Rebecca Duvall

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Work

WorkHave you noticed that God puts things on our heart long before He reveals it to us? I really struggle with this because I have a strong desire (need) to know exactly what is expected of me so I can figure out precisely how I will get done what needs to be done. I like to have a plan, an organized detailed plan.

Thankfully, God is always giving me opportunities to be patient and trust His timing and His plan. Of course I always have dozens of questions for Him as to how He plans for this and when. I also have many, many, many suggestions how He can get things accomplished in ways that I feel would be best. These are the times God is usually quiet, waiting for me to be silent so He can speak through His gentle loving gracious merciful whisper.

In the spring of 2002 my husband and I decided it would be best for me to stay home with the kids and be a Stay-At-Home-Mom. I was thrilled at the idea, mainly because I was bored out of my mind with ‘work’ and needed a change. About 13 years later, while in the midst of Chaplain training, God gave me the desire to ‘work’ again.

What would I possibly do? Go back to Accounting? Work as a Chaplain? Open a business? How would I have time for my family, friends and the church? What? How? When? Why? These are just a few of the questions I asked God while trying to figure it all out myself. So exhausting! The thought of creating a resume after, now 14 yeas of not ‘working’, overwhelmed me. I convinced myself no one would every want to hire me, so why bother.

When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.~ Psalm 94:19

Then, the funniest thing happened. A position for an Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper became available at the church I attended. I mentioned I MIGHT apply and the next thing I knew, the job was being offered to me. Why is this so funny? Well, I was currently on Session, an Elder, over Admin and Finances and the CFO. I kind of had an idea about the job that needed to be filled. Of course I would have to step down from Session before being allowed on staff, but easily done.

I was excited to be the bookkeeper but terrified to be responsible for the weekly bulletin. Could I handle representing the ‘church’? What if I messed up? Could I handle having a set schedule every week? I made my own schedule for so long. What if I got bored? My days of sleeping in and getting up whenever would be over. Wait, who was I kidding, I was a mom of three, I almost never slept in or made my own schedule. Suddenly the thought of having a set schedule and a place to go and be organized and detailed sounded glorious.

I know I mess up or forget things all the time, but thankfully I work with an amazing staff and the best volunteers on the planet! I get to see and talk with my church family every day of the week, work with numbers and keep things organized. I’ve now been working for 14 months with no worry of EVER being bored. I never know what the day will bring except God’s goodness! I don’t believe there’s a better job out there for me!

I think I’ve adjusted well to ‘working’. I enjoy what I do and LOVE the people I work with. My family is having a slightly more difficult time adjusting.  When they call to tell me about their day, which is great, I gently remind them I’m at work and will talk with them more when I get off. Well, I’ve been told, in a nice way, how my ‘job’ is sometimes inconvenient for them. I love seeing how God is working on them as He is working on me.

Ask and it will be given to you;

Seek and you will find;

Knock and the door will be opened to you.

If you are in the season of the unknown, maybe with a strong desire for change, ask God your questions about it. He would like to be invited in and can certainly handle your concerns. Don’t stop seeking God’s answers because they are usually better than you could imagine.

My Prayer for us today ~ Thank you Father God for the tender, loving patience you have with us. Lord, I pray for Your wisdom, courage and strength to continually seek Your plan for us. I pray we trust You are at work in all things as we patiently wait upon you, Amen.

Pastors

21 ShepherdAs I’ve mentioned before, the church my family and I attend are between Pastors. We’ve had the pleasure of listening to a different person preach each week. Some are Pastors, and some are not. The most important thing to me in a sermon is that it’s the word of God. I think everyone who’s preached has done a good job at writing their sermon based on the Bible. I’ve enjoyed having a variety of speakers, but have to say, I am looking forward to consistency in the way the message is delivered.

21 Jeremiah 3-15

I’m thankful for the ability to go to church every Sunday morning and be taught the word of God. I’m thankful for the pastor who not only teaches the word of God, but also helps those listening know how the message from long ago applies to our lives today. I’m thankful for the Pastor who paints a vivid picture in my head of the scripture being taught. I’m thankful for the Pastor who includes me in this picture and then helps me see how God is speaking to me through it. I’m thankful for those who answer the call to shepherd His people.

Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. ~ Acts 20:28

Today’s sermon was about the birth of John the Baptist, Luke 1:57-80. The point of today’s sermon that I took home was when the mouth of Zechariah was opened he began to praise God. Zechariah’s mouth was closed because He didn’t believe the angel Gabriel when he told him his wife would have a son. It was to remain closed until the birth of his son took place. We were pointed to the fact that Zechariah didn’t complain or whine about what he just went through, no, he praised God. It made me think of the times I’ve failed to praise God when He’s delivered me from difficult situations. When was the last time you praised God for the miracles He provides? What was your ‘take away’ from the last sermon you heard?

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for those You call to shepherd Your people. I pray we would be open to how You are using them to speak to us, Amen.

The Church

8 church peopleI used to look forward to the weekend because it meant time to catch up on sleep and be lazy. Now I look forward to the weekend because I get to hang out with my church family Sunday morning. I find myself making excuses to be there for both services. I do enjoy sleeping in, but if I only go to the second service, I’ll miss seeing half of my church family. I don’t want to miss seeing anyone! I love my church family!

I’m thankful for my church family because….

  • they love me for who I am
  • they comfort me when I’m feeling down
  • they inspire me when I’m feeling defeated
  • they pray for me, even when I don’t ask
  • they praise God along side me
  • they worship God with me, even though I sing off key
  • they thank God for the gifts He has given me
  • they encourage & support me & my family during our trials
  • they help me be accountable to God
  • they point me to God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit
  • they allow me to pray for them
  • they offer guidance through God’s Word

Sunday mornings are the best! First I have the privilege of talking to a few to find out how their week went and maybe share what’s going on in my corner of the world. Then when the service starts, I get to praise and worship God together with everyone as one body, which is my favorite part of the morning. Especially when they sing one of my many favorite worship songs. What’s one of your favorite songs to sing in church?

8 1Cor 12-12

During the sermon I feel like a little kid having a story read to me. It’s awesome! The best part about the sermon lately is we have a different person preaching each week. I know some people don’t like that, they need consistency, but I love hearing different peoples perspectives. Each person has different stories to share about how God is speaking to them through His Word. To me, a great sermon is hearing God’s Word as well as something from the heart of the speaker. What do you enjoy about the sermon?

I’m thankful God uses the church, to bring different people together. People who, outside of the church, would never cross paths. He brings people of all ages, talents, stages in life and areas of the world together to be unified in Him, with one purpose, to love & worship Him.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for creating a place where we can come together to worship & praise You. I pray we would hear You during the sermon, regardless of who is speaking, Amen.

A Joyful Heart

joyful heartThis past week I’ve sensed the Lord and His hand in the details of my life.  I’ve felt and seen Him work in my life many times before, but this week has been different.  I’m not quite sure how to explain it.  In the midst of the unknown medical situation Robert is dealing with concerning his kidney, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and joy.

Thursday morning was Roberts’s kidney biopsy.  Everything went amazingly well, better than in the past.  They gave him something that completely relaxed him.  He slept through most of the recovery.  Then before we knew it, it was time to take him home.  We were home much sooner than expected and happy it was behind us.  Robert slept the rest of the day and the rest of us had a quiet relaxing evening.

Friday morning Robert announced he had planned a surprise night away for us and all the details for this to happen were taken care of.  He wanted to have some alone time together before he starts the new meds and becomes sick.  I was speechless!  He had never done anything like this before.  We have had many getaways, but we always planned them together.  Our time away started with a wonderful dinner and ended the next afternoon with a late lunch and a little shopping.

On Sunday, 3/9/14, I shared my story of healing at the church we attend, Covenant Community Chruch.  It was truly an amazing experience.  To my surprise I wasn’t nervous about sharing my story.  I prayed continually throughout the week for God’s peace and trusted I would be given the words He wished for me to share.  Of course I did prepare and practice, I’m not TOTALLY crazy!  Sharing the beautiful stories God has given me fills my heart with joy.

