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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where do the Poor and Disadvantage Belong in the Church Today?

God keeps putting this question on my heart, "Where do the Poor and Disadvantaged belong in the  Church today?" God has given me insight into two worlds.

 I grew up with money. My mom learned to drive on a 450SL Mercedes convertible. My Parents built a custom home on Larch Ave in Maple Ridge with a sauna and a pool .  My dad was one of the original Teamsters of the Teamsters Union. He had to always have three years worth of money, that would cover all expenses sitting in the bank. I remember not having a want for anything, when it came to material things.  I took allot for granted.

I never wondered where my next meal was coming from and ate in some of the finest restaurants, including the rotating restaurant in Vancouver, the Bedford House Restaurant. We had every toy you ever wanted. We traveled to Britain every year without a second thought.

I have also lived without. I know what it is like to live on government assistance, government housing. I have stood in the food bank lines, I know what it is like also to be turned away from the food bank. I have had to reach out to the church for assistance on numerous occasions. I know what it is like to struggle with your pride when you are in need and have no other choice but to humble yourself and ask for help. I know what it is to go long periods without food. I have lived with the guilt that my children have had to do without and the repeated no we can't afford it. I have lived in dread over school letters requesting money for another field trip.

I have to say I use to go to Church without a thought of what the simplest things at Church could be a wall someone else can't climb. God has given me wisdom through experience now to something I was once blind too, I am walking through.

I go to Church every Sunday morning. I sit there as the screen flashes another event, but with every event comes with a dollar figure or a needed cost. I get this image in my head of this very long glass window that I am standing on the outside looking in at all these beautiful people enjoying community while I wait on the other side of the glass waiting for an invite I can afford and except. Every once in a while someone will poke their head out the door and ask if I would like to share in what is happening and I graciously decline knowing there is no way I can afford to come in, but a few times the door has opened and someone tells me that they have purchased my way in so no worries, those are the times I feel blessed as I experience community in the presence of God. While standing outside I realize I am not standing alone as there are many that can't make it past the glass window.

I know that there is one door open to the church, it is the back, the door is labelled helpline that is always open in the time of need of daily living.

I have to be honest I have been leaning on the window for a very long time now, only going in on Sunday mornings and to the helpline as a very last resort, as I felt this was the only time I have been welcome. I have emailed pastors trying to figure out how I can participate outside of the help line with no response. I have thought repeatedly of switching churches, but God keeps on saying no. I get told the easy road is just that easy, but what is right is not always easy and takes time, my time. I am trusting that God has a reason and a plan and I will stay when he tells me to stay and walk when he tells me to walk.

I only know that I need & hunger to serve, learn and be in community as I walk with my Savior.

I ask you " Where do the poor and disadvantage belong in the church?

I have another image of a race. Every one is trying to get to the finish line, one of the runners falls and can't stand on their own, you are about to pass them do you stop and help them walk to the finish line or do you continue by either running as you scream "I hope you will be ok!" or say nothing at all.

What would Jesus do? What kind of race are you running?

Father help us to do what you would do. Help us walk the way you would have us walk. Give us your eyes to see what we need to see, break our hearts for what breaks your heart. In Jesus Name Amen.

Wow just found this devotional speaking on this, a day after I posted this: http://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals-new/tabletalk-coram/2012/08/24

Sunday, August 19, 2012

God Reminding Me

I have to say I have been really stressing over everything that has been happening with the house and life in general as I found myself making the choice between buying Toilet paper or groceries as we negotiated the little bit left of my paycheck after paying the mortgage, the mortgage loan and a tank of gas that I hope will stretch another two weeks to get me to work..

We knew there was no way we could come up with the $162. for the mortgage insurance, we would just have to pay the fee and let it go. Yes, I have to say this is our very first bill we have had to be delinquent on since my mom and I moved in together over 12 yrs. ago. We decided because of this we would take what was left and get some of the things we needed with what was left.

