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I received a wonderful gift in the mail from a ministry we support called Macedonian Call Ministries. http://acts169.org/ Its founder is a dear pastor friend of ours, Murrill Boitnott. He was our pastor for most of the first nine years of our marriage. He taught us to love God, love each other, and follow hard after God. He has been a leader in our lives our entire married life. When we made the difficult decision to move to Michigan in 1990, he was there to encourage us to follow where God was leading. And, amazingly, one year later, he followed us to Life Action Ministries, where he faithfully served until God moved him to start his own ministry. We have been supporters of Macedonian Call Ministries since its inception. We have watched his family grow up, and two of his girls marry wonderful men of God.
One of his daughters, Holly, is married to Stephen Furtick, the pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.http://elevationchurch.org/ He has written several books, which I highly recommend. The first was Sun Stand Still.http://www.sunstandstill.org/ If you are having trouble believing God is active and real, read this book. It will blow your socks off. It is a quick read, and I have a copy if you would like to borrow it. It really helped me see God more clearly and give me a vision for the future.
Now, back to the start of the story. You know, the part that I said I had received a wonderful gift. It is the latest devotional version of Stephen's latest book called: >GREATER. And on the back cover it says, "dream bigger. start smaller. Ignite God's vision for your life."
I have been discouraged of late, and this book is putting the courage back in my heart.
I Always have more plans than I have time for. And when a computer glitch causes a hiccup in addition to my normal crazy, unpredictable life, it usually causes me to get frustrated, feel sorry for myself, and make my little world fall down. I know it shouldn't, but my little world is so fragile sometimes I just can't hold it together. But God is still teaching me how to trust him and often the smallest things teach me the greatest lessons.
And He has spoken clearly and deeply these last few days. And I am in grateful awe. So while I feel like I have been overly busy and "overly whelmed", I also feel overly blessed. But there is still more. Still more He wants to teach me about being still and knowing- knowing I AM in the present, and in the presents. There is still a disconnect for me. I still have difficulty holding Him close, and not getting distracted with the trappings and trimmings. But again, God is still teaching. It just seems like I am such a slow learner!
If you have been following the last few days, you know I have been learning a lot about being still and knowing, and how I AM is With Us. Immanuel.
Today is no exception. Yesterday I found out some difficult news about one of my far-away children. And it is hard to put my head around. But because He has had me in school for the past few months, it was easier to get in my seat in His Classroom than doing my usual pacing around in my heart trying to hear Him over the noise of my hard beating heart. I have been able to quiet myself so I can rest in Him and hear His voice.
Out of "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young He clearly spoke, " Make Me the focal point of your search for security...When you rprivate world feels unsteady and you grop My hand for support, you are living in conscious dependence on Me. ...rejoice that trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence."
It has been a doosy of a day. I won't bore you with all the minute details, but this day has been very full, and full of ups, and downs.
On the upside, We were able to do #ouradventcheer today, and you can see it on twitter and instagram. But if you don't go there, we blessed a dear friend who happens to clean my house with a Christmas tree. Ivy is a single mom, and cleans houses for a living. She has very little time for herself, and we thought it would be fun to get her a tree today so she wouldn't have to waste time doing that, so she could just go home and set it up and decorate it. She was so excited, and I was going to post video, but....
On the down side, as I was working on editing the video, somehow my computer crashed. It must have gotten a virus or something, and although I can still use facebook, it is running very s-l-o-w-l-y and will not load video. And, I am writing this from my hubby's computer because I cannot even access this website from my Macbook. So I guess I will be going to Experimac tomorrow morning to see if they can salvage it. Yuck.
And that wasn't the worst of it.
It is still so surprising to me that I can be so encouraged one day, and write inspiring words about Being still and Knowing God, and so sad the next.
Be Still and Know that I Am. God.
Yes, I put that period there. It is a little different, but I like it there. I know I am taking liberties here, but indulge me for a minute.
I put it there to remind me that He Is. The one who is the Great I AM from the Old Testament is IMMANUEL- God with us, from the New. And this season, I need reminding of that. I need to remember that He Is. AND that He is With Me.
I sometimes have a hard time trusting. Believing, even that He exists. Even after all He has done for me, and even though I know the Word of God is full of real stories that really happened to real people just like me, I still, sometimes randomly, am tempted to doubt. Sometimes I wonder if I really can trust. If I really can believe.
It is in those moments that I have to stand on the truth that I know, and repeat Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."
Whew! The first week of December just flew by! We had a whirlwind of activity. On December 3rd, we drove up to Kennedy Space Center, to view the launch of NASA's latest endevor: Orion. If you haven't heard, America has kicked it up in the space exploration department, and is testing Orion to go back to the moon, and beyond. It was so exciting- and so disappointing. The launch failed, as we sat in the bleachers waiting. And waiting. And waiting. We got to KSC at 2:45 AM. Yes, thats right. I said AM. We were on the bleachers by 3:00 AM. And the launch was scheduled for 7:05. So we sat. It was a bit windy and chilly, but all was a go. Until there was a boat in the "danger zone". So they delayed. And then the countdown began again. But then the winds were too high, from the wrong direction. And then, a valve failure. And then, the window of opportunity was gone before we knew it. So at 9:45 AM, we walked back in the Saturn 5 building (along with 16,000 other people) to await a bus to take us back to the Visitors Center and parking area. Then we drove the 3 hours back home. Only to rinse-repeat the very next morning. We got home at 4:00 PM, and got up again at 1:00 to leave to go back. To sit on the bleachers until 7:05. Then the launch actually happened without a hitch. Actually, it was a little anti-climatic. It was not as spectacular as the other launch we saw earlier this year. But it was amazing to be there for this historic day. I am so glad we went.
So, you may ask, "Why did you go?"
Faith celebrated her 14th birthday on Friday, December 5th. And it was the only thing she really wanted for her birthday. And you see, she wants to be an astronaut and someday go to the ISS. And Josiah wants to design and build rockets to take us there. So I have to go. I want to go. I am so blessed to be able to go.
And I lost so much of my life a few years back when the sorrow overtook me, that it is my joy to be able to go.