The weather is delightful here. Sitting on the back porch of our good friends’ house in Chapin, SC you’d never know Hurricane Matthew was slowly and deliberately wrecking its havoc up the coast. Our plans had been to stay, after all my wife and in-laws stayed during Hugo so why leave Mt. Pleasant now? But, a phone call from my brother in-law—a Captain in the Folly Beach Fire Department—telling us to get out of town tipped the scales... a few hours later, here we are.
Watching the reports out of Haiti and Florida, and knowing that those live shots will soon be broadcast from the Holy City reminds me of a few truths I thought I would share:
The good news to us in this is that there is one who is in control! In Matthew (no irony intended) 8:26-27 we find the historical account of Jesus calming a storm that was so strong it had veteran fisherman fearing for their lives. After he spoke to the storm, and it ceased its raging, even his closest disciples asked, “…What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
The good news for us is that there is one who has overcome death. Jesus of Nazareth was crucified by a professional Roman execution squad, buried for over 48 hours, and resurrected from the dead. He appeared to hundreds of people in and around Jerusalem for more than a month before ascending into Heaven. This truth was the one the earliest Christians were most excited to share with others. A man named Peter, sharing about Jesus in Acts 2:24 said about death, that it, “…was not possible for him to be held by it.”
The truth is those meteorologists, and EMD Directors, and the Governor, and the Mayor, and…you get the idea… they all know more than me. And sometimes it’s easy to forget that humility is a good thing. Scripture says that, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6).
I’m thankful for God’s grace in my life that allowed us to move to higher ground, and I pray His grace would be with those who couldn’t do so for one reason or another.
By that same grace, by this time next week life will be more-or-less back to normal for the vast majority of us. For others, life in the wake of Matthew will never be the same. For now, I’m thankful for humbling reminder that God is sovereign, and we shouldn’t take tomorrow for granted.
What reminders have you received during Hurricane Matthew?
Someone recently asked me to describe myself when I was in middle school in ONE word. Instinctually, I laughed and said, "Obnoxious." Which I was, in my own quirky way, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that was just one of the many words that described me in middle school. I was awkward, annoying, funny, self conscious, jealous, loud, silly, but most of all I was a “wannabe.”
I wanted to be popular. I wanted to be good at sports, and be the MVP. I wanted to have high grades, and win all the awards. I wanted to play guitar, and be asked to join a band. I wanted what it seemed like everyone else around me had. At that time, I was coming from a household that honestly wasn’t the greatest. It seemed like a lot of things around me were out of my control and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I would look at all the other kids around me and they always seemed to have everything together. So I thought that if I just hid who I was around others, all the loud, silly, annoying, quirky parts of myself and wore the same clothes as the other girls, listened to the same music, and if I made my Myspace profile show only the “cool” parts of my life, then everything would get better. Fake it, ‘til you make it, right?
Except no one ever told me in middle school, that faking it ‘til you make it, actually doesn’t work. It doesn’t make you popular, or good at sports. Faking it doesn’t all of a sudden make you good a playing an instrument. (Trust me it took me 3 years of guitar lessons to realize I was tone deaf and had no rhythm.) In reality, it means you’re hiding unique qualities, talents, and gifts that God specifically gave YOU. He didn’t make all of us the same for a reason and if we all act the same then we aren’t contributing to anyone around us, and we end up hurting ourselves.
Embracing who God made you to be is hard. It doesn’t happen overnight, and is not an easy process. Self-doubt and fear take over. “What if no one likes me, for me?” “People are probably going to think this idea is stupid.” “There’s no one who would understand what I’m going through.” But if you take it one step at a time, or one day at a time, you’ll start seeing qualities about yourself that are distinctively given to you.
I love singing on the top of my lungs, dancing when there’s no music, and I laugh TOO hard when I hear a good pun. I have a really loud laugh (and sometimes I snort, which makes me laugh louder), I cry when I’m too sad, but also when I’m happy. Not everyday I’m a shining example of embracing myself. But on those days, I remember Ephesians 2:10 that says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Remember that God loves you for you and has made you for a purpose, embracing yourself glorifies Him and brings a new light to your life.
I am thrilled to be a part of King’s Cross Church. I can’t wait to meet you and your families! Please pray with me as we enter this new and exciting time. Pray for the middle and high school students of King’s Cross. Pray that through this ministry they will learn to embrace who God created them to be and grow deeper in their relationship with Christ!
See you on Sept 11th!
I'm excited to announce Colleen McFarlin as the newest member of our staff leadership team! Colleen is a Massachusetts native and a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). She will serve as a Student Ministry Coordinator, working alongside Josh Romine to disciple our middle and high school students. However, like all of our staffers, Colleen's influence on our church will be felt (and seen...she's got a great eye for design!) in areas outside her primary focus area.
Many of you may already know Colleen as she has been a part of The Church at LifePark for almost two years. During that time she served as an Adult Leader with the FirstWave Student Ministry. While volunteering in that capacity, she had the opportunity to join the students on a mission trip to Charlotte, and became convinced that she wanted to be more involved in the lives of students. She explored that call during an internship at LifePark, and we couldn't be happier that God has now led her to our church!
