Thursday, January 31, 2008

As I Ponder the Past and Look Forward to the Future

Matt and I moved to Charlotte after not “fitting in” too well in Raleigh. We had family there but didn’t really feel like we were thriving. We decided to move to Charlotte in 2004 after several things told us to leave. I know now that God had planned this move. Pastor Rob has said it before but God wanted to grow us. We were stewing; we were taking up space in a pew. He didn’t want us to be Billy Graham’s but he wanted us to be the best Matt and Dee Langley we could be. So here we come to Charlotte and the very first weekend we get here we come to Southbrook, which was the first weekend for Southbrook in the new building. I have walked into many churches where I felt “at home” but the things that we were going to do here I had no clue. He began to work on me immediately. I have always loved to sing and have been told many times that I have a great voice. Although I knew deep down that I would never be Celine Dion. This was a painful dream to die but I kept hearing God say; “no, you have other talents. It is time for you to use them.”

Dee: “But God all I want to do is sing. Please just let me sing. I will sing of your praises everywhere but please just let me sing.”

“No, I know what is best and this is not what I created you for, let it go.”

Dee: “But you wouldn’t give me this desire if this isn’t what you wanted me to do. It says so in your word.”

Dee: “Hello? Aren’t you going to respond?’

And that is when he started to change my heart.

I have worked in children’s ministry before but did NOT feel like that is where God wanted me. I think I have a deep voice or sometimes can come across as sounding stern, I thought that I would scare the children! But obviously God knows better. As I began working at Southbrook I HATED IT! God is more interested in your character not your comfort! OH BOY! Did I ever have some growing pains but I began to see what his desire for me was. It was to use the goof-ball in me to reach children that otherwise weren’t being reached. Where I hadn’t been able to fit in before I do with these children! I am not done growing and I am sure God will stretch me some more but over the past three years I have truly found my heart’s desire!

Prayer Requests:

We have an immediate need for prayer. Carl our 7 yr old who has been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum went to the ENT on Monday. He has a hole in his ear drum that is about 40% of his ear drum. He has so much scar tissue in his ear they are pretty sure that two of his ear bones are gone. On Friday February 1st he will go in for his third ear operation. Will you please pray with us that God will bless the surgeon’s hands, heal Carl’s ear, and perfect a healing in his body! Also, and this is a selfish prayer, I am such a goof-ball and have always loved being me but have found myself hurting over not being able to “fit” into the life that I saw everyone else having. I don’t have a lot of friends and I always used to. I also always wanted (and still do) desire to have a close bond with a woman (besides my mother). Someone who gets me and wants to help me grow, keep me accountable, and I return the favor to her as well.

Thanks for reading and praying. Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Best Gift I Have Ever Received

Ok, Dee will take the reigns first:

I, like most people, would say that my children are the best gift I have ever received. Over the past several years I have been blessed enough to witness the best gift they could ever receive. In turn I realized that although my children are truly wonderful magnificent gifts, the gift of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and our salvation is the best gift of all.

As we have been at Southbrook I have gotten to witness not one but two of my children come to Christ. And my third is so excited about his turn, but as a mom I want to be sure this is his decision and not just a reaction to “wanting to join in”.

Here is a small clip from Southbrook of the past year (2007) where I got to receive one of my most precious gifts. Take a Look:

Matt's turn:

It is so cool to see my children coming up knowing Him. I like The Message version of Proverbs 22:6: Point your kids in the right direction— when they're old they won't be lost. Oh! Also, I can hardly wait for the February 4th leadership meeting of men to strengthen and hone my leadership duties as priest of my household . Our church in Raleigh - New Horizons Fellowship used Proverbs 27:17 for its men's group - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. I pray that the buring passion to reach and be reached by Christ will continue in our church, community, city, state, country and all over the world. Take care everyone and have a great rest of the week, weekend, and so on and so forth.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More Than Just Another Year

I have got to hand it to you Rob, you did it again. It is awesome to see and hear how the Spirit inspires you. Dee and I have commented how often it seems like you are talking directly to us or speaking on a situation we are in. I was especially moved by the part in this post about the "everlasting supply of urgent things" and how we won't escape those things "until we see Jesus face to face". We have been struggling with distractions and spiritual warfare in our lives and have been pretty diligent not to let our joy or peace get taken away in those situations. (Finances, health, job, etc.) As Shakespeare put it, there is "the rub". If I am reading you right, to sharpen our future hindsight we must keep our focus on Him, walk closer with Him, read and hear His Word with open hearts, and lean not on our own understanding. (JKV there ; )

Thanks again Rob for your continued inspiration. YOU ROCK!