Dear Liberti, We Launch This Weekend!

What words are there to describe the experience of seeing a brand new church come into existence?

Well…it’s exhilarating. Like riding the unexpected twists and turns of a roller-coaster. Without a safety harness. On top of a volcano. There’s nothing else like it…you think you might die…and you’re pretty sure you’d do it again.

It’s also humbling.  Staggeringly so. Like preparing to go toe-to-toe with Mount Everest; like a group of explorers looking out into the horizon of uncharted waters; like a dazed first-time parent who has found themselves staring into the eyes of a living, breathing image bearer of God that He has entrusted to their care.

And yet this is where we are!

The church we see is a joy-filled community of #FreedPeople who live to know Jesus and make Jesus known, wherever we are.

In just a few days time, we will celebrate our official Opening Sunday for Liberti Church. Laying the foundation over the past few months with our core group members has been a season of pure, bona-fide grace. And there is no doubt in my mind that the best parts of our journey are still in front of us!

So Liberti family: I’m inviting each and every one of you to join us in praying, inviting, giving, proclaiming, sacrificing and celebrating as we build momentum toward our big day this upcoming Sunday! Feel free to share the video or image below in your social media feeds…let’s get the word out!

I deeply love each of you and I am thrilled about our future!                To paraphrase N.D Wilson,

“May we ride the roaring wave of providence with eager expectation, search for the stories of grace all around us, and look for Christ in every pair of eyes. Let’s write a past that we won’t regret. May we live hard and die grateful. And enjoy it.”

For Jesus’ Fame,

Your Grateful Pastor

 

Opening Sunday SQR

Top 10 Books of 2014

Below are my top 10 books I’ve read over the past year, along with a couple of my favourite passages from a handful of them. I HIGHLY recommend each of these, and am incredibly grateful for each of the people who recommended these to me. Enjoy!

notes-from-the-tilt-a-whirl1. Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl: Wide Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World (N.D Wilson)

“True atheism is nonsense. If there is such a thing as beautiful, such a thing as good, or even such a thing as bad, then there is a transcendent standard that determines which is which. An atheist can say that society prefers mothers to murderers, but he cannot say that this is as it should be. Tell us what is, by all means. But without God, you cannot tell us what ought to be. An atheist can tell us that he is a good person, that he has never stolen a lawn mower or murdered his wife. I believe him. What he cannot tell me is what is fundamentally wrong about lawn mower theft and wife killing. He will try, but he can’t change the fact that in his world there is no such thing as fundamental wrongness. Let the man with the biggest armies and the booming voice make the rules. Jews and gypsies and homosexuals be damned.

I don’t like that picture. I look at the world and I see beauty. I see love and loss, birth and death, joy and sorrow  I see a world where color exists, and in enormous generosity we were given eyes to see it. This is a world where bread makes a smell as it’s baked, and we just happen to have noses to smell it. Color, smell, sound, taste—these are things that could have gone unnoticed; we could have been senseless in this reality, careening around like so many spattering particles. Were our noses invented first, or the smells? Our eyes, or the sights? Breasts, or desire? We have been created as recipients. I look at the stars, at the grass, at my fat-faced children, at my fingernails, and I am oppressed by gratitude. I have been given a belly so that I might hunger. I have been given hunger so that I might be fed. I look in the atheist’s mirror. I look at his faith in the nonexistence of meaning. I look at his preaching and painting. I see nothing but a shit-storm. Why would I walk through that door? Why would I live in your novel?”

Layout 12. The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out (Brennan Manning)

“Grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours, not by right, but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God…Even our fidelity is a gift. “If we but turn to God,” said Augustine, “that itself is a gift of God.” My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”

death-by-living_book-cover_high-resolution3. Death by Living: Life is Meant to be Spent (N.D Wilson)

“Watching one’s small humans age and grow up packs a serious punch. It’s like being stuck in a dream unable to speak, like being a ghost that can see but not touch, like standing on a huge grate while a storm rains oiled diamonds, like collecting feathers in a storm. Parents in love with they raids are all amnesiacs, trying to remember, trying to cherish moments, ghosts trying to hold the world. Being mortals, having a finite mind when surrounded by joy that is perpetually rolling back into the rear view is like always having something important on the tips of our tongues, something on the tips of our fingers, always slipping away, always ducking our embrace…But this should inspire melancholy; it should only tinge the sweet with the bitter. Don’t resent the moments simply because they cannot be frozen. Taste them. Savour them. Give thanks for that daily bread. Manna doesn’t keep overnight. More will come in the morning.”

71BJQZWgilL4. Leaders Eat Last (Simon Sinek)

“Like the Spartans, we will have to learn that our strength will come not from the sharpness of our spears but from our willingness to offer others the protection of our shields.”

 

y6005. A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred (Brennan Manning)

“Ambition to be a star in the Body of Christ is alluring and seductive; it is also demonic, the glamorous enemy of servanthood and love.”

 

9113UMHKjcL6. Proof: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace (Daniel Montgomery)

 

5113IyNqWIL7. A Gospel Primer for Christians (Milton Vincent)

 

 

In-the-Name-of-Jesus-97808245125908. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership (Henri Nouwen)

 

51wxIlKwAsL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_9. Miraculous Movements: How Hundreds of Thousands of Muslims are Falling in Love with Jesus (Jerry Trousdale)

 

 

514PsIOYCmL10. The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction (Eugene Peterson)

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

 

What’s Next For The Ramseys…

We love the people who make up Mars Hill Church and wouldn’t trade the past couple of years we’ve had serving them and Jesus for anything. It has become clear to us over the past month however, that we will no longer be able to continue forward in good conscience under the current leadership structure and ministry culture.  So it was with a sad heart but a clear conscience that I handed in my resignation to Mars Hill yesterday morning, far earlier than we had ever hoped or anticipated. Because of the current work visa that I am on, that also means we will be required to leave the country by the end of this month.

That said, we have zero regrets. We are deeply grateful for the many new friendships we have been blessed with and the hundreds of young people we’ve had the great honor of serving. We’ve met some of the best people in the world during this season, many of whom we count as life-long friends who we will miss very much. The joy we’ve received far exceeds any sacrifice we’ve made or disappointment we’ve had to endure. We will continue praying that Jesus is glorified in whatever lies ahead for Mars Hill.

 So what’s next?

Well, when we came to Seattle in 2012 we pressed ‘pause’ on the dream God placed in our hearts to plant a church-planting church in one of Australia’s major cities. Recently, two of our closest friends in the world – Ross and Kathy Abraham – approached us with the idea of planting a new, stand-alone church out of their church (Elevation) on the northern end of the Gold Coast.

A New Church on the Northern Gold Coast

From the nightlife of Surfers Paradise, to the lower income areas of Southport, to the wealthy affluence of Sanctuary Cove, to the 17,000+ students at Griffith University – this a region that is in great need of more churches that will spread the gospel and love their city. We definitely see the Holy Spirit’s hand in this and are very excited to take our next step forward as we follow Jesus. We’ll begin the core group phase of this new church in October, as soon as we land back in Australia!

To all our friends here in the Northwest, we love you so much and will miss you terribly. We will be around until the end of this month, please let us know how we can serve you or pray for you during this time.

To all our friends back in Australia, if you’d like to be involved in any capacity, or just want to stay in the loop with our church planting journey, we’d love for you to fill out this expression of interest form. Lots more details to come, watch this space!  :)

Still For Jesus’ Fame,

Adam & Kristina

For Jesus' Fame.