Please join me in praying for Colleen as she has jumped into the King's Cross family during the height of our pre-launch activity (thankfully, because we needed her!). If you don't know her yet, you're going to be delighted to get to know her soon. And, as a parent of three middle/high schoolers myself, I can tell you that our students will benefit tremendously because of her leadership and influence!
Lastly, if you have the time please send her a note of encouragement by emailing:
We are so excited to (finally) be able to share with you the details of where and when we will begin holding public worship gatherings!
As you likely know, we have been looking for a suitable location for Sunday morning worship gatherings in the Clements Ferry Road corridor for almost a year. In the last eleven months we have explored every option, followed every lead suggested to us, and prayerfully trusted the Lord to provide us a space that would meet our projected needs.
While many church plants begin in living rooms, coffee shops, or neighborhood clubhouses, King's Cross is blessed with the possibility of "launching large." Practically speaking what that means is that we have hired staff, are planning programming, and need space to minister to a large number of people very quickly. From a gathering space standpoint that means we need a Sunday morning gathering space that will allow for excellent worship, children's ministry, and nursery space... Jennie Moore Elementary allows for all three!
In addition, using Jennie Moore Elementary does not require a long-term commitment, so we are continuing to pursue long-term locations in the Clements Ferry Corridor (as we define it, the corridor runs from 526 on the south end, along Clements Ferry Road, and around Hwy. 41 to the Dunes West/Rivertown entrances on the northern end). Please continue to be in prayer for a long-term space, even as we enthusiastically embrace launching at Jennie Moore on Sept. 11!
Having said all of that, there are two main reasons we are confident and excited about this news:
We will have much more to communicate to you in the days and weeks ahead. We have a LOT of work left to do, and we will be reaching out to you for help as we prepare for what we believe is going to be an awesome first Sunday!
In the meantime, if you are someone who plans to attend King's Cross on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 10:00a.m. will you please commit to doing two things?
Thank you for your prayers, and your support... we can't wait for Launch Sunday!!
Well, with all our excitement in joining King’s Cross, I’d love to take a few minutes of your time to share a bit about myself, my family, and what this guy with a girl’s name is doing at King’s Cross. I know, my name is Kelly, but historically it was a man’s name, but we can talk about that later. Most importantly, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, adopted into the family of God because of Jesus’s work on the cross. Some other tidbits about me: I’m a musician, a worship leader, an avid surf fisher, a late but proud lover of San Francisco sports teams, and I have a beautiful wife named Carissa and three kids (Hunter, Sage, and Silas).
I spent the first thirty-two years of my life in Charleston. I’m one of those endangered Charleston natives. I spent my childhood years in West Ashley, my college and adult years were spent in the north area (CSU), but I volunteered and worked in the Mount Pleasant area for eight years as a worship leader (East Cooper Baptist Church). Charleston is in my blood! It’s the city I know, love, and have missed for the last two-and-a-half years while I lived in San Francisco and Charlotte. Let’s just say, I’m happy to be back! More than ever, I want to see the gospel flourish in the ever-changing Charleston area. One of the greatest areas God has shaped my life to serve this goal is in the area of corporate worship.
Many of us, including myself, have at some point had a vivid realization that we vastly misunderstood what it means to be a Christian. Again, like me, maybe you misunderstood what Christian worship is supposed to look like. For example, corporate worship is not an activity that saves us and makes us right with God. No, Jesus did that. Corporate worship is God’s gift that actually reinforces who God has redeemed us to be, and strengthens us to act in accordance with our new identity (2 Cor. 3:16-18).
Worship isn’t a time slot on Sunday mornings, disconnected from the rest of our lives. It is an activity that biblically translates the good and bad in our lives, propelling us into the week, and frames our subsequent actions as acts of worship themselves (Ps. 34). It’s not even an individual’s opportunity to experience God alone. It is a community activity that impacts our individual worship (Rom. 12) as we corporately cry out truths, reminding each other that we’re not alone, that we’re no longer lost, and that there’s hope for those in our midst who either haven’t seen the truth or have forgotten their privileged place in redemption. This is what makes me tick. This is not cultural Christianity. This is part of being a disciple of Christ and a lifelong worshipper of the God of the Bible.
With all of that said, I’m not always good at being a disciple, but I hope that in the months and years to come, as we learn to be better disciples, and as we see our community literally grow before our eyes, that we can be this type of community for each other. Consider what it means to be a part of a worshipping community. Consider how we can serve others in corporate worship, through the words we say, the songs we sing, the scripture to which we point, the notes we play, the prayers with which we appeal to God and encourage others, even down to how we can serve others with lives of worship and actions which come out of a heart primed for worship by gathering with the church.
I look forward to serving you, and in turn, I admit that I need you. We are in this together. I promise I won’t let you forget the gospel. Don’t let me forget it either.