Our journey – the next few weeks

Our next 2 weeks will involve a sllightly epic journey across the US to San Antonio, as we continue to meet friends and family and hopefully make further progress with our support raising. I think a few people think we are slightly crazy for comtemplating this in the middle of winter. Thakfully the weather forecast has turned in our favour, and we will have good weather for most of our jouney. Anyway, we thought we would include a map for you so that you can see where our trip will be taking us, its around 2,400 miles in total

map.png.

Fear of failure

failure_successIf I’m honest fear of failing is a big problem for me. Achieving high and being successful is an important part of my identity. It’s an area of my life that God has been stripping away in recent years, and in some painful ways at times. All to bring me to that place of brokenness, dependence on God. If that final phrase sounds rather trite, I apologise. I can’t think of another way of describing the process that God uses to shape, mould us and prepare us.

This fear of failure has loomed large in my life particularly as we have tried to discern our call to urban mission and eventually join Servant Partners. I started to sense where God was leading us about 2 years ago. I had just finished reading a book called Submerge, by John Hayes who founded Innerchange. This book profoundly influenced me and helped me to articulate some of the things I sensed God was calling us to. I read the book again with Jennie, and this journey started to take shape from there.

One of the things we started to consider was support raising. In earlier posts we have already said that asking people for money was intimidating. However, a bigger issue for me was the fear that people wouldn’t support, that we couldn’t raise the funds we needed and we’d be left with egg on our faces. What would people say? Are we being irresponsible? Is this one risk too many? About 18 months ago I heard very clearly from Jesus on this issue of living by faith. I remember that I was praying on my drive to work, and I heard Jesus say, ‘if I lived by faith and this lifestyle was good enough for me, why isn’t it good enough for you? What’s so different about you?’

Richard Branson says that we should embrace failure, not fear it. Personally, I’m not sure that’s realistic for me, the feelings of diappointment and rejection that come with failure are messy and can be hard to resolve. Branson does share other wisdom in this area though. His advice ‘I’ve always found that the first step in overcoming fear is figuring out exactly what you’re afraid of.’ The world’s view of success for us would be a thriving church plant on the Eastside of San Antonio in several years, a family feeling completely adjusted and accepted into its new community, fully support raised over a period of years, our children doing really well in school and coping well with the challenges in our neighbourhood. These are just a few examples and of course, all of these woud be great but I’m not sure life is always like that.

I have come to learn through some of my experiences that God values a faithful walk with him and is less interested in results and outcomes. Micah 6:8 is a verse that has spoken to me

Micah 6:8

What Does the LORD Require?

6“With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7Will the LORD be pleased witha thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,b
and to walk humbly with your God?

This is one of my biggest challenges as we prepare to move to San Antonio in early Feb. Is this enough for me? ‘ to do justice, and to love kindness,b
and to walk humbly with your God’ or do I need more? Do I need the world’s view of success or is God’s enough?

A new year, a new beginning

“and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise,
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbor,
Thee, O Son, at my helm
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.”

Twice now we’ve been given the following scripture:

“I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” Philemon 1:6

As we look ahead to the unknown of 2015 with eager anticipation of what Jesus has in store, I pray for boldness and a strong anchoring in Jesus. I want my faith and relationship with Jesus to be a hallmark on my life, that steers and infuses every meeting, every new friendship, every obstacle on our path. May every proclamation of His goodness bring us into a deeper understanding of who He is!

a prayer from:
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett

O Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in Thy presence,
in Thy service, to Thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from Thee,
but may rely on Thy Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth Thy praise,
testify Thy love,
advance Thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbor,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me Thy grace to sanctify me,
Thy comforts to cheer,
Thy wisdom to teach,
Thy right hand to guide,
Thy counsel to instruct,
Thy law to judge,
Thy presence to stabilize.
May Thy fear by my awe,
Thy triumphs my joy.

Amen

Praying that our family and yours will be faithful to join God’s healing work in the lives of those around us and that we may all experience the joy of transformation and new life!