7/29/2009

Washington Heights on the Radio

A quick prayer request: tomorrow (Thursday morning the 30th), two of our pastors, Roy Gruber and Jimi Pitts, will be on a local radio show entitled "Radio From Hell." Each week, they bring in someone for an "Ask a..." segment (last week it was "Ask a probation officer"), and listeners can call in and ask just about any question they would like. This will be a great opportunity to share Christ's love with our community. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would lead Roy and Jimi as they answer lots of questions, and pray that God would plant seeds among any who will be tuning in. If you'd like to listen, you can tune into 96.3 FM in Ogden, or listen online at www.x96.com. The segment they'll be on is from 8am to 9am Mountain Time. You'll be able to download a podcast of the segment online after the show as well.

7/24/2009

"Let My People Go" or "What In the World Does Benjer Do All Week?"

I'll never forget when an incoming 6th grade student who was about to become a part of our youth ministry asked me on a Sunday, "So, what do you do the rest of the week?" Well, now I have an answer for her...


video

It was a fun week at VBS at Washington Heights last week, and I had a good time one morning being Pharaoh. I work with such a fun group of people, and the children's ministry staff and their fantastic group of 80 volunteers loved the children of our church and community very well. Jennifer was with the 6th graders all week, and she had a great time, too.

7/23/2009

Financial Security

During the past few months I (Jennifer) have begun to realize that finances, and the idea of "financial security", is largely an illusion. At the end of the day we have very little control over what will happen with our lives, things, cars, houses, jobs, etc, which means we have very little control over our ultimate financial situations. This may have some of you reacting with acute disagreement, but hear me out. At any time we can lose our job, have a ridiculous car/medical/house bill, or any other kind of financial need can come about, no matter how careful we are or how responsibly we have planned our lives.
In the last three months Benjer and I have experienced:
  • a loss of job
  • major household financial problems (mold namely)
  • a reliable car breaking down beyond it being worth to fix
  • a major medical bill from Bethany's hospital visit in February
  • no place to live for 7 weeks
  • Benjer's computer breaking down
  • and several other financial strains that have drained our savings and equity almost completely dry.

But, we have also experienced unbelievable blessings! We have had:
  • a new job (just in time of the old one ending, so no loss of income or benefits)
  • a grant towards our new house in Ogden
  • a major financial gift from loved ones who were able to bless us in this way so that we could purchase another car
  • several friends and family members giving us gifts in kind so that we could have a place to stay without expensive hotels
  • Apple replacing Benjer's hard drive for free
  • help with our cars, rides, food, etc,
  • and we have had several other blessings in the way of discounts when people find out our situation.

All of these events in such a short time has taught me that it is really up to the Lord as to what will happen, and up to us to seek him in these situations. Now, I'm not saying that we have no responsibility to our situations or that we should not prepare ourselves accordingly; what I am saying is that no matter what we do, it is ultimately up to the Lord to provide for us and bless us. This has been a very, very difficult journey for me in the last few years, particularly since we found out we were going to have Bethany so early in our marriage. I have struggled in trusting the Lord, and trusting that it will be okay. And, if we were all honest, sometimes things just aren't okay. Sometimes life is just not okay, but the Lord is still there, knew that it would happen and is waiting to bless us again in another way. I realize I have stumbled upon a much bigger topic than can be addressed in this post (the issue of suffering), so for this post it will be enough to say that if we are dependent upon our finances for security we will be nervous/insecure knowing all the things that can happen and it will eventually let us down, but if we are dependent upon the Lord, we will not be afraid and we will be able to see our blessings as blessings when they come.