New Seasons

Yesterday marked the beginning of a new church year, and with it found our family sitting in a new church.  Yesterday marked the beginning of Advent, and as we lit the first candle I was reminded that a new season has begun, not just in our year, but in our family's life.  I once posted here that if I post often life is going smoothly, if I go silent, something is up, and indeed something has been up over the last few months.  Thanks for bearing with my silence.

Has God ever thrown a scripture at you?  Literally thrown it in your face? Painted in on the billboard near your house?  Plastered it across every blog, devotion, and book you read until you have to throw up your hands and say, "Okay I hear you!"

For the last nine months the Lord has done this with a couple of scriptures for me.

"Be alert, be present.  I'm about to do something brand new.  It's bursting out.  Don't you see it?"  
~  Isaiah 43: 19  ( The Message)

"The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still."  
~  Exodus 14:14  (NIV)

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him." 
~ Psalm 37: 3-7a  (NIV) 

For months I heard what seemed like conflicting messages to me:  change was coming and I was to be still and do nothing about it.  

Ugh.  Can I tell you how much I stink at being quiet and doing nothing!  But I did.  I was still.  I have been very quiet in multiple ways.  I have waited on the Lord and leaned not on my own understanding.  In the last two months the Lord has unfurled something new for our family, something new for me professionally.  It is something I would not have sought on my own,  He has clearly delivered it.  

So last Sunday, on the last Sunday in the church calendar, we said our goodbyes to our Bay Leaf Church family.  We are not moving, but we have been called to move on.  Yesterday we worshipped with our new congregation with hearts full of a mixture of anticipation for the new, and loss over the old, and the supreme knowledge that God is God over all of it.  

As we enter into this new season of Advent, and also draw 2014 to a close, what is the Lord whispering (or shouting) to you?   Is He calling you to lean close to Him this season of Immanuel?  Is He asking you to leave something behind with 2014 so you can move unburdened into a new year?  Perhaps in the hectic-ness of life, your quiet time with the Lord has been pushed aside and squeezed out so that you haven't felt that you've heard anything for the Lord in a long time.  May I invite you to join me this month and lean in to the story of the season?  May I challenge you to take time on these dark December nights to quietly listen for the Lord, to read and reread His Word, to be still in a season of busy long enough to hear His voice and to allow His plans for you to unfurl.  They are good plans my friends, so let's not miss any of them.  

I look forward to sharing soon with you our "something new."