Go West

On August 25, 2008 I got into my car and drove from Atlanta to California with my dog Americus and three guitars. This journey was probably the biggest step of faith I have ever taken. For nearly six months our family has been making forward progress with only "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

These intial blogs will chronicle this journey.

Our family recently moved from Atlanta, GA to Roseville, CA - just outside Sacramento. This journey began last March in the context of a Missions weekend at our church. During the weekend the word "go" seemed to resonate in my heart and mind. This inital impression was created by the combination of a series of messages on the book of Jonah, a couple of worship songs we were singing, and the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. A couple of weeks later this impression was further kindled in the context of a small group that my wife Allison and I were leading. Our group of about twelve (six married couples) met regularly on Sunday evenings to share a meal, build community, study the bible, and pray.

One night a girl in our group shared how she was feeling led to start her own culinary business. As she was telling her story and her sense of feeling called to a season of transition, I couldn't help but reflect further on the convictions that I was feeling. When Allison and I got back home that evening I shared with her how I, too, had been sensing that God was leading us into a time of transition. I shared with her how the word "go" was strong in my heart and that maybe it was time to leave the church that we had loved so much and invested in for eight years.

In April we found ourselves at a worship conference in Franklin, TN. On the second day of the conference I co-led a workshop on "Nurturing Artists." After the workshop I met a pastor from California who was looking for a worship leader at his church. We connected the next week and he shared a very interesting story. He told me how his daughter called him while he was at the conference and asked simply, "How's the conference going?" He responded by telling her that he had met this couple, Paxson and Allison Jeancake." His daughter responded by saying, "Dad, that's who I told you about three years ago." She had seen us lead worship at a conference in St. Louis in 2005 and thought, then, that we would be a good fit for the church.

This set of providences made us feel like God was in this and in May I went out for an inital visit to Roseville. I had a very enthusiastic first impression of the church. Allison and I came out together in June. We were extended an offer and one week later, on June 28, we accepted the call to Valley Springs Presbyterian Church. A week later we went on vacation to Hilton Head, SC. After several months of discerning God's leading in our lives, we were able to rest in our decision to move our family to Northern California - a place we felt drawn to for a number of years.

In the next post I'll recount our previous trips to Northern California and how we learned to walk on the edge of what is seen and what is unseen, what is known and what is unknown.

For more information about Paxson and Allison Jeancake visit: http://www.rhythmofworship.com/


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