All is well!

The Well

I’ve (once again) had a good reason for my lengthy silence. Sunday May 31st was the last service of our church, The Well. For a bit more info on this, click here to read my husband’s blog.

As you can imagine, it was a tough week, breaking the news to our Leadership Team, our kids, and the church. It was not a decision lightly reached, but it was one bathed in prayer and accompanied by a deep sense of peace. We have since talked to friends who expressed concern about our emotional well-being. For all of you who love us in this way, rest assured we are doing wonderfully. We are completely at peace and have no sense of failure. Even though we never thought that when we came to plant The Well, it would only be for 3 years, God knew and we are glad He didn’t share that tidbit of information with us, otherwise no way would we have done it! We’d have found every excuse – and Scripture! – in the book to support our opposition! As it is, we are pained because it feels like having to make the decision to take your child off life-support, but we are grateful for the lives, including ours, that have been irrevocably changed for the better.

We left a church that was healthy, growing, loving, relevant and connected in the community and we know that our people will go out wherever God leads, and continue to live out the abundance that He has deposited in each. As for me and my family, we are patiently waiting for our next marching orders from our Commander-in-Chief. As my former pastor’s wife reminded me, the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. All those elements are present and at work in our family at this time. We are truly thankful for the love and grace of God and some amazing Thompson kids!

It is well…oh yeah, pun absolutely intended! 🙂

Kept you hanging long enough…

So sorry, folks,

This week has been a killer in terms of activity. Even now, I’m just stopping long enough to post this, then I’m on the go again. Last weekend was awesome! Our Farmer’s Market event was wonderful, the music from our band was fantastic and the best part of all was meeting with different folks that we’d probably ordinarily not have a chance to connect with.

The kids had fun making crafts and getting their faces painted and we gave away free bottles of water, did a “guess-the-skittles” drawing and gave the winning guess a free webcam and the second place winner got the bottle of skittles.

Sunday was our first day back at our former location at Crystal Lake Elementary. It felt wonderful. It was familiar but different. The actual space was no different than when we left it, so we could only conclude that the difference was us!

God did so much in us while we met at “The Cave”. We had felt the need to pull back and seek God’s face and direction and actually grew in numbers during that time, even though we didn’t advertise our temporary location!

Now we’re gearing up for one more community event, Lake Mary Celebrates, an arts & crafts festival, this Saturday before our re-emergence (we’ll keep them up afterwards). Tomorrow is Watchnight at The Well, our monthly churchwide prayer time from 10pm till midnight. Oh, and did I mention that I will be a vendor at Lake Mary Celebrates on Saturday? I’ll have a tent selling ethnic jewelry and knick-knacks from Nigeria and some hand-crafted stuff that I made.

OK, that’s it. Break over. Gotta run! Peace… 😉

Kids' craft and facepainting table

Re-emerging…

The Well

This is going to be a busy but fun weekend for me! Our church is in the throes of preparations for our “re-emergence.” We have been undergoing change on a foundational level, and it’s been awesome! God is doing something in our hearts, individually and collectively as a body and we are being stretched and conditioned for the work ahead.  Hence the term “re-emergence.”

Tomorrow, we will be at our local (Lake Mary) Farmer’s Market, providing music, water, crafts for the kids, all for free. Just one of our various ways of reaching out and showing some love to our community. I missed last month’s (I was in Lagos), but I heard the story of one old man who, with tears in his eyes, said he’d been in church a long time, but he’d never felt the love and presence of God more than he did as we served at that Farmer’s Market. What a tiny offering, compared to calvary!

Then this Sunday, we’ll be back at Crystal Lake Elementary School in Lake Mary, for our first service since we left a couple of months ago, to retreat, reflect and re-evaluate. What a time that was! Our re-emergence Sunday is March 8 at 10am. If you’re in the area, do stop in, whether at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow or at re-emergence on March 8 – we’d love to see you and love on you for a bit. But next week, remember to change your clocks the night before so you’re not late! More information at www.churchatthewell.org.

Have a fabulous weekend. I know I will!  😉

They’re back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Guatemala team, including my hubby and daughter, came home in the early hours of Sunday morning. Wow! They certainly brought back “something” with them and our Sunday celebration service was charged (in a very good way).  Many of us had something Guatemalan to wear on that Missions Sundays. Since I didn’t go on the trip, the best account is a first-hand one, so you may want to visit Joseph’s blog, www.jthelmsdeep.blogspot.com for details. You can see more pictures on our church website, www.churchatthewell.org.

