Sunday, August 2, 2009

On 7/79/2009 we welcomed our daughter, Tayla grace, into the world!



video

Isn't she lovely?!?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

THE COMPASSIONATE AND GENEROUS ONE


Here’s a thought to chew on this week:
Faith is nothing more than accepting God’s kindness.
Ponder that for a moment…

I don’t know about you, but that’s the type of statement I want to embrace. That’s the type of truth that I want to wrap around me like a big quilt on a chilly night.

I love this truth so much because I know how it feels not to believe it. Not matter how often I hear the Gospel, I still seem to suffer from a persistant and nagging fear that God is disappointed with me. In those moments of doubt, I surrender to the lie that I God’s love and affection are things to be achieved…and I’m painfully aware that if God’s grace where a prize to be won by Christian competing in some sort of cosmic game, I’d finish at the end of the pack.

But God is not an olympic judge holding up score cards. God is not professor grading our work.
God is compassionate and generous.
He’s compassionate because He knows that none of us – not even one – could earn a decent score or make the grade. He knows how deeply flawed and broken His children and out of the knowledge He comes to us.
He’s generous as He provides for us all that we need. He gives us everything we cannot give ourselves and more. He has spread a banquette before us and invited us to feast…to indulge…on His body and His blood. God’s hospitality knows no equal.


Our Father knows us by name, by nick-name for that matter. He sees all that we lack, He sees all of our failures, and all of our wounds. And His miraculous response to this is to drench us with life – and life to the full!

Sometimes God’s gifts come in packages we’re not sure we want to tear into. Some of the life that God gives looks like discipline, tough-to-swallow truth, and, there are times when God will bless His children through suffering…holding them all the while. But God always gives life and He gives it abundantly.

And our job in all of this..?
Simple: To receive God’s kindness.
To feast on His grace.
To go to bed one night a condemned sinner and to wake up on Christmas morning ready to rip into the beautifully wrapped gifts He’s set before us.
Because our God is Compassionate and Generous. He bids us to daily come to Him and accept His unfathomable, irresistible, unchangeable, unachievable gift: His Son Jesus Christ

Accept God’s kindness today…

Monday, January 19, 2009

First and foremost, my apologies for the large gap between posts. Since we moved to Denver on Dec. 1st, Katie and I have been pretty busy, which is a good thing and a bad thing at times (as I’m sure you can all relate to).

Our new life in Denver can characterized, so far, by two words:
Abundance and Struggle.

We’ve experienced these competing realities in a number of ways and as we tried to get our roots established and our ministries launched.

Abundance



Katie and I are so blessed to have found a wonderful apartment to call home (see photos to the right). We have everything we need and we love the location.


In the heart of Denver, we are surrounded by a mosaic of life and culture. From the little Greek Restaurant down the street, to the vibrancy we on Colfax just a few blocks away, we find ourselves in the midst of a beautiful collage humanity.

Struggle

And yet we have to admit that this is an adjustment for a couple of suburbanites. We grew up in Colorado Springs and spent the first years of our marriage in a neighborhood just outside Zeeland, Michigan. If you’re in anyway familiar with those two places, you can imagine how different downtown Denver can feel.
Although we are blessed to have found such a great apartment, it is pretty different from our home in Zeeland. Mobley missed having a yard and we miss having a garage and not having to carry groceries up 4 flights of stairs.

Abundance

The welcome and community we’ve found at City Church has been overwhelming. We seem to meet new people each week that we feel right at home with. Ministry has been going well and we honestly couldn’t dream of a better groups of people to serve God alongside.

Struggle


The welcome we received from Denver was quite different. Our first week in town, our Dog was injured (paralyzed for about 2 weeks, see her rehabbing in a underwater treadmill on the left) and I was rear-ended. This was after a fun first day of moving and unpacking boxes…can you say week from hell?

Abundance

We were immediately lifted up in prayer by our amazing family in Christ. The grace we’ve come to know on a daily basis as the result of those who pray for us humbles us the to point of tears while at the same time encourages us to live out the calling God has given us. We are so grateful to belong to a community of saints that loves us so deeply, but we are most grateful to belong to Christ who loves us deeper than we could ever know.

Our first few months in Denver have had ups and downs, but we know we are where God wants us right now. Thank you all for your prayers, your financial support, and for walking alongside us as we stumble down this road that Christ is leading us on. We are forever blessed by our family in Christ.


Go here to listen to one of the sermons I gave at City Church: http://www.citypres.org/sermons/2008_12_07.mp3

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Too Shall Be Made Right...

Have you looked around lately?
Do things seem right?
Does the world seem like it's the way it's supposed to be?
My guess is that most of us would answer with an emphatic no. When we look around we see a busted up, hurting world. We see a war in Iraq that keeps dragging on...we see an economy that's on life-support...we see people loosing their jobs and their homes at an alarming rate...and if we take the time to look beyond our own nation's issues, we see a world groaning from the pains of poverty, illegal sex-trades, child starvation, genocide, oppressive governments, racism, sexism, environmental degradation, and on, and on...

Perhaps we don't even have to look beyond our own hearts to see pain and deep hurting.

So we're left with the question:

God, where are you in all of this?

