Eighteen months ago it seemed like a pretty simple concept.
- Pregnant teens needed a home
Logically speaking when you see a problem you search for the solution. This one seemed like a no-brainer.
I honestly couldn’t figure out why I seemed to be the only one to see the solution. I’m a fairly intelligent woman but not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. As each month passes it’s pretty clear now why nobody wanted to touch this one. As each month passes the stacks of papers, regulations, applications, policies, procedures, licenses, requirements grows exponentially. The budget is nowhere near what we originally thought. We have to convince a whole heck of a lot of people that what we are doing is a good thing. And now we found out we have to have a parking lot.
A Parking Lot? Really?
All we want to do is help those in need
And that, is exactly what we are going to do.
Are you ready to dig in with us? Are your knees ready for some bruised up prayer time? Are your knuckles ready to be bloodied as we climb the side of this cliff?
We have a tough road ahead but it’s necessary.
Are you in?
Leave us a comment below to tell us. Thanks!
2 Corinthians 4:8
The Message (MSG)
7-12If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side;
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And you thought
forgot what I was doing…
A couple of weeks ago I started this series on Nehemiah and how the re-building of the wall relates to the Building of The Nest for The Sparrow’s Nest. I bet you thought I wasn’t devoted to finishing this series. But…
In Chapter 4 of Nehemiah we read Nehemiah and the people were facing great opposition to the rebuilding of the wall. But despite the frustration and distractions verse 6 tells us they “rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”
We’re getting into that time of year when we’re distracted by really good wholesome things, not at all like the evil Nehemiah faced. But Fall is starting, college football is in full swing, kids soccer is every weekend, and all those holidays are coming. With all that being said, we have fabulous momentum going. This is the time, just like Nehemiah, to put our noses to the grindstone and get the Nest built. This is the time to constantly be putting the word out, to be creative in our planning and implementation, and to give sacrificially to this ministry.
So, you may have thought I had forgotten about writing this series. But I’ll reply rather snarkily in a biblical manner:
I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.
Why should the work stop…” Nehemiah 6:3
This is the time to fully devote ourselves. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to building a legacy that would last generations, we need to devote ourselves to this work. Just as Nehemiah and the wall builders devoted themselves to hard work despite financial and provisional struggles, we need to devote ourselves to finding every resource available to Build The Nest
And just like Nehemiah and the wall builders stated as recorded in Nehemiah 5:16 “Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall.” We need to state:
We devote ourselves to the work of building the nest for The Sparrow’s Nest.
Can we count on you? Are you devoted?
Priests to Perfume Makers
Nehemiah 3: 8-9 Uzziel son of Haraiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hanaiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that.
One of the most fascinating things to me about this passage is the diversity of the workers. Nehemiah inspired priests, goldsmiths, rulers of other districts, countrymen, and even a perfume maker to rebuild the wall . He cast such a vision that anyone with a heartbeat and hands could make a difference and significantly contribute. The passage that caught me up is found in Chapter 4 of Nehemiah. Verse 19 says Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
This resonated so strongly for me. Our volunteers and workers mostly work independently. We don’t have central location for every one to gather and meet, to hear the trumpet when they are attacked, or scared, or overwhelmed. But these are not things to hold us back. We have a common goal . We have common timeline. We have a common passion. We come from all walks of life. All levels of education. Gifts and talents and every sort of personality marks the identity of our phenomenal volunteer force. God has brought together a unique group of individuals into his vision for The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home.
Our tasks are spread out of a large time span. But I want our volunteers, our own wall builders to know that even though the work is extensive and spread out that you are doing an incredible work. Especially this coming fall, we have some tasks before us, primarily fully funding this vision, and YOU are key! You are building your legacy in your own Jerusalem just as Nehemiah did in 500 B.C.
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Do you remember when your toddler was learning to build with blocks? They would take those 2 or 3 blocks with those little mitten hands and try over and over again to stack them up successfully. During the process they would undoubtedly get frustrated when the blocks would fall over. They might eventually throw them or trying to push down even harder to get them to stay stacked. The irony is the pure joy they get in knocking them down again themselves. 🙂
My heart was drawn to a different type of building this morning. God drew me into Nehemiah. He’s been whispering parts of this story to me for a year and I’ve only read and studied it bits and pieces. This morning I read its entirety and God has brought me to my knees.
