2012 : An Update.

•January 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Good Morning and Happy 2012 to you. I figured I should begin writing a bit more on my blog since, ya know, the world is ending this year. 😉

Clearly, I don’t post when I am busy. And things have certainly been hectic. Some good hectic, some bad hectic, and some insanely wonderful, amazing, life changing hectic!

In the last six months I’ve felt an overwhelming amount of devastation, sorrow and suffering. But I’ve also felt an even more overwhelming amount of joy, love and peace.

Isn’t God good?

He is so faithful in the midst of pain to prove Himself perfect in His love. I can question that love all day long, but it is remains perfect. I can choose to look away and focus only on my pain, but God does not look away from me. Even in my unfaithfulness and doubt, He is abundantly faithful to me.

Why should I be anything less than joyful?! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

They Love Me… They Love Me Not…

•April 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Confession: I want everyone to love me. And not only that, but I have a REAL problem when someone doesn’t love me.

Perhaps this roots from my people-pleasing nature. Perhaps I just like to feel popular and get to know lots and lots of people. Perhaps its part of my “entertaining personality”. Whatever the case it may be, I have known I’ve been like this forever. And if you know me well at all, you’ve probably already noticed this in me as well.

I don’t think its necessarily a BAD quality to have. Everyone wants to be liked. To have friends. But as I learn and grow, I have certainly hit brick walls where I realize that its just not possible for everyone to like me. You just can’t win them all. And I HATE that!

After moving to this wonderful new church I am working at now, I have been thrown into a new world where I feel the pressure to have everyone to like me. It’s like when I moved to a different school in third grade… that horrible gnawing feeling when I walked into my new classroom that first day…

Being so close to my Crest View family and particularly my Crest View youth… I already had feelings of heartbreak… then to add on top of it… these new feelings of being inadequate and vulnerable and most of all: alone. You all know me, I am a confident girl. But more than ever before I felt that longing to be liked.

Over the next month or so, I kept my biggest smile on, used my best sense of humor, planned the most fun things, brought food and presents every time I turned around, and did everything I could possibly think of to help get people to like me. Let me stop here and reassure you that ALL of these things were out of the most genuine spirit… I was never trying to be some faker…I really do all of those things naturally in every case. Just, now, there was this nagging issue of being paranoid and deeply worried that I just wouldn’t be enough in the eyes of this new church that I was at. That maybe this girl they hired was not all they hoped for and needed. And I saw the needs. I quickly felt the needs of the people. And then I realized what the real issue was. I couldn’t do it.

I can’t make people like me.
I can’t fix everyone’s problems.
I can’t help a church, a youth group, and some children grow.
I can’t.

But God can.

So- Instead of getting people to fall in love with me.
I need to do my part in getting people to fall in love with the Savior.

It’s not about me- It’s all about Him.

It seems obvious. Like, whoa Kendal… don’t you think you should have realized this a LONG time ago. Of course. And I’m sure I did. But its a constant struggle, isn’t it? A constant pull to having God as our focus at one point and almost in the same breath we put ourselves back as number one. As if WE are the ones that are fixing things and in control. It’s much deeper than realizing who I should want people to be in love with when they meet me.

May my heart not be broken simply because people don’t like ME… but rather would my heart be broken for those who reject our LORD. And may that broken heart be the driving force in my ministry to bring people to the saving knowledge of God.

And as sweet and innocent as it is that I want people to like me- all I can do is reflect the love of God to others and let the power of God’s love and the message of His Word do the work.  It’s as simple and as complicated as that. 🙂

Some Thoughts On Leadership

•April 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I felt “the call” to be a leader in the church at a very early age. Actually- it happened at the point of my salvation experience. It was a Sunday night and I volunteered to play the piano. (I’m a musician… but the piano is not my instrument of choice, to say the least.) I played one of the few pieces I knew, “The Rose” (yes, the Bette Midler song) and I completely bombed. After I played I slumped into my pew, so disapointed in my performance. The pastor got up and before his sermon he opened up the floor for anyone to share anything God had put on their heart. A member of our church must have snuck in and sat on the back pew while I was playing. She had not been to church in a while. She shared that the reason why she had not been coming was because she was having a hard time dealing with the death of her grandmother. She had found herself struggling with why God would have taken her grandmother away. She finally mustered up the strength to come to church that night despite not really wanting to. She began to cry as she said that she now knew why God had brought her to church that night. She turned and looked to me sitting on the other side of the church. “My Grandmother’s name was Rose”, she said. She described how she felt God’s love and her grandmother’s love surrounding her as I played on the piano. I couldn’t tell you a word our pastor said that night. I just sat there… amazed… that God used me. Everything I had learned about God became real in that moment. And I was never the same.

