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Big Changes Ahead: A Post by Todd

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I had to include this picture because I love this guy so very much! The rest is written by him

I received notice on Thursday morning that my job would be eliminated early in 2015.
The company is moving drastically toward digital and they are outsourcing all of the spec art demands overseas.
All of the offices in the country will be closing and the remaining sales force will be going virtual and working from their homes.
Word this morning is that there is a 90 day window for that to occur.
It includes all artists and support staff and the bottom-feeders in the sales force.
This will effect 25% of the workforce with DexMedia, which is about 1000 people.
They plan on only 3 locations in the country to maintain operations; Greenwood Village, CO, St. Petersburg, FL and Dallas, TX.
There are opportunities to move within the company, but not in a graphics capacity, and I’m not interested in moving anyway…although Colorado sounds fantastic… just kidding.
I knew this was on the horizon, so it’s not a great shock, but a little unsettling none-the-less.
Lesa and I are trusting that the Lord will give us absolutely clear direction in whatever path he wants us to take in the near future.
He has always provided for us in the past and He will graciously provide for us in the future.
I would covet your prayers as well and would welcome any and all advice that you may want to give me.
I’m not proud, so please feel free to share your thoughts with me.
I’ve never been without a job, so if the opportunity to go in a direction that is not graphics oriented presents itself, I would certainly look into it.
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Riding a Little Donkey Instead of a High Horse

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“All this happened to fulfill the prophet’s saying—‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold your king is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey’.” Matthew 21:4,5

Last night I stewed, and made snippy comments all because of a missed “thank you”. I offered, and did a simple task, then when it was not recognized as a great act of service, I was offended. This morning it seems all so childish. Especially as I open my Bible and read about how the the Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself.

In “Gate-Keepers of the Home”, Nancy Campbell does such a lovely job of describing humility. This is what she says:

“How often we get on our “high horse”! Many times we won’t come off. This isn’t the way of Jesus. He rides the foal of a donkey. Will you follow His example? Will you get off your high horse and choose the lowly way?”

Being humble and serving our husbands and children is a glorious honor. Taking on the form of a servant, even slave, is so very contrary to my nature. There are many lowly tasks I do without grumbling, but occasionally I expect recognition, expect, not want. That word “expect” is what too often trips me up. When this happens I am no longer doing my work unto the Lord but for myself. Pride is what it is called. Sin is what God calls it.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-7

I am in a Battle: Only 34 Weeks, 1700 Days to Go

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Today is the first day of our 19th year of homeschooling. We began with 3 sweet little girls who are now training and teaching their own children. Over the years we added 4 more children.

When we began we knew that we knew that we knew that God had called us to do this. He called and we followed; and jumped in with the plan to homeschool those little girls all the way through to high school graduation. They, and the next daughter are the first four to graduate from our humble little homeschool.

For the first time in many years ( I could figure out how many but why bore you with the details?), I only have 3 scholars. Two are in high school and the late-in-life bonus boy is in 3rd grade. We will be in school about 34 weeks this year.

My teens are writing their own lesson plans, phew! The 8 year-old is doing the same history and science along with them.  On paper it looks like this year is going to be a breeze. In the trenches it does not always play out so well.

Trenches? That’s  harsh word for our lovely little homeschool. It is a harsh and accurate word.

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13

When we began we knew we were in a battle.  A sweet little one, but a battle regardless. We wanted to raise up a Kingdom of Servants for Jesus Christ. No matter where they served we knew we wanted them to wholeheartedly serve.

I am more than half-way to the end. Which by my calculations is about 1700 days away.

Retirement is a dream; far off in the distance. Maybe I’ll retire and maybe I won’t. In the meantime, I will pray every day that the end is as sweet as the beginning.

“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance…” Ephesians 6:18

Denison Forum: 3 ways you can transform Iraq

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Denison Forum: 3 ways you can transform Iraq.

As Iraq slides into chaos, what can we do?

First, we can support military intervention on behalf of those threatened by the Islamic State.  When Jesus taught us to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39), he referred to personal slander, not the defense of those whose lives and property are threatened.  We are commanded by Scripture to “rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:4).  You can encourage your political leaders to respond to the genocide in Iraq.

Second, we can stand with those who are persecuted.  Scripture tells us to “remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).  Believers around the world are using the Islamic State’s “Noon” symbol as a statement of solidarity with those they are persecuting.  They are drawing it on their hands and sharing it on social media.  A hashtag campaign, #WeAreN, has begun as well.

Third, we must pray for our enemies as well as our friends.  Jesus was clear: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).  Jeremy Courtney powerfully illustrates our Lord’s imperative.  Jeremy is executive director of Preemptive Love Coalition, an organization working in Iraq to provide heart surgery for Iraqi children.  Writing for CNN, he tells of “learning to love the ‘enemy’ in Iraq.”  After his organization’s work became known, a top Sunni cleric issued a fatwa calling for his death.  A Muslim man who had befriended Jeremy defended him and may have saved his life.

Now Jeremy is calling Christians to pray for everyone in Iraq, not just fellow believers but all who are suffering persecution and their enemies as well.  He quotes the fatwa issued against his work: “We must stop [these heart surgeries] lest it lead our children and their parents to love their enemies!”  As Jeremy says, the cleric was right: Preemptive love works.  It destroys enemies by making them into friends.

Will you help transform Iraq today?

We Want to Hide our Eyes, But We Can’t

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“…you said, “No one sees me” Isaiah 47:10

We joked about this picture of my son. Remember ‘hiding’ by covering your eyes. It doesn’t take us long to know we are seen even when we cover our eyes.

These days I want to cover my eyes. I want to stop reading about the evil going on in the world. Hide the posts on Facebook like, AWAKE, O Sleeper!

That would be a lot less painful. I would love to think all the children in the world are loved the way my children are. The truth is they are not. There is evil going on around the world today. It is raw, ugly, worse that Hitler even imagined.

It is wrong also to do nothing about this evil. God will avenge, that is true. We as Christians have a responsibility to the vulnerable. We need to pray, earnestly, and fervently!

As much as it grieves me to say this, we also need to send our own out into this battle. There is a war going on that is much worse than what we see on the traditional battlefields.

I am comforted by knowing God sees. He knows the evil going on. He is a Righteous Judge and He will take out His vengeance on the evildoers of this world. He wants us, His people active in this war.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

 

Where Have I Been?

I have been asked why I have not been writing. I have been ashamed to admit why. It is silly and super vain.

I read a woman’s blog that my daughter follows. She said her blog has been slow of late. Her readership has been down to “only 250,000 a month.” WHAT? That stunned me. I have probably a dozen followers. Then I realized I am doing this for all the wrong reasons. So I quit.

What are my wrong reasons? I want attention. I want people to notice me, to say, “Hey, good job”. I also hoped to make some money. In short, pride.  Which is sin.  I knew I needed to step back.

For the past several months when the Lord has revealed something really stirring to me, I have kept it to myself. When something fun or amazing happened I just enjoyed it and left it there. For awhile I wrote ‘drafts’; but I had even stopped doing that.

What are the right reasons to write blog posts? I am not sure. I do know that I need to do all things for the glory of God.

I read this verse in Isaiah:

“Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;
    you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.” Isaiah 32:9

And I  knew it was time to blog again. If I only have 3 readers, (thank you, Sarah, Abby, and Lindsay!) that’s okay. There are times God’s word speaks so clearly to me I just feel like I’ll explode if I don’t share it. Blogging is my outlet.

So, out of what I truly desire to be a humble heart, I am beginning again.

 

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”  John 15:10