I woke up Sat. morning with the walls spinning, I barely made it to the bathroom when I wasn't just seeing the room spinning I could physically feel myself fighting the motion as I felt the pressure on my head and the nausea was starting. I crawled my way back to bed until the rest of the house woke up. I would fight this feeling all day and I found myself crashed on the couch instead of getting the long list of stuff I needed to do on my two days off.

While I laid on the couch watching a show with my mom, in between snoozing. I could hear God speaking to me as he said do you not remember we have been here before. You trying to rescue yourself as everything around you was falling apart (2009)  and only when you became broken were you willing to let go and let me take care of it and allow my will to be done. I have to say that was a very humbling moment, to learn that I was doing it again trying to control everything and forgetting what God had already taught me to trust him when I can't understand what is happening as it appears my life is falling apart but it isn't because God has my life in his hands and he is sovereign over it all and that he knows where we need to be and where he sees the completed puzzle, I can't see past the piece that I hold and I need to stop trying all the different things and let God place me where my piece fits.  

God sealed what he was telling me when I had woke up Sunday morning minus the vertigo, allowing me to drive us to church. Every worship song spoke to what he was telling me and then the sermon was on Philippians 4:8-9  , but the pastor also spoke on Mathew 6

God is so telling me to let go again!

Father I ask for your forgiveness one more time as my eyes and mind were loosing there focus on what you have already taught me, too only seek out you and you will sustain me and that you are all I need. I praise you my Lord for all that you are doing and that you do not let us walk this life alone, you walk it with us and don't just sit on the side lines well we mess up. Help me to stay in your will at all times and give me your peace you have promised that surpasses all understanding, so that I don't drift in my fears and anxieties...In Jesus Name Amen.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Where to begin it has been a while....

I never realized how much of your time selling your home can take.

Last time I left you I had just fallen over the dishwasher. I was having bruising and swelling still showing up weeks later, most of it is gone now except some swelling on the edge of my left ribs. I had an x-ray and no news back from it so I am assuming there was nothing broken.

We have had several viewings on our home since I last stopped by and even had an offer on our home, with only the subject to inspection. We thought no problem as everything that needed fixed when we had a building inspection when we purchased the home had been fixed.

We were all excited as finally we were seeing an end to struggling from paycheck to paycheck, as we would be able to pay down the mortgage considerably and our monthly payments in many areas would be less.

We had started weeding down all the stuff we have, getting rid of the stuff we wouldn't need in a condo.

They had their building inspector come in the day before they had to remove the subject, last Thursday. The gentlemen against his Realtor's advice spoke with my mom for a bit and he was telling her how much they loved the house and how his wife loved the gardens. We all thought it was a done deal. They did their inspection and then stood in the driveway for a long period of time, the inspector, the Realtor and the Gentleman.

They left and then several hours later our Realtor called and she said the dreaded words "It is not good." Their inspector said that there was a lot of moisture in the basement, that the baring wall had been moved and that the foundation was sinking in the middle. He told them there would be $10,000.-$15,000. to lift the foundation.

We were dumb founded, confused and scared, could there have been something we didn't see, nobody has moved the baring wall, could our building inspector miss it. Would this mean our house is unsaleable, this couldn't be as we can't afford to stay and what will we do if we can't sell it.  I then went down stairs and the Realtor came over wanting to see if she could see what they were talking about. I had lifted bake the rubber flooring in our laundry room to reveal a piece of lino that had apparently become a dogs toilet unannounced to us,

at that moment I could have rung a dogs neck, no I wouldn't for real and no animal was abused in this frustration. I'm thinking this was his moisture reading, as you could see a strait line on the back side of the rubber matting

and when the lino was washed there was no water stains in it that would be apparent if the concrete was damp. We all looked all over and couldn't find anything he had stated. I even pulled out Mom's long level and a ball to see if there was any signs of the foundation sinking in the basement 

  and again could not find anything. Our Realtor called back thursday and told us that she would pay for a building inspection from a very reputably inspector in town to get a second opinion, being she knew we couldn't afford it and we knew if we couldn't disprove the first inspection our house was basically unsaleable.

