Waiting for a harvest

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
James 5:7
When a farmer plants seed in the ground, he doesn’t know what kind of crop he will have. He must be patient and have faith and spend the time tending to his crop. In this verse it says “See HOW the farmer waits…” The farmer isn’t sitting on his porch. He is doing something. Even though the harvest is not yet evident, he is working because he knows that it will pay off in good time.

We are in a waiting period. The thing about a waiting period is that you start thinking about everything that is going on in your life and you tend to start questioning things. It’s easy to become discouraged and it’s easy to wonder if you’re on the right path because it feels like nothing is happening. Sometimes it is easier to be running around like a crazy person because you see things getting done. We are such impatient creations.

You may remember the post where Rebekah and I sat down and started the decision of from which country we should adopt. We were looking at Russia and Bulgaria as well as Colombia. In the last few weeks we have seen God’s reasoning for Colombia. Russia has had such turmoil with adoption lately being shut down. Yesterday I read about how basically all of Bulgaria’s government has resigned. This will no doubt throw a wrench in the adoption process. Just know that if you are one of the families trying to adopt from these countries, God never starts something that He doesn’t finish.

But looking at these things from our side of the table we see tremendous confirmation and protection. It is a sign that we are on the path that we need to be on. Regardless of the day to day trials of life, and regardless of the enemy whispering discouragement in our ear saying that this will never get done, we choose to see God at work and rest in the knowledge that He will complete what He started. He is faithful. So we will tend our field and expect a bountiful harvest, even though the plants have yet to break the soil.

Garage Sale Part 2

Early Saturday morning, after only a couple hours of sleep, I went to get change from Walmart.  This went well at 5:00 in the morning, unlike my effort the previous evening. Let’s just say that the “people of Walmart” prevented it from happening. After the obligatory QuikTrip stop, I was off to meet Rebekah and rest of the family, and some die hard friends who helped all day long at the church. People were already waiting outside to start shopping! At 6:00am the sale started and a steady stream of people coming out of the darkness began browsing through all we had. Before we could move all of the big items outside to draw traffic in, we had already started selling things left and right.

An hour into the sale the sun was up and people were still coming. Some of them we knew from church, from work as well as friends and family coming to show their support. Rarely did anyone leave empty handed and some that did made sure to put some money in our donation jar. One of our friend’s children gave us all her Christmas money. The generosity of a child, the steady, unyielding line of people, and the slow but sure disappearance of the massive amounts of donations brought us to tears. Not only were those donations part of the flood of provision that God had promised, but so were the people who came to buy and work at our sale. We know that God will return those blessings to these people as he said he would in Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Home decorations vanished, toys were ransacked and clothing was picked through for hours. Electronics were snapped up, couches and chairs were loaded into trucks. Necia’s Colombian flag cake balls were nearly bought out. Exercise equipment, books, Christmas decorations, luggage, coolers all flew out the door! Still people kept coming. The sale was nearing the end and people just kept coming in the door. There was NEVER a moment when things were slow. For over nine hours God blessed us with eager shoppers. Even as we were bagging up the left-overs to donate to the local children’s home, people were still picking through the clothing. We had to pull the sign at the entrance so that we could have enough time to clean up for the Sunday services.

The sale was a HUGE success. We came into this hoping to make enough to cover the second half program fee or $3750. That’s a pretty tall order for a garage sale. But this was no ordinary garage sale. This was a supernatural move of God in our lives. He was so faithful to provide what we needed to take the next step. After all the money was counted, we made $4000! The remainder of the clothing was donated to the Baptist children’s home. Some other items that didn’t sell were taken to the local John 3:16 mission and a few things that neither charity could use were taken to Goodwill. We wanted to sew into other’s ministries the way others had sewn into our mission. No words could express the gratitude we have for all those who donated items, helped set up and organize, helped clean up and of course, for Silver Creek Church of the Nazarene who donated their building. Thank you all.

Wading In

By Rhees
Pastor Mike was speaking on Joshua leading the Israelites into the promised land. When the Israelites came to the Jordan River, it was at flood stage. There was a huge, impassable obstacle in front of them. Joshua and the priests waded into the river as God had commanded and the river water stopped flowing. The water in front of them flowed into the Dead Sea. The Israelites crossed on dry ground into all that God had promised them. But they had to wade into the river first. They had to attack their obstacle before they saw God at work.

Rebekah and I took that challenge and sat at the bagel shop on Brookside making a spreadsheet. We wanted to compare the specific details of the countries from which we were considering adopting. She was excited to have heard from God regarding adoption, and while I had gotten on board with adopting from another country, what I wasn’t so sure about was how many. “More than one? Three?! My wife has gone crazy,” I thought. “This is going to take a while to digest and I’m going to have to have some major confirmation from God!” He was only too happy to oblige.

Later that week, I had one of the most vivid and detailed dreams I’ve ever had. To say that the dream was prophetic would be an understatement. ALL of the questions that had been going through my mind were addressed. There was a flood of provision. There was an army of people helping us prepare. EVERYONE was terrified, except me. I had total peace and was bursting with excitement. And three times in the dream, there were three children present. So….there’s that major confirmation.

If you are adopting, you have to step out in faith. You can’t run from the obstacle. God will provide for you and if you listen, there will be the confirmation that you need.

Running Toward Nineveh

By Rhees

God has given me a truly great woman. She listens to Him and He speaks to her. He speaks to her…FIRST! You may recall that she really heard from God’s heart when she was alone all day on a Saturday. I knew I was in for a surprise by the way that Rebekah was urging me to read Adopted for Life. So I spent quite a bit of time and effort (at least for me) getting through that book. However the jig was up when I went by the computer and saw all these notes about the cost of adoption from other countries.

“CRAP!” I thought, “What is she thinking?!!! That’s the last time I leave her alone all day.”

Instantly, Satan started working me over, filling me with all sorts of negative thoughts. But I stopped and bound the enemy and invited God into that situation. I knew that adoption was God’s plan. Not my plan. God’s plan. He decides how this will go. I chose in that moment of doubt to submit to His will.

Jonah ran from Nineveh because God wanted to do something great through him in a way that he wasn’t ready to accept. Jonah knew that God could accomplish all that he wanted without his help. But God wanted to use Jonah, and there were people in Nineveh who needed to hear his voice.

One thing I have learned is that if you ignore God or if you try to do God’s will your way, it will not end well. You’re really not doing God’s will if you do it the way you want anyway. If you are reading this and wondering if you can handle adoption, just know that if God has called you to adopt, you can handle it. There are some children in Columbia who NEED to hear my voice. They need to hear me call them my children. I still wasn’t sold completely on this, but there was some major confirmation coming.  It was time for me, for us, to take a step in faith.  It’s time to run toward Nineveh!