I just thought I’d share two of the photos they brought back. The first one is the team with some of the students of an elementary school where they ministered. They performed a skit in which Bimi was an angel (in the skit, that is – LOL! 🙂 ) The second picture is one that touched this mother’s heart. It’s my Bimi praying for a group of middle school girls at another school where they ministered. It’s such a blessing to see her stepping outside of herself to minister to others. I was told that on another occasion, the team was ministering at a local church and as she prayed for a young boy, the power of God touched him and he hit the ground.  It was a truly humbling experience for her to realize that the Lord would choose to use her to bless others. All she had to do was make herself available. I didn’t even have to tell her that it had nothing to do with her – she knew it! You teach them the same thing over and over again and then one day – eureka! – they get it! Thank God they get it!!

Pray, pray, pray…

 

Thanks to all those who are praying for our missions team to Guatemala. Today, they spent most of the day at a domestic violence shelter. I spoke to Joseph and the report I got was “it was awesome!” I’ve heard it said that women have twice as many words to use up in one day as men. That being the case, if it were me, I’d have put a dent in my daily quota and come up with something a bit more descriptive, but it’s all good – I’ll get the full report later. Besides, in fairness to him, they had just got back from the shelter and were preparing to go to an evening service at a local church where he preached and our worship team led worship, along with the resident worship team.

While you’re praying, please pray for the Steven Curtis Chapman family. As everyone knows, they suffered a painful blow a few months ago when their youngest daughter (5 years old) was accidentally run over and killed by the family vehicle driven by her teenage brother. The Chapman family has been on my heart since then as I know they have been on countless others’. Tomorrow, they will be on “Good Morning America” where they will talk about their experience for the first time since the accident. Then on Thursday, they will be on Larry King Live. This is a wonderful opportunity – through secular media – to demonstrate God’s faithfulness even in the kidst of pain, tragedy and unanswered questions. My prayer is that their testimony will be a witness to people who don’t know the Lord or who are hurting and feel alone. Will you join me?

Lights, Camera…Bible!

 

 

View image detail

I love my church! I know what you’re thinking: “Of course you do, your husband’s the Lead Pastor.” No, really, even if he wasn’t, I’d still be a Well-er (my affectionate term for our church family).

During the summer, we have a series called “See you at the movies”. In it, we select a secular movie with a moral message and we examine it in light of the Scriptures (last Sunday, it was The Bucket List). We watch segments of the movie relevant to the message, Joseph preaches and then we have open mike. Talk about interactive. Oh, and did I mention the popcorn? Yes, popcorn! In a very casual, relaxed atmosphere, we get to munch on popcorn!!! Last Sunday, determined to conquer the popcorn machine and after a few “burnt offerings”, I mastered the art of the perfectly popped corn, although I paid the price with oil splatters all over my outfit and popcorn in my hair. It was all worth it as I sat in the service and listened to the crackle of popcorn all around me (what can I say – it doesn’t take much to make me happy!).

So, if you’re ever around the Lake Mary, FL area in July, drop in one Sunday for something different. We’ll see you at the movies…I mean at The Well! 🙂

The Real McCoy

OnePrayer.com

Yesterday, at church, we watched a message on DVD, titled “Lord, Make Us Authentic.” It was the last installment of our “One Prayer” series (see www.oneprayer.com). During the month of June, 1,585 churches (representing approximately 1 million believers) all over the world participated in the series, in manifestation of Jesus’ prayer “Make them one.” How amazing to know that vast numbers of people were praying the same prayer over the course of one month from all corners of the globe. 63 pastors submitted teachings on DVD, from which all the “One Prayer” participating churches selected their sermons for the month of June.

Chris Hodges’ message “Lord, Make Us Authentic” was just what the doctor ordered. I, for one, am sick and tired of us Christians pretending to be what or who we’re not. I loathe the duplicity that is so rampant in the church today. No wonder we have non-believers scoffing at us! Enough already!

Last year, I turned 40 (yes, folks, I’m forty and I’m fabulous 🙂 ) and I have to say it was quite a liberating experience for me. Unlike many women I know, I didn’t enter my 40s kicking and screaming. I RAN into them with arms outstretched. I felt re-born; like a debutante. Maybe because it also marked the end of a long, painful season of “night” that I’d experienced the previous year. Gone overnight was the need to impress, fit into a mold, or conform to anyone’s expectations. I resolved that the only one I’ll ever aim to please is God, and even then, pleasing Him is not a goal, but a byproduct of loving and knowing Him. From that stems my passion for the phenomenon I like to call Pink! i.e. a desire to embrace life and my calling, joyfully, confidently and authentically, and bring (or drag – your choice!) as many women along with me as possible. The way I see it, we only get one shot at this life, so let’s make the most of it, curve balls, bumps-in-the-road and all. And while we’re at it – please, oh please – let’s be authentic. Let’s find out who God made us to be and be that person, and not someone else’s ideal. So here’s the cry of my heart:

Lord, Make Me Authentic…Make Me The Real McCoy!!

That, people, is my two cents 😉

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