Monthly Archives: April 2013

Flash Mob

I have never been a part of a flash mob. A few years ago, my favorite zumba instructor organized one. We practiced the moves in class. I knew the song. But when it came right down to it, I was too embarrassed to dance in front of our town. So I never showed.
I have no regrets. It’s one thing to shake in front of a class-full of fellow-self-conscious ladies. It’s a completely different story to unveil my moves to the community. (It actually sounds like the makings of a bad dream.)

This, on the other hand, is an incredible video that has evoked such a beautiful image.
The rest of this post may not make sense unless you watch it. I have not been able to do so without tears (so, grab some tissues if you too have fragile tear ducts 🙂

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee,
Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!
Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Binding all within its span.

I just can’t help but picture a scene at the end of life as we know it. It can be difficult to believe in what we cannot see. It’s hard to wrap our minds around what is to come. We can seem so in-control of it all. Then the unthinkable happens. Sudden death of a loved one. Murders of the innocent. Exploitations of the helpless. Nature groans and quakes and explodes and falls and drifts. We are mortal.
All of this life will come to an end.
And the story would be a tragedy if that was all He wrote.
But. This is not all there is!

We have an invitation to be a part of something out of this world.
A Flash Mob more glorious than we can conceive.
The Bible teaches us that one day, people from every nation and tribe and language will assemble before the throne of our Creator. And they fell down face down before the throne and worshiped God. They said, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and forever. Amen!” (Revelation 7.11-12) 
We don’t have to be surprised when the music starts and the chorus sings. We are invited to join along! I just have to imagine that we will watch all these nations gather from across the world, spanning all of time, and we will say like that man in the crowd: Wow. 

But truth is, it’s not going to be like a lowercase flash mob. Where if you miss it, you still have a nice memory or captured a good video. The spectators will not receive a consolation prize. The smoke of their torment rises forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night. (Revelation 15.11)

Friends, listen. I may be embarrassed to zumba in front of strangers. But I have no fear to share what I am convinced is true. Because the reality of hell is entirely too sobering. And the grace of our God has changed my life. Jesus came to show the way: I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life (John 8.12).

If you haven’t heard, let me invite you to join the greatest Flash Mob of all time.
I promise, you won’t regret it.
He truly is the Giver of immortal gladness.

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Surreality

Someday my mind will catch up to where we’re going. Right now we just keep walking.
For years, we have helped others through this process of leaving. And now here we are.
We just finished up a letter to send out to hundreds of people, and the “what if’s” arrived.
What if we say we’re going and then something changes?
What if all these things don’t come through in time?
What if this is all just too difficult? 

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16.9)

I am tempted in times like these to think this is about us. About our plans and our needing to get to where we’re supposed to be. As if where we are headed is the goal. The thing is all of this matters. Surrendering all the details between now and then is just as much an offering as getting there.
The journey is just as important as the destination.
And really, I am not sure how to express my gratitude for those of you willing to join us on this journey. For some of you it means less play-dates, less holidays together, less time with our kids, less time drinking coffee together, sharing life. This is where the tears stream down my face and I don’t know what else to say but thank you. Thank you for loving us enough for this to be painful. Thank you for considering this a sacrifice. Thank you for realizing that God is more glorious than we can imagine. For being willing to support us, even if it means trying to find the heart that joyfully says I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing. (2 Samuel 24.24)
And thank you for not running, but linking arms with us.
We cannot do this alone.

I long for the day when this doesn’t seem crazy.
For that Day when we stand before the throne of the Most High, and nothing else makes sense other than to have offered all we are, for His fame.

mãos abertas: open hands

TIME magazine just published the poll: Where would you most like to move?
Gallup surveyed more than 500,000 people in 154 countries. They projected it onto the world’s population for these stats:
US – 138 million
UK – 42 million
Canada – 37 million
France – 31 million
Saudi Arabia – 29 million

So…why in the world are we moving to Brazil?

