Posts Tagged With: Money

“Do You have Your Gotham?” > Chapter Fifteen

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

“God has Heard”

Redline faith. Man may not have been listening, but God was.

Man may be blind to needs right under his nose, but God is watching. Christmas came and went, and Don and his wife were still sick. His wife still driving a freezing cold van, and hospital bills in the red. The four Starbuck applications were still out there, but so far no response. He was actually glad because he couldn’t imagine trying to learn a “people job” like that while coughing your head off the whole time. Then 2015 rolled in and yes the virus continued too, as well as the freezing cold and broke down vehicles.

There were actually two vehicles needing fixed, his wife’s van and a 1997 Honda Civic. He had tried to repair the leaky gas tank so many times! His last attempt had been a cheap tank from a salvage yard, that had been drained by way of cutting a gash in bottom of tank. He had worked hard to fix it, but failed, and so the car still sat. The promises of the tank repair kit had proven false, and by faith he and his wife pressed on, believing God would hear. That God had a plan. (And he did.)

January 12, 2015 arrived and Don was in his third cycle of the virus. It was ridiculous, and his wife was just as bad. Nothing but hope and faith were left for them. Finally, a humidifier was purchased with the precious money they had, and Don began to get better, although it did not seem to help his wife. On the day of January 19, he finally felt strong enough to job hunt.

He decided to try a Half-Price Bookstore first, because of his love for books, but they were not hiring and he left disappointed. Okay, time for the Starbucks. He had visited Starbucks many times and loved coffee. He expected to enjoy learning more about the different coffees, but as he walked into the store it was hopping busy, and as he watched the young people moving fast behind the counter, his heart was frozen with fear! He stood their a moment to press away the fear, like he had done many times in his life, but he found himself walking up to the counter, ordering a drink and walking back out the door, silent as a lamb! He flat out chickened out! The fear would not go away! And now depression was heavy upon him! How could he chicken out like this?

By eleven o’clock he found himself back home and trying to figure out what to do next? He felt defeated, and that he was letting his wife down, and possibly even the Lord. Accusations from the devil were coming hot and fast as he questioned everything about this present moment.

As he prayed and asked God for direction, sunlight caught his eye, and he was drawn to it.

It was the middle of January, but it was like a summer day outside. It was beautiful. He walked over to the window and stared out. There was the Honda still up on ramps ready to be worked on again. Don hated mechanical work and was not very good at it, but as he stared at that car and the warm sunny day, “You want me to work on that car “again” Lord? REALLY? What use is it? How many times have I tried?” But slowly, out the door he went.

The tank was removed for the third time, thrown in the back of the truck and driven to his dad’s, where the mesh material and the compound was applied again, but this time the tank was inverted so gravity worked in his favor, and heat lamps were applied for a twenty-four hour period. His dad got involved and Indiana had a one week heat wave in the middle of January. His dad paid for the heater blower motor and during this week Don fixed his wife’s van and got the Honda running! With the Honda running came a new opportunity. A company called “Guardsmark” was hiring a patrol officer to cruise around a parking lot in their own vehicle and guard the property. The place of business was in a bad part of town, a Point of Pain!

Don had no retail experience, but he did have four years military experience, and had worked as a correctional officer in a men’s prison at one time. Now he also had the perfect vehicle! On his second time of going out he landed his perfect job. It would be part-time until April, but he began his first day on January 26. Money was still extremely tight, and his hints continued to be ignored, but after paying the Obama Insurance penalty, their tax returns still proved to be enough to get back into the black financially! The struggle continued till February 12th when the returns arrived. Finally, the storm was over. He had income again. His health had returned even though his wife was still struggling with it. Vehicles were fixed, even though a month later the tank would leak and be removed “again”, taken to a radiator shop and soldered. (Finally fixed.) LOL.

