Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Here's YOUR Sign!!!

Do you ever wish you could get a huge, flashing neon sign of what God wants you to do with your life? I often wish that every part of my life was a neon sign. I hate to make decisions, in part because I don't want to make the wrong one and also because I worry about it being what God wants for His kingdom.

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you know that I "met" this wonderful lady named Angel on her blog several months ago. I am not sure how I linked to her blog but I am now sure that God directed me there. She is a breath of fresh air for me. She has adopted two children and believes in taking care orphans. She and her husband, Russ, were part of the crew that started Red Letters Campaign. Through Angel, I found Tom Davis' blog and saw a man who is committed to helping orphans have quality of life, education, and spiritual mentoring. I am reading his book Red Letters right now.

All that background to say this.....I tend to be very stubborn when it comes to listening to God. I go to church, pray and read my Bible but many times I second guess what God can do through me if I am a willing participant. I try to tell God that I am not able because of this or that and all of it is just an excuse not to step out of my comfort zone. Before I "met" any of these people in the blog world, I was starting to feel like God wanted me to step out of the 4 walls of the church building that I LOVE so much. Don't get me wrong, I think the church does great things inside the 4 walls but there is so much more to do.

I started reading Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren and started seeing what life is like outside of my city, state and country. Life is too short for us not to share our money, time, ideas, and energy to help others. We are so blessed in the US and many times we feel entitled to that lifestyle when there are many others who could have clean water, food, clothing, medicine, education, spiritual mentoring, and ultimately salvation and a way out of the poverty they live in each day of their lives if we would only give a little of what we have.

Since we moved from Maryland back to Arkansas in the last month I have been totally focused on our family and the transition for our family. While that is all fine and good it has it's flaws. Satan has been using that to keep me from finishing the book Red Letters and from being involved in a ministry I think God has called me to promote.

I recently got my NEON sign.......I saw a commercial on television for a comedian named Anita Renfroe. You may know her mom song, you can watch it on YouTube (I tried to get it to link but it wouldn't). I felt as if I needed to go see her, partly because I was grieving leaving my friends in Maryland and felt I needed some laughter. That next weekend at church they announced that we could go in with another church down the road and get discounts on our tickets to go see her. I was so excited and met the ladies from our church at a bigger church where Anita would be doing her thing. When I walked into the foyer to the church I saw a huge Saint's Coffee sign. I thought, ok God, I am listening since I copy and pasted that badge from Tom Davis' blog and had never seen it before seeing it on his blog. As we went into the auditorium we were handed a brochure that had Children's HopeChest on it. You know that feeling of your heart racing and your hands become sweaty and a little bit of speedy breathing going on. Well I had all of the above. I could not believe what I was seeing. Then at the end of the show Anita started talking about Children's HopeChest and about Tom Davis and there was a message on the big screen from him. All I could hear in my head was the conference call that I was on with Tom Davis and the others from Children's HopeChest and the Red Letters Campaign. God was really working on me there. I was in tears as I saw the video just feeling that sense of "God is going to do something in my life to help children have a chance to have a better life and ultimately find Jesus."

You may think that that was enough for a neon sign for me but oh no....not Alice. I was still in my zone of trying to get my family back on track. That next Monday was Labor Day and we had a gathering of family on Brian's side of the family at the church. While we wanted to see everyone since we hadn't seen most of them in 7 or 8 months, Sadie was sick. Because Sadie was sick we (Brian and I) switched off taking care of Sadie at my in-laws house. When it was my turn to take care of Sadie I sat down to rock her and watch some television. While doing some channel surfing I ran across a familiar face. None other than, you guessed it, TOM DAVIS. I broke into tears and couldn't believe my eyes. I watched the rest of the program and then as I was flippin' those channels again the next day it happened again. I watched the rest of the program (it was a two parter) and was so inspired to get back on track with reading Red Letters and trying to see where and what God wants me to do for Children's HopeChest.

I can't look at the events mentioned above and believe that it is all coincidental. Please pray for me to know where I need to go with this. There will be more about this after I finish reading Red Letters and another book The Art of Listening Prayer by Seth Barnes.

Just thought I would share my neon sign moments. Please share some of your neon sign moments from God. They are always encouraging to others.


LeLe said...

Wow, Alice! That's awesome!!! My neon sign moment is not so profound...but we have been on the house hunt for awhile now. We nonchalantly stumbled into it, initially just thinking we were going to rent but the rent here is just as high as a home payment so we started looking at houses.

We were pre-approved in August and made an offer on one house actually before we were even pre-approved--the seller initially accepted and then revoked it deciding not to sell. We made an offer on a second house--the seller verbally agreed and then we had some hang ups and MK and I just had a "bad" feeling about it so we withdrew our offer. Our realtor just happened to give us the listing on a house that was out of our price range but we decided to look into it anyway (all this time, we are praying for God's will and wondering if we could afford a home but knew we had to leave MK's parents' home b/c it's way past due!). We drove by the house that night and decided we wanted to see the inside. It's a perfect space with a huge backyard. It's about 45 years old but has everything we need.

We decided to make an offer of $12,000 under what the listing price was b/c it had been on the market for 88 days and that's about the highest we could afford. We waited over the weekend and figured they would counter-offer. All this time we're praying and I'm talking to God and just saying "If this is your will, please reveal it" and "I know you will take care of us even though I'm terrified of not having enough money." With MK being in school and not working full-time, I'm really freaking out. I also prayed that God would show me how to use whatever home he provided for us to his glory.

So, yesterday while I was on the phone checking with my insurance agent on quotes just in case, our realtor called and said the seller had accepted our offer and that she guessed that God didn't let those other houses work out because this was the ONE for us (she goes to our church). Much hooping and hollering was done..hehe. Now, I'm SO glad we waited because this one is the perfect starter home for us...and it's a big step. It needs some paint and the kitchen will eventually need some updates, but it's just right for now. God is showing me that he's always there, through the big decisions and little ones and I pray that I can use this space that really isn't THAT big of a deal in the whole scheme of things to HIS glory. I have Sunday School girls now, so we can have parties at my house and we have a big back yard to have cookouts.

Praying for you in your new calling.

Meredith said...

Good for you! Glad to hear things are going well for you back home.

Dawn said...

I had no idea God was moving you as He was when we saw Anita Renfroe! That is amazing. There are no "accidents" or what have you, all these "events" connecting as they have I agree is God talking to you. I will keep you in my prayers.

Russ said...

It's great to hear your experience and your passion for what Hopechest is doing around the world. I hope that your story will continue to be the story of more and more.
--Russ (Angel's husband)

Shana said...

Alice, you never cease to inspire, convict, encourage and amaze me with your transparency. Thank you for letting us in on how God is working in you - and for being open to the awakening!!