I was reading through the last 5 years of my journal and I got a little dizzy trying to keep up with my ramblings. It's been an adventurous 5 years, there is no doubt about that. My journal started in California, which lasted three months, then Sarah and I sailed off to Michigan, and into Grand Haven for our next refining. A little over three years with Watermark, as well as serving as a consultant to 1st Reformed, so they could retool their youth ministry. I also worked at Panera Bread as both a prepper and then a shift manager. Out of the three jobs I was paid the most by the Reformed church, yet put in the least amount of hours with them (which was actually more than they originally intended me to serve!) The good Ole Reformed church taking care of the finances. Watermark and Panera taught me much and was great training for the next phase in life of becoming a dad, as well as partnering up with the Paterson family to plant a new church in Muskegon, Michigan (The deep).
Almost two years ago, Sawyer Dale Harrison blessed Sarah and I with his leap into the world, and he's been leaping, running and being all sorts of wild ever since. The boy is pure joy and has changed everything for us. Having Sawyer has forced me to grow up and show up as a leader. I feel as if I am getting better and better at being a dad, yet I feel like I have slipped as a husband (sorry Sarah, I've pinpointed it and am now working on that too).
The deep merged with another church, the merge was nothing short of insanity, and it gifted us a handful of amazing people. We also lost much more than a handful of people who wanted something far different than what we felt God was calling the church to be. We lost one staff member at the beginning of the merge, gained two more within the merge, then lost one of them seven months into the merge due to financial uncertainties. Rob, Bethany and Christopher Paterson along with Kimi, Roy and Caleb Zimmerman have become nothing short of family and those that make up the leadership of ecclesia. We have landed in the Nims neighborhood of Muskegon, Michigan, which is full of all sorts of diversity. Ecclesia, our new name, is what I call a beautiful mess. It is a people full of all kinds of beauty while swimming through a swampy mess that is our lives. We have homeless people, recovering addicts, those living in deep poverty, and families that are shattered into the smallest of pieces, all of which make up this amazing, faith community. Our denomination has dropped our financing and has asked us to step out in faith to be self sustaining. I have never felt more uncomfortable in my life, yet I have never felt more at home in God. I have to rely on the Father for everything, and although terrifying, I wouldn't want for anything less. My selfish, stubborn, and greedy ways rage against me nearly every day, yet God seems to be forever patient with me.
It's early Tuesday morning, I'm sitting in my office with a soft drizzle massaging the outside window and I'm dreaming of what might happen next. I wrote a book about growing up without a dad and the parallel it travels in me finding the Father God. Our church is a miracle and is on the brink of exploding into a wild movement. They both are in need of help. Neither will see the next step without God providing in ways that only He can. The book needs a publisher, which is nothing short of a miracle, and the church needs huge financial help.
To have nothing leaves us with nothing to manipulate God with. So here we kneel, stretching out our open and empty hands. Please God, send help.