Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Latest (7/29/08)

Kingdom Community with the Newsomes
Formerly, I mentioned an email from our much loved friends, Zack and Kelli, in which they explained their conviction that the primary partnership-in-team they're aiming at is different than the relationship God is cultivating between them and us. Since then, Zack and I have talked several times and Aleta and I had the opportunity to fellowship with them in person at length. The picture God has painted through it all is beautiful.

Through our interactions, the Lord has created opportunities for us to ask permission and blessing from Zack and Kelli regarding our move into their area. I became convicted to seek that last month when God helped me realize that he led them there first and was leading us to honor his precedent in them. Their response was thrilling.

In Zack's gracious words, "We totally want to validate, and are ecstatic about, your move into this area. Move wherever you feel called. We will help the move as we can. Let us know. I personally am ready to begin exploring what a relationship as two couples called to mission in this area will look like, moving on from what it won't look like." This kind of God-honoring, body-building response is typical of the humble, open, authentic, and loving way in which Zack and Kelli have shared their journey into the destiny God is leading them into.

In sum, through these unexpected weeks of dialog, our sovereign God allowed us to esteem them by asking permission, affirm our move to their area, and free them from concern that we might have specific expectations for partnership contrary to where God is calling them. It's the kind of thing that could have led to division; but in God's grace and love, has actually led to a deeper bond of love and unity in His name. Praise God in Christ who works all things together for His glory and our good.

The Layoff and Housing Miracle
Now another surprise with blessing at the end... Two weeks ago, Aleta was laid off from her job in North Scottsdale. Saturday, as we were looking for rental houses, we realized that, with only a single income, we would no longer be able to afford a house and would need to begin looking again at apartments - of which we have found none in the area for months.

I was uncharacteristically disappointed and it took me the rest of the day (and next morning) to finally give it to God. In speaking of our new budget restrictions and the seeming impossibility of it all, I finally told my wife, "It's an impossible situation... a question I just can't answer. We'll have to leave it where it is and see what God does with it."

There are few apartments in the part of town we're aiming at and none that have been available since we began looking nearly four months ago. I left a message with the one complex located exactly where we're looking, but with little expectation since we've repeatedly pursued that one place with no success. Then Sunday, just one day after my call (and on a weekend no less) I received a return call explaining that they have a two bedroom unit undergoing remodeling that will be available in two weeks - the exact time of moving we've been praying for for months.

An hour after that call, I received a message from another realtor saying that the guest house we had rejected two months earlier for want of repair is being remodeled. And, it's only $100 more than the apartment we were just offered. Both properties are in our budget range and, within 100 feet of each other, in the exact area we've been praying for. All this only a week after Aleta's job loss, a day after realizing we needed to stop looking for an unaffordable rental house, and hours after I finally surrendered it to the Lord (a point my wife beat me to by a long shot).

And Furniture Too?
As if all that provision wasn't enough, Aleta just received a message today from a friend of ours who was recently married and needs to get rid of much of his furniture as he and his wife combine their things. "Are you kidding, God? Furniture too?"

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord; or who is His counselor? Or who has first given to him that it should be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things To Him be the glory forever" (Romans 11:33-36)!

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Thank you, God! I'm sorry for ever doubting you. Thanks for all this and the way in which you've done it... achieving the best glory and the greatest good! I'm deeply humbled and grateful! Thank you for humbling us, uniting us, growing our faith, providing for us, and confirming your presence and leadership in this path we're following! Thank you, God!"

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2 comments:

Mike Moore said...

Amen!

John Lynch said...

Totally, right? Such a God!