The other day I was listening to a message from Ruthanne Garlock. She described a message that her husband John Garlock used to preach. It was about not turning back from the gospel. At the end of the message he would have the congregation write in the front of their Bibles something like, “I will never turn back from following Jesus”. (I cannot remember the exact phrasing). Ms. Ruthanne said she heard the message many times about John growing up on the mission field and making the decision to be “All in”. At some time during the 80s (that’s the 1980s for you younger folks), she had penned the words in the front of her Bible. When he passed away in 2005, she was struggling with what she would do…she was already a writer and speaker but she felt lost without her husband (he died quiet suddenly at the age of 80 having just returned from Africa on a missions trip.
I am a writer.
Here’s the proof….
All the journals I’ve written over the years. There is all kinds of stuff in these babies. Some of it is funny and I roll my eyes at it now.
Around 2004 I started writing this in the front of my journals….
No Reserve, No Retreat, No Regret.
I have no idea where the quote came from but I think it has some military background.
When it comes to God, I will reserve nothing, I will not retreat and I will not live a life that I will regret. I am “All In”.
There is no other option but God. I’ve wanted to quit a few times but where would I go? What would I do? Psalms 139 says:
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
Seriously…there is no other option.
Likewise, when God leads us to make change in our lives….it’s not optional. We are “All in” what ever He directs. Sometimes that looks like change.
Our family is in transition right now. We have been serving at a lovely church and we have been in a healing season…in a safe place.
Several months ago, some of our dear friends came and told us they were going to be launching a church in our area along with a couple we know, who will pastor the church. Instantly our hearts were drawn to get involved. We have a chance to do what we weren’t able to to with our current church which is participate in the launch; the planting of a body of believers. As we have always felt called to plant a church, we wanted to serve at a church being planted.
And we prayed.
Then we began to receive words of confirmation that we were to join the launch team for the church plant.
The Hubs met with our pastor and shared his heart about what we were going to do.
It was with a bittersweet heart that we attended our last “official” service at our church this week. Bitter because there are many friends there who we will miss seeing every week. And Sweet because we are so very excited about our new venture.
May God richly bless all the churches in our region with a spiritual awakening like we have never seen. May we bring glory to His name!