31 December 2009

an example of patience & suffering...James 5

whether or not i ever have or ever will meet these people doesn't seem to matter one bit tonight.  as i pray for these two families, all that matters is that we were created by and serve the same God, and He has called us to pray for our fellow saints as they endure suffering.

matt chandler, the lead pastor at The Village Church in Dallas was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and is currently undergoing intensive treatment with chemo and radiation.  his testimony is one of the glory of suffering and claiming Christ as all regardless of the hardship and uncertainty of what he and his family are facing. being honest about the fears and sadness they have experienced, he and his wife are boldly living out the truth he has preached to thousands. 

in the midst of his own journey with brain cancer, he is petitioning people to intercede for a 6 year old little girl named kate mcrae.  her story, and the journey she and her family are traveling, is one that will cut deeply, but push you so far into the truth of Christ.

my heart is heavy, but full of Christ's hope.  please pray with me for both of these families.  their loyalty to the gospel in the midst of such heartache is something that is surely impacting lives daily. at the very least, i pray the arms of the Body of Christ will be far reaching in prayer as long as their journeys endure.  

20 December 2009

it's beginning to look a lot like...

a pretty non-traditional Christmas in some ways.  Advent Conspiracy has yet again made me painfully aware of how quickly i lose sight of what's real, true, and good.  the older i get the more i hear Solomon's words ringing true: "everything is meaningless...." 

what's real is the fact that while we were still sinners, God demonstrated His own love for us through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of His own son, Jesus Christ.  

what's true is that God made it possible to have a relationship with Him through Jesus and we literally have the opportunity to interact with Him, communicate with Him, call upon Him in desperation, and abide in Him.  that changes every thing about every day.

what's good is everything about Him.  He has always acted on our behalf and He always will.  it may not be the way we want or expect, but He always acts. 

why is it so dang easy to forget that the birth of Christ is the center of all of the craziness of the holiday season?  when i remember that simple, yet profound truth, everything is different...   
i see things differently. 
i respond differently. 
i  even walk a little slower.
i focus on things that are full of meaning. 
i think about things that matter. 

our pastor has compiled some readings for Advent and even the act of daily reading has helped keep Jesus in the forefront of my brain and heart.  but the internalization of Truth is only a part of it.  the action that follows has been what's challenged me the most this year.  it's really easy for me to know, believe, and hold fast to the truth about God.  and being in vocational ministry, i have a billion opportunities every week to walk them out.  and i treasure those opportunities.  but when Advent rolls around, i am just like everyone else... trying to arrange my life to fit in the things that really matter.  and sometimes i do a terrible job at that. 

i'm so thankful for the events we've done so far, and very thankful for that slightly uncomfortable twinge that tells me i need to be doing this stuff way more than i currently am.

04 December 2009

3.75 years since my last post... seriously

yes... it's really been that long. kinda ridiculous. but here's a glimpse of me: i tried to get into my account to write one day, and it wouldn't work. i tried again a few weeks later, it wouldn't work again. then i literally just forgot i had a blog. that's often what happens in the mind of megan kelly.

however, since facebook has taken over the planet, i've been able to connect with many people who have greatly influenced my life over the years. and it has made me realize that blogging would be a more efficient way to keep people updated on what God's doing down here in baton rouge. who knew?! [insert eye roll emoticon here]

since this is my first post back, i figured it would be nice to pick up where i left off. if you've read the previous post, you've met my youngest niece, "little science project finley." i praise God for creating and sustaining life. little finorita is a great reminder of both. here she is 3.75 years later. in the 80th percentile in height, smart as a whip, sassy as all get out, and 100% healthy.

11 March 2006

"Well then leave it alone."

