UPDATE: God has it figured out (08.30)

This quote has especially explained the Rodgers' family life recently.
I really hope to use this post to give an update of what is going on right now in our lives and how we are really trying to live out the Biblical truth in this quote.

A lot has happened in our lives in the last 16 months.
Transition out of ministry at Emmanuel Baptist Church (June 2017)
Move from Toledo, OH to Grand Rapids, MI.
Transition into a new ministry at West Cannon Baptist Church (September 2017)
Lived at three different addresses in Grand Rapids.
Transition out of ministry at West Cannon Baptist Church (August 2018)
Coming in October 2018 - Moving out of the house we have been renting. 

Needless to say, life has been a whirlwind.

I share this to give context for some of the decisions we are prayerfully thinking through and planning.  A couple of weeks ago, I shared prayer requests and updates related to school, my work, our housing, and church HERE.
Here are the most recent updates on Housing and My work.

As it relates to housing, we are going to need to find a new place to rent by the beginning of October.  Our search area has changed because we are not necessarily looking for something in or near the Rockford area.  The main factors are cost and proximity to Northpointe Christian School.  We are so very thankful for people that have been praying for this and sharing suggestions with us. 
David’s work
I have updated my resume for ministry and rewrote it for non-ministry positions.  Once again I am thankful for people who have been helping with this process.  I am going to be looking for work in the Grand Rapids area.    
We don't have a lot of time as it relates to housing decisions at the same time we don't want to unwisely rush into the next thing. 
  • Having two ministry transitions like we have had in a short time has been difficult.  Krista and I want to be sure we are ready as a family and individually for a full time ministry position. 
  • I would love to have a job that would use my gifts and passion for teaching and training.  The non-ministry resume has this particular focus.  I do have severance pay through October so are being taken care of for the short term and don't need to take the first thing that comes along. 
  • We know that by the end of September we need to have something.  This might be a ministry position, a training job or whatever I need to do to provide for our family.  Lord willing and for the kids' sake we would like this to be in the Grand Rapids area but we know it might not be.  
  • God has it figured out.  Please pray for us a we make big decisions, seek godly counsel, and live life for God's glory. 
 In sharing these updates I want to be clear.  Things are challenging right now - very challenging.  I would like to say that my reactions to my kids and Krista are always godly and not based on my feelings of frustrations.  I would like to say that I haven't had any "pity parties" and I spend all my waking minutes singing praise to God with a smile on my face.  These things are not true.
August 25th New Morning Mercies devotional had two statements that I want to remember and remind people.
Real faith never calls you to swindle yourself into thinking that things are better than they are. Biblical faith is shockingly honest and hopeful. 
It wasn’t the naïveté of faith that propelled [Abraham, Noah, David, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Peter]. No, it was the clarity of faith that caused them to do what they did.
I have used the Piano Guys song "It's Gonna Be Okay" as a real-world example of the "thinking that things are better than they are."  The song is very fun.  The men are very talented.  The message seems very positive.
BUT its message falls VERY SHORT.  I am thankful that God is working things out in this life for His glory and my greater good.  Not so that my circumstances will be okay.

I think about the contrast between the message of the world with the message of the Gospel.
"All I have is Christ."


Biblical Counseling Prayer

My time at West Cannon Baptist Church has come to an end.  While it is difficult to leave, we definitely believe this past year has not been a waste of time.  One of the blessings has been working with Faith Ministries in Lafayette, IN to bring the Biblical Counseling/Discipleship Training Conference to western Michigan this upcoming spring.  It is difficult to begin the process and then hand it off but the great thing is it has been and will continue to be God working out the details.
One of the last things I did specifically related to the conference was to develop the beginning of a prayer calendar.  The first month, August has been focused on the basics of a biblical counseling culture and praying that God would continue to develop this at West Cannon Baptist Church.  The prayers and descriptions are written in a general way so other churches can use them also.
It is my prayer that God will use West Cannon to help grow a network of churches that offer Biblical answers and Christ-centered hope to those in western Michigan.
If you live in the Grand Rapids area, you should plan to go to this conference.  For more information and to register go to www.westcannon.org/counseling