The parallels between Nehemiah rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem and our building The Sparrow’s Nest are obvious. But I just wanted to share a few points that God specifically showed me this morning.This week I’ll share a 4 part series over what God gave me from Nehemiah.
1. Prayer : It seems so obvious. But Nehemiah gives us the example at every start, every turn, every adversary, every thanksgiving to pray to God .
Nehemiah 1:10-11 They are your servants and your people, who you have redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. O, Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
Nehemiah’s heart had been broken by the despair of his people. Nehemiah knew this would be a huge undertaking . Building the wall again would not be a popular project. Nehemiah also understood he would need the support of powerful people. But the very first thing Nehemiah did was to ask God for forgiveness before favor. When Nehemiah was given the opportunity to ask permission of King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah quickly first prayed to God and then answered the King. When the opposition was in full force against rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah and his men prayed to God and made preparations to meet the threat.
I believe with all my heart in the power of prayer. I also believe we will not be successful in this endeavor without on-going, consistent, bold prayers. Just as Nehemiah did, we need support from powerful people, we need guidance and direction in our decision making, and we will need prayer warriors posted at our doors to protect the young women and those precious babies.
The next 120 days are a critical part of our history. My instinct is to get through the fall and start wrapping things down for the holidays. But God has always had a different plan. I believe God has some incredible wall building coming down the pipe this quarter and I challenge you to boldly pray what your role will be in this endeavor. I ask you to pray for generosity in spirit, time, and money. I ask you to boldly pray for protection, guidance, and direction. YOUR prayers will determine our steps.
Image by KatieTT via Flickr
When you are hiking and you come across a stack of rocks it usually shows where someone has gone before you to mark the trail. The stacks or cairns can direct your path and keep you on course.
The Isrealites also built monuments to remember God’s faithfulness. They built these altars to mark how God had guided them. The stones were used to mark a space or dedicate a time of God’s faithfulness.
4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been[a] in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day. Joshua 4: 4-9
Tonight we’re laying the first of many stones as a monument to God. The Sparrow’s Nest is hosting a Unity Prayer Concert. We are dedicating this evening to God’s glory and direction for us over the next 12 months. We’re spending the evening in focused prayer, praise, and worship to make sure we are step for step with God as we prepare to launch this ministry.
This is not a fundraiser. This is simply time to align our hearts and minds with God. We hope you come. We hope you can lay your own cairn or alter for your family as we all take some time to dedicate our lives and dreams and visions to God.
Image by Andrew Hayward via Flickr
What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received? I think one of my best surprises was my 16th birthday. My friends had a surprise party a month AFTER my birthday. I had assumed the celebration was over and done with. It had been a nice birthday but not really the spectacular event I thought it would be. And then my friends came through with an amazing party. They got me good and the memories have lasted for over 20 years.
That’s where I was last Wednesday with the GIVE WINGS 30K in 30 Days campaign. We had raised a significant amount of money but it wasn’t really what I thought it was going to be. I was happy but a little let down. Just like my 16th birthday.
But then I started chatting with Casey Graham from givingrocket.com and started showing me that we weren’t done with this fundraising effort. There were specific things that could still be accomplished. It was time to get FIRED UP again and finish out the campaign strong.
Four days before the end of the campaign we met our goal of raising $30,000 in 30 days. I can’t tell you how many people told me “when I heard about your goal I thought there was no way you would reach it.” But it’s the days that followed that took me off guard. Just like my Surprise 16th Birthday Party, I could not have imagined such a celebration.
This Saturday from 4-6 p.m. we are celebrating at Spencer Creek Park Pavilion our overwhelming success in May. God didn’t just provide $30,000. He has provided over $33,000 and checks are still coming in. Surprised?
I personally want to invite you to this celebration. This is a momentous part of our history and we need to take time to mark the significance. So bring your potluck, join in the washers and checkers tourney, listen to some live music, and come celebrate what you were a part of.
I can’t thank you enough for believing in the mission and vision of The Sparrow’s Nest even before we’ve got off the ground. Wonder what else God is going to surprise us with this year.