Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Faith in Finances - Part 2

Part Two - August 2010

We just wanted to send out an update and God-story related to our previous email from this summer regarding Scott's job transition...

It has been SO neat to see God work and confirm that He has led us down this path, first and foremost for His glory and fame. So everything you read below, remember that the praise goes to Him and not to us.

Even before Scott started his position at the school a few weeks ago, God used men and women and students to encourage and edify him with their comments and excitement about having him as the 7th grade Bible teacher at PCS. If you are one of those, THANK YOU for your kind words! The school administration has been so encouraging of Scott as well, and he is so thankful for the principals and headmaster who are willing to mentor him and invest in him as both a teacher, co-worker, and fellow heir with Christ.

We thought we would send out an update around Christmas, but God's miracles and blessings have already been so abundant that we wanted to give you a glimpse into it all as soon as possible. Christy has been keeping a notebook of verses that the Lord has given us over the course of the summer to remind us of His love and provision. Additionally, she has tried to keep track of all the ways God has provided for us in the midst of our financial transition. These are listed below, and we hope you will be encouraged by them. We pray you feel blessed as many of you see your own acts of kindness and generosity toward us that we attribute to your willingness to serve and obey God. We also ask for your forgiveness where we have forgotten things because we know God has provided in ways that we've failed to even see.

Also, some of you know that we are currently in our "45 days of faith" - our little nickname for the time between the last student ministries paycheck and the first school paycheck. Now more than ever, every little miracle seems to jump out at us, whereas before we would have not have been prone to see God's hand quietly orchestrating every ounce of provision and care. What is even more amazing is the peace and contentment God has given us - and especially Christy - during this time. Recently she had "one of those days," but she knows that the peace and joy that came to her heart could only be from the power of the Holy Spirit. You see, the boys were both diagnosed with strep throat, and as she loaded them into the car to leave the doctor's office, the a/c in the car broke. A quick call to Honda revealed that it was the compressor that would need to be the tune of $3400. This was all about 5pm. By6pm, God had provided an incredibly Godly and talented man willing to fix the car for half that...and before 8pmeven rolled around, this man's wife had called and said that a church/school family was willing to help contribute toward the repair costs so that we would only have to pay a fraction of it all. In less than 3 hours the car had broken & God had it all lined up to be fixed affordably. Yay God! As we discussed later in the evening, marveling at what God had done, we both agreed that in such a mysterious way, trials and tribulations are God's tool for revealing His love and faithfulness. We can't understand the full depth of His character without difficulties in our lives. (And we are the first to admit that a broken a/c on a car is a very shallow form of difficulty; we know many of you are walking much harder paths of pain that God has not yet found us worthy to walk...)

The verse that God gave Christy to start her day with that crazy day was from Habakkuk 3:17-18. She acknowledges that the Holy Spirit gave her the strength to live out this verse, and we pray for you and hope that you will pray for us that no matter what future trials come our ways...YET we will REJOICE in Him...

Habakkuk 3:17-18 -
                Though the fig tree should not blossom,
                nor fruit be on the vines,
                the produce of the olive fail
                and the fields yield no food,
                the flock be cut off from the fold
                and there be no herd in the stalls,

Other verses for encouragement:

Psalm 9:9-10
                The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed;
                a stronghold in times of trouble.
                And those who know your name put their trust in you,
                for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Isaiah 43:2,4
                When you pass through the waters, I will be with you,
                And through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
                When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,
                And the flame shall not consume you.
                Because you are precious in my eyes,

                and honored, and I LOVE YOU...

Philippians 4:19
                And my God will meet all your needs according to his
                glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Nehemiah 9:21
                Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked NOTHING.
                Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell.

Psalm 112:7
                He is not afraid of bad news;
                his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Our (incomplete) list of ways God has provided for us on our new journey...

*An extra class for Scott to teach for extra income
*A coaching position that earns an extra stipend
*An extra shift at the bike shop to pay for Christy's travels to N.C. with a neighbor friend
*A mini-camp teaching position for Christy and free camp for the boys this summer
*Free swim lessons for Tal from a talented and Godly swim teacher
*A weekend on Lake Burton from gracious friends sharing their lake home with us
*Scott's garden producing food for us to eat this summer
*Scott safely traveling to work on his bike - saving us gas money and car mileage
*Two wonderful, Christian high school girls blessing us with free & discounted babysitting
*Awesome neighbors willing to watch our dog for free when we were out of town
*Tal busted his tooth in a biking accident - praise God that it healed on its own!
*Purses, shoes, clothing, and jewelry from amazing friends and family for Christy
*Cousin Mikey's hand-me-down shoes and clothes graciously packed by Aunt Beth and shipped by Uncle Chuck
*Loving neighbor who gave us a very nice Igloo cooler to use this summer as Christy worked camp
*Multiple invitations to use the pools of friends (our n'hood has no pool)
*Free Gwinnett Braves tickets and parking from Scott's mom's neighbor
*Chik-Fil-A Cow  appreciation day - the entire family ate for FREE (and yes, we joyfully dressed up as cows - even Scott :-)
*An entire wardrobe of new work clothes from Scott from an incredibly gracious neighbor
*"New" casual clothes for Scott from his awesome brother
*Gift cards to Target and Publix just when we needed them!
*Tal's eyes are healing; he didn't need new glasses; and his precious doctor waived the copay of his last appt.
*Free toys and school supplies from various people willing to share what they didn't need
*Scott won free Dippin' Dots playing bean bag toss - the boys were thrilled!
*Precious Grandma and Nanny who stocked our home with toiletries and food for our "45 days of faith", bought the boys some fall clothes/shoes, and took us out to eat - a rare treat!
*Free tickets to take the boys to see the Wiggles from a generous family at the church
*Surprise books and toys from Grandpa Penzone
*Abundant blessings from Uncle Chuck & Aunt Beth - tickets to the zoo, the pool, the gym, and meals out!
*Our broken car fixed for a fraction of Honda's quoted cost, by a godly man and the contributions of his and other families.

We know this is just a miniscule fraction of the ways God has cared for us. Every breath that we breathe is a gift from Him. What has really jumped out at us is that God has not only blessed us with things we need, but He has LAVISHED His love on us because He is a perfect Father who loves to bless His children. We pray that you may also know this loving God. He is not punitive; He disciplines those He loves, but He also enjoys spending time with His children and blessing them. More than anything we long for all our friends and family to know the love of God that spared not His own Son, but gave Him up willingly so that we could know not only peace on this earth, but peace and joy eternally in heaven with Him. We are ALWAYS willing to disciple anyone who wants to know more of this kind of God, so please know that our door is always open, there is always coffee in the pantry, and there is always a place on our couch to help you discover what it means to have a real, living relationship with Jesus.

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