Snowstorm Pushes Fayetteville Churches Underground

Pretty silly I know, maybe I'm just young and stupid, but I really desire more of a challenge than a little ice to keep me from pursuing. Yeah, we can worship God at home and all and I'm not being critical of others. I just want to ask this, "What will I do when the stuff really hits the fan?" The disciples of Jesus were all for it until the Garden and some armed soldiers and their leader is under arrest and sentenced to death. They scattered, ran off, denied. Days later you find them together again and Jesus walks in the room. I'm really not comparing staying home from church during a snowstorm to this, it just makes me think that maybe I'm a little too comfortable. I want to be ready for the unexpected even when it comes in the form of bad weather. We made the decision to go ahead and have church this Sunday and it kept us awake last night. It was a tough decision and not everybody showed up, but a lot did. We had our first communion together and the first potluck of the new year, and we worshipped and praised and had a great time! Here's to you, Pursuit, you guys rock!


He's Coming Back!

As we speak, my house is about as clean as it can get at any particular time during these years of childbearing and rearing. Oh the joys of picking up the same room over and over after tiny hands have pulled out the toys one more time or spilled popcorn all over the couch. Don't even mention the pile of shoes that are always left in mismatched pairs by the front door, or back door, or side door. The point is that the cleaning of the castle goes on standby when dad goes out of town for any extended period of time. He doesn't realize this, but we let just about everything go, because its really all for him anyway. Instead of homemade chili and cornbread, we may eat fish sticks and tater tots for dinner. Laundry is done but left in a pile as we use it. Dishes may be handled the same way.

Oh, we have a little relaxation from the chores, but its almost not worth it for the amount of cleaning we do to catch up and bring the house back to "dad" status. The excitement of his return almost blurs the weariness of preparing for it. The thing is it wouldn't be so hard if we had just kept things up while he was gone. The excitement would still be there, and we'd still be running around making sure things were perfect, but we wouldn't be so worried about things not getting done.

This morning I was thinking about this in reference to Jesus' return for His Bride. Wow, the excitement! But hey, we don't even know when the wedding day is. How are we supposed to be ready? Hmmmm. Maybe we should always be ready. No leaving things for another day, or letting things pile up. Get your chores done as they come and you won't be caught wearing you pajamas when your bridegroom shows up.


Sunday Without the Man

By "the man," I don't mean that intangible presence that we all refer to when we're feeling suppressed, I literally mean The Man, My man, more specifically. Yesterday, we all held church without him at the helm. Our very first month as a church, our very first service without the Pastor. I was pretty scared, yet intrigued at the same time. Being the pessimist I am, all I could think about were those girly services I had attended in the past. You know the ones, where all the women fill in the guy exclusive jobs, like ushering and such. Not to sound like a chauvinist or anything, but they always made me think of when my kids would cook me breakfast. Sweet thought, but lets get back to the way things are supposed to be. I hate it that I feel that way.

Now I think that there are jobs that us girls can do just as good as men or even better, but that doesn't mean we should. Traditional roles are what I'm all about, not because a man says a woman can't do the job, but because God made me for something specific. Being a mommy is specific, I can do things for my babies that daddy just can't and vice versa. Ministry is the same for me. However, there are times and situations that cause you to have to rise up and take a place that you aren't naturally inclined to. There are times in history when women had to step into masculine roles while the men were away, and they did it well. Yesterday was one of those days. Jess, a new hero of mine, was given last minute notice that her husband would not be leading worship the next morning. Did she shrink back, oh no! She may not have jumped at the chance, but she rose up and took her husband's place. Boy are we glad she did. Worship was amazing, the Word came forth powerfully, and overall things came off without a hitch. I'm pretty sure nobody went away saying, "I sure hope that pastor gets back soon."

I guess the point of all this is that each day I'm learning more and more about what it is that God has made me for. No, I'm not always good at it, no I don't always want to, and man I sure wish He would back off in certain areas. But all in all, I'm so honored to be living right here, right now, doing this thing, with all of you!


R. E. M.

Not the band, the sleep... I haven't been quite getting there lately I think, or at least I enter into a foggy thought and its too difficult to formulate so I just give up. Anyway, with my main man out of the picture right now, the weight of the Goodman world rests squarely on my narrow shoulders. If you know my husband, he's got some pretty wide shoulders, I love those shoulders. They carry a lot of responsibility. Much of that transfers to me while he's gone. While some of it is shelved until he comes back the rest is on me. It keeps me uneasy like maybe I'm forgetting something really important. I made enormous lists before he left but it still leaves me wondering if he's gonna come home and say, "Hey, where's my dog? Did you forget to feed him?"

