Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Times Are Changing

These are exciting times in the Simpson household.  After 3 1/2 years what we planned to be a year long sabbatical from vocational ministry will finally be coming to an end as I begin my new position as the Associate Pastor at South End Baptist Church in Frederick, Maryland.  This has been a very long journey for our family as we have faithfully sought out the place of ministry God has for us, and we truly feel South End is the place.  Words cannot really express how humbled we are to be given this opportunity and to be joining such a faithful body of believers.  Just in the short time that we've known them they have shown us over and over the love of Christ from caring for our children during the interview process to providing movers for us to many other things that are to numerous to mention.  We are ready to get started.

As we move forward in this ministry and in our lives I felt like this was an appropriate time to begin a blog.  I've tried to blog before with varying degrees of success.  But I hope to stay faithful to it this time whether it's sharing what the Lord is teaching me or answering a question someone (assuming anyone actually reads this thing) has about God or the Bible or baseball :) or giving an update on what is happening with our family.  If you have prayer needs feel free to share them, and I will pray for you.  I want this blog to be a place where I can connect with people whether it's my new church family or the many family and friends we're leaving behind.    I'm not in love with the layout of the blog, but we'll call it a work in progress, and I suppose there's more important things anyway.

The title of the blog comes from Micah 6:8, which says, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (ESV)  This has been a very significant verse to Michelle and me as we've journeyed through this sabbatical season.  I've gained a better understanding that this is what the Lord requires of me, and that I cannot do it on my own, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit living in me.  I do not do these things in order to gain favor with God but out of humble thankfulness for all that He has done for me.  If I am to live a life pleasing to the Lord then I must "do justice" which means that I must care for the "least of these".  I must give sacrificially of what I have for the good of others, and I must lead my family (and my church) to do the same.    I should "love kindness" or mercy as the King James Version says.  This means that I forgive people, not out of obligation but graciously because of what God has done for me.  I'm kind because kindness is a part of the fruit of the Spirit and the Spirit lives in me.  And I "walk humbly with my God" realizing that it is God who gives me strength to do any good thing.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope to make it worth your while to visit from time to time, and I'd love to hear from you if you have any comments.  Our journey has taken many interesting twists and turns over the last few years, but God was faithful and in control the whole time and had something better prepared for us than we could have ever imagined for ourselves.  That's why He's God.

In His Grace,

Our new church home...

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