New neighborhood, new school, new opportunities

IMG_4770So we made it through the first week of school! We have one child that loves school and misses it about half way through the summer (Mac). We have another that dreads the thought of waking up everyday and going (Grey). With them starting a new school we really didn’t know what to expect but so far so good. Grey, the one we worry the most about, came home from school the first day and said it was heavenly. After we picked our jaws up off the floor we asked him why. He said that his teacher was so nice and doesn’t give out homework or at least she doesn’t this first week of school. We are hoping that he still like her next week when she loads him up with homework.  Mac obviously loves it and is already making friends while he is trying learn who all is a “walker” and where they live.

Walker” – we do not use this term in the same manner as zombie like creatures from the show The Walking Dead even though this is exactly what comes to mind every time the boys tell me about a new walker they meet. Walkers are kids in the neighborhood that live too close to the school to be assigned a bus…they have to walk. Our kids are walkers and we think that it is the coolest thing. I tell people that it feels like we live in a storybook. Who walks to school with their neighbors! So cool!

While walking in the morning with our kids we spend time talking, praying for their day, and praying for our neighbors. We truly believe that God has great plans for this community, the school, and the people here, so we ask daily that He will do a great work among us. We also ask that God will give the Rouse House favor and influence as well as opportunities to love and serve those here. We know that influence will likely come as we have a chance to serve them more. We have been thinking about ways we can get to know others since that seems like the obvious first step in living missionally. This morning it hit me! Walk to school and talk to those we see along the way! Sounds simple enough but it actually works!

This morning after I left the boys I saw a family that was leaving for school too. They live on the corner  between our house and the school so we see them each morning. I have tried to talk to these guys a few times but they never seem interested…I still wave, smile, and say hey…Lara and I were joking the other day because I waive at everyone I see in the neighborhood. I told her I want to be known as the crazy guy that is constantly waving and saying hello…Back to this family on the corner. I saw that their fridge was sitting out by the street this morning. I asked if it broke and if they had another one yet but they don’t. I asked him if he would be interested in a new one if I could find it for him and with a big smile he said, “Oh yea. That would be great.” We then quickly introduces ourselves.

This little moment this morning may not seem like much but I know that it is a start. All great things in this world had to start somewhere and I believe that they probably started with a quick hello. The RouseHouse may have big dreams, passions, and prayers for this community but we know that we have to start somewhere. Today it could be simply helping a neighbor get a new fridge, tomorrow it could be cutting a neighbor’s yard, next month it could be coaching a boys club after school, next year it could be leading a small group through the bible in our home, and before we know it God can have done something amazing here in our neighborhood. Something that last for years and even generations as we focus on caring for people and their families. It is a HUGE as, even overwhelming when we think about all of it, but today we are just going to keep walking to school, smiling and waving, and being the kind of neighbor that Jesus would probably be until He says He is finished with us.

What kind of neighbor are you?

Do you know your neighbors by name?

What if we went out of our way to meet those around us and find ways to serve them? I would love for you to leave a comment on how you are going to meet and serve your neighbors!!!

Romans 15:2 The Voice 

Each of us must strive to please our neighbors, pursuing their welfare so they will become strong.

Our table


Have you ever had someone do something so awesome that it makes you want to tell people about it? Well, fortunately I have, many times. God has blessed the RouseHouse so much and He often does it through the amazing people He has put in our life.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” – C.S. Lewis

When we began talking about moving Lara and I thought about how we want this to be a place of community. Therefore, we wanted a really big table that could fit a bunch of people and a ton of children. Well, those kinds of tables are not cheap! We know a friend that had just built a large farm table and it looked really good, so I asked him if he would be interested in helping me build one for our new house. Before any of you say something I did fully disclose that I have 0% skills in craftsmanship! My friend quickly said, “would you just want me to build it and you can paint and stain it?” to which I respond with a “OH YES!” I think he knew that it would probably be more work to have me actually help. He got started and it quickly came together.

Lara and I sat and looked at the table the other night when I finished staining it. We talked about the many years that we will be using this beautiful piece. Our hope is that God will use this piece of furniture in hundreds of people’s lives and our dream is that one day it will sit in one of our children’s house and will be a place of community and long conversations for them too.

What a friend and servant! Who builds a table like this for someone else house without charging them??? The RouseHouse is so thankful and blessed!


PS, the top was made out of reclaimed wood from a construction demo project at Piney Grove School which makes it even more special! We not only have a table that will have a bunch of people around it in the years to come but a piece that will always remind us of how God has used us in this community for many years. How cool is that!

December 2014

During this time of the year most of us are celebrating the birth of the Savior of the world, enjoying some down time, and looking toward to the new year.

This year during December I have been reflecting more than ever with a new sense of clarity, eyes wide open one may say. This year has been a bit taxing on the mental, emotional, and spiritual side of life for the Rouse House. Life has been good but on the inside it has been a little more than we would wish to have carried. Let’s just say transitions are tough, even good changes can be hard. On the bright side, I know that we have grown in our relationship with Christ and discernment for His will for our life and ministry. I would not be honest if I didn’t at least say God has blessed us more this year than any other year, for real! Our children are incredible, we are healthy,  life is exciting, and ministry is ramping up. God is up to good things in the Rouse House!

With the thought of the new year, I am growing with excitement with the sense of what God is building with in the hearts and dreams of the Rouse House. So much good; good probably isn’t the best word to use because I have come to learn that His plans are not merely good but UNBELIEVABLE. Lara and I have began talking through some of these crazy God size dreams. Dreams and ideas that revolve around missional living. Don’t get me wrong, with dreams come plenty of fears. My thought is, we shouldn’t continue in the ordinary just to have a life of comfortableness, but to take a step into the extraordinary to experience the fullness of this life, is the true meaning of life! The life He is offering to us who dare follow (John 10:10). What does it look like for us to be living “missionally”? We don’t really know the specifics but we do know that it is taking the opportunities we have and living in away that people, families, and communities are changed. Living life in a way that is pleasing to God through our faith and loving others in a way they may know Him more. I am sure we will be able to share more in the days to come so stay tuned.

This new year I am so excited to jump deeper into my role at UWM (United World Mission). I have been loving it so far!  I have had the privilege to start the connection with people that have a passion for what God is doing in the nations, help build and create local partnerships, and seek new opportunities to for UWM to serve. I can not believe the amazing world changers I have been able to meet and get to know thus far. People from the poorest areas of Charlotte to the largest cities in China. The stories they have one could write a book about!!! I am honored to call this a job!

January 1 I will be heading to Thailand for 2 weeks (what a way to start the new year!). I get to be a part of our Asia Conference with UWM and get to meet missionaries from all over that region. I can not wait to tell the stories from that trip! I will try to post regularly during then too. The majority of my time will be working but I do have a wish list of things I hope t to do while I am in Thailand. Just a few of them are visiting the lying Buddha in Bangkok, take a river taxi, visit the floating market, and take a ride on an elephant (believe me I will post a few pics of this one).

In February we will be tackling some big projects at our local ministry at Piney Grove Elementary. The school has received a new grant to improve certain areas of the school and asked if we could provide the workers. I am so glad we will be able to be apart of rebuilding a food pantry and clothing pantry for those who may need it! We would love to have you come volunteer with us if you are local. More details to come.

We have much more on the horizon for 2015 so please stay tuned by following us. We would also love your prayers for our family as we keep pursuing God’s desire for who He has created us to be and what He has called us to do.

Love the Rouse House, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!