Katie and I have been asking this question recently. We lost a pregnancy and a Dad within 7 months. We experienced loss like we never had before and we came face to face with the fallenness of our world in a brand new way. And so with every prayer for comfort came a prayer for understanding...God, where are you in all of this?

And He answered...

He answered in the cards we've received almost daily from people who loved us and assured us that they were praying for us.
He answered in the phone calls from friends that wanted to listen and gently remind us of God's steadfast love and goodness.
He answered in the emails, in the text messages, in the prayers we never heard but that we felt...
and He answered in the still small voice in our hearts that assured us that God's love and grace are bigger than our hurts.

God answered the question fully and yet not...

Our pain didn't disappear and our loss hasn't been forgotten.
God didn't ignore our grief but He blanketed it with faith, hope, and love.

Faith that the cross of Christ paid for all the sins of the world...
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:2

Hope that one day, Christ will repair our broken existence...
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. - Rev 21:1-4

And the Love of a community of people that love us because Jesus loved them first...
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. - John 13:34

There is no doubt that our world is messes up...real bad. But, for those who believe the good news of God, the Gospel, there is no doubt that one day all things will be made right.

I pray that might use our lives too such an end



Thursday, September 4, 2008

The search is on!!


There's a lot of perks to living with your Mom as a 25-year-old and married. I can finally have a girl in my bedroom at night with the door closed, there are two other people who are likely to empty to dishwasher, I've only done like 6 loads of laundry all summer, and most importantly the price can't be beat.

Unfortunately, we can't stay in Mom's house forever (despite her best efforts to keep us here). Ministry and job opportunities are in Denver so were heading up to the Mile High City. It will still be a month or two before we move out, but the housing search is already in full effect.

We spent most of the day yesterday driving around Denver going in and out of shock. The cost of living is a little bit more than it was in Southwest Michigan (try twice as much!). It's supposedly a "buyer's market." I guess that means that you can hope to put a roof over your head and afford government cheese. In hotter times for the Denver real estate market, people must give up the cheese and their first born in order to live at 5280 feet.

With that in mind, be thinking about us and praying for us as we search for a new home. It will be pricey, but hopefully a good investment as well. We just want a place where we feel at peace and at home and where we can build new relationships. (It would also be first rate not to have to walk Mobley 10 blocks to find a spot of grass for her to "go" on.)

But we are getting excited about our move. We know that God has an amazing journey for us and that our next stop is Denver. It will be great to start my apprenticeship at City Church and begin the next phase of starting a new church!!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Welcome to our blog. If you are here, it most likely means that you want a quick update on Katie and my life. If you wondered on to this page inadvertently, feel free to enjoy the update, our apologies if you find our life uninteresting. No one is more disappointed that we are.

However, if you actually meant to come here, thanks for caring about us! If not for our wonderful friends and family, we'd have little to write about. Our blog might look like this: Katie and I woke up today...sat around...I found a peanut under the couch...it was still yummy...we went to bed.
Fortunately, we've been blessed with wonderful family and friends so that our life has more substance than the various treats I find hidden in hard to reach places.

So, here's what going on with us:

+ We're living in beautiful Colorado Springs with my beautiful Mother (Linda Brooks aka Meme). After Graduation from WTS (Western Theological Seminary) we came back home seeking more time with our families and a job in new church development (starting a new church). We've been here since June and have thoroughly enjoyed living with my Mom (despite the fact that "on paper" there's little you can do that is more lame than move back in with your Mom once you're married and done with grad school).

+ We've been assessed! About 100 times!?! Katie and I have both been through numerous assessment processes for starting a new church and we've been encouraged and affirmed each time. The assessments are basically seeking to determine if we "have what it takes" to start a new church. We've believed from the beginning that God wanted us to start a new church and now we are pretty sure that he's given us the skill sets and personality traits necessary to pulling it off. 

+ The next step for us is for me, Ben, to do a 1-and-a-half to 2 year apprenticeship. This will allow me to get some experience in full time ministry before we try and start a new church. Although we are anxious to start the work we believe God has planned for us, we recognize that this is a marathon and not a sprint. We plan on doing this stuff for the rest of our lives so we're taking time to get a little training and experience so that we can make fewer mistakes later (key word: fewer). My apprenticeship will be at City Presbyterian Church in Denver. Don't let the name fool you, this is a good ol' RCA church (if you don't know what that means, then you probably wouldn't care if I took the time to explain it). Rev. Sam Downing just moved his church from the PCA to the RCA church this summer. We are very excited to have them in our region. Sam is a wonderful pastor and man and his wife, Leanne, is even better than him. Check out City Pres' website to see where we'll be for the next couple years...

www.citypres.org/

+ WE MADE IT 4 YEARS!!! Katie and I are celebrating our 4 year anniversary today (8/8/08)! Sorry Mom Thomas and Mom Brooks, no kids yet. Just Mobley. 

Thanks for taking the time to check out our blog. Again, we couldn't be more thankful for the tremendous friends and family that we have. And if you did just happen across this blog randomly, we're thankful for you too.
Please keep us in your prayers. We need as much grace as we can get! ( I hope I didn't use up my quota during my "rebellious years")

Monday, July 21, 2008

Me(Ben) and my gorgeous bride. Proof that there is a God and that He's all about grace. How else could I have married up to her level?