My Boss Is Not a 3-Year-Old!

On March 27, 2009, I walked out of the Lexington Herald-Leader with my eyes filled with tears and my heart torn to pieces. I’d just been told that I was being laid off after almost 10 years of employment with the company.

I was devastated, angry, hurt, confused and I felt worthless and unappreciated. Being a journalist — and working at the Herald-Leader — was a huge part of my identity. I “grew up” there — it was my first job away from home and the folks there were like family. In a decade, I had gotten married, had a baby and was promoted from reporter to editor.

For days, I cried. For weeks, I was angry. For months, I looked frantically for another job.

Over the years, I found peace with it all. I realized that being at home with my daughter, who was 13-months when I got laid off, was a godsend.

Still, I wondered what was next for me. I wondered when or if I’d ever return to work. I missed having a job I loved and a paycheck of my own.

As time drew near for Michaela, now 3, to go to preschool, I started to get restless. At times, I doubted and questioned God. I was impatient. I wanted answers and I wanted them, like, yesterday.

But God had something wonderful planned for me. He was teaching me to trust him, to wait patiently on him. He was showing me that I was not in control.

As they say, good things come to those who wait.

I am proud to say that for the first time in 2 1/2 years, I am an employee (and my boss is not a 3-year old!). I start work on August 8 as the volunteer coordinator at Lexington Habitat for Humanity, a Christian organization that helps disadvantaged people become homeowners. The organization and its mission is awesome, my co-workers are great people, my new boss is supportive and one of the best in her field — the perfect place for me to start a new career.

I fell in love with the organization and staff while working there as a volunteer over the past few years. How could I not love a nonprofit that has prayer meetings, pays tithes, changes lives and neighborhoods, and cares about the environment. Oh, and my hubby, the warehouse manager at the ReStore on Southland Drive, is one of my co-workers.

I couldn’t have asked for a better job at a better time. I mean, my mind couldn’t have dreamed this one up.

God is just that good, folks. He has a plan. He may not always consult with us about it, but he has a plan. He can rebuild, renew, restore, recondition, restructure and restart our lives as he sees fit. The process may not feel good, but it sure feels great when he’s done!

Look for a call from me, my friends. Habitat loves its volunteers. And it’s my job to get them more to love.

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Because I Asked For It!

We went to the grocery store yesterday and Michaela went about her usual routine, picking things off the shelf and throwing it into the cart.

She does it with a straight face, without asking first, without a doubt that we will buy anything she points to or picks out — toys, colorful cereal boxes, candy. When I tell her she can’t have something, she doesn’t even flinch, she keeps right on with her “shopping,” like Michael and I are just along for the ride.

The sad thing is, she usually gets whatever she wants. Her daddy is a big sucker, and she knows it.

When I was her age, I wouldn’t have dreamed of acting so forward. My mom always read us the riot act before we even went in the store: “Don’t touch anything. Don’t look at anything. Don’t even open your mouth like you might ask for anything. If you act a fool, I will, too.”

And that was that. There were 11 of us and I remember people used to stare at us — all marching like ducklings behind my mom — and tell their kids to take notes. We used to be horrified by the sight of other kids running around and touching things. Sometimes, my mom would lean forward and say “Don’t get any ideas.”

But while I am sometimes appalled by Michaela’s sense of entitlement, there’s something admirable about it. She approaches things with purpose, with expectation, with authority and confidence. There’s no tantrum, and no debate. If I say no, she looks at her daddy and puts it in the cart anyway.
Oh, to have that sort of confidence in God! To ask for something, to pray for something, then sit back and wait for it to happen, fully confident that in due time, it will. To point out what I want to God and walk away knowing it’s mine.

It reminds me of a song by gospel singer Jonathan Nelson, Expect the Great. Some of the lyrics:

Expect nothing but victory

That’s the promise of our king

To do exceedingly, abundantly

Above what you ask or think

In other words, God is able to do anything, far more than what our little minds could imagine to ask for. The Bible tells us:

In Matthew 7:7 — Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

In Psalms 37:4 — Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

In Mark 11:24 — Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

You can’t get a better guarantee than that.

