Posts Tagged ‘trials’

26
May

God’s Garage Sale for His Glory

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

Well, I must say today I finally feel like I am on the upswing of things. I can catch up now that life has slowed down a little. Two weeks ago we had our Women’s Retreat. If I was just a participant I may have been refreshed, but because I was on the committee I needed to recoup. But then again, I probably would have been up half the night either way! Normally, after we are done with retreat we can rest, but the garage sale our Encouragement and Accountability Group was throwing came just a week later; last weekend. I I had come down with a cold after retreat and that tried to slow me down, but I think I did really well anyway. Ron and I priced our stuff like mad and I know that there were more people than I could name who donated tons of stuff. Our EA group leaders, John and Sarah Cooper, were the founding planners of this event. They donated their garage and yard, hours and days of their lives, and coordinated it all. Sarah was also the head of our retreat committee. So we were all being sustained by the strength of God.
What could have been a real bummer sale (the weather was ummm rainy, windy, and just plain bad) turned out to be a testimony to God’s blessing for our mission. The one and a half days of the sale added $1,444 to our Outgoing Mission Fund. I have never heard of such a thing before. It was amazing.  We had so many people come and donate their time to work it too.  The Chapmans and the Howards, who are on our EA team, were always there or close at hand.  It was a gift on so many levels.  It encouraged us, it obviously helped us financial, and it gave us something productive to do.  We are looking for more things like this to continue that momentum.  If you have any ideas, we would love to hear them.

Now that we are past these events we look forward to a family garage sale that will be happening the 19th of June at Ron’s Mom’s house.  We have taken what was left of our stuff from the sale and will be including the rest of our stuff in storage and anything else that we can from our house. 

Also, I am thinking of putting together a cookbook or some type of book to earn money because I have a spiral binding machine and the coils.  Do you guys have any ideas on what I could do?  I want to sell them for our mission. 

Well, with that I will close.  Off to home school the kids, do my college class, and Spanish.  Praying that soon we will see Peru and do what God has putting into our hearts to do.  We still have a ways to go.  We are getting about 1/4 of what we need monthly and have gotten about 15% of our outgoing so far.  We are praying that God prompts the hearts of those he has richly blessed to give generously.  Please join us in this prayer.

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27
Dec

In the Grip of Grace

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

From the moment I met the Lord I have felt his grace, but cannot say that I ever understood it.  It is so beyond what we have to offer in our humanity.  Unmerited favor.  And not just for those who are good to us, who do for us, or give to us, but to those who are the worst, who have hurt us….who have turned their backs on us.  Yet, that is what God did for us; humanity.  Does that not leave you breathless with wonder?

One of our books that we have been asked to read for our mission preparation is this book.  In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.  The picture will lead you do a link with a description.

 

I am gaining an understanding of God’s grace that I never had before and it is overwhelming at times.  I am re-reading chapters before moving on because I am very certain it is God trying to teach me this very lesson.  Mr. Lucado has used his skills as a writer, and his heart for God, to put this together into something that I needed to understand, as best I am able.  It is not often that I read a book that changes my perspectives and understandings, but I find that it is true with this one.  I find it to correspond with the bible and not contradict it, and it points out things I have missed.  I find that I am by far touched with the awesome truth of God more in knowing the measure of his grace and am very humbled at the sacrifices that Paul and so many early biblical believers made with the realization of God’s amazing grace.  Paul understood it.  And he lived and died living a example of it.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a proper prospective of what we have received, yet didn’t deserve.  God’s Grace.

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3
Dec

Bumpy Road Ahead

   Posted by: Ron & Stephanie Kenaston    in Our Mission

I have been pondering many things this last month.  Most of them are no different than the things you ponder about.  But my conclusions may be different.  This is because I am in intense training and know it.  I have signed up for the Lord’s army and will be shipping out in a few months.  Sounds a little intense putting it that way, doesn’t it?  But the fact of the matter is, that is exactly what it is.  I am not going on a vacation.  It will not be cozy, or comfortable, or easy, or without trials.  I will witness things and experience things we, here in the USA, protect ourselves from experiencing.  Most things uncomfortable we have solutions for and can afford to get the solutions or medicate ourselves through, or. . . the list could go on, and I know you know what I mean.  But when I am there those things will be gone.  The easy solutions.  Some people have said that it is crazy…and it seems so.  But never in my life have I drawn closer to the Lord or to his service than when I have been out of element, uncomfortable, and depending on Him.  America is the land of the free, and plenty, and choice, and…. And often times that all leads us away from God.  Why do we have to depend on a God when we have what we need at our disposal.  We can do it ourselves. But I found I grew blind to many things when I could afford to ignore much.  This last month God has pointed out the things that I cannot ignore or avoid in any culture. 

The realities of our humanity in this fallen world. 

People get sick and some get well, and some don’t. 

People die. 

Some are saved, some are not. 

People are spiritually in need of our Savior. Some will hear of Him and some won’t. 

People are hurting no matter what their culture or living conditions.

People are getting abused by other people no matter what their income level. 

And some how when you sign up for the Lord’s Army he tears layers away from your heart to care more deeply about the hurting.  To see what you didn’t and feel what you guarded yourself from before. 

How interesting.  And how painful it can be.  Yet, still, I am thankful.  Because I am receiving training that is very much needed.  I cared before, but I care more deeply now.  And maybe the most interesting thing of all is that I find more relief in taking it to the Lord right away, rather than saying, “Oh, that is so sad.” or trying to figure out the solution or feeling helpless.  I am already being drawn to a place where it can all be too much on my own.  And it happens more and more each day.  And I am going to the Lord in prayer, worship, and dependence every day.  I will not ask for trials, but I will be thankful for them when they come and I am going to be in the mindset that God has a lesson for me in going through this.  He is preparing me emotionally for the field.  And that is what I asked for.  But I also asked for his guidance in dealing with everything, and you know what He has provided me with?  More of himself.

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