When Women Come Together

Rock City Church

For our recent conference I wanted to unite women within the city. I was on a mission to find a way to connect and inspire women within all seasons of life. A panel made up of women in all walks of life, representing different generations felt like the best way to accomplish thisThe women’s session of the conference at Rock City Church was an invitation to  women of all ages, Christian or non, within various seasons of life. Hundreds of women came together. Let me tell you,  its a beautiful warm, fuzzy feeling being in a room full of women with a mission to love and know Jesus fully. It’s a feeling of joy and love, and I would venture to say that Jesus looks down at groups coming together like this and smiles, full of joy from the sight of it.

1 John 4:12

11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! (MSG)

I got the opportunity to host this panel session with some of my favorite ladies. I did not prepare questions, because it’s my norm to over prepare. This time I wanted things to flow naturally and to be as Spirit led as possible. I really feel like that’s exactly what happened.

I encourage you to listen to the audio recording below and share it with a girlfriend.  It’s available at your convenience and I promise it won’t be a waste of your time. These women share from such a real and raw place, leaving us with so many encouraging truths we can all be encouraged by! 

 

 

 

Unified Front: Hurricane Harvey Update

Rock City Church

We had just finished a conference called “Unified Front” at Rock City Church as the news of a potential hurricane came. The vision the Lord gave me for the conference was of a flock of birds flying in a V formation. He was showing me His heart for unity among His people. People unified with one mission; to live out the nature of heaven on earth.

This looks like love–A love backed up with action.

A month ago I assumed the vision I was given was solely for the conference, but I now realize how fitting it was for what was to come.

Personally, my husband and I had many reasons to pray and believe for protection as the storm approached our home town. We own two coffee shops on the coast called Coffee Waves, our home sits right by the bay, and we pastor Rock City Church located in Flour Bluff. Basically our entire lively hood was at risk.  We prayed, along with so many others for protection from hurricane Harvey. As we all know, the storm ended up shifting and hitting various towns on the coast, leaving Corpus Christi with only minimal damage and lots of power outages.

My happy place, however, was left in ruins. Port Aransas holds a special place in my heart. So many of my memories while dating my now husband are there. It was in this town that I took my engagement pictures, got married, and lived our first year of marriage. Our shop, Coffee Waves is such a treasured place full of memories for locals and tourists alike.  To this day, Port Aransas is our first pick for date nights or an overnight get away.

When we were able to get to the shop and see the magnitude of destruction our hearts were saddened and our minds overwhelmed. The day was dark and gloomy which mirrored the feelings for most who came to town that day. Where would we even begin and how?

As business owners, every day that our business is closed income is lost and employees are without a job. All funds saved previously are used towards rent, bills, and employee salary’s that do not stop due to a storm hitting.  The thoughts of “How will we afford all new equipment with no insurance?” and “Should we even rebuild?” came to mind often.

That first Wednesday, without full power at our church we came together to thank the Lord, worship and pray. Our strength renewed and hearts full of peace as we continued to face this challenge.

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His mercies are new every morning.

Joy comes in the morning.

The following day the sun came out and volunteers began to come in floods to help. On the first day of work, all debris was cleared out of the shop. The following day all damaged drywall was removed. Every day we were overwhelmed by the love and support of both strangers and friends. We began to see the light. We knew then that we had to rebuild and we were going to trust the Lord to provide.

As a unified front, people continue to come help those in need.  Much like Jesus, they’re not doing an interview of the person before helping them. They’re not asking the people what their beliefs are or pointing out their flaws first. They are just doing what they can to meet a need. No questions asked and no expectations of something in return. It’s such a beautiful thing to see! People unified with a mission to show love. And this is not just happening in Port Aransas, but in all of the coastal towns as well as Houston.

In the midst of our personal struggles, we still wanted to give back to those in need. We decided to start serving coffee from the parking lot free of charge. As time went on, other local businesses started serving lunch along side us.  Along with a hug, lunch, and coffee we also have members of Rock City Church there to offer prayer. People show up in tears as they are coping with such recent trauma. Coffee Waves has became a hub within the town. A place of hope and love.

IMG_6517Rock City Church has been collecting relief funds that are being used to help victims of the storm. Our teams have been working within various coastal towns on a daily basis…being His hands and feet. If you would like to give torwards that fund, you can click this link.lol

This unified front of love has been so encouraging for all of us. Please continue to keep us, and all of the others affected by Harvey in prayer as we all regain normalcy and start the process of rebuilding.

Together lets also pray and believe for protection for those in the path of hurricane Irma.

