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Posts Tagged ‘acts 29 Amarillo’

It’s been awhile. I know. September to be exact. SEPTEMBER! Right around the time my then 9 month old decided he needed to start walking. He started walking, and I stopped blogging. If you are a mom, you know why.

I would love to write a string of blogs talking all about the last 5 months, but that will have to wait for a less busy time in my life, a different season. (I will, however, HAVE to post a current picture of my almost 13 month old TODDLER!) Today’s post is to share with you a recent sermon my husband preached at our church Redeemer.

doctrine

The name of the sermon is “Evangelism: God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Responsibility” from January 27, 2013. The sermon is taken from a sermon series that is line by line and verse by verse through the book of Acts, and this specific sermon is from Acts 18:1-17.

Obviously I don’t post all of my husband’s sermons on my blog, but I really wanted to make sure that anyone who wanted to have access to this specific one could. Recently I’ve had quite an influx of people asking me what Redeemer believes about this topic. I’m really grateful when people ask what we believe about certain things, because rumors have that amazing ability to get things really wrong. Here it is for anyone interested in this topic from “the horse’s mouth”, I guess you could say!

“Evangelism: God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Responsibility” by Pastor David Ritchie preached January 27, 2013

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Hope all of you are well!

Solomon at 13 months!

Solomon at 13 months!

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Solomon’s content face…or nap face, whatever.

I’ve been praying a lot about contentment lately. I…WE…spend most of our lives trying to become something. Trying to prove that our existence on this earth has meaning. Companies and advertisers have figured this out, and they make millions off of our seemingly bipolar swings between self-assured pride and overwhelming insecurity and inadequacy. We find ourselves chasing a greatness, I think most of the time to keep us from feeling the emptiness that comes from being small and insignificant.

Unfortunately we can even fall into a “Christianity” that’s fundamentally based on the same quest. We actually use God to be great (have a special “calling”, be healthy, become wealthy, and important). This self-serving mentality has caused us to become restless and discontent individuals. Why? Because we weren’t made to worship ourselves. And let’s be honest, that’s what all of this really is.

The real Gospel is something so much different. It’s a promised life of pain. It’s a daily dying of wants. It’s a posture of humility. It gives all the greatness and glory to Another, the only One who is worthy.

Being a mom as only further displayed to me how much I think about me. How much I want things my way. How freaked out I get when I lose control of my life, when I give up my own desires for another. This has made me inescapably aware of my own selfishness. Face and palm meet. Humble pie, you’re not as sweet as you sound.

God really does offers us something greater than what we think we can give ourselves. True contentment. Authentic contentment is found when we choose to dethrone ourselves, lay down our own desires, and place our affections on someone else. The only One who is worthy of that is Jesus. Not only is He the only One worthy of that kind of worship, He is the only One that can handle that kind of pressure. He will never disappoint. There’s a lot of things that promise you that you need it to be happy, so you probably need to hear this again…He will never disappoint. His love for you is greater than any love you’ve ever known. We can stop crushing ourselves and others with our own expectations and start living a life of true freedom.

True contentment comes when you stop living for you.

How am I fostering contentment in my life right now?

1. By not justifying the sins of fear, insecurity, and anxiety.

These things are sins. These sins come from a fundamental belief that God is neither good or great. If I don’t believe that God is good or great, then I believe that I am. OUCH! The problem is we know we can’t really follow through on being perfect and great, so we fall into these sins. They don’t lead to eventual peace and contentment, they steal our joy and God’s glory.

2. By ending my comparison mindset.

Comparison is a contentment stealer. Comparison is one of our many tools to achieve that self-fulfilling validation, and it’s done by stirring up hate and envy in our hearts for others. Usually it creeps in by justifying yourself against other people in an area you feel pride in or an area you are ashamed of. Yep, I’m just going to call it what it is…It’s sick, twisted, and self worship. It will only let you down, steal your contentment, make you feel worse, and leave you with hate in your heart.

3. By letting go of control.

An obsession with control comes from simply feeling out of control. I personally love to control the way I’m perceived by others. I love to control my life. I like to do things my way. The problem with this is control leads to unhealth. Whatever area is being controlled in your life becomes too great to you. It becomes an area that no one else can touch, not even God. What we are saying is, “This is mine.” It becomes an area of self-worship, and it is the most important area to give Jesus because it is the area that will eventually turn your heart away from Him.


4. Redirect worship

Sometimes its good to simply remember why you needed a Savior. When I’m discontent and striving my way through life, I never make the conscious decision to worship myself. I just lose my joy and peace. I stop becoming thankful. Pretty soon I feel depressed with all my efforts and the empty feeling of either having or not having everything I want. This is a problem of misplaced worship. Our rebellious hearts naturally move towards self-worship. Do the hard effort of keeping your eyes and heart fixed on Jesus.

