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Holy Swagger and Sweet 16

south-africaI feel remissed for having been absent again from my blog for over a month. I read other people´s blogs, and, often knowing a bit of the chaos and responsibility they are negotiating on their end, still find myself wishing they could find the time to at least sneak something, anything up for me to read.

So, since I know I myself have felt righteously and selfishly frustrated at not being able to read something more current than last month  on people´s blogs, I apologize for becoming what I hoped to avoid.

That said, God be praised in His working through Remnant Church! Yes, our little church plant out here did launch, as I mentioned in my last blog entry. Our first service saw over 100 people in attendance, 20+ kids, and, God Almighty…16 salvations! Praise God for 16 new vantages of Life from God´s window…Flung open high and wide!

I´ve heard so many stories of churches spend years in existence, literally years, with many added to their ever-growing  congregation…these churches see multiple services befall them as naturally as the rain comes diving from above. Suddenly their parking lots are flooded, and things like a seat for everyone during the service still persist, despite their efforts, as being a (good) problem.

Remnant does not yet have the problem of entirely packing out its 230 seat movie theater, or overflowing the adjacent kid´s theater just across the way…But… it did see, by His glory and Light, 16 people give their life to Christ! I´ll take a baker´s dozen and change worth of souls and call them heaven bound at the end of the day, over a crowded parking lot leading into a triple deep service regimen wherein the itch of every message ultimately touches on drawing people out of their mediocrity, their comfort, and their selfish, small faiths.

Ideally, much like the examples of Bethel Church up in Redding, Ca. and Elevation in Charlotte, N. Carolina, we want the masses to come to Christ. We want the city we call home to be changed and called a movement of Love. Remnant is not some small group of people hoping to make a small but definite dent in this city, maybe drawing a few lost souls to Christ along the safe way.

Some guy asked me last week who Remnant was. I told him…

 We are a committed, imperfect but resilient group of spiritual siblings in Love with God and in Love with people. We are not going anywhere. We are here in Fairfield, our home, giving our lives to Christ by Loving  this city back to a life it has either long forgotten or never known, depending on how long you´ve called this place Home. 

I caught myself a little by surprise. I know I can every now and again spit out some elocute poetic spur of the moment soundbytes, but whenever I spend extended amounts of time with my Remnant siblings…The fire, peace and Love of God just races to my brim, seeming to spill on anyone I bump into. I walked away thinking just how much I truly believe in these people and what God is doing through them!

Remnant wants and is unleashing Heaven´s Fury on this city. The more and more mobilized we get, the more Love will come. I know this night there will be many of the team, if not all, praying hard  for one simple thing…More Love. More of God´s Love and more Love filling and spilling from us.

If you´ve ever seen Hook, with Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams then you know that the leader of the Lost Boys, in this case, Peter Pan, had to crow! Pan crowed because it symbolized the deep war-cry that he was the leader of those looking on. He crowed because he knew the way to go…what to do next…and how to keep strong.

It may sound cocky, but Remnant crows! We are all stepping out of our culture-made and worldly-inspired shells to Love small, and learning to have a bit of Holy Swagger. I´ll admit, unabashedly…It´s hard. When Christ´s Love grips you, it breaks you down, but I´ve never seen a group of people so humble and committed to learning how to Love more! And like I said, the most exciting thing about our family, is, in many ways, we´re just getting started. Again, that holy swagger in us sounds a lot like, You aint seen nothin yet!… but WE BELIEVE IN THAT! It´s not us we´re confident in, but the One in us.

We are enjoying with all our hearts releasing that heavenly fury that stirs people to a Love beyond themselves that sounds like nothing short of a War-cry…Fairfield´s war-cry is one that sounds like… We will not be afraid of the gang activity in our city. It will not keep us locked up at night in our houses.

We are inspiring people left and right…to do what we ourselves want…top Love more! This passion is finding people! Lives are changing! People are excited to call themselves a bridge, and literally just go and Love the homeless…Not just consider handing them change when they boldly walk up to us and ask us for it.

