A Soul At Home.

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As many of you have seen, Lauren and I have started going by the last name Blake. I avoided putting out a blog post or social media post about it in attempt to not make it a big deal. But recently have realized that after over 12 years of ministry and living all over the country, it might be make more sense to bite the bullet and explain—why the change? A friend was joking with me saying that it looks like we entered a witness protection agency, haha! So here it goes . . . 

As some of you know from hearing my story, the name Lutz was not my birth last name. It was Nebes until around age 10. Nebes was my birth father’s last name, and he was only in my life for a short time after birth (that’s another story for another day). When my mom remarried, she became a Lutz and had my younger brother and sister. Then when my stepdad adopted me, I then took on the last name Lutz (at this point my birth father was not any part of my life).

I was always grateful to be a Lutz, some of my greatest memories were spending every Sunday at my Grandma Lutz’s house with our whole family, playing games in the basement and back yard, eating all the mountains of food, and watching sports. My Grandma Lutz was one of the best ladies around and always made me feel the same as every other blood-related grandchild she had. It really was a gift God gave her—she made everyone always feel like family in her home. My stepdad also always provided for me, and I will always be grateful for that. Even in this current phase of life, he has continued to provide and help me in any way that he can. Last year, when I put a Mitre Saw through my hand while putting in new flooring, he didn’t hesitate to get in the car drive three hours each way and work from sun up to sun down to help finish the floor in the kitchen so we could get our appliances installed. He’s always been a hard worker and taught me to work hard for what I had.

He and my mom have been there for me and my family and our love for each other grows stronger as the years go on. When I was young, there were a lot of trials that followed the divorces and remarriage. Having three step siblings and two half siblings with me right in the middle of it provided some challenges growing up. It was challenging for everyone—taking on new titles like step-brother, step-sister, half-sister, half-brother, step-father, step-mother, step-son. I was the only one who wasn’t related to my stepdad, and I don’t think anyone ever tried to treat me differently, but the reality was that I was different. Anyone who has lived through the aftermath of divorce knows of the trials and pain that come with it. Later in life I carried the weight of that pain and I was angry and bitter for the hand I was given and for some of the things that happened. Today, when I think about my last name, I remember my Grandma Lutz and all of the good memories with the family, but there are also deep wounds that naturally come from a broken home. And I think about my real dad too.  

I carried all of this pain until age 20 when I finally gave it all to God. I forgave many of the people not only in my life but also apart from me—and began to move on. Finally some things in my life started to heal, but the scar was still there. Then two months before my son was born I received a phone call that in many ways changed my life. It was my sister—a sister who I had never met or talked to that lived in Chicago. We talked for an hour just getting to know each other and at the end of the conversation, she encouraged me to talk to my dad, and I immediately hesitated. A couple weeks later another phone call came, the first words that came through the phone were, “Brent, this is your dad and I’m so sorry.” That phone call completely altered my life. I broke down, released things that had held me back, and a man who had never been a part of my life now was back in front and center. (A side note) From as early as I can remember I had sleep problems, anxiety, night terrors, sleep walking, and vivid dreams. All the way up into my early marriage I would have night terrors and sleepwalk. But from the day my dad apologized to me over the phone and on going I have not had one sleep issue—almost six years an counting. 

For the last seven years of our marriage, Lauren and I have considered changing our last name.  Especially after connecting with my dad, the issue has become more about identity. Yes, I understand a name is just a name. But for me it’s the name I will give my kids, it’s how I see myself, and it carries a lot of meaning. Blake is my mom’s maiden name. It’s the name of the family who raised me when my mom was single and on her own with me. It’s the last name of my grandfather and uncles, who all three are heroes in my life (I truly believe I have the best grandpa and two of the best uncles of anyone on the planet), the Blake side of my family is always the family that my soul felt the most at home with over the last 33 years of my life—it’s who I really am. This doesn’t make me any less grateful for the life my stepdad provided for me, the family it gave me, and the memories I will always cherish. But for me it was always a little bit of a split in my soul. 

