Tag Archives: faith

The Beginning of A Move

About a week ago we signed a sales contract for our house.  We have intended to sell our home and move for about 20 months.  Our home has been our safe haven during the current season of our life.  When I quit my job and we began the 200 mile commute to Tallahassee each week, our home was a refuge for us – a place of our very own that served as a spot that protected us from everything and anything negative in our lives.

While we said we wanted to sell our home, we did little to make that happen.  While we said we trusted God to provide for us, we held on to stuff that we thought we had control over.  Even when we listed our home almost a year ago, I’m not sure we fully surrendered the process to God.  When our listing expired about six weeks ago, we decided to list it ourselves and see what would happen.  What happened was God brought a family to us that was looking for just this house!  God’s timing is usually never our timing but it is perfect!

As Cyndi has begun the process of packing our stuff, we’ve realized how much we have accumulated over time.  We’ve been married almost 30 years and in this house for 15.  You can keep a lot of stuff in 30 years!  We have begun selling some of our furniture and belongings that we just don’t want to move. And for the most part we are ok with letting go of our possessions!  There are a lot of memories attached to things and that makes it harder and longer to pack or let go!

I’m thankful for what God has provided for us in our lives together.  He has and continues to be our strength – as corny as that may sound.  Without our faith, I would have given up a long time ago!  I’m thankful for the unknown blessings He is going to provide for us – unknown because we really don’t know what the next step is!

Kind of crazy to sell your home without knowing where you are going to live isn’t it?  We don’t think so.  We think this is our physical demonstration of our faith.  He has never let us down and we don’t expect this to be the season where that happens!  I’ve referred to this scripture before and it’s very relevant today:

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper  you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I’ve got to believe!

Advertisements

Coincidence?

I am constantly in awe of the beauty of creation.  This time of day is one of my favorites.  To view the waves, the sunset, the nature and to consider how it looks and acts the way it does can be confounding.

A friend regularly calls me and arranges a time to get together – sometimes with a group of other men and sometimes just the two of us.  Today was one of those times we got together.  It’s a time where we drink coffee, catch up with life and our families, encourage each other and generally laugh a lot!

During our conversation my friend asked me about our finances.  He knows our life story and knows the season of life we are currently experiencing.  He knows we have stepped out in faith in a manner that is beyond his imagination (and sometimes ours)!  As I shared with him some details and some of the crazy things that have happened to keep us going, I was quick to  acknowledge I don’t believe at all it is a coincidence.  I firmly believe that God has provided all we have, as we need it, when we need it and only what we need.  My friend gets it.  He understands.  While he has never questioned our faith, I know he has wondered if it was genuine and real.  I’m convinced God uses examples like this, uses our story to impact other lives.  I know it has impacted my friend.

I don’t really believe in coincidences.  Just as the sun rises and sets each day, I know God is in complete control.  I’ve got to believe Jeremiah 29:11 – 11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 


Indecision or Waiting

I intended to write a short post about envy – since our community group discussed envy this week and it was fresh in my thoughts.

But yesterday and today I’ve been thinking more about our future than envy.  If you’ve followed my posts you know we have taken a path that is most unusual and certainly seems to defy logic and maybe even prudence.  But we know beyond a doubt that it really is God who directs our paths and feel confident in letting Him!

As hard as we might try to fix things and to help God with His plan,  today I’m reminded that He is sovereign.

Here’s a short quote from a devotional, “Jesus Calling”:  “Trust Me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now.  I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to Mine.  Thus you stay close to Me on the path of Peace.”

Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”


Weekend Anticipation

Usually my simple writings try to detail some event or experience I’ve had in the past week or so.  This post is somewhat focused on what will be happening the next few days!  Not too detailed but with some quick descriptions!

Exciting weekend plans for Cyndi and myself!  Friday we will drive to Tallahassee to attend a Good Friday service at City Church Tallahassee.  Cyndi has been fasting (Daniel fast) for about 10 days and we both will fast on Friday until the end of the service.  Good Friday services are mostly somber and quiet remembrances of Christ’s death on the cross.  We’ll end the service with communion – the first food all day!  I enjoy these types of services in a selfish way – they help me focus and remember in a personal way why I believe what I believe.

We’re headed to Mexico Beach, Florida after the service – hoping to spend Saturday in the sun!  Kayaks will be accompanying us and we’re excited to spend the day on white, sandy beaches on what we believe is the most beautiful stretch of Florida’s Gulf Coast!  Hoping our kids will join us for the day as well!

Sunday is Easter!  The time of year when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus!  We will be celebrating along with thousands of others the Civic Center in Tallahassee.  City Church Tallahassee has rented this venue to share the gospel with as many people as possible at one time on Sunday.  The past several years City Church has held Easter services at The Moon – a local nightclub in Tallahassee.  The past year was standing room only so the decision was made to move to a larger space!  In addition to the band and production team, it will take hundreds of volunteers to have this event – people will serve in our Kid’s program, First Impressions as greeters, parking attendants, information stations, ushers, care team members, etc.   It’s going to be an exciting day and I’ll be posting pictures from it soon!

