Laying Down Your Everything

Wednesday, July 01, 2015  ::  

Hey, hey, hey! It's July 1, 2015 which means Chad and I are celebrating 20 years of wedded bliss!
Twenty years of love, ministry, fighting, making up, raising kids, moving to different countries and different states, opening our home, crying and laughing, deep conversation, cheesiness beyond imagination, and so so so much more. I'm so blessed by this man. He loves me well. I can't express to you the fun we've had over these 20 years. I pray God allows us at least 20 more years together.

We are also starting our two week vacation today. The timing is perfect and somewhat stressful. As I mentioned in the last post,  a house remodel was forced upon us. But good news: the finished bathroom is amazing! Chad's goal was to finish everything before we left so we could come home and not have to pick up the hammers and paint brushes right away. Perfect timing.
It is stressful because we are in crunch time to move into our new church building. For my readers who do not attend Second Mile, we are calling our new facility El Centro. For ten years, we've benefited from the generosity of other Tucson churches, so our body experientially learned that we are the church, not a building. We don't want to lose this deep truth in our ethos, so we are choosing not to call our new space "the church" because the people are the church. Our first Sunday at El Centro is August 2nd, which means work needs to be accomplished...and we are leaving for two weeks. Oh man, stressful timing. The good news is we are a group, a body of people who work together, and we have leaders and lists in place to make the next few weeks efficient and effective. Have I ever mentioned that I love my church? So, so much.
The front of our new space. Photo taken by my good friend, Nate E. 
If you are still checking in for scripture memory, let me congratulate you on staying the course for more than half the year. Great job! You are working to make this a true discipline.

When I come to a transition in my own personal bible study and I'm not sure what to do next, I head to the gospels to hear from Jesus, so I've been reading through Matthew. As you all know, this world is no easy place to live. As a follower of Jesus, I want to make sure I'm pointing to him in my actions and in my speech. "Love wins" is all over the place right now, and every time I see it I think of John 15:13. "Greater love has no one than this, than someone lay down his life for his friends." Love that truly wins is about laying down your life, your agendas, your ideas, your rights, your self-righteousness, your contempt, your stubbornness, your status, your everything, the way Jesus did. His love wins because it never fails. I want to be more and more like him in how I love people in this life. This is not meant as a slight towards anyone who uses "love wins." This is a caution to my fellow followers of Jesus to be sure you are showing Whose love is the ultimate winner.

I'm familiar with this passage so I'm hoping it will be easy to memorize. I want it to be a reminder of how I want to live in our ever evolving culture. Far be it from me to be a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal, but have no love.

Matthew 5:13-16 
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
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Please share what you are memorizing. It would also be encouraging if you would share how you decide what you will be memorizing. Do you have a system? Do you randomly choose passages? Do you go for single verses or whole sections? 

Many blessings to you as you seek to know and show true, steadfast, winning love! 

8 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Angela DeSoto said...

Yay for so much good stuff happening in your life! I love the new bathroom and while love may seem like a strong word for a bathroom, I will stand by it because I know how long you have needed it remodeled, how much work went into it this last month, and how good it looks all finished!
Congrats on 20 years. That is such a huge accomplishment and it fills me with joy to watch you two love each other well. My marriage is absolutely stronger because of your example.

I didn't do a good job memorizing my verse last month. So, that is still on the horizon, and I'll be adding another passage for July.

Last month's:
Isaiah 48:10-11
"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another."

This month's:
Isaiah 43:1-2
"But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear no, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."

Many times I choose to memorize a verse based on what series we're studying at Second Mile or what has struck me in my personal studying time. But for July, those verses came to my heart while you were praying for me last Monday, Angel, and I realized I didn't know it by heart. So that's how I chose to make it a focus.

Matt Munsey said...

Congratulations to you both., and thank you. In what I am sure feels like a short 20 years, your marriage has already left a legacy.

In a time when marriage has lost most of its honor, authority, and possibly it's meaning; it is so vital to have good examples in our culture. With divorce the common outcome that it is, many have experienced a poor example of a failing marriage.

For me this was the case. But God is faithful, and has provided Susie and I with several great marriages to counter that example.

So thank you both for your faithfulness to each other, because it has also been a faithfulness to us.

psalm9567 said...

I am not memorizing anything right now, but I'm reading through Joshua. I'll pick a passage to memorize. It's definitely something I've let slide. Enjoy your vacation. The building will be there when you get back, but this time away with your family is precious time indeed.

And your bathroom looks amazing! :) Well done, Chad!

Jenna Miles said...

One of the many reasons I enjoy congratulating you on your anniversary (besides celebrating your awesome, real marriage and the example you two are to our community) is there is usually a pic of Chad with hair. I love it :)

I have been pretty lethargic in this area - which is weird, because I feel like this passage is especially applicable to my life right now - of being built up, strengthened, and loved on. So I'm gonna keep on keepin' on and hopefully it will click.

He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. - 2 Samuel 22:34-35

Ferial Trammell said...

CONGRATUFREAKINGLATIONS on 20 years!! Beautiful wedding photos, and I hope you have the best vacation! I love visiting your inter-space, Angel, because I always find so much encouragement. Thanks for being you. Love, Ferial

Alisa Wilhelm said...

Congratulations you two! I love seeing your marriage and how goofy in love you two are.

Uhh so I have this scripture card on my bedside table dated Nov 2014... and I can tell you that it is not memorized yet.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Kelsi Somers said...

I love how you truly are each other's biggest cheerleaders. You love deeply, fiercely and encourage each other so well! I'm so thankful God chose you both to lead our community:) congrats congrats congrats on 20 years!

With that I'm working on psalm 103:8-12

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

gracebegetsbeauty said...

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you," -1 Samuel 12:23a

Wowwww. What a convicting beautiful verse. This is Samuel to the people of Israel right after they demonstrate a lack of trust in God by making Saul king. Sigh. Let us love and pray, pray and love...an onward, ever stretching road to run.

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