Tag Archives: faith

A Change in Direction

 

Lately I’ve been wondering about my decisions for the future. Sure there are the ones about buying a house and investing for our retirement but the one I’ve been struggling with most is about my job, vocation, what I think I should be doing with my life. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’m totally blessed to have my current job; the hours, flexibility and salary are perfect for our current stage in life, allowing me to spend time with our young family and for my wife to be a fulltime mum. My concern though is that I know in my heart that this isn’t the career path for me. Don’t get me wrong I could easily follow this career path, make a lot of money and live very comfortably but deep inside I know that I’d be missing out on what I’m meant to be. 

I know that I’m made to help people;  help them achieve, do better in life, be successful and live fulfilling lives.  That’s my passion, what makes me get up in the morning, what drives me and energises me. 

I’d always thought that I’d go back into ministry, to once again be a pastor, this is the last time I remember living my passion – but lately I’m not so sure. I’m not having a crisis of faith or anything like that, I’m just trying to make sense of some experiences I’ve had over the past month. 

My dilemma is that these experiences aren’t what I’m used to, they aren’t from the usual sources (the Bible, close Christian friends etc) they have all come from my non Christian colleagues and from work opportunities and I’m trying to work out how legitimate they are. 

Each experience (five over the last month) has suggested to me a shift in vocational direction, away from being a pastor towards something similar but not within a church setting. It’s something that’s been an option for me for a few years now but I need to work out if it’s God’s plan or mine. 

I’d love your advice. What do you do in these situations, how do you seek God to know if an opportunity is from Him?

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Filed under About Me, Family, God Stuff, Life Coaching

Crisis, stress, lessons learnt

The last few weeks have been a real challenge for our family. Time has passed as we have been in a haze fuelled by worry, concern, stress and a lack of sleep. It’s uncanny how when the proverbial hits the fan our first instinct is to circle the wagons and take matters into our own hands… a far cry from the creed we profess that God is our provider, that we trust Him in all things and wait on Him to deliver us. Makes me feel guilty and ashamed that I’m all too ready to take matters that I have entrusted to God back into my own hands.

It’s been over a month since my last post – in that time we have come to the brink in our finances and suffered a week of, frankly worrying, health issues. Couple that with being first time parents, learning to manage on one income and preparing for the birth of our second child, it’s been a difficult road. The time has come to reassess our circumstance, to look at what we do, have and want to do, and make changes. 

We’re not adverse to this process; in fact it’s one I believe is necessary for a productive and purposeful life. My concern is that it’s all too easy for us to wait for a crisis to force us to change, rather than making evaluation and assessment an ongoing process in our lives. Sometimes circumstances are unavoidable; other times we have the opportunity to head them off if we’re prepared for them. Preparation is hard work, slipping into the comfort of routine is easy although often not beneficial. 

This last week we reached our breaking point, we could do nothing but surrender our lives and circumstances (again) to God. We realised (again) that we had slipped back into our old, comfortable way of life, following our own paths and intentions and neglecting to seek God for His. This last month has been a wake up call from God – retrospect is a great teacher, as I now look back I can see the subtle signs of a patient and loving God trying to set us back on course. As it often happens, it took a crisis for us to get back on track with God – oh how I wish we had of noticed sooner, yet I thank God for His grace towards us. 

God’s ways are higher than our ways, His love is wider and deeper and higher than we will ever know. Makes sense to follow Him. The Christian life is about dependence – trust and faith in a God who is the source of life, love, hope and provision. Jesus said:

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing John 15:5 

How can we expect to live life to its fullest if we choose to disconnect from the source of Life? How sad that we so often think we’re better off on our own. Independence can be good for us but not when it separates us from God. Sadly I keep learning this the hard way. 

It’s time for change in our life and family. It’s time to refocus our attention on the things that matter – on God and His will for our lives. It’s time to leave behind the false safety of our comforts, to stop relying on our own devices and to focus on God and His ultimate, unmeasurable wisdom. It’s time to once again seek God’s forgiveness and surrender our lives, our hopes, dreams and plans for the future to Him. 

God we choose again to surrender to Your will, to seek Your face and to follow Your ways. Whatever may come we will trust in You for You are faithful. 

