Monday, July 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jellyland Update

Hey.  Man it's been forever since I have written anything longer than a status update!  I've had a few things that I wanted to write about but nothing came out.

Here's whats been happening with the Jellison's of the South East:

10.  About two months ago I got an iPhone and I LOVE it.  It is crazy the ease and amount of info I can get out and things I can get done with it as opposed to my old phone.  There really is an app for everything.  Staying in touch has never been easier.

9.  Living in North Carolina through a winter was mild to say the least.  It is hilarious to hear people from around here say how cold it is outside with it being like 40-50 degrees!  I've been wearing flip flops regularly for about a few months now.  We went to the beach in February for cryin' out loud! I missed some of the snow though.

8.  Things with the youth group are going great.  It has been a learning experience going through the rhythms of the students here.  They are all involved with so much and their families are traveling and doing multiple things at the same time.  We've hung steadily through it though.  We went through a purity series in March and that was a crazy time.  I can't wait for the ECHO Got Talent show this Sunday night!  It should be great!  We are also doing a Gurly/Burly weekend this Friday and Saturday.  The girls are going to the beach and doing Gurly stuff.  The guys are competing for the Burly Cup!  It should be great with competitions in putt putt, COD Modern Warfare 2, Nerf Wars and other events!  Can't wait!

7.  I go Friday to take my written driver's test.  Not real excited about it and haven't studied for it yet.  I've been procrastinating about procrastinating about doing this!  Its time.

6.  Now that the Lakers have been knocked out of the playoffs I can go back to getting more sleep!  Sad that they lost but glad that I won't be having too many 1am nights over the next few weeks.

5.  Sarah is closing in on the end of the school year. She is looking forward to being done.  Also, she is looking for another job.  The salary just wasn't enough and so she is looking at getting back into nursing.  Please pray that God would open another door for her and our family.

4.  Kate is growing so fast.  I looked at her Monday afternoon and just couldn't believe how big she had gotten.  She is talking more and more and doing crazy things every day.  I am thankful to be her daddy.

3.  We are looking forward to our time off in the next few months.  We are going to West Virginia and meeting our Indiana/Ohio family for a few days near the end of this month.  Then in June we are going down to Myrtle Beach for a week or so.  I SO need a break.  Can't wait to see the family and spend time with them. I have been missing them something fierce lately.

2.  Kate is on a ton of meds because they have diagnosed her with Asthma.  They are not sure why she has such inflammation so they have put her on Steroids and antibiotics for a few weeks then we go back for another lung test.  She is doing better each day.  Thanks for all the prayers and concern.  It's been a stressful time for us.

1.  I am thankful that God is faithful to us through our own faithlessness.  I'll write more about that another day.

May you come to know that God loves you and hears your prayers.  He is faithful.


Monday, July 26, 2010

a lack of faith...

Hey everyone...

It's been a good while since I sat down and wrote out something from the depths of my heart.  The past few months have been a flood of emotions, a hurricane of feelings and a downpour of change in my life.  There were times when I wanted to write things down and "get them out" but the words just wouldn't come.  So here it goes:

