Friday, February 13, 2009

Baby Steps Toward Great Leaps of Faith

Well, it is officially 6 days away now. This past week has been a real challenge, as there have been various last minute arrangements to make and things being thought of that needed to be added to to-do lists, along with placing items where the final packing can be calculated and done. It is no easy task and I am so glad that Karen is here to ask the big questions like, “Have you contacted the insurance company yet?” or “Do you want to take one small bottle of shampoo or several small ones?” While seeming like trivia in some contexts the later may have just as much bearing on the outcome of the trip as the previous question. Ha! It is all in the details.

I digress. You will noted that from time to time, as I challenge myself to the stay on track, that I like to to lend colour to my jaunts through the timing and the elements of what has happened. I do it so that I can remind myself and other interested parties, that there is both reason and method to what we do, as we interact with situations day to day. I hear so many people say, “I am so addle-brained”. I know that is a local saying, but when taking as stated, there is that amazement at the amount of time we scratch our heads and wonder if we are actually making headway or losing ground. Mere confrontation with the complexities of the daily needs and challenges are nothing against the extremes to which we may be called, by situation, family or God.

I guess I am in the midst of the later. This call did not place me in any great stress or jeopardy, yet there have been moments of concern. Three fundraising events were planned, and only one of those was planned as a major thrust with considerable time and organization needed to undertake. It was by my personal request and done by our former ministry team from His Place Ministries. Karen and I thought that if God wanted me on this trip, that He would move the hearts of people and I would go. Two months into the 10 weeks of preparation time given and I still needed over half of the project moneys needed. I did stand in the kitchen one morning and wonder if I would need to wait on the Lord again... it seems like that has been our routine in the years of Ministry in His vineyard.

I had nothing to fear in those few moments, but Satan delights in asking the question, “So where is the promise God made... you are being faithful.... Is He?... you are not halfway there and there is only 2 weeks left!” It isn’t that I was doubting my call to this task, this ministry, this challenge of faith, but.... YES I WAS!!!!... I felt myself being drawn in that short second, to the edge of the situation and being asked to look into the face of the enormity of the task, through my human eyes, not my Spiritual eyes. It was like God reached down His hand and touched my shoulder and said, “Why be thinking about that... you have work to do.... I am in control?” I could not stay there, I had to move on. My eyes turned from the Funds thermometer on the fridge to my Bible and there was no turning back.

Well, it is hard to describe the next week. The days were flying by and we had appointments, responsibilities, illness... as I go a cold, and family needs. My mind has since been on the loss of a fellow member of the teaching team whose wife has fallen very ill and is now in the ICU in Halifax. He had to withdraw and now the extra load of the courses being offered is far from my mind...his personal needs for care of wife and family and her need for the Lord’s love and Grace to sustain her through this moment in time is what is important. And all the while those baby steps, that I was taking in faith (that is what they were really), were the first steps towards a great leap of faith that this trip and ministry will be.

How like life is that? Each day I take those sometimes wobbly steps, not always sure of how I can do it or where they will take me, but certain of this one thing... At the end of the day, when the pathways have diminished and the travels are over, there is our Great God, who had the Great Plan and He is offering a Great Eternity. It takes a great leap of faith to make it work and yet it entails just those baby steps of dependence upon not only what God can do, but what has been accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord already. I see more and more each day that this is not about anything that I am doing, but about the faithfulness to the task to which I am called... it is all about Him... the giver of life, the granter of life, the blessing of life. He is my God.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Steps - Preps - Visits

I know it doesn’t quite have the ring that I envisioned. Well, not everything works out the way we want it all the time. I guess that has been the thought for the week. I’d actually been thinking this week of the value of what I am about to undertake, the maybe even the reality of travel, especially since it is so far and all. What if I get there and something happens back home, was my first question. I take things like that seriously and shouldn’t I? I am not a worry-wort... I don’t think. It is just a good question that I asked myself. I have a pregnant daughter who might need me for some unknown reason. My son is trying to get moved into his house and well, there are all those last minute electrical things. I have another daughter who is preparing for a trip to England and what if she needs something? The biggest thoughts were the what ifs... for Karen and home? Well, in the great scheme of things I decided that all these things belong to God, not me. We are all in His care day to day and why should I worry about the little things that I can blow out of proportion or context and thus diminish that to which I am being called. Well, maybe because I am human.... but not enough reason not to give God His due and His ownership of my life, my family and my goods.

Yes, it has been a journey and each trip takes the “Steps” and the “Preps” to get ready. We are underway quite well I think and it has been made even more real and exciting by the visit of our fearless leaders Rev. Dr. Shant Manuel and his dear wife Ginny. They spent the evening with us yesterday and will be bringing the message today at our Temple Service. We found out some interesting facts about the culture, what we would experience, what not to take or flaunt amidst the masses... I guess there are the masses! I am looking forward to the experiences what I will find there. Can you in your minds eyes imagine a different culture. I have tried before on some of the trips we have taken. Even a minor cross-cultural experience can change a life... I am having trouble getting my heard around this one though. My friends Bobbi and Ira could likely lend me lots of stories of how it can be a shock while also being a wonderful experience... Bobbi has .... she is a wonderful communicator and I’ve followed their ministry in Mexico.

Well, I thought that I would add a few thoughts about the week. I hope to get time each week while I am there to jot down a few thoughts on the Bog for your enjoyment of the ministry there and for your focus on prayer for us. In the meant time I am surrounded by a hundred other things that will need to be done before I can go and I will get what I can accomplish in and leave the rest for my return...brave or pure folly, I am not sure, but hey.... life brings all kinds of “stuff” sometime and it takes a real saint to be able to filter it all and not leave something really important out any of the time.

If you are interested... keep praying for us... Prayer is the power-house of the ministry! Your prayers and mine can make the difference for what can be accomplished and what God wants accomplished.

Blessings till the next time