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19
Sep

"How Lucky"

Posted by on in Pastor's Blog
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A.A. Milne once wrote, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  No words could be truer right now as I try to write this final message to you.  This goodbye would be easy if things were not so good, or if you all had not been so loving and supportive; if there had been some big dispute, or trouble on the horizon; but that is not the case at all.  Paul and I are truly blessed that this goodbye is so hard, because that means we have made some great friends, and have had some wonderful experiences during this time God allowed us to be here in Oklahoma, serving alongside such an amazing group of brothers and sisters in Christ.  I know that your new pastor will be equally as blessed as I have been when he/she arrives.  I just want to thank you all for your love and support, for being willing to step outside your comfort zone and grow, while allowing me the opportunity to do so as well. 
 
Some of you have asked why we are leaving, and there have even been a few attempts at speculation; but this call to serve a different congregation was as much of a surprise to us as it was to you. In the flesh, there were a million reasons why now was not the time.  We had just made it through a lot of changes due to Covid-19 and were finally moving back into some sense of normalcy.  Stephen Ministry is up and running, outreach to the community is increasing, we have new and returning members.  It was beginning to feel like we were all moving together in a positive direction!  When I began to sense that God was calling me to a new ministry setting (a process that God began in me a year ago), He and I had some conversations.  They went something like this, “Why, God?  Why now?  We are finally beginning to find our groove and things are going well.  Can’t we just stay to enjoy this for a while?”  I knew in my spirit that being comfortable is not what God called me to do.  He impressed on me years ago that I am a “planter” in ministry; and I knew that He was now releasing me from my service at FCC Moore because apparently I had finished what He had me come here to do.  It was time to do what He is calling me to do next.  You know, there is a side of me that is much like Jonah, so I argued for a while; but God wouldn’t let it go.  Over and over, He showed me this is what he wanted me to do.  Every step was clearly pointing me in that direction.  On the morning that I was going to accept this new call, I asked God for one more neon sign!!  I told Him, “God, I know this is what you’re calling me to, but I want there to be no doubt; so please give me a clear sign....one that will clear away all doubt in this discernment process.”  Around noon of that day, God gave me that neon sign!  One of our own members came into my office and said to me, “Pastor Shannon, I have a strange message to give you, and I am not even sure that you will know what it means because I certainly don’t; but I sense the Father in Heaven urging me to tell you, you can move now.”  Could there be any doubt at that point?  Not for me...God had been faithful to give me a very clear sign that this is what He wanted me to do.  The person whom God sent to give me that message had absolutely no idea that I was in any sort of discernment process whatsoever!! 
 
Maybe that sounds like a strange story to some of you.  Certainly, if you have not ever experienced something like that yourself, it will sound absurd; but that is ok.  We are all at different places in our walk with the Lord, and we all experience God in our own unique way.  My hope in sharing that story with you is that you will join me in celebrating what God is doing next...in my life and ministry...and more importantly, in this congregation.  I can’t wait to see who God will bring to lead you through the next season of growth.  It is going to be amazing!!  So instead of this being a time of sadness, let’s all celebrate that God is doing a great work in each of us, and in His Kingdom.  Paul and I will surely cherish being part of your story and you being part of ours.  We love you dearly!!  
 

~ Pastor Shannon

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First Christian Church | 629 NW 12th St.Moore, OK 73160 | 405-794-6166 | Site by Mychurchwebsite.com
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