Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Date With Destiny

Well.......this has taken far longer than I expected to get back here, but unfortunately there just aren't enough waking hours in the day. Due to an unexpected post however, I realized since it has been two months since I've been able to write...all of you that I don't get to talk to on a regular basis may be wondering what the latest news is. Sooooooo I thought I really do need to catch everyone up to speed as to the reasons WHY I have been away.
As many of you know Ben and I are actively working on getting our homeless shelter started. We have had many open doors....some completely unexpected and from completely diverse places! WOO-HOO!!!! Considering that we had somewhat tabled this desire for several years, it has been a breath of fresh air to suddenly have people pursuing US to get this done! WOW!!
Now....here comes the grain of sand in this budding pearl! In stark contrast to all the wonderful support we have gotten, the votes in our favor, and the bills we have had passed on our behalf etc, etc.....we are now having to use our previously gained momentum to fight a battle with a few strategically placed bureaucrats and their red tape. The amazing thing is that while this may take a while to accomplish the end goal....having an army of laypeople and politicians on our side fighting with us has made all the difference. Not just for morale...but in doing so much footwork and research etc that we would normally just not have time to do with our already busy schedules. Thank You LORD!!!  However, all of that said.....it still manages to fill the empty gaps of our already jam packed schedules.
Since Ben and I tend to overbook ourselves with activities of every kind...(shocking, I know..lol) we decided a few months ago that we both need to FORCE ourselves to have downtime. To many of you that may seem like an odd thing to have to do, but for two highly driven people, it's a lot easier than it sounds, trust me. Soooooo Ben joined a local APA League team with one of his brothers who had already been a longtime member. It's been GREAT!!!! It's created a great way not only for BEn and Steve to bond, but their other brother, Mike, and our friend Lori have also been coming to most of the game nights. It's been great to build closer family relationships on a weekly basis, but also to deepen friendships and create new ones with the fellow team members. The really cool thing is that I have seen Ben just begin to relax and have fun on a daily basis too because he finally has a fun hobby/activity that he just excels at! YEAH GOD!!! Not to mention he's a pretty dang good player and is wiping out a lot of the people he is playing against as well as working his way up through the ranks. 

Now.....for the big news. Another thing keeping me away from AMH has been directly connected to AMH. As a few of you are aware I've been working on a Bible study that I intended to share strictly for all of you AMH readers as a year long Bible study to spread over the course of 2011. HOWEVER...as my research and study progressed on the topic and expanded over and over it has also taken a different turn that I hadn't expected. What started as a simple study has turned into an in depth theological expository essay. A great study for my personal self, but given that it's main purpose was to bless all of you I began praying about how to proceed (which is why it's intended release date here on AMH of January 1st came and went with no posting.) Sooooooo..........for those of you that DON'T know yet, after much prayer and many, many confirmations from various sources....I will be pursuing publishing this study into book form with an accompanying study guide for use in small groups and other venues. I already have the outline in rough draft form....ready to be amended with whatever else God has me add in. I haven't given the title any thought yet, but when the time comes I plan to keep everyone here at AMH involved by putting out a vote. Right now I'm just focusing on the meat on the book. I considered keeping the subject matter private for now, but I don't think it will adversely affect anything by sharing the general direction of the book. I'll be focusing on the role of integrity in the lives of today's Christians. Something I think we can all benefit from.

Meanwhile, our oldest God-daughter is getting married in just a few days so we're very excited about that! We are so proud of Amber and Austin and can't wait to see what God has for them as they progress together in life and in ministry. They have grown so much in their faith and in their personal lives in the past two years that my heart leaps with joy for them! Not to mention....it is very humbling when a young couple says they "..want a marriage like you have.." To still hear that after almost 10 years of marriage and to have young people asking for advice on how to keep the love alive and honor God with their marriage and to stay happily married even in the face of imperfection and trials is an answer to prayer for me! I always promised God I would be completely transparent about what He has me go through as long as He uses it to benefit others, and thankfully He has always followed through on that. I'm amazed at how many circumstances I can now encourage others with or give counsel through. Only God can do that!

Romans 8:28 (New Living Translation)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.