Tag Archives: experience

COMING HOME? IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON

Coming Home? In Season and out of Season

by Jan Cox

The sky looked threatening as I returned home.

This is always the hardest post for me. To write about “Coming home” from a mission trip in jet lag; trying to think of all that I have seen and done in the past two weeks.

What can I say that will impact lives?

How can I explain how this experience once again has changed me?

First I pray:

Lord, help me to have the words to express my heart, my feelings and your Word. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Cooking dinner while I type. More writing to do tomorrow for Inscribe Writers Online. Back to reality.

Today I think I will tell you that it is hard returning home from a Mission Trip. At camp we are together working for God – we see Him at work in people’s lives. We pray together; eat together; play together and grow together.

I gave a devotion on the last day of camp. It was based on Oswald Chambers “In Season and out of Season” based on 2 Timothy 4:2.

I think this is what I will share with you today.

In Season and Out of Season

Have you ever had an “aha” moment, sometime when you have felt truly inspired – either an idea to help in a situation; or something to write about or something to make or draw?

I have and it feels awesome. Sometimes having that moment makes me long for, pray for and look for that to happen again. Being on a mission trip has the same feeling – totally wrapped up in God-moments.

But now that I am home – I want that experience again. So I think:

“Come on, God – I want to be inspired. Now.”

After reading Oswald Chambers (April 25),  I see that this is a wrong attitude.

I love the part where Oswald says:

“If we do only what we feel inclined to do, some of us would do NOTHING for ever and ever.”

And:

“if we made a god of our best moments… God will fade out of our lives.”

OUCH. That makes me rethink wanting those “God-moments”.

As we headed into our last day of camp, I challenged our team to enjoy each moment, not be looking for or remembering special past moments or not to be praying for that God moment.

Instead I suggested that they focus on the present and live for Him, both “in season” and “out of season”.

As I challenged our team I challenge you, my readers.

Are you persevering in your daily lives? Are you living out each moment to the best of your ability and are you willing to let God use you however He wants?

I will be taking this week to rethink my experiences and hopefully next Friday will be able to share some of those precious moments.

Ann Voskamp returned from Haiti  recently – she also talks about returning home at A Holy Experience.

Blessings in the coming week.

Jan

My Gratitude List continues – counting to 2000.

      • inspiration for my “Money” workshops
      • energy and perseverance to get ready for my trip
      • peace
      • a rabbit hopping across my back lawn
      • our ability to wash and dry clothes so easily
      • hot tea with ginger
      • a soft cozy bed to sleep in
      • air conditioning
      • a family of ducks by the marsh
      • thought of the words, “river of God is teeming with life and all who go there will be revived”
      • cutest wee sparrow with yellow markings on his head and neck – just outside my window
      • great “finds” for Poland at the Lily Ann Thrift Store
      • donations for Poland – thank you
      • found a great word search programme and crossword maker for my English class
      • almost packed – hope there is room!
      • packing going well
      • lots of prayers
      • great sermon from a guest lay preacher
      • Off to Poland
      • great flight – I even slept a little
      • great stay at the Mercure hotel in Berlin with most of the team
      • time to plan at our Wokietek camp
      • campers arrive – renewed many acquaintances from past years
      • camp begins and the weather is great
      • great roommates

2012 IM Camp Roommates

      • Good daily worship and planning meetings at 7:15am
      • only 1 night that I didn’t sleep well
      • learning the needs of the campers – we pray
      • good worship times in Polish and English
      • picking wild blueberries and eating them
      • visiting the Wang Temple – a 14th Century Temple

 

The Wang Temple in Katpacz

      • Hawaiian Day – fun activities
      • Skit Night – just wonderful – my group did a skit in Polish – the three little pigs
Skit Night IM Camp 2012

The Three Little PIgs – in Polish for Skit Night

      • Banquet Night – just wonderful – food, fun and fellowship

Banquet Night IM Camp 2012

      • connecting with campers to know what to pray for them
      • Bitter sweet – saying goodbye
      • great trip back to Gorzow Baptist church – even through heavy winds and rain
      • Church service on Sunday – many of campers were there
      • orchids – I have never seen so many blooms

Orchids – So many blooms

      • time at the lake – fun – fun – fun – campfire

Campfire at the Lake

      • shells from the Baltic Sea

Finding Shells at the Baltic

Shells!

 

      • memories – going to the pool at the hotel in Karpacz; rainbows; deer; hawks; chats with Polish friends; prayer with Polish friends
      • early morning ride to airport in Berlin – then to London and home
      • met by my loving husband at the airport
      • a wonderful cuddle time with my grandson
      • HOME – Haliburton and I beat Wayne at a game of cribbage
      • a great sleep
      • feeling at peace even in jetlag mode
      • the promise of rain tonight – we really need it

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available later this summer. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.

A VISION

A Vision

by Ramona Furst

“How do you do it?” asked my darling civil engineering husband.

“Get that pattern from the paper onto those tiny squares in the material? You haven’t been cross stitching for, well, twenty-five years or so. Pretty ambitious Amish pattern to use after such a long time away from it. How long will it take?”

As he waited for me to answer, I thought to myself, How do YOU do it? Figuring out all the designs, loads, calculations; meeting standards and codes, that in due time will somehow materialize into highways and bridges?


Experience builds in us the belief that what seems impossible to comprehend by others, and at times even to us – ridiculous and somewhat overwhelming – can and will get done.

My project, your project, those visions and goals God’s called us to do with our lives often seem unbelievable. Praying that like Abraham we will believe God when we don’t know the wheres, don’t know the hows and don’t know whys of all our questions and for our next steps in life.

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time…” (Habakkuk 2:2EST)

Quotes are from B. Manning’s Ruthless Trust and Souvenirs of Solitude

Ramona Furst

Ramona resides in North Bay, Ontario. She has spent many years in Pastoral Care especially in Palliative Care and in Bereavement support groups. Ramona is a member of TWG (The Word Guild) and considers it an honour to be a part of the TWG prayer team. She divides her time water colouring (www.ramonafurst.com ) and writing and makes effort to enjoy God’s creation and each season throughout the year by hiking, kayaking, and cross country skiing.