A word out of silence

Two years ago this author proclaimed that this blog was being revived. A couple articles were written and Tim noticed that he had repeated what he had shared in previous article and once again the blog went silent. The other factor that was discouraging was the realization that any images used related to articles need to be original or public domain.  Today, as thoughts and prayers occur for friends and loved ones, the need to start writing here again became overwhelming.  Yet, also an odd time for the potential revitalization of this blog.  The New Year is bringing an unanticipated new directions as a Doctoral in Counseling program came into awareness and will be embarked on. So why the prompting to restart writing. Earlier this year, my wife even asked me why I don’t write for the blog anymore. I really didn’t have an answer. More then likely, it was letting elements of self get in the way, so while there was a part of me that sought to re-engage, the part of self that disengages became stronger. So why now?  Well, there is so much going on in this world that impacts believers. There are struggles real to many. There are thoughts that God has brought to my find that others may benefit from reading as I continue to grow.  Please pray that I stick with the plan for renewed writing. So, for now, this blog is no longer silent and may words flow here that build you up in God’s peace.

Personal Update and Prayer Requests

Yes, the blog has been silent. That is my error still and working in getting to a point of being re-engaged. It is not that God has me silent or lacking of anything to say. Just some how I still have gone into that place of retreat. I  do not know if it is a re-energizing or what.  Since I last posted there have been trials that occurred. One was missing a planned vacation. Now one more recent in my being “tagged” by a semi-truck on way home this week.  I know need to re-engage.  I also have failed to update on Freedom House/Kingdom Pathways progress. I do intend to restart posting and start the discipline of posting rather than being a blog that just simply fades into emptiness and stumbled upon.  I do need to update links as well.

Here are some prayer requests:

1: God energizing me to write articles and thoughts.

2: Recent accident, that my car is not totalled and if it is totalled for us to be able to find a way to manage it financially without too much owed.  I believe God has lessons for me here as well, so pray for wisdom and understanding.

3. Pray for Kingdom Pathways/Freedom House. Right now there is a need for 7000$ a month to hire more staff and take a lot of burden off the man doing most of the significant work. Also pray for healing and freedom for the men who come to get help there.

4. Pray that I am able to touch all who God brings my way and draw them toward healing and restoration in there lives.

There are probably more but the main point of this post is to actually to post and to ask for prayer. Let us see where things go from here.

Freedom House Update: A way to help Kingdom Pathways via IGive.com

It has been awhile since I have posted any updates regarding the Kingdom Pathways run homeless outreach program Freedom House. The governmental issues were able to be sorted at and cleared at a moment when all was about to be lost. Since that time the program has operational with funding primarily through U-Care insurance for men. The funding covers the bare basics and is volatile. There is ongoing need for help from others and donations can be made easily for details go here: http://www.kingdompathways.org/generosity.php.

Why does a program that gets insurance funding need help? Isn’t everything covered? The answer in short is no. Already funding issues that have put things in jeopardy have come up. The program is operating on a bare bones budget and there is need for more staff but there are budget limitations to hiring.

Also there is limits on the individuals served. Right now only those with one insurance provider are eligible. There is no source of funding for uninsured or other insurance options. Given the current budget one persons stay averages out to cost $3400 a month. So in order for one uninsured individual to be placed there would need to be that much income designated and assured.

The program is a faith based program so any material that builds up individuals spiritually needs to come from other sources than governmental funds. So donations for material and training to help facilitate healing and growth is extremely important and can only be done via donations.

Given the nature of insurance there can be funding lags due to technical issues that put program at risk of coming short of budget. God has provided up till now and will continue to do so.

Now one may be reading this but thinking “Hey I would love to help but I just do not have the additional money to give right now.” Well, there is a way that involves helping out in a small way that does not entail any new investment from you. It simply diverts a portion of what you purchase online to the non-profit you support. The only catch is that you need to download a “button” so that when you shop online there is recognition of the purchase and funds diverted. Just follow this link: I GIVE.  Sure the amounts are small percentages but every little bit helps. If you buy things online and want to help, this is easy.  If you follow the link and download the appropriate button, you can help each time you make a purchase. 

Whether you choose to help in that way or not, please do continue to pray each day for the program and the men in the program to reach freedom and healing from addiction and be set on the path of life.

