6.19.07 (I couldn’t come up with a better title.)

The below is from an e-mail I sent to friends and family about a week ago. Since asking for prayer in specific areas, I have seen the Lord move ever so greatly. As of now, my back still aches. That is the lesser important though. The Lord has been moving in our Wednesday night gathering and in the lives of those who have been coming in amazing ways. We have prayed that the Holy Spirit would come, and truthfully, I feel that the Holy Spirit has decided to come and camp out over our house. Here is that e-mail:

It’s 4a. For the past few hours I have been wrestling with ideas,
dreams, desires and the call of God. It’s been an exciting week.
Before I go into the details, please allow me to catch you up on
what’s been taking place in my life here in Columbia.

Most of you are aware that I have been employed with Wachovia for
about a year and a half as a “Personal Service Representative, Banker
II.” Truth be told, it’s the fancy title that Wachovia gives to their
Call Center employees. Bottom line: I take back to back telephone
calls for eight hours a day from our customers. While at times it can
be a very frustrating job- it does have it’s rewards. I delight in
helping individuals gain a better understanding of their finances and
banking in general.

I am living in a duplex just off of Main Street in downtown Columbia.
This area of town can be classified one of two ways:
A). The ghetto.
B). An up-and-coming part of town at the beginning stages of
revitalization. There are new locally owned shops, eateries, and
offices opening every week. The City of Columbia is pumping millions
of dollars into revitalizing this historic and diverse section of
town.
(Oh– and as for how I classify this part of town, I choose option B.)

I have an 11m old yellow lab named Killian. She is my “daughter.”
Even as I write this e-mail, she is laying here asleep beside me. She
is spoiled and very protective of her daddy! Oh- and I also have an
amazing roommate named Rich. Rich has been a brother to me. He has
been the best roommate one could ever ask for. We have many things in
common: A love for good food; A hate for alarm clocks that go off way
too early; A desire to see one another grow spiritually.

There are two big things I want to make sure I take time to write
specifically about today. I have been having back pain for the past
several months. Originally I thought my chair at work might need
replacing or maybe I had bad posture. Sitting eight hours a day does
a number on your back. I tried out several different chairs and would
take Alieve to help ease the pain, but things continued to get worse.
After several visits to my family doctor, he finally did an MRI and it
has been discovered that I have severe Degenerative Disc Disease and
arthritis in my lower back. It’s gotten so severe that my doctor has
referred me to a Spine Specialist as well as a Pain Management
Specialist. I have been out of work for the past month and a half on
Short Term Disability, doing Physical Therapy three to four times a
week. He also has me on several muscle relaxers and medications
trying ease up the pain. The Pain Specialist has decided to try doing
Epidural Steroid Injections to see if that will help stop, or at least
ease up the pain. I will have my first round of injections this week.
The epidural injections are the last option before resorting to
surgery to help stop the pain. The doctor said that most of this is
hereditary. (Thanks mom and dad!) Hopefully, the epidural injections
along with the Physical Therapy will get me back to myself.

The second things is this: I have joked with my friends for months
that I was going to start a church. Now after much prayer, planning
and direction from the Lord and others, I am the leader of a new house
church here in Columbia. The house church is called Conversations.
The name came about largely because of the format of the church and
our belief that much spiritual change comes about through prayer or
our “conversations” with God and though conversations with other
believers. I know for myself the Lord has used conversations I have
had with Himself and other believers to radically change my life. We
hope that the Lord would use such conversations to change the lives of
those who attend. The general format of our meetings are also very
discussion based. This helps to create a relational environment in
which each person feels connected.

It is geared toward 20 to 30 year olds. We had our first official
meeting this past Wednesday with seven people showing up. Thankfully
I have some experience in the church planting ministry since I did an
internship several summers ago with a church plant in Fishers, IN. A
lot of what I learned there has come into play down here. We’re
starting small, asking the Lord to guide us and “enlarge our
territory” as He sees fit. For now we are meeting at my house. We
will then move to a bigger living room/gathering space when the time
comes. I guess my official title in the past week has become
Leader/Guide/Administrator/Graphic Artist/Webpage
Designer/Cook/Communicator… Thankfully in this start up phase
everyone involved has been flexible and willing to do everything
possible to make this a success as we seek after what the Lord has for
us. There is a huge need right now for a church/gathering for
20-somethings here in Columbia. Many of the local churches have
excellent College Ministries, but don’t have anything as far as a
Bible Study/outreach for those straight out of college, single, and
entering the working world. The other exciting thing is that many of
the people have shown interest in this would not set foot in a
traditional church with stained glass windows, hymnals and pews.

I write to ask for your prayer specifically for two things:
1). My physical healing. It has been extremely frustrating not being
able to simply take a pill and be cured, such as one would do with an
ear infection or a sore throat. Never in my life have I experienced
chronic pain. It is humbling. It has made me more sensitive to those
who suffer. For that, I am grateful. Maybe it is wrong of me to pray
that the Lord would heal me of this? So, I simply ask that He would
use the pain to continue to teach me, and if it is His will, that He
would take it away when He sees fit. I also ask that you would pray
that the Lord would give my doctors wisdom and guidance. Thankfully,
my all of my doctors are believers. (How awesome is that!)

2). Pray for Conversations. We meet every Wednesday at 9p. Pray for
me as I will be doing most of the teaching on a weekly basis. Pray
for unity among those that attend. Pray that the Spirit of the Lord
would be upon us- protecting us from Satan. Spiritual warfare if very
real and we have already encountered it. Pray for the unbelievers that
attend. Right now we have several people that are on edge of a
relationship with the Lord! Pray that the Lord would be in our
conversations.

>>END OF E-MAIL

Pray for Rich’s girlfriend Tiffany. She has been having terriable headaches almost daily. It’s the kind of headache that Alieve won’t take away and that put you in bed for the rest of the day. We are believing that the Lord is going to cure her. Please join us in praying for her.

I ask that you continue praying for my back. Just this past week I had to go to the Emergency Room during the night because the pain became so intense.

It’s hard to believe that I will celebrate my 24th birthday on July 17th… Wow, this year has gone by so quick. God continues to amaze me with His grace and the outpouring of His Spirit. I pray that the same would be true for you.

Please take time to comment/leave me some love by hitting the COMMENT link below.

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