November 2016 Newsletter

Mountain Haven Newsletter- November 2016

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE

Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $7,100.00 + project total needs, Gravel for Driveway $750.00, Well Pump $3,600.00, Monthly Revenue Received: $2,062.00-

Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects  1.) Chris is starting a group for men and women in January 2017 called “Journeys.”  This group is intended to walk with people through despair, disappointment, doubt and grief. If you are interested contact her and keep an eye out for a flier in the next couple weeks. 2.) Folks, please remember that Mountain Haven is a retreat facility open for your use for a rest, vacation, or reprieve. There is a complete basement apartment available for your use at a donation-only basis. Contact us to schedule your time away with your partner, loved one, family, or for your group meeting.

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month:  1.) We had an amazing opportunity to go on a cruise with our close friends and get away for five days. It was a great blessing. Thank you to our son and his wife and the girls Aunt Lisa for watching the girls. 2.) Our son Brandon and wife Emily finished fixing up and painting their house in Minneapolis and are now owners of a rental property. We had the privilege of helping them ready the place for renters. It is a beautiful home. So proud of them both.

Top Prayer Requests: 1.) Pray for continued wisdom and discernment regarding the future outreach of Mountain Haven. We wish to use this facility to its fullest capacity to bless and heal others. We wish to keep growing and expanding in a way that is a blessing to many.

Deep Roots

I love it when nature speaks to us in the simplest, but most profound way. On our trip to Mexico we had the opportunity to visit The Amazing Secret River. This is 20 miles of caverns and caves underneath the earth with a beautiful cerulean blue river running through it. On our adventure, we had an opportunity to traverse through a short segment of the cave, and then wade and float in the river. One of the most astounding features in this cave experience was the root systems of the trees up above that broke through the ground to reach the water. Talk about deep roots. Talk about the effort it took for these tree root systems to push through the hard dirt up above in search of water.

Many of the root systems we saw were intricately woven together. Masses of roots that connected and worked together to push downward towards the water source. I loved the beautiful picture of struggle depicted in these roots. At times there was at least 20 feet between the roof of the cave and the water source, and the roots would wriggle and weave themselves into the sides of the cave, and push themselves towards the water with such imagined fervor.

It got me thinking about our root system as individuals, couples, and families. It made me question if I am straining to stay connected and tapped into the water/life system necessary to continue to grow. There are many other distractions in our lives that vie to be our root system. Things like a hefty bank account, a prestigious career, a religious belief system, being the best mother, the best father, having the best behaved children, or the best kept house, or the best reputation, having a trouble free life, defending our theology better than others; and the list goes on and on. We give our time and energy to things that have no eternal value and we wriggle and squirm our way through hard dirt, only to find no water source once we have done all the work.

Like in our marriage. We strive for a marriage that has no conflict, but instead end up with a marriage of show; with very little depth and many secrets. We strive for a marriage that gives us everything we need, but instead end up idolizing our spouse and putting so much pressure on them to give us life; that they withdraw from us. We strive for a marriage where we expect everything done a certain way, but instead end up keeping score and resenting all the things that are done wrong. Or in our family, we put exorbitant amounts of pressure on our children to get good grades, do well in sports, and be the perfect child and later, when they are grown, realize there is no foundation to our relationship. Or we spend our time focusing on our kids, rather than our own growth and choices as an individual, therefore the relationship is shallow, or even disconnected because our hypocrisy drove our kids away. You get my point. Shallow root systems result in dying trees, dying foliage and no fruit.

Just like the root systems of those trees in the Amazing Secret River, we have to learn to fight for our water/life source. We have to decide if we can wriggle, squirm, and dig for what matters. This isn’t just about reading devotions, going to church, or praying and completing a checklist of good christian things to do.  It’s about living an examined life. A life where we are intentional and mindful about working and striving towards the life/water source we need. It is one thing to say our life is in Jesus, but the way we work that out looks very different for each of us. Maybe for some of us, it’s pressing into gratitude, maybe for some it’s pressing into being a better communicator, or maybe it’s about scrutinizing our judgments and prejudices, maybe it’s about forgiving and making a move towards your spouse or your child that you haven’t talked to, maybe it’s about reading more or seeking counsel to work through your difficult stuck spots, maybe it’s about being honest about your addiction and getting help, maybe it’s about listening rather than talking. We all have dirt to press through, but the challenge is to press and fight for life, not to let our root system stay on the surface. The life we are able to give out to our spouse, our children, and our family is only as fulfilling as the source from which our roots drink from.

The challenge today is to press, to dig, to crave water/life more than anything else that offers a momentary infusion of life. Ask yourself today what fruit your tree is giving out? Are you Loving? Patient? Grateful? Self Controlled? Forgiving? Or are you Short Tempered? Angry? Impatient? Withdrawn? Bitter? And Selfish? The fruit reflects the root system. Just like the beautifully confounding root systems I saw in Mexico, we need to fight to cultivate a foundation of roots that is constantly striving to reach life/water. What’s stopping you?

 

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