Thursday, January 14, 2016

It's All Up To Me

Hey Friend,

It's 3:45 am. and the coffee is brewing.  I've read scripture and a devotional and now I find myself staring at this blank computer screen. 

I am not a stupid person.  I graduated summa cum laude from high school and magna cum laude from college.  I've handled some enormous administrative challenges, both in college and in work, and have come out smelling like a rose.  Why then, is this keeping me awake at night?

Currently, I am in the process of working with a wonderful Christian attorney (a gift from God) who is walking me through the process of applying for non profit, tax exempt/501c3 status for a ministry I have helped form.  The application is thicker than many books I've read.  (I'll spare you my thoughts on our government).  Understandably, though, they want to make sure that any tax exempt monies are not winding up in nefarious hands.  I get that.

So, in my usual M.O., I am leaving no stone unturned trying to answer all their questions, dispel any doubts, leave nothing to the imagination. I am trying to nail this sucker down.  My mind is always spinning with the question: What is the best way to present our ministry so that an IRS examiner will put our application in the acceptance pile?

After all, lives are depending on me...literally.  I have 32 impoverished, destitute, illiterate, hungry, innocent, and wide-eyed children counting on me.  (With many more on the waiting list).  Our ministry, Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. exists to "Promote the hope and love of Jesus Christ with people around the world with a particular focus on providing a Christian education to those who are impoverished, oppressed, or persecuted for their faith."

If I don't get this application approved, then people will not donate because they can't write it off on their taxes and these children will be hung out to dry.  I don't want that to happen...not on MY watch! 

The only problem, and it's a big one, is that our ministry operates in the epicenter of evil.  We are taking on Satan and the evil he stirs up, smack dab in the middle of his stomping grounds...the Middle East.  I want the IRS to see that we are not training up children to strap bombs on, just the opposite, we are training them up to love in the way that Jesus loves.  We are on the same team...I have to make them see this. 

Just writing this leaves me exhausted!  When I look back over what I've written, I see the words, "I", "me", "my", "our".  This is when being smart is sometimes a curse.  I think that God, the One who created the universe and hung the stars in space, needs my help.  That's great God, that you are the great "I Am", but aren't you lucky that I'm here to help you out?

How vain, prideful, and downright silly is that?? (two day gap in writing)...

Needless to say, the two days away from my laptop, I truly crashed and burned.  I ran right into that wall that I always do....AGAIN.  If I'm so smart, why don't I ever learn??

So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:4-6)

In other translations, the verse said:

"do not rely on...."

"do not depend on..."

"do not trust upon..."

I am hitting the ground, running furiously, because I think it's all up to me.  I have forgotten that the "Alpha and the Omega" has got a good handle on this.  The "Name above All Names" has a game plan that I can count on, if I would just let Him coach me up.  The "Good Shepherd" knows the needs of His sheep in the Middle East far better than I do, so why am I relying upon me? 

The Great I Am wants me to "rely on", "depend on", "trust upon", yes, "lean upon" HIS understanding not my own.

I remember, as a child, when we would spend lazy summers in a beautiful mountain home that my dad designed and built himself with our "help".  After furious rain storms, my dad would always want to go down to the lake and check to see that the dock and the boat were in tact and check on the property of others.  He was good that way. 

Begging to tag along, I went with him one evening.  It was still dusk as we headed down the path through the woods to the lake.  I'd walked this path thousands of times, so naturally I bounced off ahead of my dad.  After checking everything and buttoning down loose tarps and covers, we headed back up the hill.

This time it was pitch black.  My dad, always prepared, had a big flashlight.  Still in typical fashion I tried to run on ahead (after all, I KNEW this path).  That was until some tree roots and random rock outcroppings tripped me up and I wound up face first in the mud and dirt.  Calmly, my dad brushed me off, took my hand, and suggested I let Him lead the way.  Oh stubborn and silly girl that I am.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."  (John 8:12)

Jesus promises the Light of Life to those who FOLLOW Him...not to those who, in their own might and wisdom, run on ahead.

Follow = imitate my example;
govern yourself by the dictates of God's Word and Spirit

If I continually run ahead in my own might and understanding, I am not imitating my Lord.  I can't be because I'm not following Him.

I can't be governing myself by the dictates of God's Word and Spirit if I'm not in His Word and calling upon His Spirit to LEAD me.

A wise friend reminded me that this battle belongs to the Lord.  If Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. getting 501c3 tax exempt status is in HIS will, then it can't be thwarted. 

The Lord will fight for me (us), I need only to be still.  ( Exodus 14:14 )

There was a reason that I was laid low in weakness this week.  It was so that when this victory happens...and I'm certain that it will...the glory will go to God and not to me. 

It's not all up to me to make the victory happen; but it's up to me to point to Whom the victory goes!

What about you?  Do you ever find yourself running on up ahead of the Lord?  What has been your experience?  If you have wisdom from the Lord to share...would you?

Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me, once again, for taking matters into my own hands and leaning upon my own understanding.  Help me to see that this is YOUR battle, and these are YOUR children.  Enable me to hold your hand and FOLLOW your Light to guide me through the dark.  Your promises of love, and wisdom, and guidance are so very good.  You are a good, good, Father.  Help me to walk in Your footsteps.  The only way I can imitate You is to follow You.  Humble me in order that I might follow dear Lord. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...

Your generous contributions at Christmas, gave these boys some waterproof boots for Christmas so that their feet will remain warm and dry as the weather turns wet and cold.

Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. exists to promote the hope and love of Jesus Christ around the world with a particular focus on providing a Christian education to those who are impoverished, oppressed, or persecuted for their faith.

We are enrolling, and people are sponsoring, new students who could benefit from some warm clothing this winter.  Would you consider making that happen??  Any amount you feel led to donate will help tremendously!!!

Send checks payable to:

Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.
103 Silver Lining Lane
Cary, NC  27513

**Include your email address because WHEN we get tax exempt status soon, ALL gifts during 2016 will be tax deductible and we will send you a year end receipt for tax purposes.