Tag Archives: Joy
15. Aug, 2011

Why I Love My “Job”!

Why I Love My “Job”!

I have often thought that Ty Pennington had the coolest job in doing Extreme Home Makeover, but after our recent trip to India, I’ve been reminded again that I have the coolest job.  Yes, it is my “job”, but it is so much more than that!  Mel and I led the team of 18 from here in NZ to India and even had the privilege of having two of our kids with us.  Seeing people’s eyes opened to other people and cultures, seeing that God can and will use them, and that He is indeed faithful and sovereign.  That is what I love to see!

Two different people shared after the trip that their perspective of India and Indians has changed as a result of going.  One of them said they can’t get India off their mind and pray so much more for India and the ministries we witnessed.  Two young guys shared that they believe cross-cultural service and ministry will likely be part of their future in some capacity, something they hadn’t even contemplated before the trip.

During the trip, at one our morning meetings at breakfast, I asked one older gentleman to pray.  He later shared with Melanie that it was the first time he’d ever prayed publicly.  Another gentleman, one with a physical disability, was unsure why he was even suppose to go on the trip, but knew that God wanted him to go.  And yet to watch how God used him to encourage and challenge the people we met and then to hear two of the team members say that he was one of the people who most impacted them on the trip.

And then there was the impact on our hosts.  It was the first time a team had gone from our church to serve alongside them.  To see our host in tears at the end of our time there because we were such an encouragement and blessing to them, definitely makes it all worthwhile!

Yep, I’ve got one of the coolest “jobs” and I’m so grateful that God is willing to use broken vessels like the Stark family to accomplish His divine purposes!

13. May, 2011

Lessons from a Luggage Cart

Lessons from a Luggage Cart

I’m about to head out to another airport to begin my trip home to see my family on the other side of the world. Airports are interesting places, wonderful places to people watch.

Lessons from a Luggage Cart

As I’ve watched folks, I’ve observed some broad generalities in people, particularly when it comes to their luggage and travel.

There are those that have luggage carts weighed down with multiple bags, often pushed by parents trying to figure out where to go, keeping the cart going straight and trying to keep their small children in tow. People that look exhausted, bogged down with the responsibilities and searching for the right direction.

Then there are those, often in business attire, pulling a lone rolling carry-on bag behind them. They are focused, know right where they are headed and moving with what appears to be purpose. They may be checking their messages on their phone or talking into their Bluetooth headset. They get frustrated with the luggage cart crowd and never slow down enough to notice let alone enjoy where they are.

Enjoy the ViewFinally, there are the backpackers. They typically stroll leisurely along, and all they need is on their back. They don’t mind stopping to enjoy the view or smell the flowers. They love to engage in conversation and connect with people as they travel. They are more interested in the journey than the destination.

To be honest, on various trips, I’ve fallen into each of those categories. When I traveled most weekends for ministry, I was the focused rolling carry-on person. When we’ve moving internationally, I was definitely the luggage cart Dad. And on some occasions, honestly not enough times, I just carry my backpack and enjoy the experience.

But the observations go beyond just traveling and apply to life. As you travel down life’s highway, are you bogged down by too much luggage and the cares of this world? Are you so focused and filled with agendas that you don’t even stop to notice people and enjoy life? Or do you realize that really, it is as much about the journey as it is the destination?

Might we all stop to enjoy the view, smell the flowers and invest in relationships as we journey through life.

06. Apr, 2011

Choices…

Choices…

There are moments in this life that stop you in your tracks; they can be beautiful moments, tragic moments, good news, bad news, an unexpected answer or a random turn of events. Life is defined by these moments and how you react to them often determines what you truly believe.

I was stopped in my tracks yesterday.  I have nine days left on my current visa to stay in New Zealand and I was told my application for a new visa will not be processed in time. After the initial shock and the tears that fell, I turned to Papa. We went through the range of emotions that come with news like this and He patiently listened to me until I ran out of steam and words and was willing to listen to Him. You know what Papa asked me? “You have two choices. You can try to control this situation yourself or you can turn to Me and trust My plan. It’s your choice. You get to choose how you will react to this and lay the foundation for how you will live your life when the unexpected happens. Do you choose Me or the world?”

Most of my life I have chosen the world’s way of dealing with things, even after I became a Christian. I wasn’t quite sure honestly that God could take care of it. I said with my mouth that I believed He could but my actions spoke the opposite. I would choose to control little things in my life in an attempt to feel some sense of security. The funny thing about trying to control things in your life is that it only makes things worse and the more you try to control the worse it gets. I have seen my life fall apart at the works of my own hands. In an attempt to control something I created more chaos. The AMAZING thing about God is that He continues to give me second chances. He loves me without failing and chooses to pour out unrelenting grace.  2 Corinthians 5:17 is an awesome promise, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” I no longer have to choose my old pattern of behavior because I have been made new in Christ.

I may not have all the answers, in fact I don’t. I don’t know what my tomorrow holds. I don’t know where I will be in nine days time, but I do know that I have made my choice. I choose God. I know without a shadow of doubt that Papa knew this would happen and that He has a plan. I trust that whatever the outcome is I won’t slip from His loving hands. I don’t need to know what happens next, yes it would be nice to know, but at the moment I don’t which means all I need to do is keep my gaze on Papa and not move from the path He has laid.

I’m not going to lie; it’s not easy at this point but who ever said it would be easy? If you were to walk into my room at any moment you would hear worship music blaring as I try to fill my mind and heart with praise and worship to God. I am determined to not allow Satan a foothold in my thoughts, so I am surrounding myself with Truth. Please pray for me as the battle is fierce for my loyalty.

P.S. this is the song I am singing at the moment :)

John Waller~ While I’m Waiting

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve you while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

07. Feb, 2009

Happiness vs Joy

So, here is what my Maker was working on while we were in transition:

I am learning “JOY”, and what that means. It is *not* happiness, and how those two words have become interchangeable for most people, but are HUGELY different!! One is dependent on outward circumstances and what happens to, around, for and about me. The other is comes in learning about my Maker, and what His nature and character is and finding joy in what He is doing!!! (I am having a hard time trying to type feelings into this blog, with emotions that are only very new and tender and not quite able to have the wings of words attached to them. Know what I mean? ) I have been going thru a Chuck Swindoll book on “Outrageous Joy”, a study of Philippians and Paul’s journey. It has been HUGE for me!!!

I can be happy, but it never seems to last. I find myself one day wondering why I am not happy anymore, and wondering what I need to do to become happy again. Most of the time it is based on getting something in my life, or something GREAT happening at the moment. But that is the thing, it only seems to last a moment!! It seems fleeting.

Then there is Joy. Joy, I have stumbled on, comes from a inward source, or I should say Source… I find that when I am spending quality time with the Lover of my soul, I find joy, and joy that seems to bubble up and infect others around me. I see my kids laughing more, and Bri and I don’t seem to have conflict.

Here is the second thing…
Confidence Brings Joy when:

1. You focus on things that you are thankful for. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for what He has done.” Phil. 4:6

2. You let God BE GOD!!! “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continueHis work until it is finally finished on th day when Chirst Jesus returns.” Phil. 1:6

3. You keep growing love in your life! “I pray that your love will overflow more and more and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding” Phil 1:9

It is a interesting journey. One that I am enjoying =D and that I can’t seem to get enough of!!!