With Anchor launching, us moving to a new city and making new friends, and our children finally starting school, Lauren and I began to have the conversation about our last name. It became a now or never type of thing. I remember how hard it was to change my name as a kid in school and I never want my kids to have to go through that if we decided to do it later on in life. Ultimately we landed that it was the right time to change our last name to Blake, and it wasn’t an easy decision at all. One thing that was important to me was sitting down with my mom and stepdad to explain why, and it was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had. The last thing I wanted was to hurt anyone (immediate or extended family). It’s honestly one of the reasons we put it off for seven years. So I sat down explained what we wanted to do and why. It naturally stirred up some emotions, but it was the right thing to do. It doesn’t change how I feel about my stepdad, mom, Lutz family, extended family, or siblings (my younger brother is still my best friend in life—Jake Lutz). It doesn’t change how grateful I am to have that family in my life and my kids don’t know any difference and they still love their grandpa (a lot). At the end of the day it was just something we needed to do. 

The full circle of this long blog post is that God in this season of my life has not only fully restored me and my identity, but he has restored my family. I have a great wife and two amazing kids who love their families and each other, and I have a sister in my life for the last five years who I never had before, I have a great mom who has sacrificed a lot for me over the years and loves me deeply, I have not one dad but two dads now in my life that I can go to for advice and love my family—God has given me what I never thought I would have and my soul finally feels at rest in my identity. I’m grateful for the Lutz family and nothing changes with them being family to me. God is in the redeeming business and he has redeemed so much for my whole family—the Lutz’s, the Nebes’s, and the Blake’s. It's a new season and I'm grateful for all of the family God has given our family.

Thanks for reading.

BRENT BLAKE

Call

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Something that people talk about frequently in the Christian world is the word calling. People often ask questions related to the word calling such as, “what is God’s calling on your life?” . . . “do you feel called to do this?” It’s funny that people use the word calling because it’s more of a feeling then a call, and it’s something that requires prayer to make sure we’re actually hearing correctly from Him. God isn’t calling you on the phone to tell you what He wants you to do or where He wants you to go. However, He uses encounters, situations, people and countless other methods to speak to us about our calling and what He wants us to do with our lives. 

Throughout the Bible, God calls many people to carry out various tasks to further His kingdom and spread the gospel. He called Noah to build an ark, He called Ezra to rebuild the temple, He called Jonah to share the gospel to the people of Nineveh, He called Paul into ministry to spread the gospel all over. All of these people answered the calling (at some point) and were able to be used by God in many different ways.

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Sometimes people assume that a calling is only church ministry related. I don’t believe that to be true. My dad is a perfect example of this. He has never held a pastoral or ministry position in his life (aside from being a church small group leader). He has been in the heating and cooling business for about thirty years and it’s been something that he loves doing. Every day he is given numerous opportunities to share the love of Christ to his coworkers as well as the customers that he fixes their furnaces and air conditioners. It’s not a church position but he feels called to use the opportunities he’s been given to tell people about Jesus and use his profession to further the Kingdom of God. 

Each and every one of us has a calling on our lives. The Bible says in John 15:16; “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” Whether we realize it or not we have been placed on this earth for a purpose (or for our calling) and it’s up to us to answer that calling on our lives. It could be vocational ministry related or it could not be. But whatever our calling may be, we need to do it to the best of our ability. 

Whatever He Needs

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This past week we helped my Aunt Barb throw a surprise party for my Uncle’s 60thbirthday, complete with a Swenson’s food truck—home of the galley boy cheeseburger. YUM. Anyways, I’m always amazed at how everyone, whether they were prepared to or not, came to help. They were quick to volunteer to run errands for my Aunt when there wasn’t enough basil for the salad she was making or bags of ice for the coolers. Friends walked in the door and immediately offered to tidy up or blow up balloons. It was really all hands on deck and everyone was happy to help participate, making it all the more better of a surprise. My Uncle Dana pulled into the driveway with everyone standing in the lawn holding balloons, jumping up and down and singing. My five-year-old son raced right to him after he got out of the car and gave him a giant hug too. The whole night was pretty awesome!

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Everyone was working together doing their part. I’m the baker in the family, so I set up the dessert table. The strong men were setting up the heavy tables and carried them outside to the patio. My mom who loves to serve by cleaning walked right in and started washing all of the bowls. The mentality, “I’ll go, I’ll do it, whatever you need me to do,” was pretty much what family and friends took on for this event. They weren’t serving themselves, they were serving my Aunt and Uncle. Really any event or holiday is all the more successful and enjoyable with this kind of attitude, especially for the host or hostess. It reduces the risk of someone getting overloaded, really stressed out, overwhelmed, etc. Even the smallest person can help, whether it’s through a task, a positive attitude, or an act of kindness, just like my little boy running to give a hug. 

