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:
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!
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.”
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.”
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!
We all benefit from hearing the stories of others. Everyone has a story and it can only benefit others when its told!
For more than 17 years I was the chief executive of a non profit organization that helped people with occupational training and employment. Every month during our board meetings, I would take the time to present a story of someone who’s life was changed because of the opportunities provided by this organization. These stories helped our directors understand the real life implications of the administrative, budget and policy decisions they made. Numbers represent people, stories represent people. People and their stories matter.
This week I had the opportunity to speak to some seniors who soon will be graduating from Florida State University. These students are leaders in a campus ministry and it was their chance to hear from someone with a little life experience!
I had the chance to tell them portions of the story that is Cyndi and my life together. While sometimes I look back at our life and don’t see it as amazing or inspirational, many of these students did! As I was able to answer questions posed from the group, it was only natural to give examples from our life story – true examples that were evidence of lives where there are no coincidences. One of the coolest things that took place that night was the telling of their own stories. While they may only be 22 years old, each of them have a story or at least the beginnings of one. And each story can help someone – but only if it’s told!
My story isn’t over yet! I’m convinced the chapters that are about to unfold will be some of the most exciting yet! While I don’t really have a clear direction for the next chapters, I’m sure they will end in ways that are worth retelling!