Monday, February 28, 2011

Here's to a New Season

Are you ever amazed by the careful timing of God?  I am.

I can't get over this simple fact.  God hasn't asked us to walk through the fiercest trial of our life in the dead of winter but in the hope of spring.  Here a few snapshots that I have taken this past week.


May the next season of our life be like Spring...

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Mt. 5:8

Oh Father, keep us pure.  We do want to see You!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Time of Healing

This weekend Bryan and I are at a DNow and have been so encouraged. Abby is spending the weekend with the Cirlot's and is getting lots of grandparent time, and we are getting to see God work in the lives of students and adults here in Bolton, MS. God is so faithful.

Don't get me wrong. We have more healing to go, but we can feel your prayers. We have been so surrounded by the peace of Christ, and God is filling our hearts with joy over the anticipation of what's to come. Crazy enough, I am even finding joy from being found worthy to suffer for His name. It doesn't really make sense I know, but something about going through the fire these past few weeks has made me love Jesus even more.

Through this experience, God purged me from the idol of security. I know it is a good thing to be wise and to be prepared for the future, but for me, it had become a demigod. I hadn't even realized it until now. Jesus is worth everything. For the Gospel to reach the lost in Gautier, it is more important than my house, my dreams, and my financial security. It is worth everything.

Tonight, with a thankful heart, I am grateful that God has walked us through the valley, because in the end I have found, Jesus really is enough again. Now that we have lost everything that once seemed important, I'm not afraid anymore. I'm finally free.

Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
-Mark 10:28-31 (ESV)

- Posted by Anna using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, February 24, 2011

At the Beginning

Nothing like a good dose of old school music to make you have a deep belly laugh.  I had to search for a the lyrics only version, because the music video was so outdated. :)

Here's to the future Bryan.  May Jesus lead us on the greatest adventure of our lives.  I love that I am on this journey with you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jesus... No Matter the Cost... We Will Follow You

John 15:18-19  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.


Tonight, I'm broken. I have watched my husband faithfully love and serve at a church that has rejected him- just as the world rejected Christ.  My husband is not perfect, but he loved the church we were called to serve and still does.  I have watched him be verbally abused and falsely accused, and I have wept for hours over the sin of those who feel they righteously crucified him.  My toddler still has nightmares from what she saw.  After much prayer, much struggling, and much wise counsel from pastors around us, Bryan resigned from being the pastor of Cambridge Baptist Church tonight.  I was so proud of him.  He kept his integrity to the end.  Here's his resignation that he read to the church tonight.




To the Body of Cambridge Baptist Church:

I, Bryan Cirlot, hereby regretfully submit notice of my resignation, effective March 8th, 2011.  It is my hope that God will be glorified and His Word reverberated from the ministry He has allowed me to have at Cambridge for the last three years.  It is not my aim to harm or defame anyone during this time of transition. 

There are two types of education that all ministers need to receive.  The first is academic.  This education requires time and money.  It requires reading and study.  It requires writing and disciplines.  The second type of education is gained in quite a different manner.  It cannot be achieved through study or reading, or any of the disciplines of the academic world.  It comes from only one source—experience.  I would like to thank this body for being my other seminary—for being the place where I could receive three years worth of the second type of training.  You have taught me well, and though I still have much to learn, I know that my ministry at Cambridge has produced much fruit in my own life.  For this I am grateful. 

As with all learning, education and experience gives one focus.  My time at Cambridge has proved to focus my thoughts and ideas about what ministry and church should look like.  It has forced me to dig deeper and deeper in the Word to unearth my own understanding of the Church and its mission.  It is at this point where my path and the path of Cambridge Baptist Church has begun to take slightly different courses.  And, as with all small changes in direction, the further we each move down our own paths, the farther apart they will become.

In this way, my leadership and the leadership of the church at large have reached a point of tension in the direction the church should follow, as well as with the means and methods of pointing the path of the church in that direction.  The differences are more than personal preference.  They are differences of principle, and in this area, I am unwilling to walk in a direction not in keeping with convictions my study of God’s Word has inspired.    

So, with much heartache, hours of prayer, and mounds of wise counsel, Anna and I have decided it is best to separate from this ministry to begin looking for something more fitting for the gifts and talents that God has given to us.  I am deeply grateful that you took a chance on an inexperienced, twenty-four year old, first-time preacher.  You will always have a place in my heart. 

In His name,
Bryan Cirlot 

Please pray for our family now as we heal and seek God's direction for our lives.  We have no Plan B.  We haven't given out resumes.  We simply prayed that God would change hearts, and it turns out His plan is different than ours.  Pray that God meets our needs.  Pray that God saves the lost.  Pray that He heals what is broken.  Pray that our suffering will not be in vain.  We love Jesus.  We have given everything for Him as of tonight.

"Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.
Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of grace spreading far and wide, until Thou alone art seen in me, Thy beauty golden like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no master but Thee, no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself, no wealth but that Thou givest, no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest. I am nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I can be nothing but that grace adorns me. Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water. " - Old Puritan Prayer


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In the Valley



I'm delicate.  I'm not your super tough Corelle platter.  I am fragile and easily chipped.  God made me this way.  I am learning to trust Him in His design.  Though I wish I was tough (and try to act like it occasionally), I'm not.

