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Draw Our Hearts

October 5, 2011

I never planned to live on the West Coast! However, this weekend our family moved to the coastal city of Ventura, California. Why? Because God recently drew our hearts to this beautiful city, people, and church.

Here’s how it happened:

Deciding between 2 opportunities

Recently I was prayerfully deciding between two great ministry opportunities. Both jobs were attractive. Both churches are focused on life-change. There are great people on each leadership team and within each church. Both are good-size churches (1,900 & 1,500 in average attendance respectively).

Leaning toward 1 church

As I went through the phone interviews, listened to message podcasts, exchanged emails and did online research, Ginger and I were leaning toward one church. Then it was time for the on-site visits to each church which turned out to be on back-to-back weekends. The first weekend would be to the church we were already learning toward.

Draw Our Hearts

Initially, my prayer was for God to “close the door” of one and “open the door” of the other so there would be no doubt in my mind what He wanted. However, it was becoming clear this wasn’t going to happen since both churches appeared to be leaning toward making us an offer. My prayer then changed to asking God to “draw our hearts” toward one church during our weekend visits.

The Harbor in Ventura

“Other” Church

As I’m writing this blog (originally written on Sept. 5th) Ginger & I have just returned from the second weekend visiting the second church. Our hearts have been drawn! They have been drawn to the “other” church. For us on-site led to insight. The people, the pastor, and the city just drew our hearts. Our energy and voices raise when we talk about this church. Everything just clicked. Can’t articulate what all that means. But we believe our prayer was answered when God simply drew our hearts to an unexpected place.

How about you? What is God drawing your heart toward? Are you open to an unexpected place or to do something you never planned?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

In my next blog, I’ll share some of the specific things that drew our hearts to Ventura . . .

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