Crying Out to God

11/6/2005 6:25 AM
Title: MY SOUL CRIES OUT TO GOD
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S: ?In my distress I cried to the LORD, And He heard me?.?
Psalm 120:1

?And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of
His Son into your hearts, crying out, ?Abba, Father!?
Galatians 4:6

O: In both cases here, someone is crying out to God, as
their Father, for help. And in the crying out, they know
that there is someone there to catch them. In their crying
out, they know that someone is God. God alone can catch us
when we jump too far. God alone can catch us when life is
too much. God alone can catch us when we?re in danger.
God alone can catch us when we are in over our heads.

A: These verses speak to me today because I all of a sudden
feel like I?m in over my head. Once again, it?s budget
time again and I am trying to maintain a budget that is
focused on outreach/evangelism and I am trying to maintain
a budget based on multiple staff. Add to that mix of
buying property and doubling our rent ? whoo-boy!

As I look at it right now, our budget looks like this:

30% Rent $4200/month
35% Salaries $8-9000/month
So far so good
27% Loan on property $3800/month
30% Evangelism (this does not include the income, nor
expenditures of the RMC money) $8334/month
171% Proposed ministries budget for next year. Nearly
$20,000/month

That?s 293% of our actual income right now. Hmmm. Our
income is roughly $14,000/month.

Why do I feel the need to cry out to God? Why do I feel
the need to cry out and plead with Him about this
situation? It seems obvious.

Everything I have read about church budgets, I?m on track
for ? as to the facilities and salaries costs for the
budget. But then, our 30% towards evangelism is a huge
cost that most churches never do. But I?m a believer that
Adventist churches grow differently because of our
theology. So, I don?t see how I can afford to do anything
differently with that.

P: Lord, my soul cries out to you for this situation. This
is a huge amount of money. Not only is it a huge amount of
money, but one thing it does show is that this church is
active, it?s full and it?s growing. I?m not daunted by
this challenge, but it certainly is going to change some
things about how we do things.

How do we go about it? That?s what my soul is crying out
about God. That?s what my soul is dealing with, trying to
get my mind wrapped around this.

Last year we budgeted close to $24,000/month. We did NOT
bring that much in, but we also underspent what we actually
did bring in. So, we?re doing alright in that category.
This year, we?ve learned some things about budgeting with
this many active ministries. We?ve learned some things
about what the church needs to pay for and what others will
pay for.

When we talked about what the absolute non-negotiables for
our budget were on Thursday night, the Directors said ? 3
pastors (of which I am not a part of the budget) and
evangelism/outreach came right out on top.

Lord, we need you help. Yesterday there was a smidgen of
help. One of our directors came up to me and said he
wanted to give the other $20,000 that is needed for our
$50,000 earnest money payment (we already have $30,000 in
the bank for building fund). That?s good news and it?s
not. It?s good news because that?s $20,000. We did have
enough to make the payment anyway, but that?s still a good
amount of money.

It?s bad news, because I was going to get all my ducks in a
row and go ask this particular individual for $250,000
towards the land purchase. I?m hoping that his giving of
$20k won?t diffuse that potential of giving $250k.

Lord, my soul cries out to you. The Psalmist says in Psalm
120 that in his distress he cried out to you and you heard
him. Lord, I?m crying out to you and I know that you hear
me. I know that you hear me and will figure this thing
out.

The property thing is likely what is pushing us above and
beyond everything that we?ve ever come to. Yes, the
proposed ministry budget is also huge, but we expected to
have people ask for the moon and then to be cut down from
that point forward. They now have a better and more
realistic view of our finances and they will need to ask
for less. I will send it back to them?.

Lord, I know you hear me. I know you will answer our need.
We believe that this property deal is too good to pass up.
Yet, I?m the one that always says, good deals always come
around. Is this one of those good deals, Lord, that we
will pass on, because we will find something better around
the corner?