We want this city to know who we are…so they can draw crazy close to us… in order to draw dangerously close to the One in us, the One moving us, the One Loving in and through us. We believe, as we´ve already seen, we will be known as Lovers amidst this city. Yes we will be called Christians. Yes we will be referred to as a church. And yes they will categorize us up to being Jesus-people. But we will known as people who Love before all else.

Everyone, whether you hate God or call Him Abba, wants Love. That´s not an opinion…it´s a fact of the way we were all made and wired.

Even the man going into the brothel is looking for God.

                                                                                – G.K. Chesterton

Wanting Love is not an if you´re inspired to run after it question, but rather a who and a whatare you gonna call Love question. For some the answer you settle into becomes what the world has to offer. For others it´s the pursuit of sex, money or career. We see the gamut of impostors here in Fairfield. A community without any real community is often a perfect way to describe this place.

Community or not though…this place does have a King, and we are stirrin´ up the enemy´s best as we call upon a Love that will ruin every person in this city if need be…ruin ´em back to Life.

We are drawing out of people a Love that will crush every selfish dream they´ve drooled over for years in order to return to a selfless fulfillment of Loving others.

We are thrilled to offer people a chance at death…A chance to die to their old self and put on their new self, their new life, and their new, inescapable Love from God in them.

More than anything though, as a church, as His church, we are thankful for Him. Not that He has given us this calling, although for that, Hallelujah in the Highest!

Not for the provision He has continually shown us right out the gates, and long before we ever approached the Fairfield gates as it were, although again, (hands raised high) You are King and Provider!

But truly more than any gift we´ve been given thus far, we are grateful, broken down and built up in Him as we seek Himas the Gift. It´s so easy to exalt the gifts above the Giver, especially when you´re neck deep in ministry…but we know God is righteously jealous over someone praising His work over and above Him, whereby missing out the fact that it came FROM HIM, the One who Loves us.

So, in that spirit, I thank you for following along this journey with us, as God plants His church…the one Healways had in mind for Fairfield, California.

Some Remnant prayers you could join with us on…

We are praying for 50 people to be at the core of Remnant Church by year´s end. 50 committed people is what we feel God is showing us as we brave the kneeling space before His throne in petitioning how to advance His kingdom.

We are praying for the right people to be brought to Remnant. Many churches pray for their teams and congregation to be filled with people, but we don´t want just any people. We don´t even technically want who we think the right people are. We want who God had in mind all along to come to His church, Remnant, here and now.

We want to be a church that faithfully strengthens and sends out people. In the spirit of not ever hoarding people in order to advance our little kingdom at the expense of His, we pray that Remnant would be a place where people would come for seasons. Whether those seasons be for months or years on end, we feel the call from God to be something of an oasis, a hammock, shade, and a boot camp in the midst of this tattered and harsh spiritual landscape.

We are praying for the right person and team that god always had in mind, to come, shed their hearts on His altar every Sunday, and Love with us as family.We have had some truly amazing musicians already grace our stage with not only their talent, but also their hungry hearts for God. They were in every sense, Worship Leaders. Some possessed hearts more humble than others and we´ve seen the humility and Love we want to lead us in sound.      

I thank you, as always for your support of me and for wherever I am before God currently in Life. I have not forgotten about my calling to plant orphanages around the world. In fact, as much as I can be without actually being there just yet, I am in the thick of it

I am praying fervently, with my team members, for His timing and joy to be made transparently clear to me according to my calling. This much is clear…The next step will definitely involve getting my hands dirty out in one of the locations God has dearly placed on my heart (more than likely at the end of August).

Again, I consider my calling, aside from my salvation, the greatest gift I´ve ever been given, as it´s a spoken word from God for my Life. So, instead of trying to figure it out, so to speak, and discern how best to be right…I am simply embracing it with joy, bravery, and Love for Him. In this way, I am being shown more and more about His gift as I pursue Him the Giver above all else.

Some personal prayers  you can lift up for me

Pray for the process in my heart and in my calling. Pray my heart is glad to wait and be patient, as it is pleasing to Him for such things to occur. Pray I would simply draw close to Him…and allow the details of anything else, to come naturally and bravely after seeking Him first.

