By Sandy Jones
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
We all have times in our lives that there’s so much going on that we don’t know which way to turn or what to do first.
This has been one of those times.
I have thoroughly loved summer 2019; our family reunion and my sibling get-to-gather were both held here this June; I was blessed to go a church conference in Orlando; spent the Fourth of July with friends and family; had a girls’ day at the waterpark with grandkids; went camping; and friends from Florida visited for a week.
Somehow I managed to find time to meet Christopher Beth, as he shared his passion about clean drinking water in third world countries. I can’t wait for you to read his story in this edition. The more I worked on this story, the more passionate I became about this life-changing ministry!
Meanwhile, SEO Idaho has been putting the finishing touches on our new website. This has been a work in progress for several months now, drawn out by my indecision and fear of making the wrong choice. One day I recalled that no decision is a decision. By my actions I had decided to do nothing new with our website. Definitely not the direction planned for this year. Full of fiery determination and one long morning at my computer, I compiled all the notes, organizing everything into a comprehensive (I hope) list, and sent it off. Decisions made. Action taken. And as I often end my emails to our crew – Onward and Upward. Time to move on.
Another goal we’ve been fervently seeking direction for: growth. More indecision. More fear of making the wrong choice; and as long as I’m being completely transparent, maybe a bit of fear of rejection, and some fear of failure. What if a new community doesn’t like us? How will we support this growth?
Wrestling with all of these choices, and mired in indecision, I attended a local prayer meeting. The leader challenged us to stop and really, REALLY think about how big God is. For me, it’s difficult to wrap my head around how God, Who created this gigantic universe, can hear me, and even wants to hear from me. He’s bigger than our universe. He’s bigger than all of the universes out there. And me? In comparison to all of that, I’m smaller than the tiniest sugar ant, and yet, He not only wants to hear from me, He wants a relationship with me! This ministry is a result of Him not only hearing me, but Him listening to me… and me, listening to Him.
For years at my old job, I frequently prayed, “Dear God, if this isn’t my forever career, could You please leave me a little bit of time to do ministry?” Just a little bit. A smidgen. That was all I was asking. His answer was beyond my wildest imagination!
Realizing this I knew it was time once again to make a decision. Christian radio station 88.1 “The Bridge” in Twin Falls was getting ready to put on a large event called Parktacular. What better way to meet our neighbors in the Magic Valley. Signing up for a booth before I could second guess myself once again, we plunged in with both feet.
It was a beautiful fall-like summer day. Not too hot. Not too cold. And just enough breeze to keep it comfortable. My husband and I set up our booth, fully aware that for most of the attendees we would be an unknown entity. We were anxious to see what the day would bring. We made new friends; we shared hope and promise; and we were welcomed in! Starting with this edition we will be adding Twin Falls to our distribution area, slowly at first, and adding more and more pick-up locations, just like we did here in the Treasure Valley over 6 years ago.
I might just be starting to understand how Jabez felt.
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory. Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV)
This summer has been a refresher course on not putting God in a box. A wise pastor friend of mine shared with me that Jesus tells us that His burden is light, reminding me that if my load felt heavy, it was because I was doing all the lifting and toting and not giving it to God.
He was right. Once again I’d taken all these projects on, trying to do it all myself. Praying without listening for God’s response. I had been busy being busy.
Repeatedly this summer I’d heard the message of “praise Him in the storm.” With time I’ve learned that if I sing praises to Him, I mysteriously let go of the load, and allow Him to carry it.
In our last issue I had the privilege of interviewing Brandi Swindell, who shared her story. Somehow in the process I made the leap from her parents being separated to them being divorced. We were already in print when this error was brought to my attention. They never divorced. Heartsick about this grievous error we had it fixed on our electronic edition, and on our website, but could only apologize to Brandi for physical copies already in the hands of our readers. Instead of being furious, or demanding retribution, Brandi showed much the same grace we receive from our Heavenly Father. She was quick to forgive, wanting only to protect the integrity of her parents’ memories. A beautiful lady inside and out!
I ask often, and it is with the greatest sincerity… Please frequent our advertisers and thank them for supporting Christian Living Magazine. If it weren’t for their support, we simply wouldn’t exist. We love them and think you will too!
Until next time…….