I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. Psalm 22:22

After the service I had the privilege of praying, with others, for those who wished to be anointed with oil and prayed over for healing.  Praying for others, lifting their prayers up to God Almighty, calling upon the Holy Spirit, is incredible.  I asked God to help me remember who I prayed for so I can connect with them at a later time to see how they are doing.  I can’t wait to hear how God revealed Himself to them and answered their prayers.

O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.  Psalm 30:2

What I thought would be a long dreadful week of waiting for Robert’s test results has been a week filled with divine appointments.  Robert’s mind has been kept busy with continued Chaplain training.  He has been surrounded by other Chaplains and Pastors who have been encouraging and uplifting, right when he needs it most.  I believe this is all part of God’s perfect timing.  God is so good!

I’ve also been kept busy, but not in an overwhelming way.  I’ve had time to work on my daily bible study, edit my manuscript and enjoy my family. I even had time to enjoy lunch with a new friend.  This might sound crazy, but I’ve even enjoyed doing the little daily things like laundry and dishes.

I heard this song on the radio today while heading out to pick up the kids.  It’s a constant prayer I have.

My prayer for us today ~ Lord I pray you give us the opportunity to share with others how you are working in our lives. I pray you prepare the hearts of those who will hear our testimonies and it will point them to You, Amen

Persistence Pays Off

math signsI am so excited!  I have to share how amazing and hysterical God is.  For those who don’t know, I’m a numbers geek.  Excel is my favorite software program.  To me, working with numbers is like working on a wonderful puzzle.  No emotions or feelings can change it.  2 + 2 will always equal 4.

My husband does not share this same passion of numbers.  He often says “Math is not my best friend”.  I agree and would even go as far to say math isn’t even a friend of his.

Money has always caused a lot of stress and arguments in our marriage, especially around Christmas.  My husband would like to buy wonderful gifts for everyone, which is great, I would like to also.  The problem is our money coming in (income) doesn’t increase just because our money going out (expenses) increase.  We need to plan ahead, to save, for these occasions. grinch

My husband is the spender in our family.  I’m the grinch when it comes to money.  I write out a  budget each month showing money in and money out.  I factor in things like haircuts, birthday gifts, back to school or summer items, etc.  Then at the bottom it shows what “play” money we have or extra money there is, if any.

I try to explain it to my husband but all he sees is the money coming in.  Then all month long as I pay our bills I’m worried I’m going to bounce a check because my husband spends the money before the bill payments hit the bank.  I do continually remind him we have no extra money until the next check comes in, but he still continues to spend.  Coffee drinks, burgers or downloading music.  The crazy part is when I ask him about it, it’s always “it was only one”.  He doesn’t realize each dollar spent needs to be subtracted from the money available to spend.  Remember, math is not his friend.

To get to the amazing hysterical part…….In the past, whenever I’ve tried to get my husband involved in our finances he’s always made it clear he trusted me and didn’t want to deal with it.  The thought of money stressed him out and he had enough to stress about, so the finances were all on me.

I’ve been praying, for a while, for my husband to get a clue about our money situation or for God to help me explain it to him in a way that he would understand.

My husband is the Small Group Coordinator at our church and a few months ago he said he wanted to bring the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course to our church.  At the time I had no idea what it was.  I didn’t think my husband really had a clue either because it had the word financial in it.

To make a long story short…..my husband has been organizing, planning and promoting this course at our church and it will begin in January.  That’s pretty amazing right!  Well the hysterical part is we are taking this course together and working with the couple who will be facilitating it, so if we do it again at our church we will be able to facilitate it together!  My husband even says he is excited about learning how to manage our money together.

I never would have imagined this happening and certainly could not have planned it if I tried.  God always has amazing things for us.  We simply need to invite Him in through prayer.colossians 4

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I pray we remain alert to recognize when & how you answer our prayers so we don’t miss opportunities you bring our way, Amen

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