Being Still, Quiet & Alone with HIM

Dear Friends:
Again, I stand humbled by the blessings of God and how, unworthy as I am, He continues to encourage me and surprise me in ways I could not have imagined.  I was speaking to Spencer tonight of how our journey with Christ is somewhat like an adventure, as in a Tolkien novel. But rather than fighting against trolls or goblins, we fight with cash flow, payroll, new health department mandates and federal laws for foreign visas.  Each day seems to bring new perils and each night, we somehow seem to have survived another skirmish!
But this is the world He has allowed us to be placed in.  We know that things are not always “right” and yet some things do turn out right—often times better than we imagined.  It is in the early mornings that I seem to struggle the most with the existential questions of my purpose and what I am supposed to be doing— or what I should be giving up. My mind and thoughts towards Him seem far more intense and focused when all around me is quiet and there is nothing left to distract me from—viz 3:00 am to 5:00 am. I ponder and pray and imagine the holy things as I never am able to do during the hustle and bustle of the day. I suppose that’s one reason I am so disgusted with the addiction many of us have to “social media”, iPhones, iPads, etc. Those devices and avenues for conversation seem to leave no place for simply “being” and not overstimulating our minds with objects, conversations and sound. There’s something profoundly holy about being still, quiet and alone with Him that brings us to an understanding of who He is and what we are that can never be appreciated on a “blue screen”.
Today I struggled, again, with my task of raising funds for the camp. I believe in this vision and this holy place with every fiber of my body. But I am not fond of begging for support—-regardless of how noble the purpose and goal of our mission here.  Most folks I contact have good reasons to support our efforts but also have reasons not to give.  Yet I often think of what C.S. Lewis said about giving: “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
Imagine how well endowed Christian ministries around the globe would be if God’s children gave “until it pinched” a bit!  But as I said at the beginning of this little note, God surprised me and blessed me in my efforts far more than I expected—and from sources I never imagined. My task was to do the work, God’s task was to bless my feeble efforts. 
Funny how when we admit our frailty and inability to Him at the beginning of the day and seek His blessing as we seek to honor Him, He takes care of us.
Dean Barley

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