Chasing the Lion
Well, clearly we never blog anymore. But we've got big news and deemed it blog worthy...
As some of you may know, I have had a photography business going on the side for a few years. Additionally, I've had a dream of full-time photography for a while, but I've allowed that dream to stay just a dream. Well, Elise and I have been talking, thinking and praying about making that dream a reality for a few months, and we have finally decided to follow God's lead and take a step of faith. So, I'm going to be taking my business to full time with a long-term goal to focus on landscape photography. Initially, I'll do a lot of portraits and weddings (or whatever photographic work I can muster up), then after I build my landscape and nature portfolio, I'll begin to focus exclusively on fine art landscape photography.
I believe that part of my life's purpose is to inspire others to love and serve God through various creative expressions - including music and photography. Ultimately for me, photography is about representing the creation in a way that compels people to ask the deeper questions about who God is and what He is like. Think about this: humans are the only species on this planet that appreciate beauty. Photography is one way to reflect the beauty of God’s creation in order to cause people to seek after the Beautiful One, Jesus. I certainly will not cease to pursue music - that's in my blood and I'll always find ways, whether in the church or outside the church, to utilize my musical gifts to give God glory.
So, this is a BIG change for us. A very significant part of the change is that we will be moving to Colorado so we'll be close to the mountains where I love to photograph. Ansel Adams was often asked how he got so many great shots and said "I live here and shoot every day (in Yosemite), so the odds that I get a few good shots are better". For most of my life, Colorado is where my artistic spirit has really come alive. When we tell people that we're heading to Colorado, most people say "of course" because we have for so long had a love for that place.
So what's next for us, then? We hope to put our house on the market by the end of this month (September), and then the waiting for a buyer will begin (know anyone who wants a really great house?). Once our house sells, we will head up to Colorado to get the business going full steam. We have talked to the elder board at The Grove Church, and we plan to faithfully continue to work there until our house sells.
Leaving Fayetteville and The Grove Church will be hard for us. The past 10 years of ministry there have been some of the best years of our lives. I count it as a blessing that God saw fit to use me as the founder of this movement. This church is where our children were dedicated. This is where we learned by experience how to live in community. The Grove Church has been our family. But at the same time, we are truly excited about how God is leading us into this new chapter.
Probably the most significant part of this decision stems from my need to grow in faith. In fact, it was the realization that the only thing keeping us from pursuing this dream was a willingness to truly trust God and go for it. This decision requires tremendous faith on my part because I can’t do it all on my own. If God’s not in this, we will fail. Stepping out into the unknown like this is the first step in learning more fully what it means to trust in God to be our provider. One of many ways that God began to get my attention about trusting in Him with everything was in reading a book by Mark Batterson called In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day. In it, there is a quote that I love: "playing it safe is risky - the greatest risk is taking no risks at all." Truly, if we believe that God is infinite and can truly take care of our needs, then we have nothing to fear - regardless of success or failure. My inclination is to play it safe - but that's not the kind of life God calls us to. He calls us to complete dependence and trust in Him - and sometimes that means making bold decisions that force you to relinquish all control to Him.
Many have asked what town we are moving to in Colorado. And the answer is, we're not sure yet. We've got our eye on a few different locations including the Fort Collins area and the Boulder area. After we get the house on the market, we will be working hard at researching which city will be the best fit for our family and for my business.
Please pray for our family. Pray that our faith will grow exponentially. Pray for us to learn complete trust through this process. Pray that we can get our house ready and that the right buyer will come along soon.
We are really excited about this adventure. It's been a crazy, busy, wild ride so far. We are eager to see how God will provide for us and how things will shape up for us as we relocate.