Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Moving Forward

*This post looks longer than it is due to pictures!

 "If you want to experience God's blessing in a new way, get ready to leave your comfort zone." ~The Word for you Today devotional

I can generally tell when God is moving me to a new ministry or direction because I feel the pain as a tight ball in my stomach, blood drains from my head leaving me dizzy and my first thought is, "No way can I do this."

God is neither enhanced by our strengths nor inhibited by our struggles. There's more HE wants to do through us than what we've experienced so far. Let's have high expectations of God!!
~Robin Reed, Cornerstone Church member
When God nudged me to lead the Women's Ministry at our church, I balked. That was out of my comfort zone. One of the biggest things I've ever done. And it came off the tail end of recommitting my time to God.

Even when I go from the frying pan into the fryer, 
I'm pressing FORWARD.~Jerry Thompson, Cornerstone Church member

Baby Gabriel Bullard, son of Marshal and Jennifer Bullard
is moving forward in his car seat!
I didn't deserve that opportunity. But God gave it to me anyway. I loved doing it, after I got over the fear and learned to trust Him more.

Moving Forward while fast forwarding commercials 
during the Grizzlies game
 as they move forward into the Playoffs!!!!!!!!! 
 ~Ron Mayfield, Cornerstone Church member 
Moving forward with a Bronchoscopy! 
~ Chelsea Davis, Cornerstone Church member 
Same thing happened when I started teaching a Bible class for Young Adults, especially when God nudged me again to write the studies, teaching them about the Old Testament. What did I know about OT? Not much. A new mission arose--it was called learning.

Forwarding teaching kindergarten!!!
 ~Pastor Shari Robbins, Cornerstone Church Worship Leader
I'll admit, lately, I've been comfortable. In my writing for one. I absolutely pray over my stories, plots and writing time. I need God's guidance. It's not just about entertaining, it's about ministering and speaking into lives--but I've been writing it so long, I feel comfortable doing it. Does that make sense?

Forwarding at the fire station. ~Jim Carroll, Cornerstone Church member
"Forwarding" with some of my friends at Gus' Famous Fried Chicken.
~Pastor Jeff Robbins, Associate Pastor, Cornerstone Church
Putting gas in the car
so I can keep going forward!
~Melanie Williamson,
Cornerstone Nursery Coordinator
and zumba partner!
I haven't had a real fit in ministry at our church since I taught Young Adults, but like in the movie Robots: "See a need. Fill a need," I've been helping my BFF, who's the nursery coordinator. It's not a challenge. It's not hard. To me anyway. I was a teacher then director for a corporate childcare center nearly ten years.

Forwarding in the elevator...going up!!!
~Gayle Adams, Cornerstone Church member
But here we are again. I'm coming off the tail-end of harboring some anger and even some bitterness. Yep, I teach about it but I’m guilty of it. Pretty sure I never said I was perfect…you must have gathered that on your own. :)   I finally released some old pain and anger.

Forwarding on the keys! ~Pastor Doug Shuff, Creative Arts Pastor
Cornerstone Church
Forwarding with new baby, Nathan! ~Emily Shuff, 
Creative Arts Pastor's wife, Cornerstone Church
It was hard. Because I'd been trying to do that for a couple of years. Failing every time and not really knowing why. I finally said, "God, I don't want to be angry and bitter anymore, but I don't know how not to."

God asked me for a new commitment--a re-commitment. Through my tears, I said yes. Yes, I would. Then God gave me a picture in my head of what that would look like, it included a better attitude whether I wanted to have one or not. Live like I want to be and I'll eventually catch up.

"We don't see things the way they are. We see them the way we are." Pastor Greg Davis. (That's my pastor.) He said this last Wednesday night. Profound. Think about that for a minute.
Moving FORWARD.....not looking back!
 ~Pastor Greg Davis, Lead Pastor, Cornerstone Church

Forwarding on the way
to Saturday night prayer!
~Lead Pastor's wife, Nancy Davis
 I needed a heart change. Pastor confirmed what I'd already been told by God.