Yes, somethings we want aren’t good for us and God is working on our best interest when he doesn’t oblige. And sometimes, we have to be patient.

But it’s in his nature — heck, it’s in his contract with us — to provide for us. We are the king’s children. We are the head and not the tail, the lender and not the borrower.

So today, let us learn not to beg, borrow or worry. Let’s tell God exactly what we want, and like Michaela, walk on like it’s already done.

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Peace in the Midst of It All

A few weeks ago, I stood in my bedroom, clutching my belly and crying — and praying like my momma used to pray when she was expecting an answer from God in the next minute. You know, one of those God-you’d-better-get-here-fast-and-I-mean-in-a-hurry prayers.

I wasn’t playing games.

I didn’t quit know if I was losing my baby or if I was going to go into premature labor. All I knew was that I was hemorrhaging and needed to get to the hospital fast.

I was at home with my 3-year-old. Michael, my husband, had gone to work about an hour before. I had already called my doctor, Michael and my mom. But for the life of me, I couldn’t get my brain to work. I needed to get dressed, get Michaela dressed and get to Central Baptist Hospital, but at that moment I was too overwhelmed to move.

And so I prayed. Like a crazy woman.

About 30 minutes later, my neighbors took charge of Michaela and got me to the hospital, where Michael was waiting.

I was terrified that I was losing the baby. So you can imagine how relieved I was when the nurse hooked me up to the monitor and I heard the baby’s heartbeat.

Thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump.

It was the sweetest sound.

A doctor came in and did an ultra sound. He saw the source of the bleeding — an abruption of my placenta, the organ just outside the uterus that supplies nutrients through the umbilical cord. I squinted at the screen. And there, in the far corner, I caught a glimpse of my baby boy.

He was kicking and squirming like he was having a day at the park.

In the midst of all the turmoil and danger to his life, he was happy and healthy and having a great time.

Amazing.

And it wasn’t the first time that happened.

Earlier in my pregnancy, a nurse had trouble finding his heartbeat. After about 5 minutes, I realized something was wrong. She frowned and said she needed to send me over for an ultrasound because she couldn’t find a heartbeat.

Instantly, I panicked. I had several friends who first learned they had lost their babies when a doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat.

I whispered a prayer.

A few minutes later, though, my baby boy popped up on the screen. He was leaping and swimming around like a little fish, oblivious to the world.

If only we could be that way. If only we could be calm and happy and clueless to the cares of this world, knowing we are safe in the arms of God.

It reminds me of a hymn, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.”

The lyrics, in part:

What a fellowship, what a joy divine
Leaning on the everlasting arms
What a blessedness, what a peace of mind
Leaning on the everlasting arms

What have I to dread, what have I to fear
Leaning on the everlasting arms
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms

We can learn a lesson from my little prince.

Lean on God. Trust in Him. He never fails.

He will give us peace in the midst of the storm, solid ground in sinking sand and an umbrella in the rain.

Oh, what blessed peace!

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World Deliverance International Contributes Three 40 ft Containers of Food for Jamaica

We received word that today is the day the food for Jamaica will leave the port and is ready for immediate delivery. World Deliverance International(WDI), a Jamaican NGO humanitarian organization, has cleared the three 40 ft containers of canned chicken from customs to be distributed to the needy, hungry, children and families in Jamaica. Each of these 40 ft containers has on it 53,760 12.5oz cans of precooked chicken. This brings the grand total, for the three containers, to 161,280 cans.

Love-a-child, a humanitarian organization based in Haiti, helped WDI put this project together. WDI is donating one container of chicken to Food For The Poor, an organization that has been helping the people in Jamaica for many years. The other two containers will be distributed through WDI’s organization. This food will be distributed through some of the schools and churches throughout the island. The New Testament Church of God will be one of the organizations that will be coordinating with WDI in this project.