When we first started looking at land, we were looking for
someplace that might accommodate both locations under one
roof. Perhaps that?s not to be. Perhaps that?s not where
we?re headed. I?m not sure, Lord. But I do pray for the
Holy Spirit to guide us. I do pray for the Holy Spirit to
lead us. I do pray that you will give us wisdom and you
will lead us. I ask you into my heart. I ask you into my
life. I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit. Please guide us.

I trust you, Lord. I will follow you all my days. I love
you.

Care of this world

11/3/2005 6:57 AM
Title: DON?T LET THE CARES GET YOU DOWN
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S: ?Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who
hears the word, and the cares of this world and the
deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes
unfruitful.? Matthew 13:22

O: Interesting to read this ? after last night and after I
realized I was supposed to be reading in Mark, thought I
was in Mark and read to Kylie and still thought I was in
Mark, until I started to read again as I journaled.
Perhaps God is trying to tell me something.

A: Last night I went to a Colorado Eagle?s game with my dad
(he had two free tickets). We used to go all the time when
I was a kid ? to the Buckaroos? games. I went a lot to
Winter Hawks games when I was in High School. Last night
as I sat there, I realized that I liked hockey. But I
lived in a very different world than the hockey games. The
loud music, the beer, the sex. Although the surrounding
issues I didn?t like, hockey was still fun.

Gail had an interesting thought ? don?t you always see the
false gods built around worship, women and food. Hmmm?.

I think it would have potential to get me down, drag me
away from God, if I allowed myself to continue going,
started watching the scores, etc. But I walked away sad ?
because these people needed to be reached with the gospel
and I wonder if I can, wondered if it were possible,
wondered if they were too far away from the simplistic
message of the gospel. I left sad. I left saying, I
probably wouldn?t be back.

I said that after the Blazer game that my brother and I
went to 8-10 years ago. I am saying it again now. I live
in a different planet than most of society. I thought,
?Wow! I?ve become a country bumpkin! I don?t even fit in
anymore.?

9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth
the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)

9But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people.
You are a kingdom of priests, God?s holy nation, his very
own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness
of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his
wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)

When I left, my dad and I talked some. And I said I
probably wouldn?t go back. It was different ? the crowd
was quiet and subdued until there was a fight ? and I kept
thinking this isn?t what hockey is about. The music was
loud and probably is what kept the fans so quiet. Every
break it was LOUD. The game was different and shabby. The
dancers ? I didn?t need and didn?t watch. But when I said
it was different, my dad said, ?Yea, for $5 (the parking
fee), I?d rather go hit a bucket of balls.

I thought that was rather weird. I wasn?t thinking of
replacing this with another form of amusement or
entertainment. Rather, I was thinking of replacing it with
a way to reach these people, wondering if there was a way
to reach society, etc.

But then this scripture also speaks to me on another level.
The cares of this world. It?s not only about being
distracted with the fun the world has to offer. But I see
in this text not to get distracted from the things of God
because of my stress.

We?re dealing with a potential boundary issue dispute over
the property we?re buying. And it?s stressing me out.
Placing the house on 55 acres feels like it?s forever and
that it?s a critical decision. It is, and it isn?t. But
lately I wake up stressing about:
1. The church Property
2. Our personal property
3. Our selling of our home
4. Building questions
5. House plans
6. Church budget
7. staff issues

and I am sure I could go on and on. I think God is telling
me to not get distracted ? with email, with web sites, with
news, with the stress. Stay focused.

P: Lord, my prayer is that I will stay focused. My prayer
is that I would be the good soil, that receives hears the
word, and understands it. My prayer is that I would be the
one that ?indeed bears fruit and produces: some a
hundredfold?.? Matt 13:23 NIV

Lord, I invite you into my heart today. I ask you to guide
me as I lead my family, my church and myself. I pray you
will fill me with the Holy Spirit. I ask you to change me
and make me like you. Please come into my heart. Please
come in and fill me with your presence. I love you.