Meet Finley Johnson, the newest (and lightest) edition to our family. After watching one too many episodes of ER, I was able to perfectly imagine the scene Wednesday night at 7:45 when my mom told me they were airlifting my sweet sister, Kristi, to University Hospital in Louisville, KY. Kristi's body was not holding up well against the pressure of her pregnancy, so although they had set the goal of 35 weeks for her earliest possible delivery, they had to take little Finley from her happy little home that night at 10:00. Kristi is recovering nicely... extremely ready for some real food. Apparently my valiant efforts to break the staunch rules of the liquid diet with crackers is just not enough for her. The nurses are pretty surprised by the speed at which she is recovering. Our only concern for Krist at this point is her blood pressure. It's been down a little, but is back up today. And, bless her heart, the medicine they are giving her makes her hot, dizzy, and basically miserable. We are so grateful to see God's hand restoring Kristi's health by the minute.
We are believing in His work in Finley. She was only on oxygen at first, but since then they had to put her on a venthilator; not ideal, but a means to the end. All 3 lbs and 11 oz of her are working really hard to breath, but even with the help of the ventilator, she is struggling. The doctors are not surprised by the things they are seeing, but are not altogether pleased with her progress at this point. Seeing such a small fragile life, God's power and meticulous planning was put into perspective. Isaiah 40:29 has been a source of hope and confidence for us every time we go in to see little Finley. "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." Now I know, for all you Bible scholars, this is part of Isaiah's prophecy to the Israelites, but it was also a timely word of encouragement from the Lord straight to a family whose hearts were a little unsettled.
One of the great ways God took care of us during this whole ordeal was by sending people to take care of Kristi when she was alone prior to surgery. None of the family was able to travel with her in the helicopter. So you have a 33 year old girl without her husband or family, only knowing that her condition is serious enough to airlift her ER style to the next biggest city for treatment. None of us could get there within 4 hours. Two people we had grown up with in church, who live in Louisville, jumped at the chance to come and stand beside her. So, Necia O'Donely and Tera Melber, thanks for reminding us what is so precious and sweet about the Body of Christ. You two were used to ease the hearts and minds of the whole family, as well as be a visible representation of the Lord's presence and care for Kristi and Finley's lives.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I know it was wordy and long...as are my thoughts at this point. We are still waiting, trusting, and living in hope. We waltz between peace and concern, with peace winning out most of the time at this point. Kristi and I have been praying, out of Psalm116:7, "Be at rest once more, O my sould, for the Lord has been good...!" Thanks for the prayers and concern so many of you have shown. We have been encouraged beyond belief. I'll leave you with a fun encounter my mom and sister had in the gift shop last night. They met a man the first moments we were all here. When they saw him again last night, he wanted an update on things. When they told him, he simply said, "Didn't the Lord already give you peace for the outcome of this?" Mom and Kristi nodded hesitantly. As he walked away, he looked over his shoulder and said, "Then leave it alone."

12 February 2006

i guess if anything is worth me blogging, this is

Dear Friends and Family, It has been too long since I have talked to some of you, but my reason for writing is so important to me, I had to make an effort to get in contact with each of you. The college ministry I have served with since I moved to Louisiana is starting a new church. Parkview Baptist Church has been our home for the last 8 years, and has supported us in the growth and maturation of this baby church. We have affectionately termed Parkview as “pregnant,” and she is about to “birth” this new church the night of Sunday, February 12th. God began this ministry by planting a vision in one of the pastor’s hearts. Jim Wallace believed in God’s vision and promise to use this ministry to reach Baton Rouge through college ministry. He hired Josh Causey as a ministry intern to develop a worship service. Their first night, 8 years ago, there were about 25 people there, 10 of whom were in the band. At the end of the night, they just kind of looked at one another and said, “Well, you want to try it again next week?” And they agreed to do it again, while secretly Josh thought it wasn’t going to ever grow past their beloved 25 people. In spite of their hesitations, they all had a sense that God was planning on doing things way beyond their comprehension and capabilities. Eight years, eight elders, ten community groups, and one pastor later, God has developed the Ring Community Church. He has sent us families, married couples…. People with more life under their belt, there fore with more wisdom than we have (praise God!) to help us walk out His design for His Bride. God has shaken us up over and over again. He continues to strip us of ourselves, our desires, and our plans, only to rework us in His higher ways and thoughts. He has planned and executed this church down to even the launch next Sunday.
The reason I am writing you, is to say thank you. Each of you has had a part in God building this church, because you have played such an important part in my life. From the time I moved to Louisiana to go to seminary and work, you have supported me with your prayer and encouragement. I still miss home more than you know, but I have also never been as confident of where I am supposed to be as I am at this moment. As our church family grows in intimacy with one another, I am ever more aware of the ways our histories make us who we are. God has knit together a precious Body of people; none of whom are perfect nor try to appear so. We are all just walking through life hanging onto God’s grace and promises that He is alive in us. With that hope, we want to do our best to love God and love people the way He intended.
Thank you for being a part of my history, present, and future. As our church body gathers together for the “birth” of this new church, I would ask that you pray with us on Sunday, wherever you may be. Our service starts at 6:30 Sunday night. We are going to spend the night committing every part of this church to its Creator and Sustainer. We are all so excited to be a part of God’s plan in this. We know He could accomplish His purposes in Baton Rouge with the blink of an eye, but are so grateful He wants to use us in the process.
Thank you for loving me and influencing my life by living yours to the fullest. Please pray with us as we continue to seek His guidance and heart. Please pray for Josh as God leads him in leading us. And pray that we, as the Bride of Christ, will act out who God truly designed His church to be… humble servants who are in love with their Master and Creator. We know that if we will keep our eyes focused on Him He will lead us in all areas.

I love you and am so thankful for your presence and influence in my life,Megan

10 March 2005

i knew i was blogshy for a reason

Um yeah, so the very story which led me to blog for the first time, which I was about to post just got eaten by the "cannot find server" gnome. It is going to take something ultra cool or important for me to try this again. Boo on "cannot find server" gnomes.