Oct2ThuOctober 2, 2014
Today is the end of another month and for me the greatest realization is that I’ve been running on fumes. I have been so consumed with the ‘project’ of turning a house around (our Ferndale #reno – see last month’s blog) that I have had no margins, no Sabbath! Every chance I have had, I have made the trip to 52 Ferndale Avenue. I have been so consumed, I asked the neighbour to turn on their outside lights so I could keep adding facia and soffit working till 10:30pm at night. The other neighbor remarked, ‘the house that Jack built’. The only problem with a project like this is that the work isn’t finished at the end of the day, end of the week, end of the month. I still have time lines and I really want to be finished by Thanksgiving but I’m learning that I’m not in control of the job every day. I have plans, I depend on other trades and workers as well. When they don’t show or someone is sick, the process slows down. Here’s a newsflash, I don’t do slow very well. I have a hard time just sitting down and being in the moment. Sit me down for any length of time and I will probably either get very restless or I will fall asleep in any position.
So, for the first time in a long time I went to bed early last night and I woke up early and spent time in His presence and it was so amazing. I started my journal with a confession. LORD, this house has been so consuming and it has left me without margins. I need to restore intimacy and relationship with You. I need to explore the depths of Your love, grace and mercy. Thank You for every new morning! Drench me with you Spirit like the rain drenching the ground. May I soak in Your living presence. Then I waited and listened and sensed His voice.
Jack, draw near and live. Draw deep from the depths of my love, drink from my cistern and I will fill you up.
Another confession, Forgive me for going so long without resting in You.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
Howard Hendricks, who was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, is credited with saying, ‘75% of spirituality begins with a good night’s rest!’
Those who flourish in their lives with God have a Spirit –initiated rule of life, a rhythm of practices that enables them to welcome and respond to Jesus. Ken Shigematsu
Grace is not opposed to effort but to earning. Dallas Williard We cannot earn our life with God – it’s a gift. Bue we are to make every effort to add to our faith, goodness…knowledge and love. See 2 Peter 1:5-7
I know that personally my life has been out of balance and it is often in times of transition that we are at the greatest risk to losing rhythm especially in the case of a significant change in our work schedule. More than anything I need to rediscover that.
We started praying over the house every day too… and I lost that rhythm. I took time to start the day with prayer and I can’t tell you how amazing it was from finding the exact size vanity for the bathroom and laundry tub we needed at the ReStore to the perfect windows and tiles for the basement at Rona to the berber at the Carpet Store. I learned to live freely and lightly in the midst of this project!
Ministry at the Manor
So, our ministry at the Manor continues to take a life of its own as well. I have been told for one that I am a nice F____in pastor! That’s a first! I have been able to use our van to help one of the guys who lives at Sue’s Inn get his trough and materials to his work sites.
As we continue to work on the reno at Ferndale, we have hired some of the guys who attend our services and they have done great work from hanging drywall to framing and plumbing. Some of the days they have been feeling sick with tooth pain or have been dealing with back pain for example. It has led to some intense times of prayer and also healing has been experienced, praise God! They have joined in the prayer as well and seen God work. They have shared how they feel ‘100x better’ Wow, I say, God is good!
Sharon has also taken on the role as ‘surety’ for a young lady and we have seen God at work with her as well.
It really in many ways resembles the way transformation takes place on the house we are working on. People are not a projects that you complete in one day, one week, one month. Yes, I know people aren’t projects, but what I do see is that transformation continues to take place and our goal is to call out of them what Father God created them to be! They need to see their full potential much like people are beginning to now see the full potential of our reno! Timeline is fuzzy too, we have a date in mind to be done the house and yes we want to see the people we are working with completely free, but they are on God’s timeline and we cling to the promise of Philippians 1:6 for them. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it!
So, one more shout out to Maggie Barrato who spoke to us this past month and was so amazingly used by the Spirit of God to remind us of our mission to call the heart of the orphan to their true calling as children of their Heavenly Father!