“So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them . . .” Romans 12: 6

The body of Christ is a beautiful thing—best accomplished when we put ourselves behind us. Then we goand dowhatever needs to be done. What an amazing world this would be if we all used our gifts to their fullest potential! What a happy party that would be. 

This mentality is one that we have taken on during this season of starting a new church. The opportunity sort of fell into our laps suddenly last year, and we knew it would be a season full of challenges and stress. But this was God calling us. His way for us. So trusting in him we said, “I’ll go, I’ll do it, whatever Heneeds us to do.” And with that, we uprooted our family into a new city and began our mission to fundraise a very large sum of money to finance a church. We’ve had all hands on deck through it—through people and church’s supporting us, through our friends and staff moving with us to Toledo. Even the smallest word of encouragement or act of kindness has propelled us forward. When things seem overwhelming, God has been affirming and providing for us. Even as far as providing us with a rent-free building, which is cause for celebration! So even when it’s been hard, we get up and go. We keep moving and use our gifts. We work together as a team. His body. And God is faithful through and through!

Father, thank you for the gifts you have given me. I will try to put myself aside so that I can go and do whatever you need me to do. Serving others, serving you, so that people can recognize your son and his grace. Amen! 

Lots of Love, from Lauren 

God’s Best!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about walking in faith and God’s will/plan for our lives. I think we are always presented with options sometimes they are from God, sometimes they may look like they are from God (but are not), and sometimes they are not at all from God and more driven our human desires. So often hearing Gods voice can be hard, and many times multiple options in in life sound like God...So how do you know which to follow?

I think first it requires prayer. Most of us that follow Christ downplay the importance of our prayer life, but it’s the lifeline between us and God. If we aren’t actively in conversation with God how can we ever know when He is speaking? Let me put it this way, my kids know the sound of my voice. It doesn’t matter what the situation it is, if I speak there is a peace that follows. I have a relationship with them, we read stories, we play, we talk, and we pray together. So when I speak there is a comfort for them in the sound of my voice. God desires the same with us, and our souls desire the same from God; it starts with our prayer life.

The second thing required takes action; an abundance of faith. Like any big decision in life there is risk, the same goes with following God. He’s is always calling us to move forward in faith, and most of the time it always costs us something. Take Peter for example, he steps out of the boat not worrying about the water but focused on the voice of Jesus. There was a risk, it could of literally cost the man his life—but he knew who was calling him (Matthew 14). Or how about Moses, he walks before literally the most powerful man in the world and demands him to give up his basically free work force because God demands it (Exodus 7). The very request should have cost Moses his life! Both of these examples knew the one who called them, risk didn’t matter, their role in the story was to walk in obedience.

Our journey in church planting has been no different. We sold our house, packed up our family, and moved to a city where we knew literally not one person. Many would say “what were you thinking?”—truth is I have asked myself the same question a few times. So why haven’t we given up? We press forward because there is no other option for our family, knowing we are walking in the will of the Lord outweighs and risk. The best part God has been so faithful to us along the way.

We had options when we were going to plant Anchor. We thought for sure the right option was to plant in our hometown, it made the most sense. That option would of yeilded an abundance of rewards, and I’m sure God would have used us there. So why not? It wasn’t God calling us there, it was our own desires and what was comfortable. God made it very clear Toledo was are home and His will for us. It’s the thing that has kept us moving forward on the hard days, and he continues to affirm it every step of the way. My point is there was a risk, it cost us something, but I would do it a million times over.

I think sometimes God gives us choices, and it doesn’t always mean every choice is bad. Sometimes multiple choices can be good choices. But if my desire it to fully become who He created me to be, to fulfill the complete call He has placed on my life it requires taking a step of faith into the unknown. God’s best for you is right around the corner. Don’t settle for a bowl of soup and compromise the blessing God has for your future (Genesis 25). I’m not sure what Anchor will look like next year (or in 5), but I know we are right where God has called us to be. So it doesn’t matter what the future holds, it only matters that we follow His steps daily—walking in faith.

