Tag Archives: speak life
People used to ask me two questions pretty often –
- So, how do you find the people you minister to?
- How do you raise the money to run the ministry?
To both questions, I had two responses:
- I used to say all kinds of stuff – formulas, graphs, projections, plans, statistics, would come barreling out of my mouth like some slickly packaged network marketing life coach.
but now, a little grayer, a little broken by the Lover of my soul…
- I just stick to the wiser truth that’s been beaten into my head dozens of times over the past 4-1/2 years with a spiritual 2″x4″ by the loving God who has called us to do this work:
“I… Don’t… Know.”
God Doesn’t Need Our Help
Recently, my friend Dan Diaddigo published on of his incredibly cogent and insightful newsletters where he notes:
“Inside normal men are gods. Because inside normal we can manage events and predict our outcomes. A wise man knows that life is not normal and that he is not God.”
See, in the past, when I’ve answered either of those questions, my answer came from a veiled arrogance fueled by a need to prove myself competent to wiser men. All the while, I was showing myself to be a fool to those who’ve ever answered the call to “walk by faith, not by sight”. Humbling.
Today, I published a brief story about a local family in need. I did it out of a sense of knee-jerk desperation because… well… more than 12 hours had gone by since my first post and fundraising wasn’t going according to my plan. You know, “managing events and predicting outcomes…” What’s annoying about this is I’ve done this kind of thing before. What’s amazing about this is that God has answered my prayers often within hours of me “helping Him out”, reminding me that it is He who is God and not me, He who is provider, not me, He who holds outcomes in His hands… not me.
Is this a pity party? No! It’s a humble “Go, God!” party. I can’t imagine the article was up for more than 10 minutes before the $140 need we had made known was satisfied in full by one donation made by a friend who we haven’t seen personally in at least a year. God, in His mercy, used someone I’d never have written a support letter to, never have texted or inboxed on Facebook to answer a call for this family in need. So, party on you awesome lover of Christ – and thank you, publicly and anonymously for your hair trigger obedience to God’s prompting to give. Thank you, for Speaking Life to a family in need of a little sunlight on their leaves. And, party on, God – You who made the heavens and earth and see the depths of my heart, yet love me the same.
For those who read the story – the family in need will now have a roof over their head for the next week, maybe even more. We can still use a gas card or two to keep them on the road to their jobs, but the matching gift has been met. If you read their story and still feel compelled to help them or Seasons of Life Ministries, we welcome you to support now or anytime at http://bit.ly/solmsupport.
Praise God, for His amazing faithfulness, mercy, and grace.
humbled in His shadow,
This morning, our young daughter, Presleigh, went outside with Mommy to water some flowers in our yard and tend the garden growing in several 18 gallon plastic bins we’ve planted. When I followed up on their work, I noticed there were a few leaves on a sweet potato plant that were turning yellow. Not cool. However, with just a single lifted finger, I was able to move the soil off the leaf and expose it to the sun again. Tomorrow, I expect to see that leaf thriving and in a few more weeks, producing.
After several phone calls and a bit of prayer, I finally got to meet “Alex”. He called us yesterday after searching the internet for ministries in this part of town. Frankly, I was skeptical even getting the call, as we’ve never had someone just “look us up” on the web like that. After his wife, had suffered a hernia, she
missed a lot of work and found themselves in a very hard place. About a week ago, they found help from St. Vincent’s. He and his family of 3 had been put up at a local extended stay hotel for the week while they tried to get back on their feet. He seemed a little frantic when he called, explained his story, and asked if we could help.
I did a little asking. He did some more explaining. They had been covered by the soil of circumstance and turning a bit yellow, like my sweet potato leaves. But, there was still life in them. They still had hope – in the Lord, in the work they were already doing, and in the belief that with a few fingers lifted on their behalf, they would again see the same vibrant life my flimsy sweet potato plant is destined to produce.
They’re both employed right now, her here in Cumming and him about 20 miles away at a fast food restaurant. With a 6 year old son, they alternate work while the other is watching him. But, because of her physical limitations and his time taking care of her while she was injured, their checks for this past week were about $60 each after taxes. Alex had already begun looking for work that would lower their gas consumption. For now, he’s remained faithful to his employer while battling the uncertainty of “how” God would bridge the gap between now and next paycheck.
“I’ve got to get to work today, but I just don’t know where the gas is going to come from to get me from Cumming to Gainesville and back…” A little soil, a little yellow, but a lot of hope on the horizon: today when we met, he was back from an interview for a second job, here in Cumming. He was completely overwhelmed and noticeably choked up when we handed him the gas card you supporters provided him. “When God does something for you [in Christ] that you can never repay, it’s just really humbling.” I was unsure whether the tears were because of what he knows in Christ or the gift he’d just received. Neither was he.
Thank you, to those who are helping.
We talked about faith, God’s ability to provide, and His amazing track record in “Alex’s” family up to now. With one eye looking up, he remembers God is faithful. But, with the other eye on the clock he knows that tomorrow morning at 11AM if he hasn’t paid for another week or even another day, they’ve got to move out of the hotel and into their minivan. Today’s interview went well – good chance he’ll get hired within the next few days. But, that doesn’t bring a paycheck in for another few weeks.
Speak Life is the part of this ministry that provides food for families like this in situations just like this one. It’s also the initiative designed to help people to recover financially, emotionally, and relationally from challenging seasons of life by bringing enough “sunlight” to their situation to help them thrive on their own again. As of this morning, Seasons of Life has about $140 in matching funds committed to raising funds to help Alex’s family get back on their feet. This means: for every dollar given to Speak Life this month up to $140, a matching dollar will go to help this family – give $10, they get $20. Give $140, they’ve got $280 – enough to buy them another week and almost enough time until their next paycheck(s) – this time, full week’s work of paychecks.
The cool part about this family is that when they discovered how deep the hole was that they were standing in, they looked up. They also “looked up” ministries and churches – members of the body of Christ that were designed to help people get up and over. They realize they can make phone calls, get interviews, fill out applications, and all the rest. But, ultimately, the outcomes and help is from the Lord.
Would you consider helping this family out on a deadline? Yes, gas cards are still a great gift to help them out. Food is taken care of. But, if you would consider them in your financial support – they would greatly appreciate it. If you or someone you know would be willing to take in a family of 3 for a few weeks or even a month, we can tell it will make a world of difference. In the meantime, we’re only $140 away from buying them the breathing room [or sunlight] of another week in their extended stay, but this is a pretty time sensitive situation. Help us keep them indoors.
To participate in this project, go to http://bit.ly/solmsupport and designate your gift “Speak Life” or “Where Needed”.