Musing on Facing Threats and the Care of God

Personally things have been emotionally draining the past week. Emotions have been raw and anxiety has come easily. The reason for the anxiety is related to some current ongoing threats of loss. Things important to me are at risk. It does not really matter what the risks are, but they are there. However, the things that are at immediate threat are the potential loss to the state of Minnesota if politicians do not approve a stadium. The other threat is to our dog’s health and well being. She developed a cancerous skin tumor that most likely is benign. However, it is still a threat and anxiety producing. See, these are things that personally there are deep care and attachment. When what we care about is at risk, our emotions become volatile with anger and anxiety there easily. Questions come about whether these things that are cared for have too much importance or the care has reached the point of idolatry. Yet, idolatry comes when things cared for are things from which we draw life. They become so important that nothing else matters. God created us to love and care. He wired us to develop attachments. God has given us directions to deal with such threats. Psalms 55:22 (ESV) sates “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” And 1 Peter 5:7 (ESV) states
“casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” The verses shows a simple step. Turn over what we care about to God and trust him. God will see us through whatever the threat. God does not promise that there will not be loss. God promises to sustain us, and to look out for our welfare regardless of what happens. God simply directs us to present our request to him. Philippians 4:6 (ESV) states “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” We are directed to ask God about the things we care about but have an attitude of thanksgiving and gratitude. Thanksgiving is important here, because God gave us things to care about. Be it a pet, be it a sport team, be it family or whatever else we care about. God gave us these things. So whether there is loss or the ability to continue to care, we are to be thankful for what God has given and allowed. Loss may or may not happen, yet what God has given is good. Yet, God allows threats and difficulties. Life is an ongoing battle with pain, suffering, and loss constantly lurking. God directs us to stand firm and endure. He asks us to submit to Him, to acknowledge Him, to depend on Him. When we do so, he will sustain us and at the right time, raise us up, not because of anything of our own regard, but because we turn to Him. It is easy to get lost and distracted in the things we care for and we can easily make them more important than God in our life. However, the treats of loss are not related to anything out of proper alignment, rather such times allow us to evaluate and examine where our affections lie and what we look to for life and strength. Even when nothing is out of alignment, God still allows for loss and tests, for it draws us to Him and allows Him to work and show us His love for us, by working as He will in the matters that we care about. This is why God wants us to direct our request to Him and depend on Him, for it gives Him opportunities to demonstrate His love for us. Whatever the results God shows He cares for us. Romans 8:28 (ESV) states “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” God does not promise that everything goes according to our will, just that He works it all out for good. The good ultimately comes from God demonstrating His love and care in whatever way he will in the circumstances of life and what we care for. God works when we give him opportunity to do so, and that work is ultimately building us up in His love, whatever may occur. So, in my life there may be loss, or loss may be stayed. Yet, God will be faithful in all. That being said my requests before God is for the football team to remain in Minnesota and for my dog, Bella, to not have her life in jeopardy due to some cancerous skin cells. Yet, whatever happens God will demonstrate His love for me, because He does care for me, far greater than my care for a sports team and a pet.

Freedom House Update: Standing in the midst as struggle continues

Sorry for the lack of update on the Freedom House situation. There is ongoing need for prayer. The struggle continues with the City of St. Paul over licensing and zoning in order to fully operate continues. In a strange turn of events two weeks ago the City of St. Paul fire department came with an order to shut down as claimed not in compliance with zoning. There are 2 properties that constitute Freedom House, 1038 Auroa and 426 Oxford. There was some initial miscommunication related to that 1038 Auroa property that seems to have been cleared. However, the 426 Oxford property is considered zoned as a duplex at this time rather than Transitional Housing which was the zoning answer negotiated through reasonable accommodation. However, there is an apparent zoning code that indicates a duplex property cannot be “transitional housing” that had previously been not referenced. Verbal approval has been given to operate but nothing has been placed in writing. Things have progressed in negotiations to the point where city staff are coming again to look at the two properties on 3/19/12 @ 1:30 pm.  So please pray for the facility at that time in particular. Also noteworthy is that there is a hearing before the St. Paul City Council scheduled for April 4th at 5:00 PM. There is hope for resolution prior to that meeting but if not, we are trusting for God to bring things to a full resolution at that time.

In the meantime the houses are serving gentlemen and underway helping others. Currently the program is being staffed with people volunteering their time. There is a current need for volunteers for overnight and weekend shifts until funding starts coming in and can pay overnight staff. Please pray for God to raise up such volunteers be it one for each night until funded or a couple people managing multiple nights.

Also donations of funds is also critical as Jim Michaud and family have given everything to see that people are reached. There are bills that need to be paid, please consider giving a donation at www.kingdompathways.org. You can also send a donation by mail to: Kingdom Pathways; P.O. Box 4125; St. Paul, MN 55104. You can also send questions to info@kingdompathways.org.

