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Just Ordinary

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[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ bg_image_quality=”” video_on_mobile=”No”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][vc_column_text]Sometimes God uses the most peculiar situations to resurrect our hearts back to life. In His grace, God purposes and allows unfulfilled dreams, broken hearts, incurable illnesses, and all other forms of “the valley” to draw us nearer to Himself. It does not make sense in the eyes of the world, but I promise it is true — my life is a testimony of it. In Mark 5, God uses the death and resurrection of an ordinary little girl to not only show His power, love and steadfast mercy, but also to resurrect the heart of a community whose faith was weak. Jesus says, “Talitha, Cumi” (which translates to “Little girl, I say to you, arise”) and not only physically restores her, but spiritually restores the eye-witnesses of the miracle as well.

If you are a believer in Jesus, you most likely have had a “dry season” in your walk with the Lord. It is that old familiar experience of plateaued growth, dwindling passion and apathy toward the Lord. This was me at the beginning of summer 2015. I desperately missed feeling the overwhelming presence of God encompassing my decisions and daily life. Months before summer began, my prayer was for the Lord to reignite a passion in my soul. I wanted my identity to be found in who He was. I prayed for God to renew a steadfast spirit in my soul, for Him to restore in me the joy of my salvation. I felt like the heartbeat of my faith was faint and I needed to be resurrected … and I could not do it on my own.

As believers in Jesus, God the Father, in His faithfulness and goodness, has promised Himself to us. No matter our circumstances or feelings or the season (whether dry or abundantly fruitful). Though we are quick to leave Him for glittery things of this world, He is constant. He pursues us relentlessly. He loves us with a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. A patient, kind, humble, selfless, rejoicing in truth, protecting, trusting, never ending, forever hopeful kind of love. A love that is forever ours. Even when we are in the desert or fire. He walks with us, in fact, He carries us through those times. I suspect Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would agree.

And this is where the peculiar situation comes in…

During the dry season of summer of 2015, I went to the funeral of a girl I did not know. She was a co-worker of mine and our department went to support her family members and friends. I went to the memorial service not realizing I would walk out those same doors changed. I would walk out with a resurrected heart.

Jamilyn was an ordinary 26-year-old single girl who lived a radical life for the kingdom of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Her surrender to the Lord was powerful — her funeral drew in over 1,500 people to the service while 5,000 more people streamed online to celebrate her life. In the eyes of the world, the death of Jamilyn was a complete and utter tragedy — she was taken “too early.” And, oh, my heart ached for Jamilyn’s family and close friends, but at the same time I could not help but praise God for the thousands of people who gathered to worship God in the midst of this tragedy – some of those attendees heard the gospel of Jesus for the first time. As the funeral progressed, through the power of the Holy Spirit, my desert heart began to bloom again. As I worshipped the Lord, Romans 8:28 came to life – God used the horrific death of a saint to resurrect my heart back to life. Because of the way she lived life, I have a newfound perspective, life and renewed relationship with my Savior. Jamilyn was a world-changer, a prayer warrior and she was simply a single 26-year-old who had a radical love for Jesus. Since then, I have longed to live a life of full surrender to the Lord — a life where when people talk about me they can’t help but talk about Jesus!

Two ordinary girls — Jamilyn and Jairus’ daughter — two-thousand years apart in time were used in mighty ways for the kingdom of God. More often than not this is how God operates. He uses the weak, unwanted and ordinary to participate in bringing His kingdom to earth. He used the death and resurrection of Jarius’ daughter to resurrect the faith of a community and He used the death of Jamilyn to renew a steadfast spirit in my own soul for Him. So my charge to you is: How can God use you, the average Joe, to make a mighty impact for His kingdom right where you are?

“I have been learning a lot about joy lately. Joy that comes in the middle of storms. Joy that comes in the middle of decisions. Joy that comes even when the next step isn’t always clear. It’s that joy that changes situations. Joy that runs deep and points you back to the source. Happiness and other feelings are fleeting but joy has an origin and a Creator. The more I get to know that source of joy the richer life becomes, the more clear everyday gifts He gives become more and personal and sweet. Knowing the source itself changes me …  Joy looks the same on every continent because the source never changes.” – Jamilyn​

 

-Carly McDougal

 

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ bg_image_quality=”” video_on_mobile=”No”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][image_with_animation image_url=”2961″ alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%” image_size=””][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][vc_column_text]Join us any Sunday at Christ Chapel!

Whatever your week was like, there’s a place for you at Christ Chapel. Gather with us on Sundays for community, worship and truth for your everyday life.

Fort Worth Campus: 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
West Campus: 9:30 and 11 a.m.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ bg_image_quality=”” video_on_mobile=”No”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_quality=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_image_position=”” bg_image_repeat=””][vc_column_text]

For Better, For Worse: A Four-Week Soul Care Class on Marriage
Sundays, July 1 through July 22
10:45 a.m. to noon
Oak Room

We all know that marriage has its ups and downs, but it’s another thing to experience it! Whether you are happily married or just hanging on by a thread, come and be reminded of God’s good agenda through the highs and lows of marriage. Beyond that, you’ll be encouraged and equipped from the Scriptures to love your spouse with a love that can only come from God.

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Katie Morris

Katie Morris

Author Bio Goes Here

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