Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ducking Reality

I've tried to write the next part of our story 5 times now....5 deleted posts....struggling how to bring God the most glory in this all, so please bear with me.

In the mean time, I woke up this morning at 4...if the sun ain't up, then I shouldn't be either.  But, God likes to lay things on my heart when I'm half awake, so here we go ;)

This week, my facebook feed has blown up with images of scraggly bearded backwoodsmen (and according to my hubby, it's on all of the networks too).

American Christians have worked themselves into a full blown tizzy over the suspension of a man who spoke his mind on a hot button topic.  Now, I'm not saying it's right or wrong...I'm not going to debate the merits of his answer or freedom of speech.   What has a burr in my behind is the fervor and outrage the Church swept up into at record speed.




I'm sorry that sometimes life isn't fair.  Jesus himself warned us that in this life we will have troubles.  The world hated him and therefore it will hate us too.   Are we surprised?

We lose our ever loving minds because a reality tv star loses his job.

Does anyone see the irony of this all?

Duck calls y'all.


Everyday around the world, Christians LOSE their lives for their faith.  Are we outraged by that?

Everyday, people go hungry...babies with empty swollen bellies pass on from this earthly life...

Everyday, we walk right past the orphans and widows...we step over the homeless and the needy....

Everyday, we forget about a lost and fallen world without hope.

American Church, You don't know persecution.  Our country is the Only one in the world where Christianity is on the decline.   Truly persecuted churches are thriving.  People worship in caves and in the middle of the night, their faith is dangerous and real....they don't take Jesus for granted..He is their life, their everything and nothing else matters!

We too have the answer and yet we sit on our couches, fat and happy, remote in hand, patting ourselves on the back for watching  a tv show that emulates good Christian family values.  

Maybe a television show really could change society...

Or maybe, it's us that needs our own perspective change....

Happy Happy Quack Quack and all that jazz.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Delayed Flight

Shortly after we arrived in New Mexico, our plans imploded.

Blind sided by life I guess.

Jobs fell through, certain professions that we thought for sure would be a safe bet for Jim finding employment, never called back...doors were firmly closed..dead bolted...boarded shut...armed guards at all entrances.

It was a huge blow.

So, here we were:  Just moved 1600 miles away from home.  Enough small jobs plus our nest egg kept our heads above water..for the time being.  Air mattresses, craigslist furniture, and the 5 of us...

We knew that we had heard God so clearly back in Illinois.  We knew that we knew what we knew...does that make any sense?  Shock fell in.  Did we hear wrong?  What happened?!?  Where is God...

What happens when God delays?

No, more than that...who are we to judge what is a delay?

He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
he suspends the earth over nothing.
He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight....
He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters...
By His breath the skies become fair...

And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power?
                                                  Job 26:7-14

These amazing works, are just the fringe...

It's like studying a thimble of water and saying that we know all there is to know about the ocean.

What did we do?  We trusted and prayed and sought His face like our lives depended on it..because they did...

Every day we received our manna from heaven.

Every day our needs were met.

I won't lie, it was scary as heck.  There were moments where packing up and heading back north were real options.  But, God never left us.  It wasn't easy.  We were Not in control of our own lives.  Every moment was surrendered.

Looking back, it was a sweet time of learning, faith building, and reliance.  

Job 42:5 was my only thread of hope:

My ears had heard of you,
but now my eyes have seen you.

Without walking through these trials, we never would have seen God like we did..we never would have grown in relationship like that..begun to fathom how deep and wide his love is for us.  I had always heard of God.  I knew of Him, but now I Know Him!

The whole point of the Israelites wandering in the desert was for them to trust and rely on God.  He knew how hard it would be to stay loyal to Him once they arrived at a "safe and plentiful" land.  Total dependence is hard when your needs are already met...

As our journey continues, I want to always let it be known that none of this happened because of our own talent or goodness or skill. 

We walked where He led.  He opened doors that only He knew where there and the places we are going even I can't imagine!  Not to us, but to God goes the glory!

Dear Friend, if you're in a place of delay...if you're struggling with where you're at or even where you're not at...Trust in God.  His timing is everything.  Give Him control over your whole life, not just the easily managed areas.  He loves you with a lavish abandonment that will not lead you wrong!  Walk by faith, trust in His plan for your life...

Without a doubt, there are no delayed flights in heaven...only impatient passengers ;)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Year One

How does one sum up a year....

Where are there words to do justice describing the things that we've seen..the things that we've felt..the miraculous blooming in the desert all around us?

I've been meaning to write a thousand different times, but I never felt like we had an "ending" to the story.   And maybe that's the whole point, there are no endings, just a constant kaleidoscope of life...

This year of ours would make one heck of a Hallmark movie...So I guess, we just start from the beginning:

When we moved here, we were pretty broken..Life had punched us in the gut,knocked the wind out of us all.  But through all of the horrible dark times, God was there.  We felt Him like we have never felt His presence before: telling us it'll be ok, He had a plan, just keep trusting.  So we did (honestly, we had nothing left to hold onto but Hope so don't think of us as some giants of the faith or something).  

Throughout the summer before our move, God blessed Jim's business beyond measure.  He went from a couple of construction jobs a year to like 20 in a summer!  No one knew what was brewing below the surface of our lives, they all just needed construction work done.  We had heard a message on Elisha and the jars of oil.  Jim and I decided that, like the widow, we would set out "jars" to be long as Jim had jobs coming in, we stayed in IL.  

Our first move date was in July..then August...Then October..and Finally November...

We sold what we could, donated countless truckloads to Goodwill, and in the end..we packed up our lives into a 16 foot job trailer.  We said goodbye to the best friends a family could ever have...left our close knit family that we loved so dearly...and headed west.  All of the oil jars provided more than enough to move and begin with a comfortable fresh start. 

The desert was going to be our Promised Land...I guess that I should have reread that story before clinging so tightly to the whole Promised Land notion...

Blessed is the one who trusts in Me Alone...
He is like a tree rooted near the stream...
Not fearing heat or drought,
But staying green and fruitful-No Matter What It Faces.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (the Shelly paraphrase)