Doubts, Direction, and the Pause

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So I’ve been back in the swing of out of state relational ministry travels this winter. It has been such a full, beautiful time with many opportunities to see God’s movement in the lives of so many and encourage those near and far from Jesus to come closer.

During this particular travel season, I’ve found God stretching me a bit further in my faith than before. Over the years, the Lord has shown me in this itinerant, relational ministry work we’re doing together how critical it is for me to pray, consistently abide in Him, and seek His direction for where He wants us to go and when and how long. And as usual, He’s been faithfully giving answers…

But lately it definitely hasn’t been in quite the timing I prefer. =/

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With Spirit-led Compassion: Reaching Out to the Displaced, the Broken, and the Refugee (Part 1)

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Over the past several days and weeks, I feel like our general (U.S.) American consciousness is being more and more awakened. We’ve witnessed recent world events that have really served to spotlight the issues of the years of unrest and injustice in Syria (and, if I may add, other places like it).

I just finished reading a thoughtful article about the missional component of the current Syrian situation (Thanks, Facebook friend!). As the author of the above article writes, by inviting more refugees from a geographical context that is, at best, less open to Christianity (or, at worst, outright hostile as reported by news outlets like WSJ and the Independent) to one where it is freely practiced, it’s true: we’re offering not just a safe place to live, but the opportunity to more readily learn of and choose to follow Jesus.

But when I consider the situation going on today in Syria and related parts of the world, I really think there are multiple layers to address, not just one. And so there are a host of questions weighing on my heart and mind. Continue reading

In Case of Disappointment, Break Glass (Part 4): Waiting for His Word

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This is the final post in a 4-part series. Read part 1: Heart Check.

For some of us, we are so stymied by the recent events of our lives that there are no more expectations to let go. You know what I say to that?

Good.

Why is it good? Well, when God clears the table of our expectations, we’re right where He wants us — a clean slate! Will we surrender the slate to Him, the canvas of our lives to paint the master work of art that He desires and put down our childish fingerpaints?

And for those still numbed by the sting of a disappointment delivered or the crushing blow we are in the throes of receiving, will we stop and recognize that the same God Who “gives and takes away” also takes away and gives? Continue reading

In Case of Disappointment, Break Glass (Part 3): Make Room

sherjc.com_lace_curtain_cirThis is the second post in a 4-part series. Read part 2: Frustrated Desire and Faith.

A few minutes into my heart-to-heart with the Father about those pesky missing lace curtains, I remembered God’s specific word that morning:

“Make room…for Me to move.”

I reflected some more on this instruction from Him. Then, I found myself telling my weakness to God, declaring His truth, and expressing my gratitude regardless of how I felt at the time. I confessed my inability to imagine a better circumstance than what I had originally planned. I declared by faith that I believed what He said. I thanked Him for even telling me ahead of the disappointment!

Then, I looked up at my semi-clad window with my unfinished vision of what could be, sighed, and decided to release it to Him. God knows better than I do and has better in store; otherwise, He would not have said so. I thanked Him for allowing this chain of events and using silly lace curtains to draw me to Himself.

And slowly along the way, I found comfort in Him. Continue reading