The United Nations has determined that 1 in 6 persons in Jamaica, lives in poverty. WDI is in harmony with the United Nations’ Global Agenda to eradicate world-wide hunger, illiteracy, health problems and disease. Jim Whittington, President of WDI, says this is just the beginning of many projects planned for the future.

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An Invitation to the United Nations

On Friday, November 18th, 2011, Jim Whittington attended meetings with several representatives at the United Nations (UN) in New York City. He had been invited by representatives of the UN. In these meetings, Jim Whittington and the representatives discussed how relations between World Deliverance International (WDI) and the UN could be enhanced in helping with their Global Agenda. World Deliverance International is a Jamaican NGO corporation and its agenda is in harmony with the United Nations’ Global Agenda to eradicate world-wide hunger, illiteracy, health problems and disease. This humanitarian organization has representatives, not only from Jamaica, but from other countries of the world. The senior vice president, Petra Schmidt is from Germany,  Bishop John Hardy, and retired police officer, Derron Pusey are from the Island of Jamaica and other officers of the corporation are from the United States. This organization is not only reaching out to Jamaica, but to other countries and islands as well. Currently, WDI has three, forty foot containers of food waiting to be released from customs in Kingston, Jamaica. This food has been donated to help alleviate the food shortage and help feed the children and hungry people in Jamaica. Each container has over 53,000 12 oz cans of chicken that will be a tremendous help. The United Nations has determined that 1 in 6 persons in Jamaica, lives in poverty. Jim Whittington stated in one of the meetings at the UN, that this is only one of the world-changing projects that WDI is undertaking. There are even greater plans for the future.

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The Brooklyn, NY Jim Whittington Crusade

The Jim Whittington crusade in Brooklyn, NY has just been completed,  so many were blessed, saved, healed and delivered. Some of the people in Brooklyn said this was one of the greatest crusades to come to the area in many years. When Rev. Jim Whittington flew into LaGuardia airport for this crusade,  he was returning from Kingston, Jamaica, where he had been working to get three, forty foot containers of food out of customs, that had been donated to Jamaica.

Each container has over 53,000 12 oz cans of chicken that will be a tremendous help. The United Nations has determined that 1 in 6 persons in Jamaica, lives in poverty. The United Nations Global Agenda is to eradicate world-wide hunger, illiteracy, and health problems and World Deliverance is doing its part to help with this campaign. Rev. Jim Whittington’s next United States crusade will be in December in Detroit, MI.

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The Come Apart And Rest A While Break Is Over

After taking a few days off for rest and relaxation, Jim Whittington is back in full swing. He arrived last night on American Airlines from his 106th mission trip to Jamaica. The crusade Sunday was said to be one of the greatest crusades ever held at the Wyndham Hotel in Kingston!

Special guest pastors joined the services and dance hall singer Bounty Killer once again attended the crusade. He joined Rev. Whittington for the Jericho march around the auditorium, proclaiming victory for Jamaica. The march is based on the Biblical victory march of the Israelites around the walls of the city of Jericho, a formidable opponent of Gods people. It symbolizes the falling down of the “walls” of crime, illiteracy, poverty, hunger and sickness.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced this weekend that he was not seeking reelection. We are praying for God to direct the election of a new leader to lead Jamaica during this time of worldwide restoration and financial crisis.

While in Jamaica, Rev. Whittington and his wife, Susan, attended a reception in the honor of the 21st anniversary of the Day of German Unity at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. The event was hosted by German Ambassador Josef Beck and his wife, Gudrun Beck.

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New York Crusade

The Great New York Crusade begins Sunday, August 14 at 7:30 PM in Brooklyn, New York. This great crusade will be held at the Messengers For Christ World Healing Center, 1215 Fulton St(Between Bedford Ave & Nostrand Ave)Brooklyn, NY 11216. In this miracle crusade, Rev. Jim Whittington will minister to those that need a miracle from the Lord, spiritually, physically, or financially. This crusade will last for 6 days. The last service will be Friday, August 19, at 7:30 PM. All seats are free, for all people, of all faiths!