5. Preach the Gospel.

Every day, preach the Gospel to yourself. Meditate on the Gospel. Center your life around the Gospel. Don’t trust your desires and thoughts, remember that they are prone to wander. Our hearts are so sinful that even the good things we do for the wrong reasons. But God offers us grace and unconditional love and placed the punishment of our self-worship on His Son. He did it to make us whole. He is the reason for our lives. In Him there is no need to prove anything, no need to strive, no need to control, not even a need to fear, He is our contentment.

Solomon’s ornery face. (6 months 3 weeks)

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I don’t know a lot about music, but there’s an incredible worship album that moves my heart to worship Jesus like no other right now. The album is called “Austin Stone Live” by Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas.

This band recently led worship at the Acts 29 Lead Pastors and Wives’ Retreat. They gave us all free copies, and we cannot play it enough around our house. If your music repertoire is getting a little dull, check this out. You will not be disappointed.

Here’s a link to preview their music. Enjoy!

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My little man today! 6 and half months!

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In the last 6 weeks we have been gone more than we have been home. I guess that makes Solomon a world traveler. And it makes me a world packer. Ha! Seriously, anyone who has ever traveled with an infant knows that you have to fit the whole world into your carry-on item alone!

 

Here are some traveling tips from my suitcase to yours:

1. Get your baby’s birth certificate. Have it handy.

 

2. If you are checking a car seat, keep the car seat attached to the base. This way it counts for one checked item! This is nice especially if you are using an airline that charges for checked luggage.

 

3. Want to get more bang for your buck? Place a small bag of items that you DO NOT need for traveling (i.e. your baby’s clothing, extra diapers, toys , etc.) in the car seat that’s strapped to you base (like where the baby would be if it was in the car.) ! This helps you get 3 items checked into 1. The airlines will place the whole she-bang in a plastic bag, so you win!

 

4. Most airlines allow your lap child to have 2 carry-on items. I have two words for you: UMBRELLA STROLLER. This is counted as a carry-on, but you must check it at your gate as an over-sized carry-on. Solomon loves his umbrella stroller. I do too. It’s handy, light, and I can use both hands to scarf gross airport food.

 

5. Nurse or give your little one a pacifier on the take off and landing portions of the flights. Most babies cry on flights because they can’t pop their own ears. This is the equivalent of chewing gum. It worked for us, and this mama had no drama. (It may not hurt to know your breastfeeding rights ladies. Here you go! )

 

Hope these tips help!!

Here’s our June in pictures!

-KR

 

David spoke at a youth camp in New Mexico. Solomon and I went a long!




our cabin for the week


Redeemer did baby dedications, and we dedicated Solomon to the LORD!


www.redeemerchristianchurch.com

We attended the Acts 29 Lead Pastor’s Retreat in Newport Beach, California. It was an awesome time of reflection on the last season of our life and filling up for what is ahead.


Solomon went swimming for the first time!!


We had a quick layover in Las Vegas for a few hours where we got to see Uncle Ike. My brother is on a core team that is planting a church in Las Vegas! http://www.gracecityvegas.com


We finished out by getting some physical rest together! Some sweet friends of our’s let us stay at their home for 2 days so that we could do our yearly family prayer retreat. It was so nice of them, and so very peaceful!


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Solomon on Mexican food night!

I have been recently mourning my massive hiatus from the blogging world. Fear not friends, it has not gone without missing you. Nor has it happened because I’ve lost my zeal or passion for…well, all those things I love writing about (i.e. Jesus, femininity, my passion for certain cultural hot topics…). 

 

Mainly I’ve been figuring out my new life as a mom and pastor’s wife, waiting on the postpartum hormone fog to lift, and doing a little traveling along the way. This blog serves as a connection point from me to you, but it also is sort of a release valve for me. Usually I sit down pretty excited, passionate, or steamed about something and get it all out. Well, that’s not really possible with a 5 month old that is….you heard it right, ALREADY TRYING TO CRAWL and rolling where he wants to go.

 

So I’m beginning to write in baby steps, just a little at a time. I’m cracking open my noggin’ just a little. Not expecting perfection or that I will be able to write everything I want in longer than 40 second increments. (I have stopped 4 times writing this to tend to Solomon and taken a break to rock him into his afternoon nap…I’m not joking!)

 

While there are a lot of issues on my mind to write about, they will have to wait because it feels wrong to not take the time to highlight some recent events. Please allow me to catch you up to speed on some big and small moments of late.

 

 

– Saw my brother, Ike, graduate from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. His commencement speaker was Mitt Romney, who I listened to while stroller-pacing the place to get Solomon to sleep. Congrats to him! He’s moving to Las Vegas next week to be a part of a church plant. I couldn’t be prouder of him!

 

 

– Spent time with my beautiful sister in Ohio. I got to watch her ride her horse that she has trained herself. She is an excellent rider, and I’ve made plans to watch her ride in at the Quarter Horse Congress this October.

 

– Spent my first Mother’s Day with my mom. I couldn’t have asked for a better Mother’s Day gift.