I've already experienced some healing, some strength just by doing those things God asked me to. You know what?

On the tail-end of this thing, God has orchestrated my fit again. Using the gifts and abilities He's given me to do something I love.

Forwarding at the Stax with Otis Redding!
 ~Pam Bruno, Cornerstone Church member
Forwarding in business!
Team members, and owners --Steve & Cherie Jones
~all Cornerstone Church members
Jessica Brown Forwarding at work!
I don't deserve this either. 

I'm out of my comfort zone, for sure! I have the knot in my stomach, the buzzing in my head, the pounding heart.

But I feel strength. His strength. I feel more freedom than I have in a few years.

Me reading a book, well duh! What else
would I be doing! Oh yeah, writing!
 I'm moving forward. 

Wondering what those pictures are? Our church is moving forward as well. In fact, we've had an entire Moving Forward book made, bracelets as reminders that we're moving forward as a church, we're not staying in the same old place! And we're moving forward as individuals. The pictures you see are members of our church posting "Forwarding" on facebook! It's kind of like those pictures you post when you're planking! 

"Understand this: today you are just one step of obedience away from the next truth God wants you to learn about Him, so you can't afford to stay where you are." ~The Word for you Today devotional

How about you? Are you moving forward? Are you in a place of comfort? Floundering for a fit?

I’m over at LivingBy Grace today! Come by and let's talk about moving forward. And here's some more pictures of the Cornerstone Church family, forwarding! I wish I could have posted them all! There's soooo many more great ones!

Forwarding together!
Pastor Bob & Alaine Hallam
~Senior Assoc. Pastor
Cornerstone Church
~Jason Turner, Cornerstone
Church member (and maybe the smartest
guy I know)!
And more pictures!

Forwarding in Staff Meeting!
~Melissa Turner, Cornerstone office staff
(love working with her!)
Forwarding while doing errands!
~Saja Stacks, Cornerstone Church member

Forwarding while working with my plants!
~Jan Kerley, Cornerstone Church member

It just keeps moving forward!

Blinging Forward!
~Amber Whiteaker, Cornerstone Church member
and jewelry consultant!

And of course....some more! LOL

Forwarding while potty training!
~Jamie McRae (little man Hudson),
Cornerstone Church member

Waiting on the harvest and forwarding!
~Kim Graham, Cornerstone Church member


  1. Awesome, awesome word! One step away...just when we're fighting Him the most, He has the most incredible things for us waiting just on the other side. Love it!

    1. Thanks, Melissa! :) Isn't that always the case? We're just one step away.

  2. Jess, I feel your heart! Chills, or more like tears, literally! What you've written is an echo of God's voice for me...that's all I gotta say:) Keep moving forward! Love the bracelets:)

    1. Prayers for you, sister. You keep moving forward as well. :)

  3. Wow! That is so encouraging! And I love the bracelets as reminders to keep taking that step forward. Excellent stuff!

    1. Thanks, Sherrinda! I'm so glad you were encouraged! :)

  4. I think that sometimes God just asks us to do the next thing. I am always thinking about the future...but like, way down the road. And then I start to worry. Moving forward isn't about worrying. It's about letting God illuminate your next step and taking trust.

    1. Now let your mind and heart line up and you got it! Our hearts know but our minds always trip us up, don't they? :)

  5. Brooke MayfieldMay 2, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    Incredible, Jess! Thank you!!

  6. I loved this, Jess!!

    I'm at the airport right now after a full week of hanging out with the MBT core team...and we did a lot of forward-thinking. I feel like my dreams have taken an even deeper root in the past 6-7 days. But now I'm going home...back to "real life." And I love how your post encouraged me that I can keep taking steps forward, moving ahead in God's His step at a time.

    Very cool post!!

    1. I'm excited about your dreams moving forward. I know you had such a great time in SC! Can't wait to see the fruit from it!

