floodwaters caused by Hurricane Florence have forced thousands of people to flee their homes and communities to seek higher ground. The news has been dotted with interviews of individuals who have owned property along the beautiful Carolina coast for many years, but who now say they’ve had enough.

As a follower of Jesus, seeking to live with purpose, I have always determined that I want to be where God wants me to be doing what God wants me to be doing. This morning I find myself recounting three very distinct moments in my life when circumstances outside of my control put me in such uncomfortable predicaments that I was compelled to make vocational choices that moved me and my family to different places. In retrospect, I can see that each of those moves led me to where I was supposed to be.

Looking back along my Life journey and reading through the Great Story, I recognize that sometimes it takes an uncomfortable, sometimes explosive, change in circumstances to force a person to move. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers and ended up in Egypt, where decades later he would save his entire family from dying of famine. David was forced into the wilderness to live as a mercenary, where he would learn the very leadership lessons that prepared him for the throne. Daniel was taken captive to Babylon where he was used by God in the life of Babylon’s king, Nebuchadnezzar. Jesus experienced the ultimate example of circumstance conspiring to lead Him to a gruesome yet purposeful death, making salvation available to us all. After the resurrection, Jesus tells his right-hand man, Peter, to expect the same:

When you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” [emphasis added]

The resurrected Jesus went on to tell his followers to take His story, their story, to “Judea, Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the world.” As we approach today’s chapter we find Jesus’ followers still hangin’ with their homies in Jerusalem. The Temple’s religious authorities both tried and executed Stephen in yesterday’s chapter. Now the Sanhedrin decides to snuff out this pesky Jesus movement once and for all. As the persecution against Jesus’ followers breaks out the followers of Jesus scatter to…wait for it…Judea and Samaria! It was an explosion of persecution that forced Jesus followers to move to the very places Jesus had always purposed for them to be.

This morning in the quiet I’m preparing for a message I have to deliver to my local gathering of Jesus’ followers on Sunday. It so happens to be on this very topic from this very book. “Explosion Begets Expansion” is my theme, and today’s chapter could easily be Exhibit A. Sometimes explosive or uncomfortable circumstances flood our lives and force us to move where we would otherwise not have been, only to find out we end up exactly where we were supposed to be all along.

Moved In!

The weekend has been a blur. My muscles are aching. My body is tired. But, we are successfully moved in to our new house. Wendy and I actually got possession of the house on Friday morning after a walk through with our contractor. The cleaning crew was here polishing everything up. The televisions got hooked up and the appliances delivered. Wendy and I made a few loads to get the fragile stuff moved over that we wanted to personally handle. After grabbing a bite we returned to sleep in the new house and received our first visit from the neighbors, Kevin and Linda! 🙂 We then spent our first night in the new digs.

Suzanna was starring in Anne of Green Gables this weekend, so Mom Hall came down from Ankeny to help Suzanna and to let Suzanna stay at the hotel away from the chaos. She also helped us with the clean up and move which was a huge blessing.

Saturday morning the movers arrived at the house on Columbus just before nine and an amazing crew of friends showed up to help. While the movers set about moving things from the main house, our friends helped me empty the storage shed. “Many hands (and vehicles) make work light,” and I was amazed when one trip was about all we needed to empty the shed. While one crew went back for the final boxes from the shed, another headed to the house to load up patio furniture and etc. One more trip to the house emptied the garage and by noon our local crew had done all there was for them to do.

Wendy and I ordered pizza for our faithful helpers as our movers arrived with the main load comprising of everything from the main and second floors. They emptied and returned to the old house for one last load of stuff from the basement. They had that emptied and the entire move was completed by supper time.

Whew.

Now for the unpacking and bring ordering to the chaos. Thanks to Mom Hall, Brad, Paul, Kev, Matthew, Chad, Shay, Nathan, Aaron, and Camille for their friendship and hard work!