 

 

– Solomon has had a lot of recent first…first plane ride, first solid foods, and for the first time he pooped on the floor in the living room. I love being a mom of a little boy!

 

– I’ve been amazed by my husband. He’s such a hardworking, confident, Godly man. Watching God use him to love, build, and strength our church has made me love and respect that man more than I ever imagined. I’m so proud to be his best friend. There’s no person in the world that I respect more.

– David and I were recently assessed and inducted into the Acts 29 network. It was a great process for us, and we are proud that our church is now part of such a wonderful network of churches.

 

-Solomon got to meet his great grandma, Deanie, for the first time!

 

-I was honored to speak at our church’s annual women’s luncheon. It was a blast!

 

-Our church has been participating in a program called Porterbrook. It’s a leadership development/practical theological training course. And it is kicking my butt and changing my life. I highly recommend it to any and all.

 

-Oh and did I mention how much fun being a momma is?!

 

Until we meet again, enjoy our family pictures taken by my brother!

KR

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Many of you have been wondering what is next for me and David. We have been in the process of praying and discerning what exactly this new work God was calling us to was supposed to look like. We finally feel like we have clarity on what that next thing is!

The story is on my husband’s new blog! Please check it out by clicking the link below!

www.davidritchieamarillo.wordpress.com

Thank you for all the prayers and support!!

-KR

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Our Big Change: A Wife’s Perspective

David and I have been maneuvering through what is, quite frankly, the biggest transition of our lives up to this point. I’m well acquainted with change. We are practically on a first name basis. David and I had been sensing a season of change on our horizon for some time, and honestly until a month ago we didn’t know what that change would look like or when it would happen. Change is here, and everything about our lives will be different from now on.

I’ve wanted to write about it, talk it out, and share my heart. But things have been moving quicker than I could even process. I’m sure this won’t be the last blog about this massive transition for us, but I would like to say that it is the first.

Our Transition…

Something happened when “the two became one” in our world. With the collision of our lives that happened with marriage, came the collision of our callings in this life. We knew before we were married that we were called to be in ministry. And it wasn’t long after we were married that we both felt deep in our hearts that we would be a part of starting a new church one day.

It took a while to come up in conversation, but when it did it was awesome. At that time we decided to put our feelings and future to prayer and rest. We’ve earnestly prayed, but we also felt the need to rest in the present. We love our church of over 20 years, and we love the young adult’s ministry of North. We didn’t feel a need to press the future until God opened that door in our hearts.

David has been faithfully serving as the minister of North for four years and has been on staff at our church for the last seven years. We love everything about what we do and where we are. This was why, when our hearts began to sense change early in 2011, we were surprised.

The Process…

When David and I began the process of starting a family, we truly believed that our vision for our future was….well, in the distant, distant future. But almost simultaneous to the time we found out we were pregnant, we felt from God that change would be birthed around the same time as our child. Strange, yes. Not really ideal, I must admit, but we began to be convinced of this.

Doing what God asks you to do always costs something. Let’s face it, the things that matter in life always cost the most. Moving forward with what God had put in our hearts cost us the comfort and security of our church and job and financial provision. We had to be honest about what we were feeling and even the motives of our hearts.

As we moved into spring and summer, we took a step of faith and shared with our leadership at the church the direction God was leading our future. They were so gracious to lead us and pray for us. And in August, they decided to release us to do the work that God was asking of us in October.

Change Isn’t Always Bad…

I can’t tell you how unbelievably relieved I was to have the blessing of those in authority in our life. I had never prayed so much about something in my life. I feel privileged to have been led by such amazing leaders and been a part of such an amazing church, and my heart is always to honor them in every way.

This change is a wonderful (Scary, yes. Faith-filled, yes.), but change almost always hurts. It hurts to leave, and it hurts to let go. It’s hard to say goodbye to a wonderful ministry and church, even if its not to physically move away. There is always the opportunity for misinterpretation and misunderstanding during change, and I am so thankful for a church that has been so supportive. Our church has even given us provision through the end of this year.

Our Hearts…

So, as we begin this new adventure, we offer our lives to God. We want to see him glorified through how we live, our marriage, our family, and our future. We want to be a part of His mission on this earth. We want to preach and display the Gospel with our words, actions, and thankfulness.

We want to see families and churches be born, raised up, and called to that same mission, in the same way that our church has been a place to be raised and called. We feel a call to “go” into our city and be a part of founding a church that will found new churches and revitalize old ones.

We want to build up and strengthen the body of Christ. We want to take what God has formed in our hearts in the last season of our lives outside of our current four walls. We want to bring a passion for Jesus and the Gospel to a city saturated with religious knowledge. This is our heart.

What’s Next For Us…

Last night our last night at North. Yesterday was David’s last day on staff at Trinity Fellowship Church.The ministry will continue, but not with us. We will move forward with the vision that God has put in our hearts for a new thing in the city of Amarillo.

Stay tuned for more updates as we know more about what is coming.

Thank you for the outpouring of prayer and support!

KR 🙂

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