— Brent Lutz

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Own The Moment

 Photo: Samgold Photography

Photo: Samgold Photography

(Some thoughts from one of our team members Taylor)

I’ve lived in Florida almost my whole life, in early October I made the decision to relocate to Toledo, Ohio to start Anchor Church. For perspective that is sixteen hours and over 1,000 miles from my small hometown in Bushnell, FL where I was born and raised. The thought of being that far away from my home, my family, and everything that I loved, crushed my heart. I was wary and fearful of packing up my life at twenty years old and leaving everything that was comfortable and familiar to me. However, I knew in the depths of my heart that this decision was one that needed to be made in the spirit and not in the flesh. One night while I was praying my mom called me and told me to read this verse.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

In this verse Isaiah has only seen God in visions, but when God asks “who will go?” Isaiah’s only reasonable response is to volunteer himself. My favorite part about this verse is that God did not force Isaiah to go, he merely asked who would go, and Isaiah was saying “I will, I am ready.” God doesn’t force us to serve, but He works in our hearts so that we desire to serve the kingdom of God. Serving the kingdom of God is an honor and a privilege.

I would be lying if preparing my heart to leave has been easy, but I would also be lying if I said that God has not guided my every step and blessed me along the way. Every day I am reminded of Isaiah and I am inspired by his willingness to serve God. I am reminded that God’s call on our lives is not always lavish or comfortable, it is an uphill battle and a grind. God never promised “easy”, but he did promise to never abandon us.

My encouragement today is to live a life like Isaiah. Be ready to go and be willing to serve wherever God calls you. Understand that serving the kingdom is not always picture perfect, but rejoice in knowing that God created you for this very moment. Don’t be afraid to serve, don’t be afraid to witness, don’t be afraid to go.

-Taylor

Rest

 Photo Credit:  Jake Lutz

Photo Credit: Jake Lutz

This past Sunday we were in Cleveland, OH with our Kings Church family visiting (great church to check out if you're in the Cleveland or surrounding areas). The pastor that morning was speaking on rest and practicing Sabbath. This morning a friend of mine text out this verse

 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Now Jesus is speaking about a specific type of rest in this passage, but nonetheless he is still speaking to the concept of placing our trust in Him and casting our worry to Him. It's about pausing in the midst of our busyness, to-do lists, messy homes, childrens' activities, projects, and taking a breath. Not just any breath, but breathing in the very breath of God. 

I find this very encouraging and yet challenging for Lauren and me during this church planting season. It can become completely crippling all of the projects that need to be done, the funds that need to be raised, the people that we need to somehow meet, and then you add in family time and meeting the needs of our two preK children. When you begin to live behind your to-do list, it can very quickly become dangerous. Not just with your personal relationships and the neglect that can take place. But something else begins to take place. We begin to believe the lie that we are in control of the list. Now don't get me wrong, it's important to be organized and to get actual things done. But the damage happens when the "candle begins to burn at both ends" in our lives. When stress, worry, and exhaustion enter our lives because there aren't enough minutes in the day, days in the week, or months in the year . . . we forget to breathe. 

The whole purpose of practicing a Biblical Sabbath wasn't necessarily about physical rest and relaxation, although at times it is much needed and deserved. But for God's people, the mandate of the Sabbath was more about His people pausing for one day and acknowledging the lack of control they really have over their lives. Pausing, breathing and acknowledging to God that our lives are really just His. That He holds the keys to it all and that none of it really matters unless we realize that He is really the one in control of literally everything. It's all about shifting our perspective on a regular basis. We have lost in many ways the art of Sabbath, and it is robbing our culture of true rest.

As I wrestled with this thought this morning something clicked inside of me for the first time in months, I felt a release. My to-do list is very important (and still needs to get done), but as long as I put the work in and trust God he will take care of the rest. I don't need to live under the yoke of stress or anxiety because my job is to step where God leads in faith, and when I understand my place I can begin to walk with a deeper understanding of who is leading me. A mentor of mine always says: 

"Work like it's up to you, pray like it's up to God."

