Best of 2016

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Spent most of yesterday reflecting on 2016. Since I am more visual and at a loss for words to describe the previous 365 days, I tried using the #best9of2016 to see how that might help me. That just reminded me of all the pics that I have posted that meant more to me than the ones deemed “best of 2016”. So I came up with this #best12of16. 

Last year was not something I can condense into one photo collage, but I tried to do the best I could. I thought this was better because dividing up the memories from 2016 into 9 cute; even squares doesn’t seem appropriate because last year was made up of some pretty epic, life-altering events for me and some small, not so visible to everyone changes. So here it is, my 2016 in one image. It’s made up of reminders of grief and mourning I never expected, relationships that have made my life more full, the riches and blessings given to me by my heavenly Father, and losses that I will not soon forget. What you probably can’t see in this picture is the way God has used each of the images to change me. I enter 2017 a different person than I was in 2016. Over the coming days, weeks and months, I will write more about it and share it with you. Not because I have all the answers, but because the change internally is so profound I am challenging myself get it out of my mind and heart, so that you might be encouraged. One of the things I have noticed this year is God’s sovereignty in timing. Lots of things happened that I was not expecting and never saw coming. Some of them I greeted with great joy and longing because I have waited and hoped for them. Others came with crushing grief and loss I was not sure I could bear. Just thinking about those as I wrote the last sentence, I was overwhelmed with emotion and tears filled my eyes.  For those who have known me before 2016, that might sound odd and not "Randy-like, ” but that's part of this new me that I will write about later. So many things happened right when they needed to for me to be ready for the next moment God was going to use to shape me more into the image of Jesus. 

So here’s to 2016, a year filled with blessing beyond measure, filled with tragedy, hope, newness, change, a new beginning, awakening, and grace. I will write more, again not because I am good at it or love it, but because I need to. Will you call me out if you go for weeks and don’t see something from me? 

What are we doing?

Since posting about our new steps in Living By Faith and Following in Obedience back in August, I realized I haven't done a good job of keeping you up to date on what is happening with the Moore's. So, I wanted to take some time to let you know what we are doing and how you can be a part. So here is a look at what we are doing:

Transitioning at Milwood

Jill and I are wrapping up our ministry time at Milwood. This has been an extremely fruitful season for our family over the last 11 years. We love the people of Milwood and have been working hard to leave well and to make the transition as smooth as possible. It has been a huge blessing to see how a church can transition so smoothly with love, grace and encouragement. I wish more church staff could be as blessed as I have been by the Elders and members of Milwood. I am sure the next six weeks will fly by, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.

Preparing to Join Redeemer

For the next year, I will be a Church Planter in Residence at Redeemer Church in Round Rock. We are excited for this time of equipping and learning. For the next year I will be learning from the Pastors at Redeemer, planning and prepping for our church plant. This will be my full time responsibility. I look at this year as year zero of the church plant. It will be spent building a core team and leaders, and focusing our vision for developing Missional Communities that will reach far northwest Austin/ Cedar Park. Soon I will post more about Missional Communities, but in the mean time you can find some great videos and blogs on the We Are Soma link on the resource page. 

Partners & Raising Support

One of the biggest ways you can be a part of what we are doing, is to partner with us as we plant this new church. There are several ways:

PRAY

Jill and I know that prayer is powerful and the prayers of others for us is necessary, as we move forward. We are asking for friends and family to commit to pray for us as this new church begins. Prayer is not the token way to be involved, but it is the most important thing we can ask you to do. We covet your prayers more than anything else. To easily communicate our prayer needs and to keep our partners up to date on what is happening, we want you to join our email list.  We will send out regular emails to let you know the highs and lows, successes and struggles, and specific ways you can pray for us.  We truly covet your partnership in prayer and hope you will sign up for this email list.

 

GIVE

Over the next 3-4 years of prepping and planting this new church we are asking for partners that would financially support this work. We want to focus as much of our time and effort as possible in planting and your financial partnership would be a huge help in this. Over the next few months, I will be meeting with family and friends and asking you to partner with us.  I would love to share with you our vision over coffee or a meal, so that you can see first hand the importance of your partnership. We are needing partners that would support on a monthly basis, as well as some one time up front needs. You can find out more about how to give here. I look forward to talking with many of you in the coming days.

JOIN  

We hope most of you will partner with us in prayer and in financial support, but some of you might feel called to join us to plant this church. We understand that this partnership is much different than the others and requires a different kind of commitment. If you think that you might be interested in joining us in this work, PRAY. Seek God and ask him if this is a direction he would have you go. We would love to join you in praying about this as well. We are praying for people that would be committed with us to plant a church and develop missional communities in far Northwest Austin. If this is you, get in contact with us so we can pray with you and see how the Lord might lead.