With the financial crises satisfied at least for a while, and having a job finally in place, he could at last dive into the assignment God had given, something called “1000 Houses of H.O.P.E”. All the praying and seeking had come to a head, spiritual forces were in place, Batman was ready to enter the darkness of the night and confront the evil of his day. (This story continues.)

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“Do You have your Gotham?” > Chapter Thirteen

THE ENCOUNTER III > The real life saga of one man leaving the safe confines of his Church building to make a difference in the streets. Like Batman saying, “Gotham needs me.”. In this day we live, there will be many hearing this call of the spiritual Caped Crusader, to leave the safety of the four walls of our building and venture out into exploits, but do not go without an understanding of what it means to be “Caped”, God’s COVERING. Only God knows what your experience will be like, but this is an account of mine. Hope you enjoy.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

The back injury which had pulled Don out of truck driving, leading to surgery and many months of healing, had also led to unexpected things. He did not know that on January 1st, 2014, he was beginning a one year spiritual journey, a one year sabbatical with God. And now that one year was nearing and end, it was time to find a job. But once again, there were unexpected things coming. Events that would seem to have no logical explanation, and yet leading somewhere.

The night of ministry with Chris, “Oasis of Hope” Southern Baptist Church, was behind him. He now understood what was meant by a “Point of Pain”. Not that he did not mentally understand before, but now he had lived it. It had affected him. A part of him needed to be involved in the pain of this city. The big production of what went on in the safety of a Church building now left a bad taste in his mouth. He knew he would likely not preach another message from a pulpit until he was also successful in the streets. He felt he had no right to teach others when he himself had such a great lacking.

It was ironic that the last message his Pastor had let him preach had not gone over well. It was a message about true Priesthood and sacrifice. In this message he had stepped on a sacred cow. He did it respectfully, pulled his punches, dared not attack God’s anointed, but he had dared to say it. He had pointed out the unbiblical message of a Joel Osteen concerning money and having your best life now. As Priest we were called to sacrifice, not live like kings. Jesus laid that aside for later, and we are not at that “later” yet. The Jews also wanted “King” Jesus, but rejected the Priestly servant Jesus. Don had dared to say it, and he felt the ruffled feathers. He knew it was his last message, and it was time to go seeking. God was calling him to something different, but where would he find it?

The Southern Baptist were reaching out to him with a different way of doing things. A very basic and simple way with an emphasis on the streets, reach and teach, go to them, and disciple. But Don had been praying with some men in a large Pentecostal Church, and he loved their fellowship too. He would try there first.

However, a storm was about to hit again, one that would seem very confusing, one that would challenge the Prosperity teaching again, evidently there was more he needed to see. It was time to find a job. The right job. So he sent out four applications to some downtown Starbucks! This was just before Christmas. It seemed logical. If God was calling him to downtown inner city, then why not work there, and find a job in which to make “contacts”. So he took the first step that direction and then got sick!

Yup, that is what happened. With everything just ready to come rushing in, a new Church, a ministry calling, time to get a job, money beginning to run out, hospital bills beginning to mount, after almost 12 months of God providing in a miraculous way, Don began to job hunt, but was suddenly hit with a virus that would not go away! His lungs were so full of congestion and coughing, that he certainly could not do a descent interview! Christmas of 2014 came and went. Then his wife got it too! Now she was missing work and only half performing when she did go! All emergency money quickly dried up and the bank account dropped into the red! 2015 came and they were both still sick! What’s going on Lord? Do we not have a work to do? I don’t know Lord.

In desperation, Don started dropping strong hints to his Church friends who were well-off financially. For the first time in his life he was in real need, confused as to the reason why, and feeling led of God to “test” the Prosperity teaching that some are gifted in making money so they can help those in need. He didn’t doubt that some were called and gifted of God to make money, but it’s the giving part of which there seemed to be a real problem. A blindness…a deafness…a preoccupation with doing their own thing…and they do not see all the needs right under their own nose. This story will continue.

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