dear God…

dear God

 

“Commit your plans to the Lord and he will make you succeed.” – Proverbs

[this is a call]

I like having control over everything. When I am not in control, I get out of control. I don’t enjoy being stuck in traffic. I don’t like not knowing what’s next in life. I am a planner and I like routine. I recall when I first spoke to my pastor about God calling me to be a preacher and listening to his suggestions that I get into a good school and study theology.

Well, I wanted to get into school immediately but it took a few months. Even then I wanted to know “What’s next?” From my home study course to my undergraduate degree program to seminary. During seminary, the questions moved beyond schooling into how to get ordained as a pastor and the endless job search for a pastoral position in the local church began.

Every now and then I would go to my mail box to find another “Rejection Letter” from a church I applied for. For a long, long time, I have felt lost and confused. While I have discussed this before, I am going to re-share a story with you all; it is the encounter I had with Rod who asked me, “What are you doing now that requires faith?”

Near the end of that conversation, Rod encouraged me to write down the question to which I was seeking an answer to. I listened to his advice and asked God where he wanted me to be and where he wanted me to serve.

Over the course of ten days, I prayed and wrote ten simple prayers in a journal and each day, I felt God ask me a question. These are those questions…

What have i been preparing you for?
Why have I been preparing you?
Will your pursue me?
Why are you following me?
What are you willing to surrender?
Are you willing to let go of your past?
Will you give up your sins?
Will you give up your pain?
Will you give me room to speak?

Will you follow me?

[here i am, saying goodbye to myself]

Ever since I announced I was moving away, I’ve felt more unsure of the move. i’ve felt this way for one reason: FEAR! I am moving away without knowing the area at all, I have no idea where I am going to do for work and an income and I have no idea where I am going to stay.

That caused me to remain awake for many nights. I began to ponder all of the “what if” questions which came like a flood. I hated having to wrestle with my flesh. Then came the voices; the voices that drown out God’s voice.

What if I don’t make it?Where am I going to go?

What if I can’t find a job?

What if I go hungry?

What if my car breaks down?

God’s voice needs to be louder than everything else! I wanted to stay here, in Vermont but I know this- I am not being effective here and it’s not for a lack of trying. i’ve stepped out in obedience to God’s call.

I haven’t done as much as I wanted and I believe a lot of that is attributed to me being alone (without a wife and or someone to partner with). I don’t regret what hasn’t been accomplished either; I know God works all things together for the good. All things.

I pray for my area and I pray for the area I am moving to.

I still feel completely under qualified to do ANYTHING for God. That’s a good place to be though. God can do anything with anyone if they are willing to be used.

That said, I am moving to Texas. Whatever happens, to God be the glory!


 

dear God| written by mike monica

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these five words will change your life!

5 words that will change

[The Burden of A Calling]

Several months ago I sat across from Pastor Rod as he asked this question, “What are you doing right now that requires faith?”

The truth is, I was living within my means and inside a comfort zone that I never wanted to leave. Never! I didn’t say that of course.

A few months later, I was at Pastor Dave’s office while we discussed a range of topics. One of those topics inevitably was about where I am supposed to be in my life. I’ve been curious about this for a long, long time. I still remember what he said, “There is a difference between a burden and a calling.”

I like my comfort zone. I like the freedom I have right now but in my heart and mind, I know its only temporary.

I would say the number one reason I don’t want things to change in my life is that I’ve never had to step outside of my comfort zone on my own. I’ve put my foot outside the circle before. Yet, I’ve had the comfort of others who were around me and I knew I could fall back.

But then I remember somethings that I have written and I knew they were directed towards me; I simply wasn’t ready to take them all in.

I recall when I first left my first church, Abundant Life, I prayed two things.

1. If God is calling me to do something specific, I want him to take everything away from me so I know it can only be accomplished through him.

2. I asked God to never, ever ask me to leave the New England area all by myself.

These Five Words Will Change Your Life…

“I am with you always.”

– Jesus

[Next Steps]

So, dear readers, here’s what is going on in my life.

Over the past several weeks God has been speaking to my heart and bringing an awareness to my mind and placing things in such a way that I am finding it is only God who can do these things.

Here’s a huge announcement…

I am moving to Texas!

I am moving to begin a Community Group and launch a Church.

No, I can’t begin to believe those words myself. I still struggle to see God calling me, using me and somehow figuring out everything that needs to be accomplished but I suppose that is why he is God.

I am in the initial phases right now of saving money and preparing to move away. I am nervous and excited, terrified and calm.

[Get Involved]

Moving away and driving across the country to a place I have never been to makes you stand on your toes. So this is where YOU come in.

Here’s how you can help.

1. Pray.

If that is all you can do, that is more than enough!

2. Donate to my “Go Fund Me” campaign which I set up. All the proceeds will contribute to both the moving expenses I will have as well as the initial church planting expenses.

God bless,

Mike.

http://www.gofundme.com/f3ayfo

you hide, i seek

HideandSeek-Series-Graphic1

[the games we play]

I recall a number of years ago, I spent some time with some friends over the weekend. My friends were actually visiting family and had invited me to go with them and so I tagged along. Their family lived in a huge house and i mean, HUGE! We are talking three bathrooms and ten bedrooms. A weekend wasn’t even enough time to explore the entire place!

We all knew Sunday was the day we would go out to eat and rent some movies, which of course left Saturday for us to find something to do which would be entertaining. We decided to play the game, “Hide and Seek.”

One of my friends had located a really cool hideout spot and suggested that we hide in three together. I obliged with this request and we went into a closet on the very top floor of this house. The problem was this: the closet door locked automatically from the outside and so when the door was shut behind us, we were trapped.

It was a great bidding place but we valued our lives a bit more so we spent about five minutes banging on the door and yelling for help. We were rescued of course.

[finding God in the games we play]

Newsflash: if you keep in touch with this blog (and I hope you do) then you already know how often I deal with my own insecurity and my calling. It’s not only an issue of who I am but this age old question of where I am going or more accurately, where is God calling me to?

Hide and seek is a really awesome game when we consider the will of God for our lives. It’s sort of like this: God the Father begins counting and we run off with Jesus to go and find a place to hide. Jesus leads us into a closet and we follow him in there because we trust him. Of course, Jesus closes the door and it locks from the outside.

With everything in me, i want to scream as loud as I can and break the door down. Since I cannot do that, I yell so I can rescued. Jesus, on the other hand, would whisper, “Be still.”

[remember this]

i. When you or I are so wrapped up in seeking God’s will for our lives, we can easily forget that our most basic call is to pursue Him. (Jeremiah 29:13)

ii. When you or I are wrapped up in working for God, we can easily forget that we should cultivate a life centered on intimacy. (Luke 10:38-42)

iii. When you or I are wrapped up in going where Jesus is, the storms in our lives can shake our faith as we forget the most important thing is that, regardless of what we are going through, we are with Jesus. (Matthew 8:23-27)

iv. Everything we need in life is provided to us following our response to God’s call to seek his kingdom and his righteousness first. (Matthew 6:33)