Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Time to Pause...

What a restful week I have had! Our office was only open one day this week, but we were able to get several behind the scenes things taken care of. I'm thankful for slow times at the office to prepare for a new year, a new camping season ahead. It's that time we clean our desks, our closets, our basement, and get reorganized. We are switching from Outlook to Google Apps for our email, and from Internet Explorer to Chrome for our web sites/viewing/searching. Always something new to learn to keep up with technology!

We witnessed a powerful answer to prayer this week. We were called to pray and fast last weekend for a ministry that was operating in a mall kiosk. It appeared it was going to be shut down, but what satan intended to do resulted in God opening up a new space for the ministry. Instead of a small center-of-the-mall kiosk where the Jesus Film was being played, the mall management offered them a 2,500 square foot store with multi-faceted windows just outside the entrance to Macy's...huge space with lots of opportunities, a place they had hoped to move to in a couple of years. With that much space, the ministry has great needs, physical and financial, let alone spiritual. We were glad as a camp to donate chairs and a welcome desk, and are preparing computers for use in displaying the Jesus Film in up to 1,090 languages. I'm quite certain satan won't give up, so I am being somewhat vague about some of the details. Prayer power must surround this ministry so that it can continue.

Speaking of prayer, one of my devotionals this week was on prayer. I made the following notes:
  • the place of prayer is where you meet God so He can teach you, correct you, cleanse you, and love you
  • through prayer you are prepared to do His will
  • through prayer you operate in God's strength and not on your own
  • whether you pray or not shows up in your attitudes and actions
Some more thoughts:
  • God uses tough times like a refining process to bring out the best in us
  • God isn't out to destroy us, but to develop us
I have been using this past week as a time to organize myself, my winter schedule. Days are shorter and colder...I'll be inside more and have more time in the evenings. I have started back on my Greek studies, and my study of First Peter. There will be occasional blogs on First Peter, as I complete a passage and write my synopsis/overview. Check my other blog for that.

I also took time the past few days to put a Christmas tree up at the office and decorate our house for the holiday season ahead. This year I am giving out gifts early...gave to our kids and grandkids on our trip in October...gave to our Michigan family on Thanksgiving the process of giving gifts out to staff members this week. One reason for the early gifts is because the gifts are deco items for this season, and they need to be opened and displayed. Another big reason is that I want to keep the focus off gift giving at Christmas. I want that time to be all about being together and enjoying each other's company.

I find that each year I am putting out less decorations, focusing on keeping things simple. I love the sights and sounds of Christmas, but I just want to keep commercialism out of the picture as much as possible. Shopping is behind me, gift giving will be behind me, and I can spend the month enjoying the lights, the trees, the music, the laughter, the stories, and quiet moments with Jesus. I love my early morning time with Him. I want His birthday to be special to Him. I hope many will draw aside and spend time with Him in the days ahead. For we are a people desperate for His presence!

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