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Archive for December, 2007

Update, December 10 6:24:49 PM

When it rains, it pours! Saturday, just after posting my blog entry, our dog Hunter bit a child and we may have to get rid of him, after paying $300 fines and processing fees…  But God is still good!

 
Weeks 50-52 (Jan-08) 

Dog face Hunter’s earthly life is now over, rest in peace our beloved friend and companion. It was hard, especially on the children to let go… This happened just a couple of days before Christmas and caused me great stress, guilt and questioning, whether I made the right decision.  Our oldest son took it the hardest, threatening to commit suicide if Hunter is euthanized.

Talk about being between the rock and a hard place!!!  I decided to stay the course, trusting the Lord to see to it that no harm will befall us… All I could do was to wait it out, spending the week in serious prayer and fasting.

Praise God, everything turned out all right. Even though our Christmas wasn’t all that joyous and merry due to worry and stress.  I did almost all the gift shopping and holiday preparations in the last two days before Christmas (being busy with work, exhausted both physically and spiritually).

Our church family had to make a hard choice as well. It was becoming too difficult for our little group to bring up the finances to keep the ministry going so Upper Room was forced to close it’s doors just before Christmas.   God knows what lay ahead…  I believe our place is now to humble ourselves and pray for His divine guidance.  We may not open a door that God has closed, yet we know that He will open new doors- for His Purpose and Glory.

May God bring forth solutions and valuable lessons for us to learn in the coming days.  Let 2008 be a year for Him to increase, while we must decrease.

A refiner’s fire to burn out the dross… Bless Him who is faithful and true!  He will bring to completion all the work He has started.  Praise God!

Weeks 48-49

Praise the Lord who sustains us through times of testing.

Remain on the Rock of your salvation, hold fast onto the blessed hope of His promise…

These weeks have been somewhat difficult but the Lord has seen me through. Praise Him whose strength is perfect in our weaknesses.  His peace has sustained me in a quiet place of observation, though there’s been tumult and unrest all around me.  I’ve been tempted, and in a few occasions I have allowed the enemy to wound me, yet God is faithful and forgiving when we confess our sins and repent.

Give me a contrite heart Lord…

Ok, I’ll just blurt it out, what’s been happening in my life lately -I hope I can do it in an objective and honest manner, knowing that the Spirit searches our innermost depths and knows our motives. Whether pure or tainted by flesh, they are clear to Him but subject to be misguided by us -our flesh- serving the old man, stirring up strife and giving the enemy foothold.

Week 48 started off pretty rough, Monday I had to step between my hubby and our oldest son who "lost it" waving a heavy iron as a potential weapon at us (he then threw it at the wall and started toward my husband’s guns, knowing where they’re at).  It was a volatile situation, but turned out okay, and something good might have also come out of it.  My hubby removed his guns and ammo out of "possible access" (although our kids understand and are trained not to mess with such, there is always a chance that something might happen, by accident etc.) furthermore, there was room for communication.  Our son is very intelligent but is having rough time (stopped attending 12th grade and is now doing some on-line studying),  his battles are against a very negative outlook and apathy that result from a lack of inspiration.  Denying God and seeing no hope for the future of mankind, he’s got a somewhat fatalistic mindset.

Tuesday, as our time sheets were due and I had my boss sign mine, I thought it was a good opportunity to ask for a raise. My hourly wage is $2 less than my partner’s and it’s been bugging me lately a bit.  So I stated the facts to my boss and (having proved that I’m very reliable worker) told him I think it’s unfair and does not speak well about gender equality in the part of the company/employer .  Well, the outcome was: I’ve no idea how much you make… Lying to me with a straight face (as during my job interview  he stated: the company can offer you only $/hr, I had asked for more in my resume but foolishly accepted it), he said: we don’t discuss how much anyone gets paid, and gender has nothing to do with it. He then told me to put it in writing and give it to the next boss (my partner is working under a lady boss who’s paying him a better wage). Okay, I said I appreciated the info and withdrew, not telling anyone about the conversation, except for my husband who’s been pressuring me to ask for a raise.

