My family and I recently moved here from a small, rural southwest Minnesota town to accept a call, here in Puyallup, as the senior pastor at Living Word Lutheran Church, a LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ) congregation.
Living Word is the “church in a box” that worships at the Habitat on Meridian.
And let me tell you, this has been quite the transition. We came from a congregation with a building to one that rents space. I moved from an area with family and friends to a “foreign country” where we didn’t know many people. We moved out of a parsonage to buying our first home. We left the flat prairies of soybean and corn fields to beautiful views of the majestic Mount Rainier. Big changes have been made but the one constant is God’s faithfulness.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to put myself forward as some super spiritual, faith hero for moving out here and making all these changes. Believe me, I was scared silly when this whole process began. You see, my wife is the one who stumbled across Living Word Lutheran Church on the LCMC website late last year, and I wasn’t so sure at first. But the more we prayed and the more we talked with the kind, caring and faithfully passionate people here, we began to feel something happening.
It wasn’t a nervous turning in the stomach like when you’re in a doctor’s waiting room anticipating test results. Rather it was an excitement about God doing something awesome and wanting us to be part of it. So we continued to move forward, watching as God pieced everything together for us to make this transition, but more importantly, we listened.
Why do I share this? Partly it’s to introduce myself as I will be — with thanks to Bob Neilson — filling columns here every month, but also to encourage you to listen to the still small voice of God. And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD. And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)
Sometimes people think they need a hit over the head or a lightening strike to know God is speaking, when all the while we just need to be quiet and listen.
God speaks to his people today. It may not be like what you read in the Bible, but God is speaking. Slow down, turn off your technology and listen. God is calling, and who knows what God is calling you to do.
Pastor Eric Hullstrom leads Living Word Lutheran Church in Puyallup. His blog is heartofapastor.wordpress.com.