It's true. Our lives aren't really in our control and part of the journey of understanding God in all of his majesty is putting our lives in the proper place. Maybe your a business professional and it seems like the stack on your desk is neverending. Or maybe you come home from work and the home projects just keep piling up, to the point where you lay awake at night wondering how you will get it all done. Or maybe you are a stay at home mom juggling the pressures of being a wife, parent, caretaker, and struggling just to keep your sanity and some piece of order day in and day out. The answer isn't more minutes in the day but rather understanding who is in charge of the very breath your lungs take in . . . God. I want to encourage you today to press in, find the Sabbath not only on a weekly basis (be strict about it), but find the time on a daily basis to get your focus right. He is where we find true peace, comfort, and rest from the troubles of life. He is always with us.

-Brent

Favor

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Lately, I've been thinking about God's favor. For a long time when I heard about the "favor of the Lord" I either associated it with prosperity or a pass to do what you want (like a spoiled child). It left a weird taste in my mouth whenever the subject was brought up . . . but the older I get and the more I come to understand God as our father (through my own fatherhood) I see God's favor in a completely different way. 

When I look to my five-year-old son, he is in a phase of life now where everything is a learning opportunity. He is continually given grace but also at times correction. This can be a difficult period of life not only for my son but also for me as a father. It requires grace and many times an abundance of patience. But my role is to guide him, protect him, and teach him as his father. There is no greater honor I have found then to raise my son, and in doing so I am able to pass on everything that has been given to me.

This has changed how I view God and his favor. The psalmist writes: 

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

God is our guide, He is leading us, always and continually correcting our course. But He is also our shield, protecting us and standing as our defender. In doing so he "bestows" upon us all that He not only is but has. It says in the Psalm, "No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." This isn't a one-liner to encourage riches or everything we might want (as I once thought), but rather a promise that God has completely and freely given Himself to those of us who know and walk in His light.

I want to encourage you today. Maybe you are in a season of guidance, correction, or growth. God's favor might not feel present or even given--the same as a child who might not feel the love of a parent in the moment of correction or teaching. But God's favor has already been given, He corrects and guides because of His great love for us. Be encouraged that He is walking with you. He does not hide from us, nor does He abandon us. Rest in the protection of your father in heaven, understand that He has fully given all that is His in heaven to you. As the father says in Luke 15: "'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours."

Walk uprightly and understand your father is guiding your steps and protecting you when needed.

-Brent

Taking Ground

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I promise you what I promised Moses: Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— Joshua 1:3 NLT

The topic of taking new ground has been a topic of conversation amongst our team as we prepare the launch of Anchor Church in the Toledo area. Joshua 1:3 has been a promise we have been speaking over our team lately and also over our family as a reminder of what God has called us to do. In Joshua 1:3, Joshua has taken over leading the Israelites after Moses’s death. After 40+ years of waiting, the tribes are about to enter the land they have been promised. I’m sure Joshua was filled with a mixture of emotions: excitement, joy, faith, fear, and doubt, just to name a few. Questions I’m sure are flooding his head . . . “What is about to happen? What if no one follows me? What if I fail? What if I don’t have enough faith? What if I’m not as good as Moses?” But God silences the thoughts and questions with this one promise: “Wherever you set foot, you will be on the land I have given you.” God is telling Joshua that he has already prepared the way for him, to not walk in fear, but to remember who is guiding his steps. God had called, prepared, and commissioned Joshua for this moment. And his job was to walk in faith.

The idea of taking new ground is something that isn’t just for those launching a new ministry or planting a church. But in all of our lives there are seasons and moments where God calls us to step into uncharted territory or a new calling. Maybe you’re a first-time parent, or maybe you’re a first-time father or husband who has never seen healthy family relationships. Or maybe you’re a high school or college graduate launching into a new season of vocation, or maybe you are building the foundation for your future as a high school or middle school student. We all experience seasons where God calls us to take new ground, and during those seasons it’s important to understand who the one is calling us into this new season. A really good illustration is when you hold your child for the first time and you don't have a clue what to do next. But God has already given you the ability to raise your children up, because He is the author of our lives.