Personal Musing: What we have here is a failure of engagement blamed on a little thing: A virus

Yes, there has been a lack of fresh content on here for some time. It is a failure and wrongdoing on my part. My apologies for that, it has not been what God desires, rather it comes from letting self settle back and not engage in things I need to engage in doing. There of course are reasons for the inaction but still not what God was leading. Now that being said, the biggest reason in the lack of engagement and new writing is this writer has been sick. Either there has been one ongoing long-standing virus or there have been several back to back. So, I got sick. Still, could have engaged in even simple small posting and the re-engaging has been slow going for me as getting healthier. The main point in lesson, is the small things every day matter. It is real easy to get wrapped up in self and pull back, disengage, or not even think about others. Now, there are things, be they ever so small that have profound impact. One simple virus can cause a man to feel ill and to be fighting energy and motivation on an ongoing basis. Small things can lead to choices. Just one more day; do it tomorrow; wait till feeling better; and other rationalizations to failing to engage. See we all need to be obedient, even when we do not feel like it. Things are tough. We focus on self and own comfort or we sit back. Now all that being said, God does have us take times of rest, but sometimes we stay at rest when need to be moving forward and engaging. So, am taking steps to move forward. There are things that need to be done, words need to be written, people need to be reached and help. If do not engage and move forward and get done what needs to get done, it is to my loss. So need to engage the forward movement as God brings changes and pressures around to push and nudge toward changing and engaging. It is a difficult thing and uncomfortable when folks ask what have done to move forward, and you know you have not been doing all you can be doing or should be doing. Well, I need to engage, need to move forward whether I feel the energy or not. Here is a truth, when move past the barriers of self, and do what God is directing, there is joy and freedom from obedience. When there is lack of obedience, there is a drain and we can even be interfering with God is seeking to do. So, the past couple months this one man has had a virus, but there are deeper issues and selfishness and a failure to obey. So I need to take steps of obedience and will see what God will do.

Freedom House Update 2/1/2012: Progression with ongoing battle. Response of trust, obedience, prayer, and requests

The battle does continue with no resolution on licensing concerns at this point. However, there is a progression going on in the steps needing to be taken.  Currently one property has been approved for Board and Lodge license. The property that has not is a duplex. It is scheduled to have four per unit.  The city has stated that it does not meet requirements for licensure at that number.  The units are at that number at cities request according to zoning laws. Kingdom Pathways has sought to be submissive and obedient to all city requests.  Yet, they have refused licensure on that property due to the number per unit. The part that is hard to understand is that licensure law is written that is one building that has to be over four members not a part or unit, so it should meet requirement for being able to license the one property. However, the city has declined licensure and directed Kingdom Pathways to go through the appeals process.

The other end of things is the State of Minnesota Department of Human Services which requires funding in order to receive the Chemical Dependency treatment funds.  They have been insisting on the licensure for funds even though the city does not require the licensure.  Attempts are being made by the lawyer to negotiate with the state to take inspection reports in lieu of licensure but so far they have declined to accept that condition.  Please pray for a potential favorable outcome here and if not, pray for the movement in the process to those that will make a favorable decision in the appeals process.

It is worth noting that in the process Kingdom Pathways has sought to be obedient and submissive to authority. It has not sought to create publicity, nor find methods of exerting pressure by finding connected members in community to exert influence. Rather, the steps in the battle have been to obey, submit, and pray.

It is noteworthy that in the process, the six resident building has been approved for licensure by the city.  Also, Kingdom Pathways has received a U-Care insurance contract. There will be services starting.  The plan is to start staff receiving training and starting on February 23rd.

Now it is important to make people aware that the financial needs are ongoing. Director Jim Michaud has missed is own personal mortgage payment for the first time ever.  The family has literally given all and put total financial health at risk by taking on personal debt to keep buildings running.

In terms of need, there have been several mortgage payments missed on the two properties. Jim Michaud has been able to negotiate with the banks but payments are expected in February with no ability to hold back payments.  One building has a payment due of $1400 on February 10th. So donations are needed ASAP to be able to make this payment.  The other property has a mortgage due of $2200 dollars on February 20th.  Please go to http://www.kingdompathways.org/generosity.php and make a donation online.  You can also send donations to:

Kingdom Pathways
P.O. Box 4125
St. Paul, MN 55104

You can reach the director of Freedom House and Kingdom Pathways at info@kingdompathways.org.

If unable to give please pray.  Also feel free to send an email with any encouragement or connections to the Kingdom Pathways email. 

Please pray for the obedience and submission to be honored with a negotiated resolution to the licensing issues on the duplex property. Pray for God to bring in donations. Pray for other preparations to start with things becoming operational by the end of February.

If you have considered donating but are waiting for the end result of the licensing please do not hold  back.  There are resources in place to start that will enable beginning but the biggest need is the financial resources, in particular with full funding not being in place for both properties.

It is also worth noting that the plan is develop multiple funding sources, as money from government is often fickle.  Yet, those all take time and need operations to be active in order to obtain.  Yet, God can and will raise up people to meet needs. So currently the steps on the path are to walk in trust and obedience.  The obedience it to both God and man (the established authorities) as go through the due process. The response has not been to go the way of the world but to pray, make requests known, and to obey. Please consider how God wants you to be a part.

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For those awaiting new content that is not simply a Freedom House update, there will be a return soon to new content.  In the meantime please read an old post on God’s provision that is appropriate to this situation: https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/some-principles-of-god%e2%80%99s-provision-found-in-1-kings-17/