Jill and I are very blessed to have been given such a great group of family and friends. We are very excited about the days ahead and hope you will be able to partner with us in this work. We can't wait to see what 2015 has in store and look forward to sharing this journey with you.

 

Looking Forward

Randy and Jill

14 years and counting...

Today marks 14 years since Jill and I said our marriage vows. Sometimes it seems like yesterday, when our officiant and friend Sean Sivils stole a line from Regis and Who wants to be a Millionaire and asked Jill "is that your final answer?" after she said  I do; catching her off guard and bringing a smile to her face. There are many great memories from that day, some planned some unplanned. Our candles were lit by my cousin Chuck's son Travis, who is now in High School, man we are getting old. My Grandfather Charlie, asking me just seconds before we walk down to start the ceremony" Randal Bryan what kind of gel do you use in your hair?" What gel I used that day was the last thing on my mind.  It was a great day that launched Jill and I into a life that we never could have imagined.

In September of 2000, Jill was working for a local home builder and I was teaching P.E. at Strickland School in South Austin and helping out with students at Hays Hills in Buda. Since that day our lives have changed a lot: We have moved a few times; we have added 3 kids; a dog, some fish and frogs have been our pets and "moved on";  now Jill works in the Preschool at Milwood, and we are about to embark on a new journey - Planting a Church. Honestly there are so many things that have happened over the last 14 years that I never could have anticipated. Lots of change, joys and sorrows, new friends that have blessed our lives and friends we don't get to see as much any more. As I look back over the last almost decade and a half of my life two things have remained constant - God and Jill.

God has remained faithful and good even when I have not been. I was reminded of the song "God is Good" from Dustin Kensrue recently and it has been on repeat in my head. Jill and I were naive when we got married. We thought that a good marriage would just happen, that we would know how to communicate, how to love each other and how to care for each other. But a good marriage doesn't just happen. God has been good to us, his grace has been evident and he has shown us how to have a great marriage through his Word.  He has remained faithful to complete in us the work he started when we gave our lives to him. I can say that both of us understand how important His word and the Holy Spirit are to our marriage now. 

Over the last 14 years of marriage and for the 5 years of our friendship before that, Jill has been a blessing to my life. She is a constant reminder of God's grace to me.  I prayed and hoped for a godly wife, but God blessed me more than I could have imagined.  Proverbs 31: 10-12 says

10 An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels." My heart screams amen when I read this, because by God's grace I am blessed with an excellent wife. She loves and serves God in a way that encourages me to do the same. She has the same mind of Christ that Paul speaks of in Philippians that "considers others more important than themselves." I could list a thousand ways she has blessed me and many others. She is truly and excellent wife and I am blessed to call her mine. 

Jill, thank you for loving me like Jesus. For the selfless way you care for our family and me. You are a great teammate in life , mother to our children and I love you. Thank you for spurring me to follow Christ and lead our family well. Thank you for being you. Happy Anniversary. 

Living By Faith and Following in Obedience

This morning I shared the letter below with our church and I am excited to share this news with you here. I hope that you will follow along with our new journey as we Live by Faith and Follow God in Obedience. 

There are two things Jill and I try to live out in our life… LIVING BY FAITH and FOLLOWING GOD IN OBEDIENCE… With that said, Jill and I are excited to announce that we will be following God's leading to plant a church in the Austin area. 

Over the last year and a half I have been in conversations with Nathan about a change that God was leading Jill and I through. Jill and I felt like God was starting to shift our focus away from Student ministry, but we weren't sure where exactly where he was leading. Over the last year and a half  as we have navigated through this, Nathan has shown great patience and been an amazing encourager and shepherded us well. What a blessing he is  to our family and this church. 

At the beginning of this year I met with the Elders, for the first time, to let them know that God was leading Jill and I through this change in ministry and they too were encouraging and supportive.  We have continued to meet over the last several months and each time God has provided guidance and wisdom in which step to take next in faith. This process has been faith building and we have been reminded along the way of the importance of our obedience. We are humbled to take this next step and know that God has much growth, teaching and stretching ahead for us. 

By the end of this year I will transition out of my role as Student and Community Pastor  at Milwood, and in January I will begin  Church Planter training at  Redeemer Church in Round Rock. We plan to share all of the details of how God brought all of this together, at our Church Family Meeting, next Sunday.

Words will never be able to express both how difficult and exciting this announcement is. I have loved the more than 10 years I have served at Milwood. Jill and I came to Milwood in the Fall of 2003 with no children, lots of dreams and no idea what God had in store for us. We will leave Milwood with a deeper love for Christ and his Church, a heart to see those far from God reconciled to him and friends that have become like our family. It is a blessing to serve God at Milwood and we are excited for what lies ahead, not only for us but for Milwood too.

 

 

The days ahead have lots of new challenges and excitement in store for the Moore Family. Check back on our blog: onmissioneveryday.com to stay up to date on our journey of faith.