Pray for the little children I will be charged with Loving and leading right now.

Pray that they may be born safely into this world and that, although they will encounter some of the unfortunate this side of Eden, as they will be orphans and have lost their parents, praythey may be brave and hopeful in the unseen things to come.

Pray they take strength now in that one day they will be found by a young man so consumed with Love for them, long before he ever even met them in fact, that he, I, will refuse to call them orphans once I find them. They are no longer orphans if I find them because God will have found them through me. 

Pray for my heart´s strength in considering such amazing feats to come. God is stirring His Love in the heart of me so muchfor them lately that I am all but breaking down in tears and expectation for that day when I am sent out to Love them Home.

Pray for my heart to learn how to Love Big where I am at. Pray I humble and submit my tendency to wield a small Love and allow God to grow it Big here and now.

Pray against the temptation to see anything right now as a stepping stone to what I really called to. I am called first and foremost to Love God and Love people with everything all I am.

Pray I allow deep down inside the honor and privilege that it truly is to be a part of His church Remnant. 

Plead to Heaven asking that He strengthens the hearts of those that are in my future…Those unseen, those so very far away and deeply hurting right now…Pray that they take courage that they have long been placed in  my Love-path. Pray they trust in that day and seek Him all the days before I find them and they find me.

Pray for the team that He will surround me with to fight now in their hearts to find that deep sense of urgency and courage and Love in Him to one day brave the darkness abroad with me in the effort to Love His kids. Pray their hearts be encouraged…Pray they can feel how I can hardly wait to find them…And all the more, how I can´t wait to speak the words to those we will go to in emails just like this…” Tell the kids I am coming soon… and I am bringing others.”  

Prayfor young men to rise up with this heart for Kids to join me. (Haha, plenty of young, amazing women interested, but I´m really praying for a few dudes!) This one might sound a bit playful, but it´s a very serious one to my heart. I want men to fight alongside me!     

Thank you again for your hearts for God and for me. I know how much many of you have to traverse in just a simple week´s worth of happenings, so thank you for even making time to sit and pour over these words. Thank you even more for those of you who take my prayer requests upon yourself and lift them consistently to Heaven for me and for all the people they are are gonna touch one day.

I will effort keeping my month filled with at least a handful of blogs as I most certainly want to share all that´s happening in God´s workings out here and through me.

God be with you where you are, and remember, it´s as simple and as tough as Loving God and Loving people with all you are. I pray you pit your current struggle(s), ruts, and/or dis-enchantments in Faith up against the Truth, Command and expectation of Loving Him and Loving others…do that…and then see how simple the Gospel is.

Carry on Loving Faithful ones. 

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About justingunter

I'm recently 29 years old, recently married and ready to change the world for God. He has called me to be a missionary! This means more than just changing zip codes and living in countries where I struggle (for a while) speaking the language the locals dream in. It means a lifestyle of sacrifice, audacious Hope and above all, a desire for Jesus simply because He is who He is. I moved to Franklin, TN in October 15th of 2012 and expect this to be the first of many changes for the great calling on the Gunter's life. Side note...I dig being married. It helps when you're married the best woman ever! Teale and I feel called to plant churches, combat sex trafficking and be a place of refuge and Holy sojourn to all who would seek to join alongside us for good or for a season. For now, Ol' Rocky Top is our home, Zoey is our Great Dane and we, the Gunters, love Jesus with all we have.

3 responses »

  1. I posted something today too about simple love:) Nice to read… and strange though it sounds, nice to have tears fill my eyes as I pour over your words. Your heart is heard in them!

    Reply
  2. Glad you’ve found a church to live life with!

    Remnant sounds great!

    Reply
  3. Hey blues, I just read your whole blog. I was encouraged/convicted by your enthusiasm and postive hope. I totally needed to hear your perspective on things. Although I am a bit envious of the progress of your church (wish I had the same experience), I nonetheless see how God has answered my prayers for you. I don’t know what the future holds, but if you ever need a teammate I would be interested in helping out.

    Reply

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