Back at the beginning of the year, which seems like a lifetime ago now, we felt it was time for us to move on from the church we were at to something else.  It was tough to even come to that conclusion but we stepped out in faith (at the time) and believed that God had something for us.  I resigned in February and started sending out resumes the first week of March.  We took that step in faith because we believed that we were doing it the right way.  We sent out resumes to over 20+ districts in one denomination and then to two different denominations outside of that.  In all, over 200 potential churches. 
 We decided to cast the net as wide as possible and March came and went.  April showed up and still nothing.  The calendar turned to May and still nothing.  Here's where the growing really started.  You see...sometimes our timing and God's timing aren't on the same clock.  I started doubting everything.  Wondering if I "had what it takes" or if any church would even take a chance on me.  My journey had started with a step out in faith and had turned into a lesson of doubt and discouragement.  The brunt of my blatant lack of faith landed on Sarah.  She was so understanding and supportive during this dark time in my life.  She tried to uplift me and tell me I had what it took.  A crazy thing happens when you go through colossal struggles in life.  Those around you start to break out the old cliches and one liners mostly because they don't know what else to say.  My family was backing me the whole way and I know that their prayers lifted me up.  They had the faith for me that I so sorely lacked.  I couldn't count the number of times in my private prayer times that I have just lamented to God that I just need to know where and when and what I should do.  At the beginning of May I really wondered if God had forgotten me.  In this universe that is so vast and with so many other people, whose needs were more desperate than mine, I wonder aloud sometimes if God had missed the memo.  I questioned if I had done the wrong thing and had let down my family.  I cried all the while angry at the fact that I felt I had done the right thing but not a thing was going right.  
Then in May God stepped in.  Haymount called.  I took the call.  We came down on a Tuesday and went home on a Thursday.  We felt the potential and love of the people of Haymount.  We thought that we could fill the needs that they needed and that the gifts that God had given me (which I had doubted for 3 months) would plug right into the holes that were here.  They called the following Monday and we accepted the call.  They looked at over 100 resumes.  I sent my resume to over 200 churches.  Still, here we are.  All that to tell you my testimony this Monday July 26th, 2010:


He undoubtedly loves us.  He really does have the best in mind for us.  He cares about our lives.  He expects a lot out of us, but we are to expect a lot out of Him!  When we have a need we should ask and then wait for Him to answer because He will.  As Kari Jobe sings, "I know that you are for me. I know that you are for me.  I know that you will never forsake me in my weaknesses."  Up to this day, my life has been a blessed life.  God has given me my best friend and wife even though I tried to mess that one up.  He has blessed us with being at Shiloh for a lot of the "firsts" of our life together.  He has given us a beautiful baby girl who teaches us about love every day.  He has blessed us with family and with Christian parents who pray for us, who tell us those old cliches mainly because they are true and they have lived them, and who are still standing by us even though we are far away.  He has recently blessed us with an apartment with A/C on 100 degree days!  He opened up a job for Sarah.  He has placed me in a ministry where I am surrounded by amazing people and I have the privilege of building new relationships with some great students!  I get to come along side and help with New Sanctuary and help with that service in ways that I love.  


If there is one thing I've learned about faith it is this: You can't be told that God is faithful.  You have to go through a situation where you get to the point where you can do nothing else but trust Him to understand the depths of His faithfulness and love for you.  

I hope that this finds you well and blessed.  May you know the rest that comes from trusting in a God who is for you!  May you come to know that He will never forsake you in your weaknesses...He only becomes stronger!

II Thess. 3:3, " But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

May newsletter

 Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.  -James 1:6-8

Trust is a funny thing.  It always seems to be on one of those scales with two plates that are moving up and down depending on the object on each side.  Trust or faith reside on the one side.  The other, well it is something most Christians don't talk about, or if they do it is called something other than doubt.  We like to disguise it with chatter.  We like to talk about our situations more than we pray about them it seems.  Words upon words.  Sentences upon sentences.  It seems to run on and on.  We always seem to have a word for other people when they are going through things.  We have some Christanese to share or some clichéd phrase that we've been taught to regurgitate.  There are times when people need to be reminded about things. 

The word trust is so relative.  What looks like trust to me could look like doubting to you and vice versa.  I was talking to my Dad the other day about doubting and he told me about a devotional that he had read that said that when you start doubting God and the plans He has and His word that you move into a different world.  The enemy begins to get a foothold and starts planting seeds here and there of doubt and discouragement and we go into a new world.  It becomes a world where we start questioning ourselves.  Our faith turns stale and rigid and it dries up and dies.  Our love turns into hate.  Our mercy for others around us turns into resentment and wondering why this happens for them and not for me. We start looking at the here-and-now and fail to remember Scriptures like I. Samuel 7:12 where we are reminded that "To the point where we are right now, the Lord HAS helped us."  If you want an indication of what God is going to do, look at what He's already done!  

