May 8, 2017

Good to be Home!

It is good to be home! Whew! My whirlwind weekend has come to an end. It was an amazing experience, filled with lots of love and laughter, but now I am home and it is time to rest. Like REALLY REST. I have final grading to do for Regent (today), and then I have a whole week off before my summer session at ASU begins again. No rest for the weary as they say! Actually, it will be resting to teach one class only. I am looking forward to being able to prepare some for this class. I was put into it with no notice in January, and then due to my dissertation work, I never really was able to develop any materials to help my students perform well. My goal this week is to create some handouts to walk them through each assignment. I feel the directions are not clear to most students. Hopefully, with my instruction, all my students will do really well this summer session.

Reflections on the Weekend

In other news, it feels so good to be back at my desk. My name plate looks good sitting on my computer -- if I do say so myself! It is a bit surreal to think that I am finally finished -- like as in --PhinsiheD!! I did it. I completed one of the most grueling experiences of my life, and I did it! I accomplished my life goal, and praise be to God, I did it in short order. I mean, I devoted 7 years to my studies, and now, I am about to begin the next 7 years of my adventure. I don't know what the Lord has in mind for me other than more teaching, more contracts, more work, but for each contract, each school, I am thankful for His grace and His provision of good, practical work. He is good to me, so very good to me.

As I reflect on my week, one thing comes to mind. First, I realize just how blessed I have been throughout this process. I heard the same testimony from all the doctoral graduates in line around me. Every single one of them was praising God for His faithfulness and goodness. They all said the same thing, "I couldn't have done this without the Lord's help." It is the truth! This path is so difficult, so challenging, and at times, so unyielding that many give up and do not complete the work. They cannot manage the workload, the family issues, the financial strain, etc. They simply cannot give to the work what is required, which is 100% sacrifice of time, talent, and energy. I know that in my case, I would not have been able to do this without the Lord's blessing and favor. He graced me with the ability to concentrate, to work unto Him, and in the end, I was able to receive the coveted diploma that reads, "Doctor of Philosophy." God be praised, you are so good to me!

My plans for the week as mentioned above include preparation time for my two summer courses. I plan to rest, though. REST, REST, and more REST. It is all good, though. The Lord knows what I can and cannot do, and praise His name, I am ready to do His work, His way, and according to His will. I am ready, Lord. SEND ME!

In all things, I am confident of this: He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6).

Yes, this is the testimony I witnessed this weekend. God calls each of us to His work. He prepares, equips, trains, and readies us. Then He dedicates, anoints, and commissions us to go. This is the path. This is how He makes His people ready to begin His work, and in this way, He sends them out. I am ready to be sent out, sent to do the work He has called me to do. I am ready to get down and dirty, so to speak. I am ready to get my hands dirty as I work unceasingly for the Lord. I am ready to see His fruit be produced, and my labor rewarded. I am so ready to begin this next stage of my life.

In reflection, I feel more and more content to know that my future is planned. I don't have to discover it. I don't have to go looking for it. I simply rest in the knowledge that God has an amazing plan for me, and that He is bringing it to pass as we speak (as I type, I should say). The permanent job He has for me will come to me soon. Of this, I am boldly confident. What is more is the fact that all the details, those pesky details that trap me, trip me, and cause me to topple some days, are all in order, all accounted for, and for the most part, already checked off. I don't have to worry. I don't have to fear or fret or think of failure. No, instead, I take to heart and I say, "My God has this in hand. He has me well-covered this good, good day!" May the Lord be praised! May His Name be worshiped and praised! In all His ways, may He be acknowledged as good, as sovereign, and as faithful. He alone is worthy to be praised! He alone is worthy to be honored! To God be the glory for the good things He has done!

This leads me to think that all my fussing and frustration was for naught. It has not produced one single positive thing. Rather it has served to cause me anxiety, pounding heart, weak mind, and difficulty focusing. My joy has been stolen by the enemy, and for many months -- lo, years -- it was a regular thing. But, not anymore. No more! No longer! I stand committed to the ministry and the gifts the Lord has given to me to complete His gracious work. I stand committed to doing this work, to go where He sends me, and to enjoy the blessed gifts He has in mind for me.

The Lord has called me to teach -- of this I know. The Lord has called me to communicate -- of this, I am assured. The Lord has pronounced my work as sufficient, as good, as complete. Now, I wait for His revealed will to come to pass. I wait patiently while He moves me to the school of His choice for full-time work. I wait while He orchestrates the details, calls them into line, and then for the blessed invitation to apply. I wait, I do what work I have, and I patiently look up to His hand. He will reward my efforts with a full-time job. He will reward me with the blessed gift of a teaching contract that is not adjunct but is Assistant Professor (tenure). He will do this because I believe it is part of His plan for my life. He knows what I need to live on, and He will provide enough money (income) to cover me. He will care for my long-term needs, my expenses, my school loans and such. He will give me the grace needed to perform well, to be successful in this life, and what is more, He will do it all through His ability and power. I will have no part in this fulfillment. I will simply hold out my hand and receive His gift. I will say, "Thank you, Lord," but He will do it all. He will make the favor and blessing extend from my door to the place of His choosing. He will call on the individuals who make the decisions to consider my name. And, in the end, He will provide well for me. I will not go without. I will not be left behind. I will not suffer as a result of my own hand. I will do all things to bring glory and praise to His marvelous name. I will do this work with Him at the center. Yes, I will do all things for Jesus, my King!
In Closing

I close this blog post with this thought: Nothing is impossible for our God. Nothing. Jobs, homes, cars, material needs. Nothing is impossible. He is able to produce fruit where no fruit exists. He is able to water the dry land. He can cause springs of water to well up from the parched surface. In all things, He can create, administrate, and orchestrate the good things He desires in our lives. The key is to be 100% fixed on Jesus. 100% fixed. All things are to be sacrificed at His feet, all things subjected to His authority. As a result, He commands and we go. He provides and we receive. He orders and we experience the brilliance of His testimony. The Lord is good. He is so good. Let us give praise to His holy and good name today!

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