Biblical Counseling Mindset Prayer focus - ATMOSPHERE OF GRACE / CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP
Pray that God’s Word would be faithfully preached and God’s people would loving care for one another.
Biblical counseling in a local church setting provides the opportunity for the church to offer real hope to church members, regular attendees, and the surrounding community.
The Sunday preaching and teaching is foundational in helping people understand and live out this hope. The BIBLICAL DOCTRINE taught and the ATMOSPHERE OF GRACE experienced during the church meeting time is important because this is a common meeting time for everyone. Throughout the Pastoral Epistles, reminds Timothy and Titus to teach the truth and live it out before people. Specifically, in 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul tells Timothy to share what he has learned with faithful men who will share it with others. The preaching and teaching prepare a congregation of “mini-preachers” to proclaim the Gospel to their families, neighborhoods, and workplaces. The ministry of the church on Sunday is so much more than just the pulpit ministry. It is also a “pew” ministry. Each member is a minister.
The ATMOSPHERE OF GRACE goes beyond Sunday meeting times. A church body that has a growing biblical counseling mindset also a CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP and SOUL CARE that is marked by a love for one another (John 13:14, 34, 35; 15:12, 17; Romans 12:10; 15:14; 16:16; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 5:21; Hebrews 3:13). This CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP is Spirit-led, relationship-driven not program-directed.
This ATMOSPHERE OF GRACE, CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP along with DIRECTIVE COUNSELING is an every member ministry of the church.

Biblical Counseling Mindset Prayer focus – DIRECTIVE COUNSEL
Pray that EACH MEMBER OF WEST CANNON BAPTIST CHURCH would be a biblical counselor/disciple-maker by speaking biblical truth into one another's lives.
“The body of Christ is built up because the men and women in a church family openly acknowledge their pain, hurts, and struggles. There is mutual edification. This is biblical counseling." Biblical counseling is not a silo ministry. It is not a ministry that is isolated from other ministries. The counseling ministry and discipleship ministry are not two different areas of ministry. The biblical counseling ministry of a church is interwoven throughout its disciple-making mandate.
A church will never have enough highly trained, certified counselors to meet all the counseling needs in a church. If we truly believe in biblical community and the priesthood of believers, then EVERY MEMBER of the church needs to be equipped to "speak the truth in love to one another at every level in the body of believers.” Every disciple is a disciple maker.
Each and every growing member of West Cannon Baptist Church needs to be involved in DIRECTIVE COUNSELING. This is counseling that is life-on-life. It happens through friendship, Sunday School classes, small groups, conversations before church, after church and throughout the week. The goal of DIRECTIVE COUNSELING is to encouragement and obedience by speaking the truth in love. Each member is a counselor. The question is "What kind of counselor are you?"
The quotes and the basic idea of this post have been taken from Biblical Counseling and the Church.

Biblical Counseling Mindset Prayer focus - CORRECTIVE COUNSEL
Pray people would seek help when needed. Pray members of West Cannon Baptist Church would seek training to become even more equipped biblical counselors.
There are times when more intentional, focused help is needed. Someone may need specific help with parenting, communication, finances or other ongoing issues. If a church member has been doing DIRECTIVE COUNSEL, he or she may notice the same problems keep coming up in a person's life. CORRECTIVE COUNSEL is meant to help those who are "stuck in sin." At this level, the counselor has more specific education and training to help those who have an ongoing struggling. At the CORRECTIVE COUNSEL level, individuals who have been giving DIRECTIVE COUNSEL can come alongside the individual as a helper/advocate.

Biblical Counseling Mindset Prayer focus – INTENSIVE COUNSEL
Intensive Counsel - Pray that counselors would speak God's truth and have Godly wisdom while helping those who are struggling with difficult, intense situations. Also, pray that those struggling with intense problems would seek the help they need.

INTENSIVE COUNSEL is focused on issues that have become life-dominating or tragic. Some examples include addictions, significant fear, and potential divorce.
Because of the nature of the problems, INTENSIVE COUNSEL takes more time and requires a counselor with more in-depth training. The level of counseling is what most people think of when they hear the word "counseling." The challenge in the local church setting is helping the congregation understand that if people sought and gave more counsel at the DIRECTIVE COUNSEL and CORRECTIVE COUNSEL levels, it would help with how much INTENSIVE COUNSEL needs to be given.