Freedom House Update and Continued Prayer: Status hanging in balance- Enter the battle help with prayer and support!

Just received an update from Jim Michaud regarding where things are at related to the final hurdle of licensing. Currently the St. Paul City Attorneys and State of Minnesota officials are discussing working out the final licensing issues.  Please pray for this to be resolved quickly. 

When the licensing question became clear to be a huge final obstacle for moving forward felt God indicate that “there are others in the city” as a reference that He will do the work to get things approved one way or another in His way and in His timing.  This Sunday my mother commented that freedom always comes with cost and battle, so should be no surprise that in things moving forward with Freedom House there would be a battle. Ultimately the facility will serve to help folks battle issues with housing, chemical dependency, and mental illness. Lately, have God direct me to several passages and encouragements that what God initiates He will see it through.  So this will get resolved.

I have been asked a couple times about my involvement with the project. I am a current member of the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization responsible for Freedom House, Kingdom Pathways. The website can be found at www.kingdompathways.org.  I will be responsible for training and educating staff related to mental health screening and skills training. This is something God has put on my heart to help.   

Now outside of the licensing obstacle, a huge major barrier is the finances.  Jim Michaud and his family have given everything. They have not felt freedom given the battle to get things running to do much fundraising.  Yet, support ongoing is needed.  I posted before that there was a need of basically 18,000 dollars worth of costs for the first two months. It has been hard to keep posting about that need because of the ongoing battle to get everything in place to receive state funding and be able to fully move forward.   The need is very real, however and dire.  They need help and if do not get support they can LOSE ALL.  Jim and his family have followed God’s lead at expense to self and with ongoing threats of dire circumstances.  Yet, God carries through. But now is the time to give support. Please give even before word is given on the license situation is complete.  Take a step of faith and trust that God will work it out and give to a ministry that will help those hurting and in bondage.  Help the Battle.  Give and Pray.

Here is the breakdown of needed expenses.

One Time Expenses:

* Board and Lodge license Fees: $1,450
* Commercial Dishwasher Purchase and Install: $4000
* Commercial Sink Purchase and Install: $1000
* General and Professional Liability Insurance Down Payment: $700

Monthly Expenses: (Need Help with January and February)

* 426 Oxford Mortgage: $2,200 

* 1038 Aurora Mortgage: $1,400 

* Debt Payments: $1,100 (Jim and Lori facing Bankruptcy if not paid)
(This is the $ that Jim and Lori put into keeping the houses running and operational covering bare minimum. It is NOT PERSONAL DEBT)

* Household Insurance for both properties: $240
* Gas and Electric for both properties: $925
* Phones and Faxs: $240
* Trash for both properties: $120
* Water for both properties: $260
* Comcast for both properties: $229
* General and Professional Liability Insurance: $150

All payments will be tax deductible, reported to, and reviewed by the Freedom
House managing board shown on the website. Donations can be made on-line at
www.KingdomPathways.org, or sent to Kingdom Pathways, PO Box 4125, St. Paul, MN
55104

 

I look forward and praise God for what He will do.  If you care to give to personal need just designate it. If you have any questions for Jim Michaud feel free to email him at info@kingdompathways.org.

Musings on the New Year: Digging Deep and Advancing

Well 2010 has came and went and 2011 is now here and under way. For me there are two words that have been resonating and seem central to what God is doing in my life. These words started even back during Rosh Hashanah the Jewish New Year but seem to be at an apex. The two words are deep deeper and advance. For me these are key to whatever change is coming in the year to come. For all those that read this blog want to challenge you do the same.

Now granted, some of you may be thinking “Um, Tim, your articles and musing can already get deep enough, you encourage going deeper?” Well, the answer is absolutely, for no matter the appearance of depth, compared to the greatness and awesomeness of God the depth is still shallow. Going deeper involves letting God’s truth sink to the depths of my heart and soul. It is drawing deeply from living water. It is being root and grounded at a deep level on God’s word and truth. No matter where we are there is more depth to be found. Take a quick look at Luke 6:48 (ESV)
he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.
In all my time going over the verse, talking about it, even teaching on it the “dug deep” part is missed. We focus on the rock versus sand, but the rock is down “deep.” Here is the reality, sound and sure faith is one that is deep, for there is support and surety in depth. Whatever we do, whatever fruit we hope for, whatever may be ahead is only sure by becoming deeply immersed in God’s truth. So ask the Lord God to show you ways to grow deeper.

