Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mustard Seed Faith

It was Friday. I sat nervously looking at the clock, then the pad of paper in front of me, then to the computer. I had an interview in just a few minutes and I was quickly trying to come up with questions to ask those wishing to work for Joshua's House.

It's hard to plan an interview when I've never seen one or been to one. I was pretty sure who I wanted to hire already. What if I made a fool of myself? Oh dear - I thought I must be more stressed than the interviewees.

I went into my first interview with no problems. Shortly after, the second interview was scheduled and I went through the whole nervous process again.

Somewhere in between I looked at my schedule for next week - ack! It was already filling up. My schedule just changed from working a maximum of 3 hours on Monday and 3 hours on Wednesday to a minimum of 7 hours each of those days. I was already feeling like there was just too much to do. So I began to stress a little more.

As I finished the second interview for Joshua's House and had my hiring all done, my stress level increased again. I didn't realize how much work it was going to take to get the workers going. For the next little while I've got my work cut out for me.

Not only that, but now I really have to get on top of fund raising. I need funds for a computer or two, software, hardware, sound effects and not to mention I still need funds to go through the 501(c)(3) process.

My head was spinning.

Then it came:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." ~Matthew 11:28-30

Rest. . . peace. . . how great those would be.

Then I realized that Joshua's House is not my ministry, but God's. I can look to Him to provide. I must trust Him:

"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." ~ Luke 17:6

Then I thought some more. It's not just about trusting God to lead with Joshua's House but with all of my life. Everything that I do belongs to Him. Every tiny part of my schedule, everything I'm involved in, from work to Sabbath School, etc.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
~Proverbs 3:5-6

I am so thankful for an amazing job, lots of kids to be around at church, a wonderful husband, and a chance to minister to kids at Southern, and a chance to be a part of a new ministry God has started. Isn't our God amazing?!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2 Timothy 2:13 - He is Faithful

My husband and I have experienced a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. And that's no understatement. I think that we would both agree it's in the top 5 of our worst weeks ever. But . . . we are still here. :)

It's true that the trials have been tough, but isn't that to be expected of any mission journey? We are currently displaced. We had to leave our apartment and for three weeks now have been living with Arlen's parents. We were supposed to move directly into our new house, but things have not gone according to plan. We honestly aren't sure when we will be able to move. Arlen's whole office crew is camped out on his parent's dining room table. We hope to at least be able to move into the office of the house by early next week at the VERY latest. In the meantime, I will become a master at laying wood laminate floor to try to hurry things along. Woo Hoo!

In the wake of being sort of homeless, we have had some personal crises arise, along with smaller things that would not be a big deal were it not for the other larger issues at hand. Yet God has never left our sides. Even when we have doubted and our faith has grown weak, He has been there walking through it all along with us. He has shared our pains and sorrows and our joys and triumphs.

There is no telling what's around the corner, it may be more trials, it may be a period of great triumphs. Only God knows, and that's why I must ever lean on Him and trust His guidance!

Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.

~ 2 Timothy 2:11-13

Sunday, January 13, 2008

In the Beginning...

Over the past year my life has been utterly out of control. My life has been so busy and hectic that it has been all I could do to hold myself together each day. Amidst all of this something in me has changed. I have lost my passion and zeal for life, for the things that are really important to me, for God even. Suddenly life has become this great survival race rather than what it was meant to be - a life in service, a joyful life, to my King.

I was talking to God about this last night and I was sharing with Him a bit about my loss of passion in life. Among other things one of the things that has turned from sheer pleasure to something I seem to avoid (if only subconsciously) is my time with Him. Especially digging into His word. A few years ago I woke up early (4am) every day so that I could have two uninterrupted hours to spend with my Heavenly Father. I would spend half of that time praying and half of that time diving deep into the precious words of my savior. I was always sad when that time was over, and it seemed like I could never get enough of Gods Word. I would just soak it up, eager to share what I was learning with those around me. How I long for such a joy and excitement.

I was also sharing with God my desire to truly know His Word. Even when I read it and drink deep, I soon forget what I've read or where it is. It seems like there are so many people (most of them much older) who have clung to the Word of God for such encouragement and guidance. They can refer to God's Word no matter what is going on in their lives. I want to be like that, yet, having that kind of familiarity with a book that is so big and huge get the just...well...overwhelming and intimidating. So as I prayed, I asked God where to begin. What is the first step that I can take.

For some reason, whenever I hit these stupors in my life God always seems to take me back to the same place . . . the beginning. So, there I went.

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Looking at the first verse I realized something. God is the founder of the universe. He had an amazing idea, and was able to start something bigger than we could ever imagine all on His own. Last night it dawned on me that if I read no more in the whole Bible, that one verse would be enough to help me realize that God is worthy to be praised. He needs no more credentials.

Yet even now, God continues to speak to me. I get so frustrated and feel inadequate when it comes to starting Joshua's House (a non-profit organization I'm building). But, if God can create the whole universe, why do I even bother to be concerned. I have the founder of this planet as my partner! Wow!