God is so faithful to me.  Every time... every single time... He has led me through a valley that required me to walk where I was afraid or timid to go He has reassured me.   He has surrounded me with comfort, peace, and reassurance that it is indeed His voice that I am following- not my own.

Right now, Bryan and I are walking through the darkest valley of our life, and it has been so refreshing to know that once again, God is here too.  We are not alone.  We have been surrounded by the comfort from many in the body of Christ that live near and far.  We have seen God provide manna from heaven when our own resources have been insufficient.  We have been given the peace of Christ that cushions us from the harsh realities of life, so that we can walk boldly and not cower as we face evil.

I love this song that was written using an old Puritan prayer.  Listen and may you be encouraged and strengthened.  Jesus is our glorious treasure.  This is my prayer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We're Dancing in the Minefields

Bryan, this one's for you...



We're Dancing in the Minefields Lyrics


I was nineteen, you were twenty-one
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway

We bought our rings for forty each
From a pawn shop down the road
We made our vows and took the leap
Now fifteen years ago

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin

'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/a/andrew_peterson/#share

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Thoughts After Two Very Long Weeks

I seriously don't even have words for what I feel right now.  All I can say is that I am sure of these things:
  1. Jesus is worth everything.  
  2. My husband is seriously hardcore about Jesus, and that rocks my world!
  3. I am so incredibly blessed with awesome family and friends.
  4. The harvest must be ripe beyond belief in Gautier.
  5. 2011 may quite possibly be one of the best years of my life if it starts off with this much bang.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Refining...


Bryan and I are going through one of the most intense times of our lives.  I'm not even sure what to write at this point.  I want to be careful and wise, but I feel led by the Spirit to share this.

It's in the refining fire that God teaches us the most.  Our idols are revealed.   Our hearts are laid bare.  We find out we are really not alone at all.  In the intensity of the heat, our love for Jesus is purified and grows.  May God give us all the grace to be like Christ when our time of testing comes.

May we kiss the hands that wound us.  May our lips speak only truth not lies.  May our hearts stay humble so God can lift our heads.  May we love like Jesus loved us.  May we rejoice that we were counted worthy to suffer for His name.

Jesus is worth everything.


"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing." 
Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Overwhelmed


I woke up this morning completely overwhelmed about God's great love for me.  I'm insanely in love with Jesus.  I just can't tell you how much He means to me.  Just knowing that this great God cares about the tiniest details in my life is overwhelming and beautiful.

It breaks my heart that so many of you reading this aren't sure right now if that is true.  You are precious to God.  Jesus is the greatest treasure any of us can ever find.

I am so thankful that He is mine.  I am His.

I am so full of joy right now just knowing that I am secure in Christ.  Nothing can shake His plans for me.  No matter what happens in this life- He is enough.

This song has been in my heart since I woke up.  I'll add the clip for those who want to listen while reading.  Be encouraged.  Jesus is coming for His children soon.  Let's be found faithful and living in Him.

I'll Stand With Arms High and Heart Abandoned
You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our God...

Amy sang this for our special music today, and I LOVE this song.  If you're feeling discouraged or insufficient, listen to this.  God is with His children.

God has really been working strongly with Bryan and me about being more intentional about how we live out the Gospel.  Fellow believers, as David Platt says, we are Plan A- there is no Plan B.  Let's spread the name of Jesus everywhere we go no matter the cost.  If our God is for us, who can ever stop us?  If our God is with us, who can stand against?  We have nothing to fear.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crazy Pickin' Cockatoo

video

So, it's been quite a while since Mr. Peeperz has taken the spotlight.  Here's about 90 seconds of quick footage showing his creativity in trying to master the guitar.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Church

Church.  Say that one word and it means a thousand different things to different people.  Living in South Mississippi, that one word alone can bring back more memories of pain, hurt, and confusion than most words.  It's loaded.


I grew up going to quite a few churches- various denominations.  I've lived through my fair share of painful church splits, poor leadership, bad doctrine, and stale pews.  If anyone has a reason to give up on the church, I do.  It's let me down... a lot.


It's also blessed me... a lot.  God seems to think it is pretty important if you read through Scripture.  Being actively involved in a local church isn't optional for a Christian.  It's essential for healthy growth as a believer.  With so many churches living for themselves, Jesus isn't being made much of.  It makes me sad.  Really sad.  The unchurched just don't get why church matters.  Here's my plea.


Instead of complaining about why no one gets up on Sundays and makes it to church, let's reach out where they are and love them as they are first.


Instead of grieving over why our light bills are so high this month, let's shed genuine tears about why the pews were so empty "again" this week.


Instead of pointing fingers at those sinners who aren't doing better, let's ask ourselves why we aren't loving each other well.


Instead of fighting over whether we sing a hymn or praise song, let's remember that we are singing to Jesus- not ourselves.  He's concerned about our hearts- not the style of music.


Instead of making sure we get the latest "whatever," let's give to someone in need that needs a break.


Instead of defending our dead traditions, let's just be Biblical.  Let's keep what is helpful, and throw off what weighs us down.


Instead of not caring, let's care.


I think we can all do better.  Then, I think we will start seeing the Church be the Bride Jesus has chosen for Himself.


If not, I'm afraid these words will be true for some of us.


“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" Mt. 7:21-23


Let's repent Church.  It's all about Jesus- not us.

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