October 30, 2008 Kids ranch update and tim’s musings (via postie)

Published Date Author: , March 24th, 2010

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Oct 30, 2008

Dear friends,

I hate computers sometimes! Sorry….. This is letter number 2 – the first disappeared with my computer crashed a minute ago, halfway through.

Ok….. Where was I?

Ah yes, I was waxing eloquent on what my response should be when God seems silent or doesn’t make sense….

And in a nutshell, my reaction comes down to one of two choices. I can get bitter, or I can grit my teeth and continue on.

So yes, if you’re reading between the lines, God has seemed far away to me the last several weeks. He’s been very quiet. And it’s driving me crazy. I mean, I still see His protection, but His provision and voice I am somehow missing hearing.

Wanna hear about the protection? At work last week, I was cutting wire one day, and the knife slipped and sliced open my left arm, clear to the bone for about an inch. It was a pretty major gash. Miraculously, it missed a major vein on one end by less than a half inch, an artery at the other end by less than a half inch, and major tendons on either side by less than a sixteenth of an inch. I got one of the other guys there at the shop to help me clean it up and apply butterfly bandages Yes, it could have easily taken 8 or 10 stitches, but being the practical male that I am, I just cleaned it, pushed the edges back together, and applied several butterfly bandages – and it’s healing nicely. It just aches sometimes… And I am thankful the God is real and is watching out for me still.

There’s been several other small ways in which I have noticed His protection too, so it’s been comforting.

But of His provision for the future, and His voice of leading, I am just not getting it.

And concerning Thorn Creek, I can make a choice too. I can get bitter and grieve over a broken dream, or I can recognize that the place needed to be completely vacated and cleaned up before God was going to do more with it anyway (assuming that He does eventually- which I believe He will). I’m ALMOST done cleaning up there, but I have yet to come up the $3,000 to move the two 35ft mobile homes (now in snow-damaged disrepair) out that were originally donated 4 years ago for staff space, that the owners want gone.

In all honesty, I HAVE grieved over moving out of Thorn Creek. It was my home. Should I get bitter about it and the whole situation? No! I can’t let it get to me. God is, and has to be, my source and my comfort.

Regarding finances, we are suddenly stuck, with no way to pay rent due this weekend. I believed God had opened the door to us to get this new house. And then work that I was expecting didn’t come through that was supposed to pay for this house. It was no one’s fault, but now I find myself second-guessing having heard God right in the first place. I really don’t want to move my family a third time this summer/fall back into something small.

Do I get bitter, or press into God farther?

Do I get unhappy when the really good job I have had for the past year is no longer making ends meet for us? Or do I do something about it, and trust that God will facilitate something?

We have offered the Elk Creek house to several different people that have expressed interest in moving here and being on the team, even offering to help them with the rent, but we’ve had no takers, and another rent payment is due tomorrow (Friday) which we have no way to pay. Do I get bitter at people that express interest and then don’t come through, or do I press into God?

I’ve asked God to help me learn and be successful in both writing and internet sales so that I can support my family, Thorn Creek, and other ministries and people that I believe in. And I feel like Edison, discovering all the ways that the light bulb (or writing or Internet Marketing) does not work, and only getting glimpses so far of what success might look like. Do I get bitter at God for not making it easy for me, or do I buckle down and reapply myself every day, knowing that eventually, every baby learns to walk, and so will I?

In short, we are at a crossroads.

I could get very bitter and angry over failed and broken dreams, wreaked finances, and everything else going on (and I have indeed been struggling with this).

Or I can go back to scripture, accept as true the promises of God that He WILL sustain me, and then just roll with whatever comes my way. A flexible reed does not break in the hurricane like a rigid fence post will. This is my goal, to react this way, not the unhappy way.

I could even throw out the whole Thorn Creek dream in bitterness and forget it all. Or I can accept that God has something else in mind.

Is my role in the whole Thorn Creek dream coming to a close? Maybe. Can I accept that? I can try… As the apostle Paul mentions, sometimes it is one person who plants a seed, another who waters it, and a third who sees it grow into something. If this is the case here, I hope I have planted some good seeds. :-)

What about the whole children’s home idea? We can’t forget that God ALREADY GAVE me a home full of wounded children, and a wife who is open to accepting more. Two weeks ago, between friends and whatnot, we had 11 kids here overnight, and this wasn’t unusual for us. And the house we are in right now is IDEAL for expansion of more bedrooms to accept more kids into our care. I am loathe to give up this opportunity and possibility.

*sigh*. I just wish I could hear God right now. But maybe He’s just waiting to see if I will indeed stick with what I know to be right, in the face of opposition, criticism, silence, and hard times. Could it be that He is just testing my backbone? Yikes! Now there’s a thought for ya.

I even played with the idea of jumping back into politics this election, just because I feel so weary and burnt out on everything else, and so disappointed with some of our choices for leaders. But that doesn’t feel right either yet (…yet….).

I have accepted a construction job for the next month or two that WILL cover next month’s bills and rent, though it doesn’t help us much right now, today, with the two rent payments we need by tomorrow.

There is also Pastor Meren from India who has requested repeatedly to come here and build a ministry. I am starting to work on his visa process, believing that God is indeed leading him here. And the Elk Creek house would be ideal to move him into as soon as he, his wife, and their teenage daughter arrive. So I am asking God to provide the rent for this if this is how we should proceed. I don’t know how deeply he will be tied directly to our ministry, but I feel his call here to both evangelism and leading Christians back into true prayer is genuine, and I would like to facilitate this.

*deep breath*

Aren’t crossroads fun?

I do pray that my note does not depress you, but makes you pause and consider your own reactions to bad stuff and God, even as I evaluate my own. Is He testing you too? How’s your backbone holding up? I pray it’s doing better than mine has been. I pray that mine gets stronger.

If you think of it, would you say a prayer for us too please? We could use it. Thanks.

In Him,

Tim, Karen, and kids Benedict

PS. For what it is worth, as I learn internet sales and marketing stuff, I plan to start a collection of tools I have found useful, and training materials that actually taught me something, on one of my websites, specifically for those people in my newsletter list that need a job (I have been praying for several of you that have mentioned this to me). If this interests you, write me back, and I’ll let you know as soon as I have the collection online.

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