From the Desk of the Lay Director – June 2017

De Colores Community,

As I learn more about my role in God’s plan for my life I find that prayer, study, and community are the pillars of my journey. 

At the May Community Gathering I shared with a few of you that I had been going through a very difficult time.  Due to the nature of the situation I could not share details regarding what I was going through, however; I knew that simply stating that I was facing a challenge would give others an opportunity to lift me and the situation up in prayer.  You see, God and only God knows every situation, and He hears our prayers.

I dug in deep and studied the situation learning everything that I could to communicate effectively with the proper people involved.  I began praying more often and specifically about how God would have me respond to the situation.  I consulted with my closest confidants within my inner community.  I sought their guidance and asked for their prayers.  And I am certain that God responded with an answer to our prayers with a resolution to this difficult situation in a manner which is pleasing to Him.  Now I can rejoice in knowing that through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I am for this time in the presence of God and He is standing with me.  I know that this could not have been accomplished without prayer, study, and community.

Now I am finally back to a place where I can focus on kingdom work in my role as Community Lay Director.  And I chose to do so with prayer, study and community!

Did you know that Emmaus has a Mission?

Empowering Leaders to be the hands and feet of Christ

Emmaus also has a vision…

Fourth Day Leaders Embodying Jesus Christ

Over the years that I have been involved in our community I have had the pleasure of knowing many of you and seeing several of you serve in leadership roles.  Whether it be on Walks, Journeys, Kairos, Kairos Outside or Epiphany teams, or serving on one of the boards supporting these ministries I have seen your leadership shine.  You may have served in the capacity of team member on a table or outside team participant.  It could have been as an angel giving a portion of your time at a critical point in a weekend, or at a community gathering.  In all cases, you are and have been Empowered Leaders Embodying Jesus Christ to our community and to the greater community of believers.  Thank you for giving to the Lord!

Presently we have a few vacancies on the Emmaus Board and we are looking for some of you to step forward rising to answer this calling.  I ask that each of you be in prayer and to please consider your response to Christ call to leadership in this capacity.  You might recall those simple words on the back of the cross that you received on your walk or journey, ‘Christ is counting on you.’  Trust me, He is…

As many of you are aware Emmaus is a ministry of the Upper Room.  Earlier this month I received a communication from the Upper Room regarding four new critical roles within the Emmaus Community Support System.  These include Communicators, Community Trainers, Start-Up Trainers, and Consultants/Coaches.  Over the next few months we will receive and share more information regarding these new roles from the Upper Room.  Please begin praying for the people who will fill these roles supporting our community.

Women’s walk #141 led by Margaret Rhode will be June 15 -18 at the Mercy Center in Slaton, TX.  This team is well prepared to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus.  Although we have several pilgrims already on the roster we have plenty of room and are needing your help in filling this walk to capacity.  Pray about who Jesus would have you ask to go on this walk.  Study your contacts and listen to the Holy Spirit guide you.  Reach out to your inner community and support each other through prayer as you ask potential pilgrims to join Margaret and the team on this weekend.  We already know that God has hand-picked the pilgrims, He just needs your voice, your hands and your feet to spring into action.

We have several upcoming events / opportunities to serve.  Please be in prayer for each of these and be prepared to answer the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus as you are called to serve.

  • June Community Gathering
    • Thursday, June 8 (Please note we are moving this month’s meeting to the 2nd Thursday)
    • First Baptist Church – Tahoka Texas
      • 1701 Ave K, Tahoka, TX 79373
  • Women’s walk #141 – Margaret Rhode, Lay Director
    • June 15 – 18, 2017
  • July Community Gathering
    • Thursday, July 6
    • Harvest Christian Fellowship – Lubbock Texas
      • 7116 82nd St, Lubbock, TX 79424

In Christ Love,

Rod Smith

From the Desk of the Lay Director – Apr. 2017

Rod Smith, Lay Director

This morning I woke up with a song in my heart. It took me back to my childhood in the formal living room of my grandparents’ home on a small farm near McCauley, TX. I could hear the beautiful voice of my grandmother, Jessie Maude Maberry, as she played the piano and sang the chorus to Blessed Assurance.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Grandmother was a music teacher in the public schools and the choir director at First United Methodist Church in Hamlin, TX where I grew up. She taught us to love music, but more importantly she taught us to praise the Lord. She intentionally retired from teaching before my older brother, younger sister and I were old enough to be in her music class. Over the years, I have heard many stories of how she lived out her faith in the classroom. Later in life she began to lose her hearing and did not sing as much because she was afraid she would be off key. She did not realize that the Lord had firmly secured those old beautiful hymns in her heart so that she could continue to praise Him ‘all the day long.’

De Colores Community,

I am Rod Smith, and it brings me great pleasure to continue with you on the Walk to Emmaus as community lay director for this year.

Several years ago, I was invited by my brother-in-law to join a men’s group that met at 6 am on Friday mornings. Reluctantly I showed up for that first meeting with a group of men who I knew mostly through church. I was not sure what to expect, I mean seriously ‘men’ sitting around talking about churchy stuff was way outside of my comfort zone at the time.

My first thought was about how inferior I must be as I had not been in intentional relationships with others regarding spiritual growth, they must be much better than me when it came to eternal matters. Was I ever so wrong. Yes, we were all in different places in our lives, but we were all somewhat in the same place. Later I found out that several of the men in the group had been on a Walk to Emmaus, however; it was pretty clear to me that they were not pushing me at first to go on my walk. Over time the artificial barriers that I had placed around myself began to fall as I learned to trust in the relationships that were forming.

Eventually they figured out that I needed to be walked to the edge of the cliff and pushed off. Two of the men invited me to breakfast one morning and shortly after the coffee was poured a completed application for a walk was pushed across the table along with a pen and I heard the words ‘sign this.’ After going on my walk all I can say is I wish I had done it many years before. Not such a unique story is it after all, I bet many of you felt the same exact way.

Small groups, reunion groups in the case of Emmaus, are the greatest opportunity to remain connected with the community of believers, and the best opportunity to connect others with Christ. Our Lord and Savior set the example with the disciples as He intentionally led them in a new direction, and we should continue to allow Him to lead us as we grow in our spiritual lives. Please consider joining or forming a reunion group if you are not already a part of one, I assure you that you will receive many blessings in the process.

I was blessed to start the year off on the right foot with Candlelight and Closing for Men’s Walk #99 this past weekend. The testimony of the seventeen men who participated in the walk magnified the mighty work that God is doing through our community. Please join me in thanking Ty Askew, Winfield Davenport, the conference room and outside teams for their servanthood and leadership on this walk.

We have several upcoming events / opportunities to serve. Please be in prayer for each of these and be prepared to answer the call to be the hands and feet of Jesus as you are called to serve.

May Community Gathering
Thursday, April 6
Powerhouse Fellowship, 210 E 98th St, Lubbock, TX 79404

Kairos Outside – Kathy Carlisle, Director
April 7-9, 2016

Young Men’s Chrysalis Journey – Justin Smith, Lay Director
May 4-7, 2016

Kairos #37 – Kevin Ivy, Weekend Leader
May 18-21, 2016

In Christ love,

Rod Smith