Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I've moved!

For those who still visit this blogspot and have wondered why I don't post anymore...it's because I have relocated to Wordpress.

So, please follow me now at: amandabrock.wordpress.com

I'll be posting more often over there....inshallah (Lord willing)!

Thank you for keeping up with all the Lord is doing and where He is leading me!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Continuing on in the journey....

Again, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog.  This probably comes as no real shock.

A lot has happened this last semester.  January, I got to visit Misty, Amy, Leah, Kelli and the Jones’ in Sucre, Bolivia.  February, I welcomed my nephew – Ezekiel Joshua Brock…best known as Zeke – to the family.  March, I traveled up to NYC with the family and passed the one-year mark of being back in the States.  April was full of writing papers I had put off to the last possible second, so nothing huge happened that month.  May, I wrapped up my first year of seminary and attended a mission expo with the IMB.  And in June, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to serve as a special teamer for the Panama City Beach FUGE staff.  Life hasn’t slowed down. 

My trip to Bolivia was incredible and made me miss life on the field.  It is always a blessing to spend time with people I consider family.  We just hung out for two weeks and caught up on life.  AMAZING.  Can’t wait for the opportunity to go back.

At the risk of stating the obvious, Zeke is the cutest little boy EVER.  Riley and Aydia are so proud of their little brother.  He is famous on Facebook for his crazy eyes and hilarious faces. 

My one-year mark has come and gone.  There are moments where it is still a struggle and reverse culture shock sets in, but God is greater and I’m constantly reminded that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  It is crazy to think I’ve been back for so long.  While I long to be back overseas, I’m doing my best to love where I’m at and invest in the lives of those I live among.   

The first year of seminary is a wrap!  It was an amazing time and I have walked away challenged and changed.  The question that looms is this: what am I going to do with what I’ve learned?  There is no answer yet.  I’m still processing through many of the conversations we had in class and thinking through how to implement them in real-life situations.    It is good and I’ve been blessed by the people who have poured into me this past year and spoken truth into my life.  The semester drained me, but I walk away having learned so much.

God blew my socks off at the Mission Expo.  I walked in with my plans firmly in hand and was prepared to not go back with the IMB if my plans wouldn’t work.  I laugh at that now.  During those 3 days, God pried my preferences and my call apart.  I had meshed the two into one thing.  My call isn’t to a certain place or culture or people group.  My call is to the lost.  To share with those who may have never heard.  And to also learn what the Body of Christ looks like in different contexts and cultures – to get a bigger picture of how God moves among the nations.  So, I’m finishing up my application to serve as a career missionary and just waiting on the next step.  It’s a journey and I’m excited to see what God has next. 

Some of you may know I turned down the rec director position at Jenness Park this summer.  There were a few reasons for that, but I wasn’t really planning on working camp again.  Another plan change.  They needed some former staffers to help out with some big weeks of camp at a few locations.  Last week, I worked at PCB with an amazing staff.  I won’t lie, I was nervous about serving with a team that had already been working together for 3 weeks.  Being a loner was what I was somewhat expecting.  In no way was that the case.  They will never know what a blessing they were/are to me.  My heart was refreshed.  It was an incredible week and I flew home last Friday so encouraged by these new friends.  I realized how much I missed being so intentionally involved in people’s lives.  So, I’m headed back to PCB in two weeks.  I’m excited for the chance to serve alongside my family there, again and to share the love of Jesus with the students that come.  I’ve known this crew for a week and yet feel like we’ve been friends forever.  I love that about the Body of Christ. 

So, there’s the latest news.  What’s next?  No idea.  The Lord knows the next steps and that’s good enough for me.  Walking by faith.  

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review: Change Your Church For Good

So, I review books now for Thomas Nelson.  It’s a good deal.  Pick a book that looks interesting, they mail it to you and then you write a review on your blog and Amazon.  And I’m always up for a free book!  Now, periodically, there will be book reviews on my blog. 

I’ve just read Change Your Church For Good by Brad Powell.  Powell is pastor of NorthRidge Church in Michigan.  This man loves the church but sees great room for improvement.  This we agree on.  Throughout the 300 pages (which drag on at times), he lays out the problems and then gives his opinions on how to remedy them.  He presents it all quite clearly and it’s very easy to read and understand.  His conclusions about the church are harsh, but true.  Powell charges the church with being irrelevant.  While this may be true, I felt that his focus was in making the church seeker friendly.  He makes the point that “most churches are organized to serve the interests and well-being of the insiders rather than the outsiders,” I agree.  I believe he goes too far to the other extreme. 

His strengths lie in the way it all is laid out.  If you like things given in steps, you’ll like this book.  With each problem, Powell spells out a certain way it can be approached.  The fact that he is using his own experience and his previous churches as case studies helps make application to his points.  I didn’t like how seeker friendly he was, but that is a personal opinion.  

Would I recommend this book?  If you want quick, easy answers, then yes.  The church today has problems that need addressing.  I don’t think becoming ultra-relevant and creating services that entice those outsiders to come visit is what will fix the problem.  He doesn’t really address the heart of the church, but focuses on things that can be done to get more people inside.  Reasons that I think are surface level.  For what he is trying to accomplish, the book does exactly that.  While the solutions are not what I would recommend, some of the problems he gave are quite valid and the church should take time to hear them.  Powell desires for the church to do a better job of reaching those outside the church…. we just disagree on what needs to change in order for that to happen.