Wednesday, I shared with brother L. about the what had happened at home on Monday, (stepping between the "alpha males" as a peace maker) and he got very upset with me, raising his voice in anger. Considering, that "this must happen" it will only get worse if I interfere-  I was wrong in doing so… OK, I got the point, loud and clear, yet this was another blow to my face.  So I faced the rest of the week’s battles quietly, licking my wounds and restraining from opening my mouth again. 

The job in itself is stressful enough (Thursday and Friday being the busiest and most difficult workdays) so I felt the need to escape and planned on heading south for the weekend. So I told my husband about my plans, he said "ok but we cannot leave the kids alone" so we agreed that I’ll take  Anna with me and we’ll do a "girl’s weekend off" as he’d take two younger sons to work with him.  Good enough, I had our bags packed Friday morning and picked up our daughter after work. Made it to Lake Worth by 6pm, found one available room left at a Finnish motel (this being the busy season) and enjoyed sauna and pool that evening.  Praise God for His provision.  On Saturday, we did some shopping (Finnish stuff) and went to a Pentecostal church picnic.  Didn’t see too many folks I knew, but that was no big deal. On Sunday we attended Trinity International worship service. It’s a televised program, but the teaching is biblically sound, and they have water baptizing  after the 2nd service.  I know some folks at Upper Room would disagree about the sinners prayer/altar call they practice (but I think that -as long as people get saved- it does no harm but good to the advancement of the kingdom).

Before the church, we spent some time at the pool.  A lady (R.) who was visiting from Finland confided in me about a bad turn her and her brother’s vacation had taken.  Their sister (whom they were visiting) had disowned them after they chose not to attend a surprise dinner at their house with guests from LDS church.  This had turned into a nasty fight and R. was very grieved and disappointed with the outcome. (They had checked in the same night I did, and I had greeted her in Finnish). We had a serious discussion about what kind of fruit we Christians should bear, how God looks at the person’s heart (and how we humans often act prompted by our flesh rather than the Spirit of God).  I shared with her some of my background and we talked about the peace of the Lord that dwells in the heart of a child of God.  This lady has a young daughter who’s born again. She also acknowledged the fact that God might be calling her…  We talked about the time of visitation and heeding the call.  I hope and pray that she does so before her time is up, and her brother also. He does good work in a social field, but seemed indifferent concerning spiritual matters.

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to share with these folks. Surely You have a plan for them! 🙂

Came back Sunday night to attend Upper Room.  Brother L. (my work partner) wasn’t there and I soon found out why, in a voice mail he told me he was feeling ill and was going to the hospital. 

The following work week was rough, as my partner was able to work only a few short hours one day.   There were the usual tasks for both of us plus extra airport runs etc, quite a burden… But I made it through by the Grace of God and with the help of others.  Realizing that despite of my own hardships Lord will grant me peace of heart and compassion toward the clients, is a great discovery. Helping them cope with their difficulties, also helps me in turn.  As I’m hurting, I can show more compassion to the hurting. Sometimes it’s the only thing to offer… There are cases that make me wonder which inflicts more harm to these precious children, bad parenting or our judicial system and social programs….

 I keep praying for His Grace and Mercy to guide my thoughts and actions, as resentment and anger tries to creep into my heart. A foul spirit of vengeance that wants to wish ill toward people I work with, this is what I presently have to battle against. Yesterday I wanted to get so s**t drunk after an extra long work day (kids sick, puking, adults arguing, hectic pace) but resisted the temptation and obeyed the Holy Spirit. Because the last time I gave in, I was tempted to dabble with works of darkness. You are walking a fine line there, when you subject your soul to be influenced by "foreign substances" such as alcohol or drugs.

Praise God, I’m still standing on the Rock…  It’s not by my own strength, but by His strength.

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