In The Presence of the Almighty

I started this journal to express the many ways my life has been touched since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord. I hope to share joys, struggles, testimonies and anything I might receive from the Lord. My prayer is that anyone who reads my entries may receive in a way that is necessary for where they are at in life. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you as you come along my journey.

Location: Ontario, Canada

I am a full time wife and stay at home Mom. I am married to a man who places the Lord first above all else. I am embracing this season in my life to be a Mom and look forward to having more children. My husband and I will raise them in the ways of the Lord.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

In Pursuit of Him

For those that may have already read this post, I apologize, I decided to edit and re-publish.

A few days ago, I finally finished the third of three books. Praise the Lord! Now I have to write a 12 page critical book review. This is part of a course I am taking called 'Gospel in Action'. It was also tied into my trip to Vancouver.

As I read this last book, there were many moments I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me, nudging ever so gently. Reading these books had me reflect on some of the things I have had to endure since following the call of God on my life. One of those areas is in finances. It has been a struggle and is a walk of faith. As I realized how tight things were the other day, I could only make partial payments on some of my bills. I just said, 'I trust you Lord'. I really do. I know you will provide.

I decided to call my Mom to let her know how things were and that I was moving next week for sure. My Brother answered the phone. Of course we got on the subject of finances and I let him know how nice it was that I only had to pay the landlord half of my deposit for now. I mentioned that work was slow, only 16.5 hours this week. Well, later that evening, I found out I will be receiving an early birthday gift to help out with expenses. My birthday is 5 weeks away, but it will be perfect timing. At the end of the month I need $750.00, next week I need well over $300.00. This week I am only made $150.00. Next week, I am scheduled with less hours and will make less than that. Praise the Lord for His provision!

By the way, some of this gift is from my Brother whom is not a Christian, but I believe will be one day. He said that so many times I gave him thought gifts, and told me how much he had appreciated all those times. Now, he was able to do things for me. I write this with tears in my eyes. The Lord has done so many tremendous things with my family. The Lord gave me a dream early 2002 that said I would be bringing my family to the Lord. After that, my Mom and Stepfather both became born again. My Father, although he has not officially become born again, calls Jesus his Lord. I taught him how to pray, and he speaks with blessings toward me, always acknowledging God. My brother asks questions, but has not become born again.

In this dream the Lord gave me in 2002, there had been a great snowstorm. There was ice and lots of snow. My job was to delegate what it is each member of my family had to do in order to save the house. My brother decided to borrow the neighbour's snowblower. It was the middle of the night and he had taken it without permission. We all worked through the night. In the morning, my Brother returned the snowblower to the neighbour and apologized for having taken it without permission. He also offered to replace the gas he had used. The neighbour said, 'Don't worry about it son.' He placed his hand on my brothers's back and then said, 'Let's go catch some fish.'

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was when I woke up from my dream. Since then, I have seen radical transformations in my family. Just the other day, after my Dad realized I broke up with my boyfriend, he offered words of comfort. He said, "Don't worry Karen God is with you always." Wow! I sense the power of the Holy Spirit, even now as I write this post. The Lord is doing a beautiful work and I want to glorify His holy name! Thank you Lord!!!

See how the Lord works? I came in to write one thing and it turned into a wonderful testimony! However, I still have it upon my heart to write a couple of paragraphs from the book I just finished reading, which ties into the things you encounter as you pursue the call of God. This book is called, "Churches that Make a Difference - Reaching your Community with Good News and Good Works" by Ronald J. Sider, Philip N. Olson and Heidi Rolland Unruh. I will quote from pages 309-310:

It is no coincidence that many of the great moments in salvation history start out with a trek through the wilderness. Abraham, Moses and the Israelites, and Jesus all found themselves wandering through the desert after responding to God's calling. As your congregation answers God's invitation to join in holistic mission, you can expect to pass through the wilderness. You will most likely encounter the test of inadequate finances, personnel, and space. You will endure temptations to turn aside, turn away, slow down, speed up, and sell out. You will struggle to develop ministry leaders who share the holistic vision, are passionate servants of the Lord, and can work together as a team. As Nehemiah faced the taunts of Sanballat and Tobiah as he worked to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem (Neh.4:1-3), you will experience opposition to the ministry, from outside as well as inside the congregation.

If your congregation (and particularly its leadership) is committed to the Lord, to one another, and to love of neighbour, these trials will not derail God's plan for your church. It is in the desert that the Holy Spirit teaches us key truths, tests our character and purpose, and strengthens us for ministry. God's strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Through costs, change, and conflict, God pours out onto the church his boundless, all-sufficient love, power and grace - which we then proclaim in our evangelism and demonstrate in our works of compassion and justice. A congregation that ventures into holistic ministry can thus share Paul's confidence "that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).

This book was written to help churches pursue, develop and implement an holistic vision and ministry. There are many aspects of this book that would equally assist you in your pursuit of God. It also opens up your eyes in different areas, stretches you cerebrally to understand the sociological problems we face and how the church is intertwined.

On a final note, I am blessed and thankful for having the opportunity to work on this assignment. If not, I would not have read this book. I am thankful for the encouragement I received. As I walk through my wilderness with the Lord, I will remember some of these words. Now, over the next couple of days, I will trust God as I write my critical book review. I will trust that He will grant me clarity, patience, joy and peace.


Blogger pete porter said...

I am glad to hear your testimony of the faithfulness of God to show us things to come and to instruct us. I heard a prophesy once that said that God will make sure that we see, and that we hear, and sure that we have understanding of the things we need. I though I would share that with you.
Be Blessed,

May 08, 2005 8:41 p.m.  
Blogger Karen said...

Thank you for sharing that with me. It did indeed speak to my spirit. God Bless You!

May 09, 2005 12:54 a.m.  

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