For as long as I can remember I have been crippled by a fear that we will not have enough to provide for our kids. Part of that fear is from the pressures we have from our culture to “live the American Dream” and have it ALL. Whatever that means. Another part comes from my parents, and I don’t mean to sound that I am playing the blame game, but I do believe you can learn things like this from your upbringing.
My husband and I made the decision 14 years ago after the birth of our first son that I would fulfill my heart’s desire and stay home to care for our children and our home. Little did I know that God’s plan in those 14 years would be to move us from a secure secular job, to full time ministry, add 4 more children and move us into 4 different places of ministry. Those are all big life changes that generally cost a lot of money and we have never had a huge savings account, yet God has faithfully provided in ways that only He can, and simply do not make sense to the world.
Our most recent move began about 1 year ago as we felt God calling us to plant a church. Now all of the other ministry jobs have been with solid ministries who have provided a faithful salary and benefits. This is a whole new journey as we handed in our resignation to a church that not only paid us more than we’ve ever been paid, but really cared for and provided for our every need and wants. There have been some really dark days in this journey for me as I have allowed this fear to overcome every area of my life. John 10:10 says “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy…” He has attempted to steal my trust in God, my husband, and the people with whom we are planting this church. He has attempted to steal my joy in parenting as my oldest 2 boys have entered the teenage years and we have faced days where I have really questioned the point of me sacrificing to stay home if they were just going to make the same mistakes and challenge us like any other teenager. I could go on and on, but I would rather talk about the second half of that verse in John 10:10 that says, “…I(Jesus) have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” What does it mean to have a “full life”? Does it mean that we have a lot of stuff and we are always financially secure and don’t have to worry about what might happen because we have it all planned out? Or does it mean that we live each day fully trusting the Lord, and being filled with the joy that only He can give amidst the tough things of life?
Jay and I were walking around our favorite retail store yesterday (yes, it is TJMAXX). We went to the home decorating part where they have the signs and there was a HUGE one that said “There is Joy in everyday, it’s all good”. I absolutely love that! You see, Satan desires to steal our joy by having us focus on all of the wrong things. We worry about clothing our kids, feeding them, making sure we have a savings account for them to get a good college education and on and on. While all of these are good and responsible things for a parent to do, it is not our job to focus so much on that,that we don’t seek the Lord and find the joy right in front of us. God’s word clearly states in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” If we would focus on seeking the Lord in all things, He will provide and we can let go of the worry and fears that cripple us from living the abundant life that Jesus died to give.
*Originally posted on November 27, 2012, by Amy. We hope that it serves to remind you of God's faithfulness and provision.
It's an ongoing thing. A commitment realy, to share news about Show Hope and the ministry happening at the Maria's Big House of Hope. Show Hope posted a new video today, introducing the Renick Family, care center liasons in China. Would you take a few minutes to watch the video? And read below for how you can help to support this amazing ministry!
Whether you are someone prayfully considering adoption or not, there is a need for you to help. Please consider becoming a monthly Show Hope sponsor. For only $35 a month, you can help bring hope to children who need the love, care and attention of a forever family. Visit the Show Hope website to learn more about they ministry and how you can become a Show Hope monthly sponsor. www.ShowHope.org
This past weekend at Harvest Church, I started a teaching series that look at the life of David. As one known as a man "after God's owner heart," we are asking the question, "Who or what rules your heart?" In other words, who or what is taking up space in your life that is rightfully God's? And what do we need to do to have a heart after God's own heart.
Thus far we have looked only at the history of Israel, their time and relationship with God prior to their request for a king. From Abraham to Samuel, God faithfully loves and cares for his people as the sovereign ruler of Israel. His desire was establish a nation unto himself a holy nation, set a part, a royal priesthood, a people who loved and served God. It was simple, obey my (God's) law and it would go well with you (Israel). Disobey my (God's) Law and it wouldn't go well for you (Israel).
Yet, from their time of freedom, when God, through Moses, led them away from Egypt, the people were stubborn and rebellious. Time and time again, the rejected God's Law and rule. They turned away from him and sought their own ways. Then calamity fell upon them, and they were running back to God. It was an ongoing battle between God and his people.
But as I looked at the early stories of the kings, I am struck by something that I think is a battle we face today; the constant issue of control. In 1 Samuel 8, we see the people ask for control by requesting a king. No longer were they content in having God as their ruler, they wanted to be like the other nations with a king to lead them. And while a king was not God's desire for his people, God gives his people what they ask for. But just as the this new king takes his role as Israel's earthly ruler, Samuel, God's prophet, gives they final words of warning.
