Peek-a-boo Delight!

I was playing a lovely game of peek-a-boo. I can not remember laughing so hard, in ever so long. What brought joy to my heart was the sheer delight that my grandson was taking from it all. His was a silly delight. In a few months he will realize that he does not really disappear and reappear. The practicalities of physics will rob him of this rapturous joy, oh but now, he revels, and peals of laughter fill his and my ears.

How do I possibly get such joy? Many long years ago I learned the lessons of congruity and incongruity, nevertheless my joy is as this wee boy! I wondered in that moment is this the joy that God experiences? In his omniscience he cannot be surprised but delights in measure with the delight of his children. My thoughts are certainly not his thoughts, and my best thoughts resemble the logic of peek-a-boo, but I suppose Our Father, takes delight in my every discovery of him and his creation.

My ‘wisdom’ will never impress him but my audacious belief and foolishness might bring him great joy, and in the process I will like a child find delight in being the object of my Father’s attentive love. If small discoveries and tiny obediences can bring him joy, then it lies to me to be enjoyed and to enjoy!

After our I post our morning Bible Study on line we have some wonderful discussions. Questions are asked. Some of them I have sorted out for myself years ago but it is a wondrous delight to see ‘the light go on’ for one of our guys as they discover a new truth or deeper aspect of God. This last Friday we added a new element, we started a new study series on Colossians led by Pastor Andrew Porter. He is a gifted student of scripture and Bible teacher. Together we learned and relearned the ‘upside down’ nature of Christ and that the lowly wield power in the Kingdom. It is as we become child-like before our Father, that we are lifted up, as on his knee, to a position of kingdom influence and service.

All who gather around our study table are far from influential in worldly terms, but it is our goal to both delight God, our Father, and to be useful in his Kingdom. We take baby steps and our efforts might seem laughable to the heavenly host, but I sense we have the capacity to bring God joy and perhaps even deep belly laughs of happiness.

This week will be interviewing another applicant for residency. Our newest guy is fitting in well though like all who went before him, there were some ‘growing pains’. He is almost through Phase 1 of his residency and looks forward to finding a meaningful job so he can be useful and generous.

Another resident came to us in his 60’s and the one thing he said was that he was not willing to go back to school. God spoke into his life and now he spends his day in a classroom working toward his GED.

For your prayers:

Saturday we are holding our Breakfast and a Message. I will be speaking at this one on the topic “Hope in the Seemingly Hopeless.”

Thursdays starting in February we will be hosting a study of “Life’s Healing Choices” This will be for 9 weeks. I am looking at doing a study of “Ordering Your Private World” when this one is completed.

We host a NA meeting each Sunday night. Guys go to Celebrate Recovery at the Salvation Army on Mondays and at King’s Church Tuesdays. We try and have a Friday open social evening each week (though I admit we are sometimes a bit spotty with this one.)

Guys have been working on their testimonies and we are looking for venues at which the could share them.

God is good! We praise him for all he is doing in the lives of all of us at Threshold House.

We continue to pray for more residents.

Thank you.

God’s Goodness in God’s Timing

Yesterday I asked some of the guys of Threshold House to write something for me about their personal experience of Threshold House. I have been working with a creative team to produce a ‘brochure’ for Threshold House. The goal is to have a tool to introduce Threshold House to potential new residents and their workers, as well as to potential donors and churches. The young woman who will write the content of ‘tool’ asked me several questions and requested these testimonials. I collected these stories this morning and I have been so pleased as I transcribed them and sent them on. Two have only been with us for a bit over a month and the other since this last Fall, but the impact that they identify over that time is wonderful! They speak of the lifelong friends they have made and of their ever-deepening relationship with Jesus.