Easter this year has a special meaning to Cyndi and me.  I have prayed for years to be allowed by God to be a part of a large movement of His.  Tallahassee is experiencing such a movement right now and we believe Easter will be a celebration of that.  If you’ve been reading along over the months, you know our journey with City Church is unique.  I quit my job 15 months ago so we could be a part of this group!  We travel about 400 miles round trip each weekend to help out where we can.  I’m thankful for the opportunity this season in life has afforded us.  Who knows what will take place after Easter?  I’m still looking for employment and am confident God has a plan for us!  Anticipation about the future – our future!


The Circle Maker

I recently finished reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  I have been a fan of his writings since the first time I read In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day.  His life, his faith, his teachings – all seem so simple when you read his words.  Yet they have had a powerful impact on my own life, faith and I hope my teachings.  The Circle Maker begins with the sharing of the true legend of Honi the circle maker, a first century Jewish sage whose bold prayer ended a drought and saved a generation.

This book on prayer has been especially challenging to me.  Prayer is not new to me.  I have understood the premise of prayer for a long time.  We recently had a discussion on the Lord’s Prayer in our community group that blended with this book well.  Cyndi and I have had numerous conversations over the past few weeks about prayer – what it is, what it isn’t, why God answers some and it seems He doesn’t answer others, how we pray, where we pray and even why we pray.

Most of my life I have been hesitant to pray specifically for personal things.  When our daughter was in ICU for months after her birth 24 years ago, it was hard to pray for certain things – simply because we were afraid of the outcome.  When the complications surrounding the pregnancy and birth of our son 20 years ago presented another opportunity for specific prayers – it was hard.

It’s easier for us to pray specifically for others.  Cyndi and I stood beside the hospital bed of a friend in 2009 and prayed that God would deliver her twins healthy, with no complications for mom or babies – when doctors where discussing things that weren’t so positive.  We prayed, believing that not only God would hear us but that He would act on our prayers – and He did!

Later in 2009 I gathered some friends together on Saturday mornings and we walked an empty field, praying for the kids who would one day play on that land.  Praying they would be surrounded by the love of God and would come to have a personal relationship with Him – specifically for kids I don’t know and probably will never meet.

Batterson suggests that sometimes our prayers seem to go unanswered because we are so vague in our conversations with God.  I’m committed to stop being vague.  I’m committing to bringing specific prayers before Him.

This week my prayer life changed.  I have become more specific.  I have become more intense.  I have become more consistent.  I have become more bold.  And not just for myself.

I’m reminded of Psalms 84:11 – a verse many of us know and recognize: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

It’s time for me to start claiming more of the promises of God.  Circling them if you will.  And not just praying for them, but praying through them!

 


Things I’m Thinking About Today

Being unemployed for over a year has given me a lot of time to think about things.  That can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing!  I’m convinced that if I were to post all of my thoughts, you would stop reading soon!  Makes me wonder if I should put my thoughts in different silos – being more intentional with individual posts…but until then here goes some of this week’s thoughts:

1.  Mowed my lawn today – first time in 2012.  I had really hoped our house would have sold by now and that I never would be mowing this yeard again!  I was so sure of this that when my mower needed major repairs last fall I didn’t repair it.  So, I’m borrowing a mower until our house sells!

2.  Justin Faircloth may be the best person I know who can have difficult conversations with people.  That is a great leadership trait and one all leaders have to master.  Period.  Being unwilling to have the difficult conversations is a serious handicap to leading an organization.

3.  March begins our 15th month of our latest journey in faith!  Despite my personal anxiety and impatience, God continues to be faithful!  That alone may be what He is teaching me!  I really thought I was a quick learner…

4.  Warm weather is good for the soul!  Looking forward to some days like this:

 


Friday Thoughts

Lots of thoughts running through my mind today and this week that deal with life, leadership and faith!

1.  We listed our house a few months ago and had an offer to purchase it about a week ago.  For a variety of reasons, I think the deal fell apart today – not entirely about price, although we were still several thousand dollars apart.  While I know this is a tough housing market for sellers, I don’t want to just give my house away!  Life can be difficult to understand at times!  Is that bad?

2.  I’ve been reading a lot about high performance teams and what makes them that way.  Every group of people is not a team and certainly can’t be automatically labled as a high performing one!  I’m convinced that Leaders are the deciding factor in allowing teams to understand their mission and purpose and resourcing them to fulfill their roles and meet established goals.  Most times leaders get in the way or simply don’t allow their teams to do what they are capable or accomplishing.

3.  Cyndi and I had a good discussion this morning about our Faith.  Convinced that God has used us over the past 14 months to impact lives, to be a living example for others and to encourage friends.  Our circumstances don’t determine our belief in God or whether or not He is a good and gracious God!  There are good examples of men of faith in the Bible but often times we don’t want to compare our life situations with them – mainly out of fear that our lives could always be worse!  While I still don’t understand this faith journey we are on completely, I do continue to believe that God is in complete control and He knows what is best for us and wants us to be satisfied in Him!  Our wait, while significant to us, pales in comparison to that of others!

Each of these could be blog entries on their own – disappointed that I don’t have time today to do just that.  And I’ll be away from internet activity for a few days, so checking in will be sporadic!