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.” (1 Samuel 12:20-25 NIV)
Even after his people reject God as their ruler, he cannot let them go. Samuel says, "For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own." God's commitment to his people is incredible. In fact Samuel insists that, even though they have done this horrible sin, rejecting God, they are still to serve the Lord with all your heart! In fact, he goes as far to say, that he will continue to to teach them the way that is good and right; to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart.
These are big words for us to consider; 'with all your heart'. It's what spurs the question, Who or What rules your heart? Even though they have sinned, Samuel says, give God your whole heart; all your heart. That's all God ever wanted, for his people to be all about him! You see, we are so much like the Israelites in that we are constantly turning away from God to pursue our own desires. We reject God and name ourselves the kings of our own lives. But Samuel's call to the people of Israel is as much for us as it was for them. We too are to serve the Lord with all our hearts! ALL OUR HEARTS!!
Today, I want to encourage you, that regardless of what you have done or how you might have rejected God, God's love is still the same, and for the sake of his name, the Lord will not reject you. Come to him, and give him you whole heart. All of your heart!
Today, we are reposting a blog that Amy originally wroted and post back on December 21st, 2912. There has been a lot of change since then, but the truth and challenge of living by faith is still real and relevent. We hope tha you find some encouragement in todays blog!
What does it mean to live by faith and not by sight? I have heard this scripture for as long as I can remember. (2 Corinthians 5:7) I can honestly say that I am actively learning what this really means right now.
I am excited to share with you that God is revealing this to me daily and it is beautiful! It has been another wild week for us filled with ups and downs. The last 2 days I have had the privilege to babysit for 2 of our former camp counselor staff and what a joy that has been! Monday as Jay was bringing our oldest 2 home from basketball while I was with the other 3 at another basketball game, he was barely able to make it into the driveway with our older van. I had noticed a leak stain on the garage earlier that day and phoned him to tell him. My old self would’ve freaked out and thought the worst. While my mind went to the worst possible scenario (we would have to live with 1 car for awhile because this one died), I quickly squelched that and Jay and I prayed thanking God for this opportunity to see His hand at work without knowing what the outcome would be. We did believe that God would work it all out. We had heard from the car mechanic on Wednesday that it may be just some hoses, and while no one wants a car bill right before Christmas, we prayed and trusted God with it. So yesterday, we picked up the van and came home to a check from a dear friend that covered the amount from the van! Now she had no idea our car was being fixed or that we would need it, but felt God calling her to share what He had recently blessed her with. God is faithful. The cool thing about this is I can see how He has allowed us to move to different places and build relationships with so many dear brothers and sisters in Christ through the years. Sure,we could’ve stayed in any one of the places we have worked and been content , but we would’ve missed out on so much of what God wanted us to learn.We also would’ve missed out on seeing how he would weave our lives back into others and all for HIS glory.
This morning I received a phone call from my dear husband at 4:40am. Now if you know me at all, you know that I love my sleep! The Lord even knew that when He gave me 5 babies who all slept through the night at a young age! Anyway, he said he either ran out of gas or his car really wasn’t fixed and he was stranded. Again, the old me would’ve been mad and complained selfishly about why I have to get up and go find some gas and take it to him at 4:45am. I can honestly say because of God at work in me, that I saw it as a privilege to serve him. Thankfully with a little gas and a jumped battery he was on his way again. As I was riding home,my heart turned to praise as I got excited about the extra time to spend with the Lord this morning! That would NOT have been my response in the past.
I want to share with you Psalm 63 this morning and pray that in the busyness of this season, you will earnestly seek Him and see His power and glory everywhere.
“You, God are my God, earnestly I seek you: I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and glory. Because your love is BETTER than life, my lips will glorify you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods: with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:1-5
You see I have learned that when my heart is full of praise to the LORD for ALL things good and bad, I am able to see His power and glory all around. Whether it’s in His provision of a friend dropping off food, or a coffee, or my children’s sweet faces as they share exciting things about their day, or a phone call of encouragement from a friend, or a rusted out hose in our car, or a frustrating conversation with one of our teenagers. I am learning to choose to see God’s hand and praise Him through it all- even if I can’t physically see the good right at the moment. It is a matter of learning to live by faith and not by sight!
Thanks for taking the time to read The Higham Family Blog. Each week we try to share new content about something we are learning, something we love, or something to offer encouragement to the family. We love to hear from our readers, so please share your thought in the comment section of each post.