  7. Do you think Pastor Davis would mind if I borrowed his quote? I think those are words to hang on to.

    1. I think he'd be just fine with it! :) I agree. Definitely words to hang on to!

  8. The bracelets are such a cool idea. Great post.

    1. And they're green, which I love! LOL Thanks, Julie!

  9. Wow! This is really good. We are all Moving forward in transformation! So happy that God never leaves us "comfortable" but pushes us out to be better and to grow and be more effective for His Kingdom to reach more people! Thanks for sharing your story! Very Powerful!!!

    1. Isn't that the truth! Comfortable is never where I want to stay, sometimes I just need that nudge. ;)

  10. Jesse, you are simply becoming one of my favorite writers Love the inspiration and the part about releasing the bitterness hit home!

    1. Okay, you just made my day. Seriously! I'm glad it spoke to you. Time to move forward! :)

  11. Excellent idea to pray over plots, writing time, and stories. Why haven't I thought of that? I pray about wisdom for getting the right agent or pray for just the right editor, but I've never thought to pray for the manuscripts themselves. Duh! Thanks for the idea. :) Great post, Jessica! Best wishes as we move forward with our lives.

    1. LOL! Let me know how praying over your writing makes a difference. I certainly think it will! :) You had a great post Monday, by the way!

  12. It is evident that alot of prayer goes into your writing because this is exactly what so many of us needed to hear from the Lord today! We are one step away from being ahead of where we are today...Awesome! :) Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Kimberly. I do pray about my posts and hope everyone who reads them are encouraged and inspired in some way. Thank you for seeing that! :) Be blessed!

  13. Love all the pictures! And is that a new blog header? Love that too!

    I feel like I'm moving forward, but I have a hard time being patient with the pace. I want to leap forward and just get there already - not plot along with one step forward, two or three steps back. :) But as I heard over the weekend, if we want to learn patience, we have to be patient going through those things that TRY our patience.

    1. I do have a new header! Thanks! Patience! Ugh. I don't even like that word. LOL Good word. Being patient in the trying. That's the hardest for sure.

  14. Mary Alice (Aunt Mazie)May 2, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Great job, Jesse!! I am so excited about all God is doing in our midst!

  15. I'm thinking I might need one of those bracelets. Guess I could find one around here that might serve the same purpose. I love the word "forward" on it. Forward is definitely giving me trouble lately.

    So excited for the work God is doing through you, Jess!

    1. Send me your address! Sometimes when we think moving forward we think big strides, sometimes moving forward happens just one minute to the next! Love you!

  16. Moving forward...

    Loved the post, Jess!

  17. Thank you for the reminder that we need to keep moving forward - and that doesn't just mean in our spiritual walk, but in every area of our lives - no matter how we feel. Your blog is so encouraging.

    1. You're right. Every area needs to grow! Thanks, Gabrielle. So glad you came by! :)

  18. Fun pictures, Jessica! Your church looks like a very close-knit caring fellowship. So glad that God is healing you and leading you to a place of new growth.

  19. Jess, as a person with panic attacks, I really got a blessing reading your blog!! I have decided to move forward, through my panic, and just trust that God will be there with me when I fall. I can't stay where I am now; I MUST move forward!! You had me in tears and you have confirmed what God has been showing me lately; that I need to move out of my comfort zone to get to where He wants me to be; and that if I LIVE like I WANT to be, that I will eventually CATCH up!! :) Thank you so much for sharing your heart!!

    1. Thanks, Robin, I'll be praying for you. You'll catch up!God won't let you stay behind! :)

  20. Fiend! I love how you said, "I have the knot in my stomach, the buzzing in my head, the pounding heart. But I feel strength. His strength." Keep moving FORWARD and know I'm praying for you the whole way and beyond. Love you!

  21. Yes!! Always moving forward! I recently read that if you truly have faith then you must move. The Spirit will move you. You will have a mission!

    Great post! May God bless your ministry

    1. I love that, Ruth! If you have faith, you must move! :) Gave me chills. Thank you!!


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