Since then I have gone on to be “a leader” in any sense of the word. I was the girl who helped my teachers pass things out in my classes, I was the girl who loved being the lead of a show, I was the girl who sat first chair in more ensembles than I can recall, I was the girl that directed musicals, choirs, marching bands, plays, weddings. I’m starting to laugh as I write this because I sound like a pompous jerk! ha! But I like to think that I did all of these things out of God-Driven passion and God-Given gifts. All of which have lead me to my role of leadership that I experience (and struggle with) today.

I had a conversation the other week where I mentioned, “The more leaders I meet… the more I notice their universal problem with delegation.”

Sometimes it is easier for us to just do things ourselves. We know how we want it done, we know we can get it done efficiently, and we may recognize the fact that there are people ready & willing to help but- really, wouldn’t it take too long to stop and show them how to do it? So… why not just do it ourselves. Its really for the best.

Or is it?

I’ve really felt convicted of this… I would justify my lack of delegating in my mind and I had myself pretty convinced that I was in the right… but I know its not the way the church should be. Perhaps it was the crunch I felt in my schedule getting fuller when I began doing the music ministry at our church that pushed me to surrender to the conviction- but man, oh man… I feel even more busy now that I do delegate! I litterally have to stop and evaluate what I am planning and think… is there someone who could take this on? Is there a part of this event that someone else might want to help with? What are the spiritual gifts of the people around me? and How can I change my plans to include ways for them to experience using those gifts?

What I have found is that the ministries I am involved in are now multiplying. Which is what its all about. It’s not about how perfect our events are. Its not about the events being executed exactly how I may have envisioned it It’s about people coming to know Christ and getting to experience the power of Christ working through them.

A pastor’s role is to guide, shepherd, and equip. Sure, a pastor may be able to fold the bulletins for each Sunday- but why not invite a retired woman to come do it so that she knows she has helped. Sure, a pastor may be able to change the words on the church sign occasionally- but why not find a crew of guys to do it so that they take pride in what their church is saying to those that drive past the church. Sure, a pastor could teach a Sunday School class- but why not come along-side a person who has been spiritually gifted in teaching and equip them to lead a small group bible study. A pastor’s role is not to do everything in the church, even though they may have all the gifts to do so. It’s not all about job descriptions and personal qualifications.  A pastor’s role is to guide, shepherd, and equip.

MIA

•March 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Well, I know I have not used my blog in months- but in my mind I have written a lot of great stuff for kendalalley.com… ha!

I suppose the classic answer, “I’m too busy”, is the main reason why I have not been on here in awhile. But even more than that I’ve just been preoccupied on embarking a new chapter in my life to get on here– plus a lot of what I was thinking and wanting to share could definitely not be shared via the world wide web! ha!

I have a new job! I am working at a great church as a Youth & Children’s Pastor. I still have to pinch myself when I say that… I feel like I’m living in a dream world with my dream job. I am so thankful for this new journey. The word I keep using is, “excited”.

Of course with all the excitement and complete joy I have for being where I am and doing what I’m doing comes feelings of anxiety and heart ache. I miss my youth and family and friends from Crest View… more than words on a blog could ever say. But, glory to God, I am slowly with each day realizing that nothing could ever replace those experiences– and I’m beginning to truly appreciate everything that has shaped me into who I am today and using it to bring Glory to God instead of embracing the depression I could easily be feeling.

That being said- to my new church- I could not possibly be more excited and thrilled to be a part of the ministries here & to Crest View- I could not possibly miss or love you all anymore than I do right now. It’s amazing how you can feel two extreme things like that. The only answer I can have for the oxymoron that my life appears to be is that God has granted me His sweet and perfect peace. 🙂

We Plan… God Laughs

•October 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I am a planner.
I LOVE to know that I have all things ready.
I will stay up late, late, late just so I know things are prepared.
I enjoy taking care of little details and figuring out all the steps to meet an end goal.
I make lists and lists of lists I need to make.

