God-Inspired vision

Vision Weekend

By Abbey Nobles

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“The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.” - Romans 8:3-4

It started in December: the non-stop hustle to get everything accomplished, make everyone feel loved and special, and try to squeeze some time in for connection and purpose with my husband, Brian. In the midst of the Christmas chaos, Brian and I looked at each other and realized that in trying to be so intentional with family, friends, and our students, we had successfully neglected each other. From there, vision weekend was born. We did not set out with the immediate goal of filling out a chart and making big future moves. In the beginning, our mission was simple: plan a weekend where we could “get away,” reflect on both the great and painful things of 2018, and talk about the coming year.

Inspired by Brian Few’s vision sermon this year and reading through a Christmas-New Year’s devotional, we were able to come up with a manageable goal setting and reflective chart that we both could be excited about. (Link to that chart is included here, it is slightly different than the one we passed out at Church) We set our tentative plan of where we would go out to eat, what we would do for fun, when we would talk, etc. and truly let the Spirit inspire what we would talk about. Because we both have a constant myriad of ideas teeming in our brains, and indecision is not too foreign for both of us, we sat down and planned out a schedule so there would be no questions of “where are we going out to eat?” or “what should we do now?” (tentative, but something to fall back on). The week prior we were in prayer and sought prayer from close friends for this weekend. We had some big items to discuss and none of our conversations were stressful or caused any anxiety. We were able to easily knock out about 75% of the chart.

“Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Advice I would give to anyone wanting to try this weekend are as follows: Be in prayer and ask for prayer from your close community, do not get bummed out if you do not reach all of the discussion goals/topics, trust in the ability to be organic and genuinely inspired; let this guide your conversation. I think we often forget that when we are plugged into the Lord, the Spirit divinely inspires us. We musn’t flee from that and we must be aware of that. Allow time for the Lord to connect you to himself, to inspire and move you deeply. Brian and I started the first morning of our weekend not talking about vision at all, just coexisting in our house, drenched and warmed by the sunrays, drinking coffee on the couch, reading and journaling leisurely and independently, playing music together, and making breakfast. This normality and relaxation was okay because it created the connective space and calm for us to be productive in the following hours.

“Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace… If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” - Romans 8:6, 11

Let's be a Church that doesn’t make excuses; that is divinely inspired by the Spirit and notices it; that encourages one another to be reflective and set goals for our future. No weekend will be the right weekend, you will never get the most perfect babysitting situation, taking off work is never going to be easy, you will not have the right amount of money saved, or ever enough time. We must stop listening to the lies the Devil uses to replace our ability to commit with excuses. God wants to show you all that he is doing in your life. Let us be a Church body that allows time, space, and energy to be divinely inspired and led by the Spirit. Let us hold each other accountable to this call and let us celebrate with one another when we faithfully walk into a time of seeking vision for our lives.








God’s Grace Remains

By Natalyn Bachek 

THE FOLLOWING IS THE FOURTH IN A SERIES OF BLOGS, EACH WRITTEN BY A DIFFERENT MEMBER OF OUR LIVE OAK CHURCH FAMILY.

Kenny and Natalyn Bachek 

Kenny and Natalyn Bachek 

The year was 2013. A warm day, but a cool night. The excitement was felt in the air as if it was almost tangible. I in white, he in gray, and others wore their casual best. With Edison lights swinging in the background, we shared our love publicly and vowed each other our forevers.

Who would have ever thought that those naive twenty-somethings would turn out to be the best love story I could have ever dreamt of or prayed for? I never thought it could happen to me nor did I know something like that existed. You always read about love in a mushy gushy novel (as if this isn’t mushy gushy, I know) and never think about it actually being reality. The nerd that I am considers marriage our own little “club” that only Kenny and I are members of and with our secret handshake and inside jokes, I finally feel like a cool kid at the lunch table.

Insert the sappy love music… I promise I’ll stop.

Walking down the aisle, I knew what we had was special, but I didn’t fully understand it until entering into something so sacred. It was as if a veil was pulled away from my eyes. I finally saw how extremely blessed I was that my husband was the one I was made for and him for me. Not to say that I have ever described marriage as easy, but it has been a privilege to figure it out together.

Needless to say, no one ever sat me down and really given me the details about marriage. The “ins and outs” as you would say. I mean, how could they? Marriage is completely distinctive and varies from couple to couple. What Kenny and I experience can be completely different than the couple sitting beside us on Sunday. What we did find out through premarital counseling and spending time with some really wise people, is that marriage truly has wings when it is centered around God. And we soon learned that the hard way.

When I say the hard way, I mean God graciously nudged us and continued to do so for several years after we made a really big decision without Him. This decision had to do with buying a new house and gutting it to the bones. Those naive twenty-somethings I mentioned earlier, thought they had it all figured out and jumped into something without seeking God first.

Whoops.

It wasn’t until almost three years later of arguments, deadlines, and strained relationships that we started to see a clear view of what went wrong. While sitting in a Live Oak service one Sunday, the series was centered on vision and what a life without vision is like. It was as if all the oxygen had been sucked out of the room and I was the only one that had noticed. That was it: No vision meant no God and that was exactly what we did.

The initial step towards our future should have been with God leading us, not us dragging God behind us on a leash. We truly believe that through prayer and wise counsel, God would have lead us a different way, but oh the amazing journey He has brought us on! Though the renovation may have been the hardest thing we have gone through as a couple, this obstacle has matured us as individuals but also a team. The fact that God’s grace remains at the end of every day and renews every morning, is just enough for us. No matter how far we may stray, we are firm in the belief that He will make all things new according to HIS plan, not ours. Without this rocky time in our lives, we never would have seen it or grasped it in the unique way that we do.

God is just that way though. He is never pushy and always approaches us with a gentle spirit even after we’ve forgotten Him with naive minds. Even after we run from His spirit or His word. Even then. He’s still there.

 

Bio on Kenny & Natalyn Bachek

  • Married for five years

  • Attending Live Oak for six years

  • Have a dog-son named Nash

  • Kenny works in clinical trial research

  • Natalyn is a Dental Hygienist

  • Kenny is a two handicap in golf

  • Natalyn is an avid runner

  • Both are die-hard NC State fans

  • Both love Seinfeld & Friends