December 18, 2012

God, I can identify with a church whose major message is, “We’re not them!” I’m challenging you to read this and see if you don’t identify in some part–even a small part–with the struggling leader of this band of people from Westboro Baptist Church.

Zack Hensley

For years I’ve heard of the terrible and notorious antics of the folks just up the highway at Westboro Baptist church.  I have on many occasions been left with my head in my hands in disbelief whenever the stories of Westboro Baptist’s protests are told. Disbelief was usually followed by anger as I’d hear about them protesting a soldier’s funeral, or a gay kid who was beaten to death by his hateful peers. Anger would then lead to sorrow as I began thinking about the poor families being screamed at in their time of great grief. Sorrow also when I thought about the level of deception the people from Westborro must be under to justify screaming hatred. Following the progression of emotions, I began to grow bitter toward Westboro Baptist. Eventually that bitterness turned to hate. Hate turned into slandering them whenever I saw them on the news or heard about the legitimately horrible things they…

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Your reasons for not initiating are legion. You do not want to be that intrusive person who invites himself into someone elses life. You do not want to be rejected. You want things to happen naturally, and “initiating” sounds like a sales pitch. Yet, the assumption is that as a disciple you are already going–taking the first steps to reach out to those around you.”

-Joe Thorn, Note to Self (p 80)

Alright, folks! Here’s the latest update from the Wulfstead! Ready…set…go!


Last week we had the opportunity to spend an evening with Reality’s missional community and ministry team leaders at our yearly Christmas party. On paper the night gave us a chance to connect over dessert, singing some carols and a lively white elephant gift exchange. Going in to it I knew we would have a good time. These are great people who I love dearly, but I got so much more than a couple of hours with great people.

Looking around the room I was struck again by just how tangibly these people have come to encompass so much of what I thankful for as I look back over the year.  Theirs are the stories, having been mingle with my own, which I have celebrated, mourned over and prayed through. Together we’ve ground our teeth at sin, we’ve longed for redemption, we’ve cried at fresh revelation of our Father’s love.

This season is certainly one of reflection, but perhaps more than ever Reality is in a season of expectation. Certainly the elders are in a season of expectation.  We know that God is up to something, that his Spirit is at work and that he is unwrapping his next steps for us, even as we learn to wait for him to make himself clear in the midst of it all.


Six months and a week ago Kate and I closed on our first house (see here for pictures). Slowly but surely we are learning to inhabit our home and neighborhood. There is still some unpacking to do, some purchases to make and wallpaper that’s making us fidget in anticipation, but the main thing I’m excited for us to press in to is the laying down of roots in our neighborhood.

Slowly we’re building relationships, connecting over mailboxes, parties, serving opportunities and neighborhood meetings.  Great stuff that God has been using to teach me to leave the process, including its timing, in his hands. This month we’re excited to be inviting neighbors over for a neighborhood end-of-the-world Christmas party.


Okay, now on to the cute stuff. Here are a couple thousand words summing up how we’re doing as a family.

Family Portrait

Cam is a crawling, almost walking machine. He’s a smiley, typically hungry guy with a love for vacuums and dishwashers (which we’re constantly keeping him from crawling in to). Cam’s vocab has expanded to include dog and horse sounds as well as a proud faced “Aaa!” which happily suffices for “Up”.


With a long standing history as our “spicy girl” Ellie is daily settling in as a very sweet, loving little girl. She loves her “babies”–anything from dolls to wrenches depending on the context–and rough housing with Jude. The complexity of Ellie’s vocabulary and sentence structure continually blows our minds.


Jude continues to be quite the artist, pumping out new drawings daily. He loves to help (can you say, “Christmas lights”?), ride his bike and play with the leftover pieces of my childhood which some call “Legos”.


Jude and Ellie both love C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series (we’re about to finish The Silver Chair) and their reading comprehension is incredible. Cam also love books, but mostly for the effect gravity has on them as they’re pulled from a bookshelf.


Lastly (and if you’re still reading all the way down here, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can be sure to give you a gold star!), there’s Kate and I. Just about six years in to marriage, we are closer than ever and exploring growth in areas I don’t know that I would have thought possible.

All in all, it is a beautiful story that we’re thrilled we get to continue living out…

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