When we finished our house renovation 2+ years ago, I wrote:
Oh, how I want my life to be so much more of this! Not redoing another house, but investing in something that will outlast these four walls. One great day this will all pass away when the ultimate Before and After returns {Revelation 22.12}…May the pictures of this earth never outshine the beauty that is to come!  And, may the award we are seeking be for the honor of the One named Faithful and True, the King of kings, Lord of lords {Revelation 19}Thankful for the chance to be involved in His restoration project. This house may look nice. But it is worthless if it is not used as a tool to invest in our true home

We have always prayed that would be true. We are followers of Jesus – our hope, salvation, King, friend. But many don’t have this choice. They couldn’t trust in Him even if they wanted to. They have never heard. Before we were ever Mr. and Mrs., we had the desire that our lives would play a role in telling the nations of our Savior. 

12+ years ago, we said “I do.” We merged our lives and plans and ambitions into one grand adventure…together. We put on rings and updated our passports. Months turned into years, doors closed and others opened, kids were added and hairs have been lost, diagnoses have come and gone. We have learned to be content and rooted here. Believing that while we are here, we will be all here: equipping, sending, praying, telling. We have become friends with dear people from all over the world right in this town. But our desire has never changed. What good is hope if it isn’t shared? How will they ever hear? 

And now, what has been brewing in our hearts for years continues to unfold into more plans than dreams, steps than stirring. This is the part where the details of what brought us to this point used to seem much more relevant than they are now. All those circumstances that left us scratching our heads, wondering why faded somewhere along the way. Somehow God used all that to awaken a willingness and passion to go where He leads. To have open hands.

Last fall, Andy was contacted about teaching at a New Tribes Bible School in Brazil that trains pastors and missionaries (to go to the unreached). We were considering this in prayer. But before we talked, I wanted to process logistics. Sitting in Starbucks, I opened up my notebook to think through pros and cons. But all that welled up in my mind was the sadness of leaving our family, friends, church, school, house… Then the fear of the unknowns and loss of comforts set in. I closed my notebook and put down my pen. Was not ready to go there. It was near Christmas, so I opened my Bible to read the birth of Jesus. As I was flipping, an underlined passage stuck out to me. I paused to read it. (That’s as normal as I can make this sound. It really happened so fast, but undeniably powerful.) The verse happened to be Jonah speaking in the belly of the whale. After he had come to terms with not wanting to go to Ninevah, he says: 

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
Jonah 3.8

There were tears.
I never got to that pros and cons list. Didn’t need to. 
It was as if God met me right there over that cup of coffee.
And showed me that family, friends, comfort, this house…those aren’t wrong. But if that’s what I’m clinging to rather than Jesus and where He leads, then they have become idols. And I am missing it. It goes on to say:

But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to You.
Jonah 3.9

These steps require sacrifice. Not just for us and all the changes to come. But for those we hold dear. Those who speak love and support as they blink back tears. I feel their pain, the anticipation of the loss of years and memories. But I believe He is gracious. He who calls is faithful. And this is not all there is!

One Day, He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain…I am making everything new! He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Revelation 21

Whether we are here or there, the goal does not change. 
We just want to live our days with this Day in mind. To make the most of this life. Because the End is only the beginning.


To join us on this journey, you can follow along here: 
https://anotherdaytolove.wordpress.com
If you are interested in receiving email updates, you can write us at aroyer@christscovenant.org and we will add you to the list.

Another Day

Life is short.
We all see and know it. We feel it, but do we live like it?
In the unknown and noise and mistakes of today, I don’t want to lose the wonder that it truly is a gift. We don’t love today simply for the day itself, but for all that it holds.
All its hopes and invitations.
That aspiration laying ready to be awakened.
Those faces gathered around the dinner table.
The sunset that lingers to be applauded.
A sun-kissed flower that beckons to stop and savor.
That friendship tapping on your shoulder to be mended.
Those memories that wait to be created.
A “yes” to make a heart smile.
The Giver of this day who is honored when it is unwrapped and well-spent.

I’m as guilty as anyone of missing out on these moments.
But I believe, like Switchfoot: Every breath is a second chance.
Just because an evening turned chaos and all we could think about was how long until bedtime doesn’t mean the clock can’t reset. The sun rises and hands us opportunities and second chances. I pray and hope that the mistakes of our yesterdays have shaped the invitations of today to be even sweeter.

I don’t know where this journey will take us. But you are welcome to come along.
We can always find something to love along the way.

This is the day the LORD has made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it!
Psalm 118.24