The other word that comes to my mind is advance, moving forward. This is key for me for there is much ahead. The past year was one of a lot of preparation complete with assorted trials in my life and those around me. But God calls not just to prepare and passively sit by. He does not call us to dig deep and rest. He calls us to move ahead, move forward. Again with the thoughts of advance, God leads me to some other words of Jesus in Matthew 11:12 (ESV)
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. These words perhaps lose significant in the English for we may think in the terms of physical violence and force of will. But if you take time to consider the words, it really speaks to an intensity of moving forward and grabbing hold of that which God sets before us. It is true for walking into God’s kingdom and true for our moving about in the areas God directs us to engage. One way to put the phrase may be the Kingdom of heaven is “Wild” and those energized will seek to seize it. This involves no sitting passively by, it involves energy to grab hold of that which God puts forth, which is not predictable. Now scripture is filled with many action words and directions that entail the seizing such as “reap, sew, love, rise up, take up” and so on. This is a concept beyond “Carpe Diem” of seizing the day. God does call us to live in the moment, but the moment is saturated in Him and His will. And here is the deal, in the moving forward, in the advancing we need one another. We need support and encouragement. For it is easy to get twisted and deceived and there are many traps and we need others to speak us the truth and help us back on the path when we could no longer “grasp hold” and go flailing about on our own way.

My hope and prayer as you read these thoughts is God stirs in you awareness of areas to dig deeper and move ahead. Also please do feel free to check in with me related to my digger deeper and advancing. The starting point is what is God stirring in you. It is a new year, new day, new chapter, and a new beginning. Let God move you deeper and then seize what God has before you and then buckle up, for serving God is always a wild ride.

The Battle Over: Janie Blake graduated and went home @ 7:24 Central time 12/29/2010

This is basically a brief status update. When I have more time and more clarity to write some “memoriam” thoughts I will do so. Janie died last night and we are filled with grief.  Visitation will Sunday evening at Washburn McReavy Funeral home in Hopkins and there will be a memorial service on 1-3-2011. More details to follow.

For any looking to send anything the family request is that in lieu of flowers they are taking donations for the Bridge of Hope Orphanage in Mexico or more specifically supporting her son Tim White as a missionary there.  Website is http://www.bridgeoflovehome.com/.  Please let me know if need information to do so and not just donate on the website as it will not be noted as a memoria gift for Janie Blake. 

So keep me and family in prayer and will share more extended thoughts when able to do so.

Two Years of Writing This Blog

As of June 10th this blog has been active for two years. In those two years writing in this blog has been a good place to examine and grow. Writing this blog has been part of God’s way of drawing me into deeper maturity and using what He is putting on my heart and mind with others.

Two years ago was a time of personal awakening. No longer was there denial or ignorance of deception in the church. An ever growing awareness of how vitally lost we are.  Writing this blog was a step in my growing in use of voice, something that had been long stilled.  Starting this blog took over a year to make. Actually God put it on my heart and mind while watching the movie Knocked-up. It was an unpleasant experience and the depth of how lost the world is in darkness was clear. However, the obedience was slow in coming until God really hit home that time is short and delay is a loss. The writing was a step of obedience. The two years of writing this blog have been a challenge and a vehicle for spurring growth.

One thing is clear; the blog provides a good measure of looking back of the ebbs and flows during the past two years. There are periods of increased writing and times of writing less. When the time have written less and pulled back are times of greatest personal struggle and are likely times where need to be more intentional and find time to write something. This year the goal was to engage in more daily intentional writing and that intentionality has dropped off. The year has been tough with seeing those around me struggle and reaching a point of emotional pain which tends to push toward own retreat. 

Question is, is my own personal state a product of fear and apprehension of what is a head, or of being worn down from pain and suffering of those around me, or of being impacted by the world’s perspective and darkness around me?  Actually, thinking of those aspects they all do seem interconnected. All I know, is God is acting and moving in the midst.  Perhaps some of it is the feeling of aloneness. I have those suffering around me, I have my own struggles, and I see the struggles in the world.  Yet, I cannot manage all this on my own. Yet, sometimes the feeling is just that, of being on an island, just depending on what God will do and looking to him. Family, friends, and church while are there, never truly touches the need of support. Yet in the midst of this, the call is still there.  So carry on and write. Sometimes the writing level drops off, and when it does so please keep me more in prayer, for the quieter the blog is, the quieter I am on the forum, the more likely in a point of emotional storm.
The hardest thing about writing is there is rarely any feedback.  Sure I can see the #’s of folks who stop by and which posts draw more traffic. Sometimes the posts I think are more important get less traffic.  I have no idea who get’s impacted by what I write, but yet the call is sure. The need is there to write what God puts on my heart. Hopefully, there is blessing and growth spurred on in other, but even if no one else read a word, this blog has served what God wants because it brings me into deeper maturity and growth in God as seek to grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Kingdom and being an ambassador of the King of Kings in a dark place. 

Now who knows what the New Year will bring. I know there are articles and projects that have been ideas that have yet to make it to words. There are posts mentioned that have yet to be written, so there is needed growth in finishing some of those projects and ideas as well as writing to things going on in the moment. Some things that may make it to press:  Publishing Work on the Foundations of Strong Delusion, analysis of Entertainment Media and the messages of the world, biblical response to conspiracy thinking, more on faith, suffering, and growth, and varied other threads. It is up to me to obey and write intently in the areas God leads.  I hope you have been blessed by what is written and always appreciate any feedback, even if it is feedback on ways I need to grow. So for this blog, there is much that may be written in the year ahead. May God bless you the reader and may God touch you and spur you on to growth, build you up in love, and lead you to serving God in both word and deed.