Her inspector came on Friday while I was at work, and he was wondering if this person was a newbie as he could see how he could even see what he was seeing. My mom said this guy even moved stuff to check. He said there was nothing of concern and that this is how they were built for the age of the house. He had told the Realtor the same as my mom did that there was a support beam so that the basement could be opened up to an L shape like many of these homes were designed for. 

The couple who had the offer on the house only had till midnight Friday and nothing was heard, but our Realtor knew of some people that were just waiting to see what happened with the offer on the table and wanted to view our house if it fell through. 

Friday came and went and now it was Saturday morning, the offer expired and our house was no long sold. We had decided we needed to tare up the rubber mat, at least the side the baring wall was on and we would need to empty out that side of the basement that was full of Rubbermaid bins, book shelves and a cupboard. But before we could do that I would need to completely empty out the carport of everything and re organize it as there was no room to move in it.

I was busy emptying the carport when the phone rang, it was my Uncle Dick from Scotland. He was calling to let us know that my great Aunt had been found dead this morning by her nurse. My mom told me and all the times my great Aunt and I spent together started flooding through my brain as the tears started to flow, but I couldn't break down I had to keep going, I had to get the job done.  

Not long after, our Realtor phoned telling us that the couple that had been waiting wanted to view the house at 3pm Sunday now that the offer was dead. She also said the people that put the offer in were still interested but very cautious and were thinking of hiring a foundation expert.

I managed to finish pulling the stuff out of the basement and cleaning the floor, as the previous people I swear used latex paint on the floor, the reason why we put down the rubber flooring. I checked out the beam in question that made the first inspector think it had been moved compromising the structure. I started laughing as the only way it could have been moved was if we had moved it inside the exterior wall and this would be noticeable and it wasn't, the first inspector was full of crap and really needs to get his facts straight before stating fact rather than his opinion. Pictures below:

I f you can tell the first inspector hit a nerve and through me back in to fighting mode, as I have a big pat peeve and that big pat peeve is people spooning at words without the facts to back them up, especially when they can completely destroy someones life. 

I had all these plans going through my head of how I would force him to retract his statement. I also though had the image of scripture running through my head as well. When they came to get Jesus and one of the those who stood by  had cut the ear off one of the servants of the high priest. I know God is telling me no more of this and I need to let happen what is going to happen. I am weak though and over the years I have found myself having to fight for everything a habit God is now asking me to stop.

Well we showed our house yesterday after we rushed around to finish putting everything away out of the backyard and mowing the front and back lawns. Our neighbor next door was kind enough to invite us into their home so we didn't have to wonder around in the hot vehicle till they were done, this was an answer to prayer as I have no gas in our vehicle and once again it is going to take a miracle for me to get to work for the next week until payday.

While we were sitting at their home we found out that the people around the corner from us, right in the path to showing our home, had been robbed Friday night. I was dumb founded as we live in a low crime area and this doesn't happen hear. They found out about it as the people who were robbed had their vehicle at the end of their driveway with two large cardboard signs on either side stating this and that they were looking to find anyone who saw anything. My heart goes out to them, but what is going on every where we turn something is blocking the sale of our home, in a bizarre way. I have to ask is this part of God's plan. 

I had told our neighbors when we put the house up that we tried everything to keep the house we even contacted Ty Pennington, as my daughter was sure ABC's Extreme Home Makeover show could get us out of this mess and as I suspected, they can't cross the border into Canada with their bus.

Wouldn't that be a dream, someone coming in and taring down our home and replacing it with a accessibility home where I wouldn't have to worry as much about my mom falling, as her mobility lessons and would pay off our mortgage freeing me up from the bondage of debt so I could freely serve my Lord and spread the good news.

I know but once and a while it is nice to live in a fantasy world.

God I am trusting you know what you are doing as the waters rise, I am holding on to the breathe you have given me to walk through what always seems impossible but with you there is always possible even if its not what we are expecting....I lay my life in your hands..In Jesus Name Amen