what am i thinking

Today I am going back to school.

As a student.

It has been almost thirty years since I have written an academic paper. Yes, I have edited quite a few in those years – I am a good editor. But the writing?

What am I thinking?

I am taking a class that meets one time a week for three hours.

Will I be able to stay focused for three hours? Will I be able to go three hours without a bathroom break? (Seriously – I drink tons of water!)

What am I thinking?

These concerns have crossed my mind over the past month as I thought about this new adventure. (I am not even going down the path that I could be the oldest person in the room).

But this morning – here is what I am thinking:

How kind of God to give me a husband who is encouraging me to see if this seminary thing is for me. We already have two kids in college, do we really need another person in school? Yet, my honey is cheering me on and will probably join me in much of my reading. He is a precious gift!

How kind of God to move us to Kansas City where He has placed us in a loving church community with lots of seminary students. I could absolutely walk this path “alone,” but God has given me friends with whom I get to walk. Sure they are much younger (like I could be their mom younger). But, they are the friends God has given me in this season, and they are a blessing.

How kind of God to move us to Kansas City where there is a seminary whose vision is “For the Church.” My honey and I are passionate about God’s working in and through the local (and universal) church and love that the heart of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary beats for the church.

How kind of God to work to change my degree back in college. I wrote very briefly about that here. It was in this degree change that God blessed me with a professor who spoke into my heart more that she probably knows. Yes, she taught me much from the content of her classes, but she taught me even more from the content of her heart. She was the only female teacher in the department and encouraged me to be a thinker. It was in that season that I began thinking about the possibility of going to seminary. I am thankful that God placed her in my life and used her for His purposes.

So, even though I do think about paper writing, my attention span, and bathroom breaks, this morning I am thinking about the amazing God who in His kindness has brought me to this place.

He is faithful!




people pleasing problem

Believe it or not, I am a recovering people pleaser. Growing up I was considered a “good kid.” Of course it was not because I was good (see Mark 10:18) but because I spent lots of energy working to please people.



Pretty much everyone

I believe it was in high school (maybe college) that Galatians 1:10 spoke to my heart.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Over the years since then, I have had to remind myself of this truth. A recent example is the desire to write a post about the church body God has given us here in KC. I didn’t at first because I was concerned that people from my TX church would think I was comparing/criticizing our church there. I bowed to that nonsense!

If you don’t wrestle with people pleasing you probably think this sounds crazy.

I imagine some of you know what I am talking about.

What I have come to realize is that by not sharing about the gift of Emmaus I have missed out on proclaiming the goodness of my God, giving Him the glory.

We had an army of friends praying for us to find a church when we moved. Emmaus was an answer to all of those prayers. How could I not share?

So selfish of me!


So – what is it that drew us to Emmaus (other than the super obvious sovereignty of God)? What is it that we love?

The mission statement sums it up:

Emmaus Church exists to see God glorified and churches multiplied by declaring and displaying the gospel.

It is beautifully simple, and I am a pretty simple person – a less is more kind of person.

God glorified – The ultimate goal is to glorify God. We love that this isn’t just stated but very evident in the various aspects of how we “do church.”

Churches multiplied – Emmaus is a church plant with a heart for church planting which is seen in the Pastoral Residency – a “program” of training and equipping men to shepherd and lead to the glory of God. My honey and I have had a heart for this type of ministry for a number of years and were so thankful to find a small church that was investing their time and resources in this very thing. You can read more about the Pastoral Residency here.

The gospel – Emmaus is also a gospel saturated church – the focus is Jesus. Each week one of the pastors will share that Emmaus doesn’t offer anything other than Jesus. There isn’t a production on Sunday but a time of declaring Jesus through song, confession, scripture, and communion. It is refreshingly simple. Did I mention I love simple?

There are a few other things that drew us to Emmaus Church as well.

  • The liturgy – the very specific, gospel saturated order of our Sunday services. Our pastor of teaching and liturgy wrote a 4 part series on the church blog explaining this – it is a good read! The fourth part of that series ends by showing how each part of our Sunday service mirrors the gospel – Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration, Consummation. Weekly, I am being reminded of the fullness of the gospel as I participate in the service.
  • The high view of membership – simply, Emmaus takes seriously both the benefit of membership in a local body AND the responsibility of the member to that local body. We participated in a membership weekend, where we learned about Emmaus – who they are, what they believe, and what it means to be a member. We were also interviewed by one of the pastors, and we wrote out our testimony so the other members could get to know us.
  • Multiple teaching pastors/elders – having more than one pastor who is a gifted expositor of scripture is a blessing. Having four pastors who lead the church together in unity is a gift. During our membership weekend, one of our pastors commented on how thankful he is to sit under the leadership of the other pastors. They mutually submit to one another, encourage one another, love one another, and hold each other accountable. We are grateful for this.

One final obvious thing that God used in drawing us to Emmaus Church is THE PEOPLE. I shared a little about the people in a previous post. We have been welcomed warmly into this body of Christ.

There is so much joy in sharing about our new church home.

There is so much joy in sharing about this answer to prayer.

There is so much glory to give to God for His goodness in leading us here.

Do you see the people pleasing problem?

People pleasing is


joy stealing

glory hogging

As my friend Lynn would say, “let’s just call it sin.” And that is what people pleasing is – sin.

How grateful I am for my Savior who died for me!

How grateful I am for my Savior who opened my eyes to see my need for Him.

How grateful I am for the gift of faith that set me free, and continues to free me every day.