Monday, May 9, 2016

New Heights....

I have been texted, called and visited with lots of questions over the past few weeks...
and the answers are as follows:

It's absolutely going to be ok.
Yes, we've been through a pastor change before.
Yes, one with big shoes to fill.
Yes, this is normal for Methodist churches, just doesn't feel normal for us.
No, we can not protest the bishop. (Nor does Michael want us to.)
Yes, I agree it feels yucky.
Yes, it makes me angry too.
Yes, this is a form of grief.
Yes, we are very excited for him.
Yes, this is a big promotion for Michael.
Yes, St Andrews is going to love him.
No, I will not be there to explain his sarcasm....Yes, that does make me nervous.
Yes, my heart hurts, I'm going to miss him, more than I care to think about.


I was hired in the summer of 1999 by David McNitzky and AHUMC to help start a contemporary worship service. 
Scott Heare, Michael Crocker, Cheryl Vollmer, John Dunlap, Darrell Smith and I met on Sunday afternoons to figure out how on earth, we would convince others, that God had called us to do this.
We tossed a Nerf football back and forth for hours, weeks, months and years. When you had the football- "you had the floor." 
We laughed and prayed and brainstormed over inappropriate ideas and followed through on many of them. 
We made mistakes and had great success at the same time. The success was entirely due to God's Grace on a bunch of kids in an upper room trying to follow Him. The mistakes were due to....well, see names on ball.

We had concerns, questions and doubts about how God would use drums and guitars in a cold boring gym to make a powerful place to worship Him...
How could He possibly make a community out of that? What would the future hold....and what if this falls apart?
We named the service New Heights...
It is now May of 2016 and I am sitting here typing with the actual Nerf in my lap, it has weathered over the years. It looks pretty beat up...I get that.

I feel sad, mad, happy, hopeful, scared and confident.
Such is Grief...it's messy...doesn't make a lot of sense...


17 years later- I sit and worship in this gym, along with many of you, and believe with all of my heart that our God still has great plans for New Heights.

I believe His Character does not change.
"I The Lord, do not change." -Malachi 3:6

I believe His Truth doesn't change.
 "The Word of our God stands forever" -Isaiah 40:8

I believe His Purposes do not change.
 "The plans of The Lord stand firm forever." -Psalm 33:11

God has promised us that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His Purpose. 
Nutshell version; We love God here....He is going to work this out. 
He knows the ins and outs of AHUMC and this community. 
He knows what we need and when we need it. 
He also knows exactly what Michael Crocker needs and when he needs it.

I am going to miss my friend and his family on Sunday mornings.
I am also excited for him and the great plans God has him.  

It's ok to do both. They're not mutually exclusive. 

We've been here before and God proved Himself to be faithful.
As for me and my house, I'm gonna continue to trust the same God who started this.
He's got the football.

God, Thank You for Your Plans for all of us.

how In His Dust,
DCC

6 comments:

bob scott said...

Thank you Debbie for putting this in perspective for us. Well done.

Debbi Chesney said...

Thank you Bob-

David Lloyd said...

Debbie-we hear you and know you are right. It's just gonna take awhile.

Carol Archer said...

So beautifully written....raw honesty and real TRUTH balanced into blessing. We are excited at Grace Northridge that our neighbor church is gaining such an AMAZING leader. We look forward to "partnering" with them in all things Jesus. What a gift Michael's presence and leadership will be to St. Andrew's and the Northwood community!

Debbi Chesney said...

David -Yes it is- thank you friend!

Carol- YES!! We will ALL be partnering with ALL things Jesus! Thanks for the great reminder!

Davidjohn said...

I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well.
I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well.
best nerf gun