We are just 2 days away from our family vacation this summer, and we cannot wait. We are going to spend a week at the beach with just the 4 of us (we are praying that this will be the last time we do anything as a family of 4 and Ezekyal will be with us soon) with no distractions. So this will be the last ATN blog until we return home the following week. It can be really difficult to relax with so much going on in Haiti and knowing that Ezekyal cannot join us, but we have been looking forward to this for a while now. When we return, we will write a blog series about the futures that our kids want and we will also write a blog series about some of the difficulties of foreign aid and specifically as it affects Haiti. But today I wanted to leave you with a quote from a book I have been reading by Jim Cymbala:
“Our attempt at ministry will be an absolute exercise in futility if we are not expecting and experiencing divine help through the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Jim Cymbala
This was a strong reminder to me last night as I was reading this book as a part of my quiet time. In the midst of doing ministry, it is so easy to forget that our power does not come from our planning, our expertise, our knowledge, or even our desire to make a difference. Our power comes from GOD as He lives inside of us. For those of you that don’t know me, I am very much a planner, a researcher, and a thinker even to the point that, and Jess likes to bring this up from time to time, it one time took me 2 weeks to purchase a pair of running shoes. Since I think and operate this way, I also enjoy being around others who are like this, when I read books they are usually by people who believe this way, and in general I convince myself that this is the “correct” way to live life. Hopefully you understand what I am saying.
The problem that I run into is that this is not the “correct” way to live life. We need people around us who are different from us and can help us with our weaknesses. One of my weaknesses is that if I am not careful, I can “plan and think” the Holy Spirit right out of my life and decisions. I can overthink something so much that I miss an opportunity or talk myself out of something that could have been a really good thing. Luckily, in my personal life, I have many people who are much different than I am. In fact, Jess and I talk about all of the time how different we are and how much we help each other because our strengths and weaknesses (at least in general) are very different. My parents and Jessica’s parents are also very different and they each balance us out in many ways. I can also think of people who are involved in All Things New who think about things in ways that are completely foreign to me but are also brilliant. Many names come to mind immediately, but I am not going to name them because I do not want to leave anyone out, but I think you get the point.
I may have beaten around the bush a little bit, but my point in writing this blog is that we will never accomplish anything as individuals, churches, or All Things New without the power of the Holy Spirit. We can have incredible ideas and execute them to perfection but accomplish next to nothing in our own power. I am not arguing that we cease all attempts to plan and research our ministry. I am not suggesting that we do things on a whim or that we are not well-thought-out in our actions. What I am suggesting is that we constantly ask the Holy Spirit to be a part of every single decision that we make, action that we take, and idea that we discuss. I am suggesting that we fall on our knees as individuals, as churches, and as All Things New and beg the Holy Spirit to show us how powerful He is. As we attempt to make this the driving force of All Things New, here are some ways you can help:
- Help us find churches to partner with us in ministry. This is so important because any time we go to our partner churches with prayer requests, we can tangibly feel their prayers.
- Commit to pray for All Things New and use that as a reminder to ask the Holy Spirit to transform your life, your family’s life, and your church’s life as well.
- Get involved in a church! You may not understand how this would help All Things New, but it is so important that our supporters are growing in their relationship with Christ and we cannot do that without belonging to a local church.