May we realize that there has to come a time when we stop searching for the answers.  We must stop asking for a way out and we must begin to trust God where we are and just let Him have His way.  

Before they call out, I'll answer. Before they've finished speaking, I'll have heard.  -God (Isaiah 65:24)

Wait passionately for God, don't leave the path. (Psalm 37:34)

-Pastor Andy

Monday, February 22, 2010

March Newsletter article




Here in Northern Indiana we get a lot of snow.  We get system snow and we also get some lake effect!  Snow doesn't bother me.  I actually like it.  It is amazing to see all the tracks in the snow.  We would have never known that those animals or people would have been there unless we were some world class animal tracker!  I have to walk through the snow to get to my car so I have a path from the deck to the garage and to the Oasis that I have used many times.  The other day it got super cold and the snow quickly turned into ice and it was very slippery in the pathway that I had created.  It was ironic that it had become safer outside of the path that I had normally went down due to the ice.  If I would have insisted on walking in the icy footprints I would have likely taken a fall. 

How many times do we walk down the same paths even when we know that it isn't the best thing to do?  It might not be bad or sinful, but we know deep down that there is a "better" path that we could be on?  We still make those choices that insist on us staying in this path or that path because that is "our" path.  It is silly when we look back and get some perspective on whatever situation that we went through.  Sometimes in life it is easier to go down the same path that we've always gone down.  But we aren't supposed to survive life, we are expected to live it! 

So the next time that you have the chance to take a new path down an unexpected event in your life or to give something new a chance, try it out because sometimes it is easier to make new tracks than to try and not slip on the icy path you are used to going down.  

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight!"                   -Proverbs 3:5-6


With a heart full of love,


Pastor Andy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Valley's- February Newsletter Article

If you know me, you know that I bleed Cream and Crimson...I love IU basketball.  Last  season they went 6 and 25.  They won 6 games and lost 25 games.  I taped every one and watched it.  Every second.  That season taught me a few things about valleys and anger management and ulcers but those other two things won't make for a good article. 

    1.One things I learned was, you sometimes hit valleys because of unforeseen things.  Someone else does something to you or someone you love, the stock market crashes, other peoples decisions have an impact on your life, or maybe it is just something random that happened by no one's fault.  It just happened.

    2.  Secondly, often times you go through valleys because you are missing the signs or ignoring them in your own life.  How many times in life are we given warning signs along side the road of life that we just flat out ignore?  How many times has someone said a wise word or given us sound advice and we just ignored it and went ahead with whatever we wanted to do?  God said that if we are lacking wisdom to ask for it and He will give it to us! 

    3.  Three, I hate losing at anything.  I hate losing and the way it makes you feel.  My kids are in for a real treat.  They will have to earn their wins when playing Chutes and Ladders or Checkers or Candyland!  I think as Christians we have become so apathetic towards things that when we start to "lose" a battle in life we start "woe is me-ing."  We are more than conquerors!  When evils wins out in the present, we know that in end the victory is with the Lord.  Don't give in or give that God has placed you in this season for some reason.  Trust that wherever you go, He will be there. 

    4.  Fourth, doing the right things in valley will help you grow and potentially get out of that valley or those things will help you be content while you are in the valley.  Their season made me be thankful for each win they had but in life it helped me savor each "win" that I experienced too.  Isn't it the case that when things are not going very good we rarely acknowledge the good things when they do happen?  We need to learn to take the "wins" in life when and where we can.  Jesus said that this life will be full of hard times and people will not like us and attack us and discourage us.  But I think our attitude and demeanor are a product of our reactions rather than others actions. 

When those hard times hit we must keep the faith, literally.  We must stay close to Christ and to His Word and His promises.  We must as John Vermilya put it at Love Mercy, "Put down our oars and put up our sails!"  We can't do this on our own and when we try, we often times create our own valleys and our own times of discouragement. 

Thursday, December 31, 2009

we made it home...this was by far the best wesleyan convention i have been to...the speakers...the bands...the worship were so authentic