Messy, Muddy & Murky Faith

  I’ve frequently thought of faith being this clean, powerful, superhero, handsome, supernatural ideal. Like if faith was a person, it would be stylish, muscular, manicured, well appointed, organized & timely – maybe like Captain America in The Avengers. Indeed, when I read about the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, they all seem powerful, competent, effective & generally great role models, mostly. 
In actual truth, when I look at these heroes more deeply as well as my daily attempts to live a faithful & faith-filled life, it often feels messy, murky & muddy. The outcomes of faith are very appealing but the walk & work of faith isn’t quite as pristine & manicured. It seems to me that faith is both a walk & a process. We love the results but sometimes we want to escape the work, uncertainty, mess & process that precede the outcomes. 

Just because faith can be messy, murky & muddy doesn’t mean we should quit. Indeed, the process is worth the results :)

Waiting in the Flood

Noah waited in the ark 150 days during the flood cataclysm. When I read that recently, it caught my attention & I began to imagine what that was like for him, surrounded with his family & the animal hordes traveling with him in the ark. I would suspect there was heaps of panic initially, probably fear, anxiety, uncertainty & likely some worry to boot. Being “trapped” in the ark while the earth was deluged from above & below, water thundering on the ark with animals & humans pitching back & forth – this doesn’t sound very appealing. But the other option, drowning in the deluge, wasn’t such a whippy alternative. So the people in the ark could chose, initially between living or dying. Clearly, they chose to stay alive. From that decision, then they needed to manage their fear, uncertainty & anxiety, pausing 150 days in the ark. 
Sometimes we find ourselves in “pause” mode & maybe see / hear disasters happening all around us. In these situations, I find my salvation alone in keeping my focus on Jesus & my mind set on the Holy Spirit – Rom 8:5. Listening to & watching the circumstances around us can be debilitating. Make the long term decision to keep your thoughts & focus on Jesus, no matter what :)

Happy Birthday!!!

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I’m super pumped to celebrate an amazing birthday throughout this whole year!  Saving Moses is five years old this year & I’m incredibly amazed at what has happened in the last five years:

  • we have four nightcare centers currently in Cambodia with almost 100 babies receiving genuine love and a chance for a different future than their moms
  • we have six malnutrition clinics in Angola that provide malnutrition formula for babies and toddlers, many of whom are literally at death’s door
  • we are doing phenomenal work in rural Afghanistan with immunizing babies and helping educate families for safe birthing practices
  • numerous smaller projects like assisting babies whose parents died from ebola & providing earthquake relief for babies & toddlers in Nepal

So here’s a special invitation for you to celebrate your birthday with us this year.  Take a brief moment to go to our birthday club link and join our celebration on your birthday this year!

Happy birthday to you and Saving Moses!!

A God Smile

The other day I surprisingly arrived early for a party & was waiting on the fringes for the festivities to begin. There weren’t many people there yet, which was good for me, so I could get my introvert self in socializing mode. As I was prepping myself, this random dude walked over & was super friendly. Initially, I don’t think I was very cordial, doing that introvert porcupine thing. But as we talked, I learned that the guy had studied Biblical Greek – YAHOOO!!!! Furthermore, as we talked, I learned that he’d also studied Biblical Hebrew – an added boon!!!! He was WAY smarter than me & I totally enjoyed talking with him & learning new stuff. 
The party turned out to be totally enjoyable &

when I finally left, I felt God wink at me with a pleasing smile. 

Seems to me that God enjoys blessing us with stuff He knows that we will uniquely enjoy – making a deep connection with us not only in big things but also in seemingly small perks along the way. 

Remember that God smiles on you this day!

waiting & wanting

Cormon,_Fernand_-_Cain_flying_before_Jehovah's_Curse  Have you ever waited to acquire something you wanted?  It seems to me that waiting & wanting go together like peas & carrots, almost complementary.  Things that I’ve waited for & wanted include:  a new coat, a camera lense, opening nightcare in India, surgery on my shoulder & lots of other stuff.

Recently, I read about sin waiting forwanting Cain in Genesis 4, related to the tension between Abel & Cain about their respective sacrifices.  God confronted Cain in verse 7 and told him, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”  Sin was waiting for & wanting Cain but God told him that he needed to master sin & not be mastered by sin.

I honestly think that sin also waits for & wants us as well.  Sin wants to control us, creating chaos & destruction in our lives if we cave in to it’s desires.  Cain surrendered to sin and lived a vagrant and tormented life.  Let’s learn from Cain’s downfall & master sin rather than let sin master us.  Indeed, Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace”  Just because sin is waiting for & wanting you doesn’t mean that you have to be it’s victim.  Let the Holy Spirit strengthen you on the inside to overcome the seductions of sin!

Hot Topic: Donald Trump Loses in Iowa

I woke up this morning to learn that Donald Trump lost to Ted Cruz in the Iowa republican caucuses. Seems like a lot of people think this is important for selecting a Republican candidate for the Presidential election in November. I also read about how China is cracking down on Christianity  again.  And of course, there’s the continuing crisis in the Middle East with refugees, ISIS, Syria and more.

All the while these big events are happening throughout the world, here in Denver we have a snow day, so my kids are enjoying sledding and the boon of some extra free time.  Personally, I like the shoveling exercise & the opportunity to reflect upon both big and small events.

Whatever is happening for you today, let’s remain committed to pray for the community in which we live, the city / town where we work & our nation.  Let’s not be afraid of the future and let’s keep our focus and confidence in our all-knowing and all-powerful God, who loves us far more than we could grasp with our finite minds.

Our heavenly Father demonstrated the immensity of His love for us by sending His only Son in the flesh to live out the human experience, expressing genuine love throughout His life.

Remember that Jesus is God’s selfie ,)

Failing at Leadership

This week I failed at some leadership stuff – I hate failing when I know I can do better, hate it :(
Over the years, I’ve been in lots of different leadership roles, learning & growing heaps! Leadership is certainly an honor & weight. With that said, I think I learn the most from hearing about leadership failures & not just successes. So here are some of my failures as a leader & maybe you’ll find them helpful sometime:

  • communication shortfall – people can’t read my mind & it’s my responsibility to communicate clearly
  • insecurity – letting my insecurities bleed into my various leadership roles has left me with stupid, messy & unnecessary problems
  • proactive – it’s not helpful when I’m passive & don’t provide direction or anticipate obvious needs
  • arrogance – this was really stupid because my pride prevented me from learning & it was hurtful to the people I was leading
  • impulsive – there’s stuff in my personality where I can be impulsive & not strategic; this creates instability, confusion & sabotages teamwork

I know that I have boatloads more failures in my leadership experiences but I’m committed to grow & make new mistakes ,)