From the very beginning of our marriage, Josh has traveled. In the early years, I would stay at my mom's or his dad's and things were pretty peachy. Then I kind of outgrew the whole I'm-too-young-to-stay-at-home-and-take-care-of-myself excuse. Although I must add if I ever asked, the doors to both homes would be so wide open. Plus, now its kinda like, "Papa can me and my brood of kids take over and ransack your house for the week while daddy's gone?" I mean you can only push a grandparent's love so far. So I'm left to fend for myself at home with these kids of his while he's out galavanting the globe and spreading the good news and all.

Sleep, its so essential and I'm lacking it. Now I move as many of my kids into my room as possible when dad is away. Tony and Becca don't like to sleep in my room anymore. It may be due to the fact that you can't actually find a place to sleep what with various bodies strewn from the bed to the floor, but that's besides the point. I like to know if I hear a noise, that everybody is safe and sound with me. The dog and Jesus can take care of the rest, ya know. This week is the same old story. Tony and Becca in their rooms upstairs and because they are teenagers they stay up to weird hours and walk into your room unexpectedly at 2 in the morning freaking you out. Emari has a wonderful habit of waking up crying in the middle of the night, or talking in her sleep. Last night she said, "Ok dad." and I asked her why she said that and she said it was because he said, "Thank you." All that was well and fine and pretty cute but not at 3 am. Then mix in coughing fits and potty breaks and night feedings from the insatiable Zion. Sleep just isn't my friend right now.


Full Speed Ahead

Okay, so our amazing first 24/10 prayer session officially ended Monday night. Wow, the testimonies, life changing moments, etc. I was just basking in God's presence flowing in and through me and my whole house. Joshua and I threw down the last few days pushing through to the end while still maintaining order in our home and managing to rent our house, prepare for his overseas excursion and whatever else our crazy life threw our way. I was so proud of us!

Then in the wee hours of Tuesday morning I got up with Josh and his daddy, two of my most favoritest men of God in the whole world and rode with them to RDU to send them on their way. Whew! I prayed the whole way home and was just on fire for what was to come. I love taking care of things while Josh is off kicking enemy tail. We made a long list of stuff that needs to be accomplished, plus the list of things I like to do while the man is gone, then there's Latin class, and CCC stuff and Pursuit stuff and did I mention I'm the mother of six kids, the youngest a strapping lad of 15 weeks? So needless to say I hit the ground running.

Everybody made it to school on time that first day, and while I was a little late, I made it to staff meeting, taught my class, and went home to get some rest. Enter CHAOS. We were happy little elves on our way home from school, but upon entering the door of our humble abode all hell broke loose. Suddenly, my kids were fighting, crying, emotionally melting away. And I was operating on about 4 hours of sleep. Yelling ensued and I realized I was doing most of it at that point. Then I got the phone call about the earthquake in Haiti and the battle lines were drawn. Deep intercession fueled by utter exhaustion just filled our house. THAT is enough! My husband is gone to a scary place across the world, I'm steering this ship we call The Pursuit with the small skiff, SS Goodman attached, and now our missionary hearts were crushed by tragedy. Something is definitely going on in the heavenlies! But I know my limits and after praying what I felt was all I could pray I moved forward. We ate dinner quickly, settled in to bed, gave the two youngest to the two oldest (since they are nocturnal creatures by nature of their being in their teen years) and me and the middles slept soundly ALL NIGHT!

Day two was just as fun as day one but I was able to handle it without all the yelling and freaking out. We made it through and now I'm excited to see what Day three has in store for us. Ahoy!


The Upper Room Experience in My Basement

As I'm writing this the prayers of my warrior husband are rising up from under the floor. No I haven't kicked him out. And the first sentence isn't figurative but literal. I can actually hear him praying as if he was in the office with me. Coolness.

The Pursuit finally kicked off our first ever 24 hour prayer from the confines of our basement. I'm loving it and I'm really surprised. Why? Because I'm a very private sort of individual and since Saturday night around 6 pm numerous individuals have been traipsing in and out of the prayer room under my house. Did I mention its right under my bedroom? Did I mention it was 24 hours a day? Did I mention I could hear my husband like he was in the same room as me while he's crying out to God downstairs? Oh, rejoice, cuz this girl is loving it. Now there are some rules and regulations set down, such as 1)The house is off limits, and 2)Don't park in my flowerbed and the like, but I am loving the atmosphere of my home right now. God's presence dwells here, but right now this week, its almost tangible. I don't want to leave.

During my prayer time I was reminded of the story of Obed-Edom. The ark of the covenant was in his house for three months and the Bible says the Lord blessed him and his entire household. How completely amazing would that be? The physical representation of the presence of God sitting right there. The reason it was left at Obed's house was because the Lord had struck down Uzzah for touching it and that really scared King David. Apparently Obed and his household knew how to properly reverence God. In fact he was from the group of Levites who were appointed to carry the ark on their shoulders. I desire to be part of a household of servants that know how to carry the Lord's presence.
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