Really.

Before I start to sound crazy… I believe there is a method to my madness. In being ULTRA-Prepared I have found that I am better equipped for those random, spontaneous occurrences. 

Here’s an example:

Being the Choir director at our church is a great way for me to over plan, organize, and ultimately “control”. I plan what I call “Music Set Lists” months and months in advance. I could simply just plan from week to week- but for one- My brain doesn’t work that way (Have I mentioned yet that I am a planner?). But there are several reasons why I don’t plan that way. I go about it by looking ahead in the schedule and look for special Sundays: Communion Sundays, Thanksgiving/ Christmas/ Easter Sundays, Compassion International Sunday, Baptist Men/Women Sundays, ETC. I then try to get a couple of Sunday’s that lead up to them to prepare our hearts for those Sundays. Then finding themes to sing about and share scripture or videos about. Then I look in the Hymnal and our other sources of music and read and read and read. Sometimes I may even plan to just sing certain verses (even in a different order, right CVBC Choir?!) that point towards a theme. Themes may include something big like expressing our “Thanksgiving” to God during that season… or it may simply be about the Blood of the Lamb, or the Rock of Ages, or the Holiness of God. All music will be selected to point to that theme so that we simply are not singing just because we are supposed to be singing at church… instead… there is great purpose behind each song and each word we sing. It is all to point us to a greater understanding of the Heart of our LORD as we worship Him.

Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who sees and is effected by this crazy planning though. There are times where I feel like a theme just didn’t work… and the people didn’t get it. That can be frustrating. Especially to the one who prayed and worked so hard on it. (Side Note: That’s when I remember Colossians 3:23!) But I remember that in that long planning process I am also preparing for a world of things to happen as well. For one- I think people may perceive me (occasionally) as some Schedule-Nazi that will refuse to shift plans. I hope that most people have experienced the contrary, though. You see, in my planning and focusing I feel I am more in-tune to how the Holy Spirit leads for each service. Because I have taken so much time to read, study, and seek out God’s will for each individual service- I am already hanging out with the Holy Spirit- so I am actually QUICK to change as I listen more closely. In a sense- all this planning leads to freedom in the Holy Spirit. It very easily could also lead to quenching the Holy Spirit, though.

It is possible, VERY possible, to plan God into a box.

In life, we plan based off of desires, fantasies, and ideals. We can plan a certain thing and then throw ourselves completely into it and nothing else at all. We can even plan good things- and they could still “cross the line” to become our will and not God’s. Don’t  get me wrong, it’s good to have goals & dreams. I’m a planner and I’m a dreamer. But more than anything… I want to be a God Follower. My prayer has changed to asking God to make my dreams and plans into the things HE wants for my life. I am finally to a point in my life where I am content in where God has me… but also open to a change. Its a funny place to be, I must say. I am happy and loving everything about the ministry God has given me now… but not so much so that I would be disobedient if He were to say: GO. I was recently asked about my 5-year plan. I started to laugh and explained that I, the planner, has NO CLUE what the next 5 years will hold for me. Before you know it I could be across seas serving my Lord and not have a husband or little family like I used to plan on. And not only have I learned to be content and at peace with that… I’ve become CRAZY EXCITED about that. There are desires in my heart that certainly remain as dreams for my future…. but they have been pushed down the To-Do List and first and foremost is to Honor, Obey, and Serve my LORD! And I ask you, what better plan could there be? 🙂

My Favorite Song… listen to it everyday :-)

•June 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Sanctus Real – “Lead Me”

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying…

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can’t
Don’t leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?

Show me you’re willing to fight
That I’m still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They’re just children from the outside
I’m working hard, I tell myself they’ll be fine
They’re  independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying…

“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can’t
Don’t leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

Show me you’re willing to fight
That I’m still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone”

So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I’m called to be
Oh, Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won’t You lead me?

To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can’t
Don’t want to leave them hungry for love,
Chasing things that I could give up

I’ll show them I’m willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me, ’cause I can’t do this alone

Father, lead me, ’cause I can’t do this alone