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05.18.2011 / laura

’tis the season

This “training season” is coming to a close and we pleasantly can say that we have much to show for it.  Over the last 10.5 months, 7 of the 9 team members have moved up the the Pacific Northwest to train under a church that we knew just enough about to know we wanted to be here (we did not know enough about it to be able to fill our parents in on the details they so desperately wanted).  We came as individuals calling ourselves a team and (I think) have developed into a strong team of unique and beautiful individuals who have learned, and will continue to learn, to work wonderfully together.

We arrived in the Northwest as “the Texas Team” and are moving to Spokane, WA as the staff and core group of Inland Church!  The dreams that God began painting in our minds and hearts years ago are beginning to manifest into something tangible: a new church plant.  It is still hard for me to wrap my mind around; it is incredibly exciting to look back over the dozens of blog posts we have written and see just how far the Lord has brought us.

It is hard to believe that our training season is almost over.  10.5 months of training and Mikey and I find ourselves in the situation pictured here.  It seems like we were just packing up to head here and now we are packing up again to go make Spokane our home.

I can not yet articulate what all this training season has held for me. Perhaps in 9 weeks when my turn comes around again I will have processed this…perhaps.  The Lord is faithful.  The boxes that brought us here testified to that in July and this mess of boxes in our room now testify again.

As our season changes please pray for:

  • Housing for the team and the provision of a church gathering space in Spokane
  • Churches and individuals across the nation who will partner with us in prayer, finances and enouragement
  • Grace among the transition of training to church planting, living in Moscow to Spokane and all the other mental, physical and spiritual transition that will accompany the move.
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05.04.2011 / blakecooley

We’re all church planting.

Even though Meredith and I are still working through the grieving process of not moving with the team to Spokane this summer, there is still some excitement for staying in Texas for another year.  What I’m the most joyful for in Texas is to teach my four students for one more year.  My wife has previously blogged about our classrooms that we teach so you can read that if you were so inclined, but basically our classrooms consist of elementary students with severe cognitive and motor difficulties.  Out of 38,000 students in our district there are only 12 elementary students that would be considered medically fragile, and we teach 8 of them.  God has definitely given Meredith and I a passion for serving this small population in the world of special ed.  It has been amazing to work at a job we love, and by God’s grace, that we’re good at.  These students, their families, and our co-workers will be the focal point of our ministry during the next year.  Christ has called us to serve and care for the “least of these” Matthew 25:45.  So even though we won’t be joining the group in Spokane for this next year we will still be church planting here in Texas.  If you are a believer in Christ reading this blog then  you’re a church planter as well, no different from any of us.  During the next year, my wife and I might not be starting up a physical church in Spokane, WA, but we will still be working on the greatest church there ever was….the Body of Christ.  The Church Universal.  The Kingdom of God.  Praise Jesus that we get to play a part in that!  So even though we mourn not physically being with the team for 9 months, it’s still exciting to be a part of something so much greater than ourselves, the team, Spokane, this world….and that’s the Gospel of Christ. 

Prayers:

–  Summer plans for the team (that they would be clear and bring peace)

–  Others on the team meeting with churches to talk about support

04.28.2011 / leazatettleton

Awakening

So, we just experienced another Holy Week with its Palm Sunday, Maunday Thursday, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) celebration. It was a special privilege to join Resonate Church in this season of thanksgiving and remembrance, dwelling on the sick truths that the grave could not contain our King. Death could not conquer him. Jesus is alive.

Interwoven throughout these seven days was a whole lot of prayer. Resonate rallied together, interceding for the cities of Pullman and Moscow with the goal of raising our voices to the Lord for 24 hours, 7 days, 2 cities. With excel documents created and time slots filled in, the Church sought the Lord’s favor and His movement in this part of the country, and more specifically on the campuses and in the coffee shops and book stores and other frequented places.

And let me say, it was ridiculous. It tends to be a good idea to ask God to do what He longs for: to be glorified. Glorified in redeeming and drawing people to Himself; in bringing reconciliation to broken marriages and estranged friendships; in bestowing crowns of beauty instead of ashes and garments of praise instead of spirits of despair.

Holy Week and prayer collided in a really beautiful way. In prayer rooms. In bedrooms. In closets. On the streets.

There’s a rather phenomenal book called Red Moon Rising, that faithfully recounts the stories of re-awakening the Lord is causing throughout Europe (and the world), as the Church gathers in the basements of pubs, spaces too grungy to rent out, church houses and skate parks to pray. Continually. After work and during lunch breaks and 3 a.m. shifts when the entire continent seems to be in a deep slumber. People are tasting and seeing that the Lord is good!