Next review: Jesus Manifesto by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God has a sense of humor!

Why? Because I have landed in Waco, Texas. Never in a million years did I see myself going to seminary here. I envisioned Wake Forest or Ft. Worth or New Orleans. Waco? Didn't even know there was a seminary there!

Many have been curious as to the turn of events that led to my big move south. Here it is:

How did I end up here? Well, it is most definitely a God-thing (working thru Amy & Wes!). As you know, my plan was to move to New Orleans and enroll at NOBTS. Before I left for camp in June, I mailed in all of my information and forms....with the hope to hear of my acceptance before coming home in August. Obviously, that did not happen. During my time at camp, I began to talk to Wes and Amy Butler a lot about my Journeyman term and about my decision to head to NOBTS in the fall. Amy began to share with me a lot about Truett Theological Seminary (she's a pretty good recruiter). So, I figured I could at least apply. When I first looked, the application deadline had long since passed. I couldn't tell you why, but I looked again the following day and the deadline had been extended and that meant I had 9 days to get all of my application materials in (mind you, I am in the middle of camp out in CA!). Don't know how it happened....but everything made it in my deadline time - references, transcripts and all!! The Friday after I got everything in, my application went before the admissions committee and I was granted acceptance! Never heard back from New Orleans, which made the decision easy. But, I felt complete peace about packing up and moving to Waco.

I am beginning to love it here. I have been impressed with the school and my professors. Probably for the first time ever, I somewhat enjoy going to class (minus the whole getting out of bed thing!). So, I am a Baylor Bear. Craziness. No idea how long I will be here, but I am going to soak up what I can while camped out here in Waco, TX.

Next time: The Mormon Encounter

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

One time at summer camp....

It has been a eons and eons since the last post. Life got busy. There is much to write about, but I'll just tackle one thing at a time. We'll start with the beginning of the summer.

I worked camp for the first time in my life, this summer. I was a part of the Centrifuge staff at Jenness Park, in Cold Springs, CA. My job was leading Bible study every day for 5 weeks, to 9th-10th (3 wks) and 11th-12th (2 wks). It was an amazing experience. Every week, God used something in our Bible study to challenge me. We spent the summer studying Moses and his journey of faith and tried to apply the lessons we learned to our own lives. Aside from leading Bible study, I led volleyball and backpacking track times.

One might think that taking 25-30 students on an overnight backpacking trip every week would cause me to dread Thursday nights. However, this couldn't be more wrong. I couldn't wait for Thursday nights to arrive. By far, my favorite night of the whole week and it always ended up being one of theirs (after I told them they couldn't get out of it!). There were definitely some groups that had me a little concerned....but something happens on the trail - you bond. It was always neat to see.

One of my favorite moments came after almost an hour of hiking. For the first bit, we were hiking pretty much straight up the mountain. So, as you can imagine, there was lots of complaining! And that could be underestimating it. It was in this first segment that I often wondered to myself why I signed up for this. But when we changed trails, we came to a look-out....where you could see everything. It was then that I knew why I did this. Their expressions and attitudes changed instantly. They were in awe of God's creation. It never ceased to make me smile. And it happened every week.

Another favorite was our share time around the fire. The group would have bonded even more while setting up camp and cooking dinner....so this time became a chance to share life stories and all God was doing. I was blessed. One night, actually the last trip of the summer, something very cool happened. After we all shared, I encouraged them to take advantage of where they were for the night....in the middle of God's awesome creation and just allow God to speak. I told them that I wanted them to see God as Creator. While in the jungle, I spent so much time looking at the stars. I always stood in awe of the fact that He placed these balls of gas exactly where He wanted them. I shared this with the group and told them to look up and be reminded that God cares for us so much more and He is faithful to finish the work He has started in us. At this exact moment, the biggest and brightest shooting star flew across the sky. Not one of us missed it. In that moment, they got it. They won't forget that night. I won't either.

Week 5 Backpacking Crew

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back on the Funny Farm

Last week, I journeyed back to the place my crazy journey began.  And after two years, I was able to re-connect with some of my greatest friends.  It was so neat just getting to sit and listen to everyone's stories.  Our God is so amazing.  All of us had totally different experiences . . . good and bad; frustrating and encouraging.  But we all were brought closer to our Creator.  It was a sweet time of fellowship with the Body.  

The FPO 1.07 Crew!

So . . . you may ask, "what's next?"  The short answer: seminary, with the purpose of heading back overseas.  I don't know all the details yet, just trying to have faith for the next step.  I'll be visiting New Orleans Bapt. Theological Seminary at the end of this month.  Please be praying for wisdom in this decision.  I hope to start in the fall, but if the timing is off I'll start in the spring.  I'm excited about what's next.  God is good.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Xtreme Women's Team

Please pray for the Women's Team during the next 6 weeks.  Tomorrow they will be leaving Lima and boarding a bus to Puerto Maldonado (via Cuzco).  Once in Maldonado, they will head to their respective communities.  Misty & Amy will be working in Boca Inambari and Lori, Elaine & Alessandra will be working in Barraka.  From Lima, this will be a lot of traveling.  

A few prayer requests:
  • Travel safety and good rest (sleeping on buses is a hard thing)
  • Unity among the whole group, as well as the individual teams
  • For their work in the communities (i.e., would be able to share stories, work with women and encourage the church)
  • For their families back home, as the girls will be out of contact until the beginning of May