22 February 2010

Living on the Edge

This week Pastor Nate talked about one of my favorite stories in scripture... Joshua's encounter with the Angel of the Lord before the battle of Jericho. (Joshua 5:13)

This is the beginning of a new series (well... old in the sense that we have talked about this subject over and over again, but new as in we are talking about it again and coming out of our series on the Voice of God) called Living God's Dreams.

This is the part where you should stop and go listen to the podcast... Click on the title of this post to go to the Stirring's podcast page if you weren't there on Sunday, then come back and finish reading. :)

Nate is a good friend and he knows what we are going through. He was telling our story as he talked about Joshua. If you listened to the sermon, you will understand what I mean when I say that I feel like we are right on the edge of living out God's dreams...but there is this huge wall. I know that this is the dream God has given us and He will accomplish it, but I am so tired of the silence and so ready for the trumpets! God please make these walls come down or else give us a new vision, but don't make us march around the walls one more day!

After selling almost all of our belongings (and deciding that as spoiled Americans, we still have way too much stuff!) we moved in with my mom. That was stressful and crazy for everyone but good for our finances. Then our friends needed some house-sitting for a few months, so we were able to do that until they came home a few weeks ago. It was great to have our own space and have some rest. When we left there mom said she was moving in with grandma and we had to find another place for our dog and our stuff, so we moved in with another friend. This friend is fostering puppies and I have found that I am allergic to the smell and have been getting migraines almost daily in addition to the constant pain from the fibroid tumor. So, we are homeless once again and in search of a place to call home at least temporarily. It just seems that we are in limbo once again... Needing a place to call our own, yet wanting to save every penny so we can go on our vision trip. I have been looking for work, but in so much pain every day I'm not sure I even can work. Our stuff is all in storage and we are thinking about just getting a PO Box and pitching a tent in someone's back yard...

This feels like sacrifice and like we are working towards the dreams God has given us, but is it really? Or is it just indecision and lack of finances? Is there a balance between "this world is not our home" and meeting basic needs like shelter and safety? Should we be looking at renting an apartment or sharing a home and living in community? Should we really pitch a tent or stay in a bed and breakfast? What does it really mean to live God's dreams? I have a dream for a Nation to know Jesus and to not be under the influence of the enemy. For a people to know the power and love and freedom of Christ. For a church to rise up and be strong in the face of the enemy. This is not my own dream. It is so much bigger than me. It was given to me ... it is a God dream. But is this the time that He will accomplish this dream? Will he really use me to do it? Or does God have another purpose for me to live in this generation?

These are the questions that are my existence. This is my world of living in limbo. of waiting. As we wait, we pray. We seek God. We ask for Him to speak through the silence and to give us direction, vision, wisdom. This week as we fast and pray, will you pray with us?

I write this as I battle another migraine, so forgive me as I end poorly. I am going to try to find a quiet place to rest for a few hours before Matthew gets off work.

Thanks to my friends who have been there encouraging us and who have offered their homes for our temporary sanity. Thanks for being there and for praying. You are the blessing that keeps us going!

17 February 2010

Heartfelt Valentine's Day

For years I have listened to my pastor speak about God's purpose for this generation and heard his heart for the lost, lonely, and disconnected youth of our city. I must admit that as much as I have supported and been a part of this church since it's inception, I have felt a bit disconnected from this passion for people in our city because I have been so focused on Indonesia. I know that God's heart is for Redding and Indonesia and that in some way I was limiting him by not reaching out in my own community. Tonight as I was hurrying home I saw people walking on the side walk as I drove past. I surprised myself by realizing that my normal response is actually pretty judgemental. I think about all the resources that are available to people and the choices that people make to stay in poverty. Then something strange and wonderful happened. I felt for one instant the reality of the brokenness of the lost of our city. It was only a moment but it was powerful. It is those moments when the head knowledge moves to your heart and you can begin to see and feel a change in your spirit. These are the moments that I live for.

This has not been a very exciting Valentine's Day, but it was memorable. This year it was not about hearts and chocolate and flowers and kisses, but about true love. About knowing God's love for me and for this world... and every person in it.