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fundraising pic

Belief. Faith. Surrender.  These simple words hold the secret to great power.  They seem so simple, and yet, they end up being so elusive.   Every time I think I understand these words, I am thrown into a situation in which its quite clear that I don’t.  Back in April, my family took a huge plunge into faith.  We decided to send my oldest daughter, Anna, to Honduras on a mission trip with the youth group, and to send my other teen daughter, Abbi, and myself to Swaziland for a mission trip.  Crazy!  Here we’ve been struggling financially for 2 years and we decide to do this while my husband is enrolled in the police academy.  Insanity is the word I would use, but God calls it faith.

I personally determined that I would not worry about the $6,500 we would need to raise in two months time.  God would take care of it, right?  But as reality hit and the tickets were purchased by the church, there was no turning back and panic set in.  Once again, I launched into “moving my own mountain” mode trying to be creative with fundraising ideas.

Then my husband got a job!  After 9 months of testing and interviews, he was accepted into the police academy.  Another reality hit, he would be gone for the summer and the responsibility of family, my job, raising funds, and our non-profit rested on my shoulders.  I freaked!  “God, you have to close a door!”  Never in my life have I prayed for God to shut a door, instead it has always been to open one.  “I can’t handle all this!”  I complained.

God began whispering into my heart, “Don’t worry about fundraising.  I just want you to enjoy preparing for the missions trip and enjoy it while you’re there.”

“Sounds great, God, but this is a lot of money and you’re asking me to sit back and relax?  What about working for it, earning it?”  I asked confused.

“What about belief?  What about surrender?  What about the rest I’ve promised to you if you would just let go?”  He asked back.

This wasn’t the door I expected for Him to shut, but I was quite relieved and happy with it.  Still unsure if I heard God correctly, I tested the waters.  Instead of trying to come up with a nifty fundraiser this weekend, I weeded my yard and helped my husband study.

I just came into work this morning and was faced with some amazing news!  Donations had come in over the weekend to help my daughters with their trips.  They are now both completely paid for!  Two down and one left to go.  I know God will take care of my expenses without my help.

Belief. Faith. Surrender.  Three simple words that create the greatest fundraiser of all!  God is true to His promises, and if He calls you to something, He will make a way for you to obey.  To God be ALL the glory!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory…  Ephesians 3:20

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life is short coffee

One of the perks of being an admin. for a pastor is that I get to clean my boss’ coffee cup which I am staring at right now.   After many times of washing it, I have finally stopped to read the words on it:

Coffee Break, n. 1) a break from life for coffee, a pause, etc. 2) an oasis in a sea of insanity 3) five minutes alone 4) fifteen minutes with a friend 5) a moment < Starbucks

Something about this just struck me, I guess maybe it was the concept of time and how we all need more of it. What if we did get more time, what would we do with it?  Would we stop to have a cup of coffee, and I mean really enjoy it just for the heck of it, not a grab, run, go? Would we use the extra time to just sit with a friend and share life, or curl up with that book we swear we’re going to read someday, or maybe just do nothing but stare at the nature around us?  Somehow I doubt it, with the addition of more time we would add longer working hours in order to obtain financial stability so that way we could someday enjoy more time.  We humans don’t make sense.

This past week I’ve been listening (yes, listening) to the book, The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnston. In it he explains that one of the reasons people lose hope is because they are doing too much.  Hope gets lost in the busyness of life.  More people suffer from stress related illness than any other illness.  Do you feel like you lack hope in your life?  If so, reevaluate your priorities and give yourself that needed coffee break!  Who knows, that  brief oasis may just give you more time.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow?  Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. –  James 4:14 (NLT)

 

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….”Dad, help me!” the son instinctively cried.

In that terrifying split second, a gunshot boomed amidst the howls. The leader of the pack shrieked as it dropped to the ground lifeless. Mayhem broke out as the braver wolves attacked the massive shadowed form. The son crouched in fear watching his rescuer beat off the wolves with his riffle. At last the wolves, whimpering and confused, quickly disappeared into the night.

The strong figure bent over the young man. The son noticed that the rescuer wasn’t even breathing hard after the exertion. Funny how you notice odd things when you’re afraid, the son thought.

“Son, are you alright?” the Father gently cradled his son.

“Father! How did you know?”

“I heard your cry for help!”

“How did you know where to find me?”

“It’s my job to know where my children are even if they don’t want to be near me.” the Father chuckled as he helped his young son up. “Follow me to the rest of the family.”

The two trudged along in silence. As they approached the clearing of the woods, the son saw the warm glow of the campfire. To his surprise, the fire appeared to be much bigger and warmer. Several rabbits were roasting over the fire sending a mouthwatering aroma that awakened the young man’s stomach. “Dad, why didn’t you do this last night?”

“I provide what we need, son. Last night there was danger and we needed low light.”

“Why didn’t you explain that?”

“You didn’t ask. You had already made up your mind that I don’t do a good job in providing and that you could do better. Did you do better, son?” his Father gently rebuked. “I made a promise to you that I would take care of all your needs from food to clothing to shelter and sometime even your wants, but there is a condition to that promise.”

“What’s that?”

“You need to stay with me. You need to allow me to keep my promise to you. By running off and solving the fire problem your way, you placed yourself in extreme danger. By the way, where is the wood that you collected?” the Father motioned to his son’s empty hands.

The boy blushed with shame, “I dropped them.”

“Hmm. It didn’t do you much good now did it? A wise king reflected back on his life and noticed that all the wealth, scrumptious food, and beautiful women didn’t do him any good either. His comment was that ‘all was vanity’. Now, going after that firewood was vanity, too, wasn’t it?”

Realizing that it was his own discontent and pride that brought him to believe that his Father couldn’t provide, the young son sadly nodded his head in agreement, “Yes, Father, I thought I could do a better job than you.”

“Now, dry those tears, son, learn from your mistakes. From now on stay close to me because I have more amazing things for you that are even bigger and better than just this fire!” with a laugh the Father wrapped his arms around the young impetuous Runner in a comforting embrace.

…to be continued

Matthew 6:33

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