How about you, when have you learnt to trust in God?

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Filed under About Me, Family, God Stuff, Life Coaching, Tithe Experiment, Worship

Tithe Journal #5 & 6

This post is part of the Tithe Experiment series

The last month’s been a little crazy hence this combined journal entry; I just didn’t get around to posting one two weeks ago. 

28/02/10 Car died today, we think it’s the distributor; I need to source another one. So grateful to have a mechanic in the family who could tow me home and work on the car. 

01/03/10 Finding it challenging to trust God with providing for us. As the husband and father, and the sole bread-winner I feel responsible for providing for my family. I’m ok if I seem to go without but I don’t want my wife and daughter to have to… it’s a daily struggle to hand that over to God and wait for Him to provide. It’s a real lesson in humility and one that I need to learn – even if it’s the hard way I guess. There’s something deep with a man that drives him to provide for his family and he doesn’t want to fail that task.

04/03/10 Pay day. $250 to tithe account

08/03/10 Car was finally fixed today, it’s been an interesting week. Turns out it was the computer not the distributor but it took a lot of trial and error to work that out. Again SO grateful that my uncle fixed it for the cost of parts, it would have cost a lot to have it done at the shop. 

Been doing some savvy shopping this last month. It seems that God has been providing exactly what we need, right on time. For instance we were talking about how we might afford a chest freezer so we could buy in bulk and freeze extra meals in order to save money and the next day one came up for sale on the bulletin board at work which we were able to buy really cheap. Anyone have any tips on where to get discount/bulk food items in Canberra?

Money has been tight as we’ve had some unforseen expenses and haven’t been able to add to the savings this past month. We’re going to have to revisit the budget to see where else we can make some savings. No idea where that will be though… 

In all honesty I’ve been feeling pretty down the last month. The worry over how we’re going to get by has been a concern for me lately (actually reading back it seems to be a recurring theme). A single income, one child under two and another on the way, medical bills, rent, food, fuel, study costs are all mounting up and getting me down. Not to mention the need to buy our house sooner rather than later… it’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders and I’m finding it hard to deal with right now. I like the security having savings brings and we’re quickly going through ours and that worries me. The biggest thing is that we’re not making extravagant purchases, it’s all every day living… would appreciate your prayers… 

17/03/10 Our health insurance premiums are going up again… we have to keep our current one until after the baby is born, then we’ll need to shop around for a better deal, if there is one… Anyone have any tips on good Aussie family hospital cover? 

18/03/10 Pay day $100 to tithe account. I know this is less than usual but even this is more than we can afford right now – I’m trusting that God will honour it as it’s given sacrificially. 

Thank you to all of you who are journeying with us, praying for us and supporting us, we deeply appreciate it. We’d value you prayers, especially in regard to sticking to our commitment for the year and trusting that God will provide. As always we’d love to hear from you so please keep in touch.

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The Soft, Gentle Voice of God

I was feeling really flat this morning, quite emotional and insecure. Some days life just gets to you, you know? I’m doing my best to follow God, seek Him and His plan for my life but sometimes its just tough going. I begin to doubt my calling, doubt that God knows what He’s doing. So many questions “when will I see the next step? When will God provide for us? Why am I stuck in this job when I want to be doing so much more?”

I needed to hear from God today  so I went to Examen.Me and it randomly chose an Old Testament passage for me.

The passage was Genesis 25:19-34 and this is what God spoke into my heart as I read and reflected on it:

Do not despise what I have placed in your heart, what I have given to you. It is right to want to be more than you are but you must first be who I am calling you to be… connect with me, trust in me and follow me. Don’t look too far ahead, do not try to predict what I will do, just trust that I will lead you, guide you and provide for you.

Don’t sell your birth right as Esau did, do not settle for the “food” of this world for it will not satisfy, but wait for Me, trust in Me, pray to Me and learn from Me, I will sustain you, I will raise you up and I will fulfil My promise to you…

I love how amazing God is, forever faithful to His promises and loves to speak into our lives.

Thank you God for speaking to me this morning, for responding to me as I cried out to You. May this blessing you have given me also bless others.

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