This is a promise for all of us, this is a promise that God is with us. Just as God was with Joshua as he stepped into the unknown, God continues to lead us down new paths. So I want to encourage you today to own the path God has given you, own the season of life you’re in, to not stray from your calling but to lean into what he has already promised you. This doesn’t mean that seasons and moments of failure and discouragement won't arise. At times they will seem too large to conquer. But when they come, always rest in the promise that God is with you, God has given you divine authority, and God has already birthed within you the ability to do far more than you even feel capable. I end with this quote that has been an encouragement for me during this season of life from (the quite popular) Joanna Gaines:

“Don’t quit, and don’t give up. The reward is just around the corner. And in times of doubt or times of joy, listen for that still, small voice. Know that God has been there from the beginning—and he will be there until . . .The end.”

Own the new ground God has given you,

-Brent

HIGHS & LOWS

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Church planting has been a season of highs and lows, but throughout Lauren and I have found that God continues to be faithful to our family during this season. Some of those moments have been expected and others seem to have blindsided us. But God has been teaching us to wade in the water of his presence. I have been reading through the book of Psalms lately, and if anyone knew these feelings it was David. Even in his childhood, he knew the feeling of standing directly in in the presence and favor of God, and the next moment feeling completely alone and isolated. As I read the Psalms, his faith in the Lord never fades: “I will praise you, O Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonders (Psalm 9:1). Even in his doubt, he continues to trust the Lord. 

Let this be an encouragement to you this afternoon as it has to me. Trust in the Lord. There will be seasons where His presence is almost palpable like you couldn’t get any closer. But at other times He will seem completely distant, don’t believe the lies of the enemy-as Deuteronomy says “neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I want to encourage you to lean into that promise today, wherever you are on the journey He is with you.

I leave you with this story (testimony). This last week was one of those weeks that felt like I was dwelling in the furnace, discouraged, depressed, and honestly feeling like giving up I continued to press on with my work. Since Anchor currently doesn’t have church offices most of my time is spent in coffee shops when I am not working at home (I try to get out of the house as much as possible not only for my sanity but to make connections with people), so I was at a local coffee shop for a meeting then I decided to stay to get some work done for the day. I was really trying to grind some stuff out this day so I had my headphones in, also considering the week I didn’t feel much like talking to people…It had been a couple hours of staring at the screen so I decided to get up walk around and get a glass of water, so I took the headphones out. As I sat back down the girl that had been sitting next to me for a couple hours spoke up and began talking to me. She had overheard my meeting a couple hours earlier, and had heard we were planting a church in the Toledo area. She began to share with me that she lived in one of the suburbs of the city, how she has been attending her parents church that she grew up in-but was looking for somewhere that she could grow more, and how her and her boyfriend have been praying for a faith community that they could connect with and grow together in. I took a few minutes to share about our church with her, invited her to keep an eye on our website for when we are having our next interest gathering, and we exchanged information. She packed up to leave and I put my headphones back in to continue my work, but I began to reflect on the completely random and unexpected conversation that just took place. The Lord spoke to me that Lauren and I are right where he had called us, that there is a hunger and a need in this city. Our call isn’t to dwell on the roadblocks that come our way, but to walk in faith and obedience. This small (but significant) conversation I feel was God’s way of encouraging us, He has us right where he would want, the work we are doing is important (although unseen) in building Anchor but more importantly building His church to advance the Gospel across Toledo. 

I share that story to encourage you this morning. Your job, school, or being a stay at home mom might seem insignificant. You might feel like the work you are doing isn’t important or might have voices of discouragement coming at you. Rest in His promises that He is with you, when we learn to walk in faith and obedience God will continue to bless the work that you are doing even when it goes unnoticed. If you're a stay at home mom that is grinding out the day to day with your children behind closed doors, you are not just a stay at home mom, but you are a torchbearer for the Lord-You have the opportunity to guide and pray for your children daily. If you are in school, you are not just in school but you are building the foundation for the ministry that God is calling you into, He is preparing you for His calling even in the mundane. Or if like us you are in a season of ministry where God has called you off the platform and most of your time is spent behind the scenes, God is with you-God daily is providing opportunities to advance the Kingdom around you. 

This has been a great reminder during this season, it seems like every day God opens up a door for our family. Just last night, I received a random voicemail from someone who got my number that wanted to connect about Anchor-they were interested in being a part of the church and wanted to help us make connections int he community. Just remember even when we don’t feel it God is faithful, and he is ALWAYS good!

-BRENT-