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World Deliverance and Jim Whittington are joining the efforts of the United Nations to eliminate hunger, illiteracy, and health problems around the world

I want to update you on some of the latest World Deliverance Crusade projects. Currently, we are working to fill our first container of food to be sent to the Island of Jamaica. Many of you may remember that last year we donated to Love-A-Child — a Christian humanitarian organization – a truck that was used to deliver more than 15 million meals to starving families. We hope to launch the same effort in Jamaica!

At the World Food Day opening ceremony at the United Nations, or UN, we became more aware of the desperate needs around the world. We would like to help the UN fulfill its mission and global agenda to help eradicate hunger, illiteracy, and health problems worldwide and particularly in Jamaica, where we have already established partnerships with many leaders, churches and humanitarian organizations. According to the UN, more than one in six Jamaicans — overwhelmingly rural dwellers and women – live in poverty.

Recently I spoke at the Rotary International luncheon in Kingston, Jamaica, and the warm reception for our organization and our mission was overwhelming. Support for our efforts was pledged by many members, including Mrs. Lorna Golding, the wife of the Honorable Bruce Golding, the prime minister of Jamaica. Mrs. Golding will partner with us to provide mobile units that will travel to inner-city and rural schools to administer hearing and vision testing for students who would not otherwise be able to afford basic medical services. Already, we have been in touch with a company that will provide estimates for the construction of the mobile units.

We believe that with your generous support, we will launch this program in the very near future.

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I’m Being Patient, Lord, But Please Hurry!

By Risa Richardson

My baby girl has no patience. She wants everything right now and exactly her way or she has a fit. If I tell her to wait, in her little mind it’s the same as saying “no.” She got that from her momma.

I hate to wait for things. I hate to wait for people. Waiting is no fun at all. Perhaps it has to do with me being a bit of a control freak.

But lately, God has been testing my patience. He’s been dangling blessings right before my eyes, taunting me and teasing me, making me beg, making me pray. Like a little kid, I cry, I pout, I stomp my feet and cross my arms and declare that I don’t even care anymore, but really I do. To me, a blessing delayed may as well be a blessing denied.

I always say God has a great sense of humor. And I can just imagine him, shaking his head and rolling his eyes at my dramatics, the way I do when Michaela gets impatient.

“You’re gonna get it, child,” I say. “Just wait a minute. You pouting and acting out isn’t gonna get it to you any sooner.”

I’m a fine one to talk, I know. They say good things come to those who wait, but I say impatient, controlling people get the good things a little sooner.

But that’s not always true.

When we rush things, or don’t follow God’s plan and timeline, it never turns out right. We’re as happy as a kid on Christmas, but in the end, we realize that time would have made all the difference. It’s like the rude guy in the sports car who speeds around you on the highway, only to discover that traffic has slowed because there’s a cop up ahead.

God rewards patience. The Bible tells me so:

In Ecclesiates 7:8—Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

In Lamentations 3:26—It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

And Psalms 37:7—Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.

But it’s tough. Especially when you know the blessing is coming, but you don’t know when.

Modern technology has ruined our patience with God. DVR allows us to fast forward through commercials and now we think we can fast forward through life, skipping the parts we don’t like. The microwave allows us to cook a meal in minutes, so we forget that the best things are simmered and slowly seasoned. Facebook and Twitter allows instant messaging, so we don’t understand why God doesn’t always reply to prayers in the blink of an eye.

And so, here I am, still waiting. My faith is strong, so I know God has things under control. But my patience is short, so I want it NOW. I want to know the outcome. I want to know everything will work out in my favor.

And so, I pray:

Dear Lord, I am being patient. I have no choice. You are in control. But please, please, please hurry!

Amen.

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