In the aforementioned book, Pete Greig details a conversation he had with Brennan Manning who reminded him that, “’Prayer is not primarily about changing things somewhere out there. It is first and foremost about changing something in here,’ and he patted his chest. The most powerful thing that can happen in the place of prayer is that you yourself become the prayer. You leave the prayer room able as Jesus’ hands and feet on earth. This is what it means to pray continually, to see with the eyes of Jesus and to hear with His ears with every waking moment.”

This concept of “praying without ceasing” that we find in 1 Thessalonians literally means “come to rest.” May we come to rest, knowing “With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, [The Church] prays as if it all depends on God and lives as if it all depends on [her].”

And that continues to be our prayer as The Church here in Moscow and Pullman-that we would learn more and more what it looks like to live with the conviction that we are free, yet live as “slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying.” May our prayers be lived out on our streets and in our work places.

May we “who call on the LORD, give ourselves no rest, and give Him no rest” till He is the praise of all the earth. Isaiah 62

Dear friends, please join us in praying for Awakening:

1. Awakening in The Church here in Pullman-Moscow, as we learn more and more what it looks like to become Jesus’ hands and feet in those situations we’ve prayed for.

2. Awakening in those whom we know here and in those we excitedly anticipate meeting in Spokane.

04.20.2011 / MikeyMills

Pour a Cup of Division

Something is brewing.

It’s been brewing for a while and it may be time to get two cups from the cabinet and pour.

The past couple of months have been eventful for the evangelical world. I choose the word “eventful” to be pleasant. Tumultuous might be more appropriate.

The advertising and subsequent publishing of a book by Rob Bell has created quite a stir. So much so that poor @RobBell, of no relation, has been thrown into a firestorm that he, by no means, deserved.

This book has caused people to take sides (side one and side two), to draw lines in the sand, and to say some pretty mean things; all of this involving people that are supposed to be on the same side, of the same tribe, of the same family.

My good friend (or so I like to think) and trusted voice, Scot McKnight, is calling these events a tipping point. Within the evangelical world, there seems to be two camps that have developed: the Neo-Reformed and the Progressives. Each of these camps have their figureheads, their heroes and heroines, and while they can all congregate under the same banner (evangelicalism), there is decreasingly little they actually agree upon. Taken to their extremes (and some are trying), these camps are beginning to look like a new Fundamentalism and an unaffiliated Mainline-ism.

On a side note, I will boldly say that the most regrettable result of the Protestant Reformation has been the lack of anything that looks like unity or commitment. Since that time, the modus operandi has been, “We don’t like their thing so let’s split and start our own thing.” As a result, we now have denominations upon denominations upon denominations. (Now is an appropriate time for a disclaimer: I believe in the cause of the Reformers. I just wish it had been an actual reformation and not something else.)

Is this riff in the evangelical world the next major split? If so, this will be more monumental than a denominational split. I’m not sure what to think about this actually happening. It will certainly have some significant consequences on the face of the Church in the U.S. This is where it goes from theoretical prattle to affecting the church that we’re starting. This is where I get scared.

Today, I feel somewhat helpless against waves of change that are this big. I can’t stop something like this. But, regardless of my power and ability to affect, there is something that I am sure of. In one of Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth, he tells them that, above their bickering, biting, and general nastiness towards one another, love is better. In fact, love is best. You might even say that love wins.


I hope hope hope that love will characterize our conversations, our arguments, our discussions, our thoughts, our collaborations, our everything. Without it, we are nothing.

Please feel free to join us in praying for the following:

  • That love would characterize our lives.
  • That the Church would find unity.
  • That our conversations about the reality we will experience after this life will always drive us towards mission.
04.14.2011 / mackivey58

Life

This past Tuesday our team met, as we do every week. We shared a meal and spent some sweet time in worship. This week, however, we took a detour from our usual “Church Planting Logistics” talk. It was a night of remembering, worship and sweet community…a night of obedience and honoring Jesus through baptism. My baptism. Our little church’s first!

We gathered in the upstairs bathroom and filled the tub. As I was standing there, I was overwhelmed by this sweet community that I was surrounded by. I was overwhelmed by all that has led me to this point…overwhelmed by the sweet, relentless grace of Jesus. He has truly called me from death to life, out of the darkness and into the light. It is something that I often have a hard time wrapping my mind around, but oh on the sweet days when I catch a glimpse….it’s humbling and beautiful.

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,
following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all
once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body
and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—
by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us
with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might
show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10