One of the greatest joys I have of the many things I do is the joy of sharing God’s Word with others in our diverse community of North Hill. I love our community, the culture, the city feel, and I love that we get to live in the midst of it all. Over the many years living in North Hill I have learned to embrace differences and I know myself, husband and children are all the better for it. In fact, my son went visiting with a ministry in another community not too far from North Akron and came back with this assessment. “Mom, it was great and I see how God is using them in their community, but the people all look the same to me.” Right away because my son has grown up in diversity having the lack of it really kind of disturbed him.
The halls of Urban Vision were all in a hustle bustle yesterday for our first day back in our After School program. Seeing over 100 kids in one place representing many cultures from all over just brings such great joy as it is our prayer that Urban Vision and along with our partnering church plant North Side Open Door Church truly is “a house of prayer for all Nations.”
“I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Isaiah 56:7 NLT
On my journey to my edge, God continues to nudge me outside of my comfort zone into new spaces that I have found that my view would surely be lacking if I didn’t follow God completely. So often I can give 101 reasons why I shouldn’t step outside my comfort zone, but what if there is something amazing there that God has for me to see, to be a part of that I would miss if didn’t. This has been the fun part of sharing my story, A Call to The Edge with so many is God has so much more for us to see, experience, know of him if we could just take one more step closer to our edges in obedience.
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV)
This verse just sums up the reason why I must, why you must, continue to pursue God’s plan for your life. God has prepared for you and me things we cannot even begin to imagine for us to see, hear, take in and experience. Why? Because He loves you and He loves me! I often have called myself “just Jodi” because I have never had anything special that really made me stand out in the crowd. Yet God has plans for me that I have learned over the years I definitely don’t want to miss out on. Ok, now my mother always used to tell me she had a hard time getting me to bed because I didn’t want to miss the party or the conversations that would be happening while I was sleeping. That has always served me well because I still have this desire not to sleep through life, but engage the plan that God has for me and not to miss one single thing from His gracious heavenly Hand. Yes, at times it scares me, and to be quite honest I would rather run back to bed and put the covers over my head than be obedient and step to the edge. Yet with courage from God our Father who constantly says,” Do not be afraid ……,” we can take the steps needed to see what God has in store for us!
God is not finished with us yet! He has new views on the horizon of life for us to walk and see if we can cling closely to His plan and not our own. Here is a Scripture that has been clinging to my soul as of late.
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)
I have called these verses in my journal my directional verses of what He wants to do in my life and I believe in yours too. It took me awhile to get obedient and actually write the story of my call in life in the book A Call to the Edge, but I am thankful God would not let me rest until I did. God continues to call us to himself to places He has for us on this journey so that we can fulfill God’s agenda in His kingdom plan. Yes, I like to hang back in my comfy spot probably too much, but God is saying it is time to move forward and trust Him for the journey ahead, the view is going to be amazing!
“Oh, my child it has given me great pleasure to help you continue to trust me to unfold the next step. I am for you not against you. I am birthing a new thing so walk close to me my child. Stand back and see the salvation I have and will bring to you and your family! There is never a place you walk that I have not already been and will continue to be. Trust me for my eye sees what you cannot. Trust me it is amazing!” From the One who Loves You Most (an excerpt from my journal to share with you dear friend!)
So what are we waiting for? Lace up your hiking boots and let’s step together!