One of our distinctives is our goal that during their stay with us, residents would move into ministry. Wednesday night a couple of guys took twenty pizzas which had been donated by Little Caesars, to a warming shelter in St. Stephen. Today they take another batch of pizza to those ‘storm stayed’ at a Westside Warming Shelter. They have plans to help serve a meal and mingle with guests at a meal in Waterloo Village. None of this is compulsory! It is a demonstration of changed hearts!

Usually the guys do their ‘check in’ much before I arrive at 9 but on Friday they wait for me to join in and tell them how I am doing. The vulnerable sharing is humbling to be a part of it is a great privilege. After we checked in we went to the chapel for a study on the Beatitudes and a time of prayer. Guys prayed for each other and our varying ailments and needs and for our day.

There were times over the last few years when I wondered whether these days would ever come, but come they have! The ‘vision’ is no longer just ink stains on paper, but God is writing it on our hearts. His ways are truly higher than our ways!

I received a package of books in preparation for our upcoming study of “Life’s Healing Choices.” In the package was a journalling tool which I had seen before. Many of the guys of Threshold House have experienced the benefits of journalling and so I am looking forward to seeing people blessed with this tool.

Please continue to pray for

  • our daily activities and outreaches
  • our Life’s Healing Choices study beginning February 2nd
  • our Breakfast & a Message of Hope (I am speaking) January 28th
  • A new series of Friday Studies on Colossians led by my friend Pastor Andrew Porter
  • God’s continued provision to meet all our needs

The Blessing of Longsuffering

I have often joked with my kids about ‘Great Uncle Floyd’ the almost great inventor. His problem was that he would stop just before he succeeded. For instance, he invented a refreshing lemon beverage “6 UP”. He developed a cleaning solution “Formula 408.” He invented a card game “51 Pick Up” and  started a company “2 M”.

Years ago, pilots would nudge up to 767 miles per hour. Things would begin to shake and rattle, and they would ease up. 768 miles per hour is how fast you must go to break through that barrier. Suddenly the pilot is out pacing sound itself and the ‘sailing’ has become smooth!

Like my mythical Great Uncle, too often we stop short. One of the great gifts of God is ‘longsuffering.’ This kind of Godly perseverance pays off if we do not weary in well doing.

Like Floyd I brim with ideas and as things begin to shake and rattle around me I get fearful. I ‘pull up’ when I should push through. Opposition is natural when we are doing something! Like a toothless lion Satan roars and rages and I too easily quake.

I am so glad for Christian friends who encourage when the devil discourages, folks who support me during risky times. The World, the Flesh and the Devil say “Stop!” but God says “though you walk through the valley of shadow… I will be with you!” We come to the barrier to have God take us through the barrier.

There were those who thought Columbus would sail off the edge of the world. There were those who feared breaking the sound barrier. Yet in each case whole new planes of existence opened as they persisted through.

It is this longsuffering persistence, the gift of hope given by the Barrier Smashing God, who did not let the splendor of Heaven keep Him from the cross and tomb, that I pray for!

I believe God has given a vision for a sober-living community of faith, in which men will become equipped to help others find that same transformative hope for their lives. There are many moments when things become shaky. Moments of difficulty and challenge. Interpersonal challenges present difficulties and finances become daunting, but we hold on to the unshakable truth that God is Good!

This week we will welcome a new resident. He comes just as one fellow has decided to leave. We pray that God will bless both.

On Saturday January 28th  we will be hosting another “Breakfast & a Message of Hope!” I will be speaking on the subject “Hope in the Seemingly Hopeless.”

On Thursday February 2 we begin a series of 9 Thursdays on “Life’s Healing Choices”. Fittingly we will look at Romans chapter 7 on Ground Hog Day as we explore the “Endless Loop of Hurt.” We will then spend a week on each of the chapters of the book “Life’s Healing Choices.”

The guys are working on their testimonies, and we will be looking for opportunities for them to share in the days ahead.

Today one of the guys thought I was a bit ‘down’  and took special care to take me aside and share a word of encouragement. It is such a blessing to see those who have received, so freely giving!