We are not exactly sure of what is next and how everything will come together again, but we do know with all certainty, that the Lord has this. He will make a way and we will rebuild even better than before. I know first hand how great the Lord is at restoring what was lost.  I can’t wait to share the rest of this story with you all.

After all, the Lord is writing a beautiful story of our lives and every good story involves hard times that eventually get overshadowed by the beautiful.

 

 

 

For the Love of the Homeless

Rock City Church

 As you dawn the front doors of Rock City Church on any typical Sunday, you are sure to walk by all kinds of people from various backgrounds and life-stages.

Rock City Church is incredibly diverse. As a multi-generational, cross-cultural, and expansively diverse mix of the socio-economic people, what you will see and experience is sure to challenge your paradigm of “normal church”. More often than not, you will find someone who’s homeless hanging out to attend church or looking for a handout. In tow is their pet dog and a shopping cart full of their lifelong belongings. And at the same time, an incognito wealthy businessman will be loving, praying, and welcoming them in our doors.

Our church is extremely diverse, with members and attenders from all walks of life.

There are attorneys, teachers, nurses, doctors, police, homeless, outlaw bikers, business owners, middle class, young adults, grandmothers, and young families; yet we are one tribe and one family. Together we are in pursuit of knowing and loving Jesus more, and within that pursuit, we are all experiencing something incredibly new and profound: Church the way it’s supposed to be!

First, lets start with a humorous story, knowing that it’s ok to laugh and find humor in the things that happen at church!! Let me explain…

Recently, one of our regular homeless attenders
showed up for our early service in an extra-small purple velour jogging suit. Now this particular person is very passionate about worship, lifting his hands and voice to God each Sunday morning; however, his bulging body coming out of the purple jogging jump-suit while he lifted his hands was quite a sight to see and slightly distracting.

Not long after worship, this man was sitting outside of our church in nothing but his boxer shorts and covered in sweat (it was early July in South Texas). One of our leaders from the church walks up and asks him why in the world he’s sitting outside in his boxer shorts? The man kindly replies that he got so hot during worship that he couldn’t wear the clothes he had on any longer, and then proceeded to ask if we could get him some new clothes. Fortunately, Rock City Church has dedicated roughly five thousand square feet of space to a clothing ministry called, Clothed in Righteousness, and we were able to provide some nicer and “cooler” clothes.

Now, take a moment to picture just how that would look for a visitor heading into Rock City Church for the first time. It would be quite the introduction to say the least! This is just one of so many humorous stories that happen when a church embraces the fullness of the Kingdom and learns to love the “least of these” as Jesus taught.
Now, on a more serious note; whether its the cold air conditioning, water, really good free coffee, physical needs, curiosity, or the Spirit of the Lord that draws people to our church, I’m glad they come. Our prayer and belief is that something will sink in, and eventually they will experience God’s love, presence, and power to transform and set them free!

In so many cases a homeless man comes to the alter in tears to worship in God’s presence, and in turn, gives their life to the Lord. And it’s in those moments that I can’t help but be glad and rejoice that we didn’t get in the way to hinder what the Lord wants to do in their life due to our religiosity, personal style, or misguided understanding of how Jesus taught us to love others.

You see, coming to church and being a Christian is not about our comfort. It’s about loving the hurting, the broken, the lost, and the dying.

I personally love that my children are exposed to the outcasts and hurting at such a young age.
I am way more concerned about them getting a true Christian world view and learning to love like Jesus loves, rather than focusing on themselves and how “fun” the kids program or play zone is at church. It’s true Godly experiences and encounters with Him and others that will impact and shape who they are destined to become by God.

The Lord has blessed our church in such a huge way. I believe this is because we are not afraid to love the unlovable, the outcasts of society, and those who don’t fit within our “socio-ecomomic” status.

Rock City is a young new church that is currently less than 4 years old. Our focus and message isn’t based on how much money we have and how many people attend our church; but rather, how we can advance the Kingdom of God in our community in a powerfully new and profound way! We’ve never done a building or capital campaign; and yet we own an entire shopping center that’s squarely located in a place designed to make a huge impact against some of the darkest pervasive forces in our city.

Our church family loves well, gives well, and serves well! We are unified and making a huge impact in our city! We don’t have a money problem, a people problem, or a “presence of God” problem; however, in the less-than three years we’ve been in our current location, we have maxed out ten thousand square fee of space, and are in desperate need to expand. And this is a good problem to have!

The Lord honors those who have a true heart after Him and His people. If you love and welcome the “least of these” you are loving and welcoming to the Lord Jesus Himself. (Matthew 25:40)