July 2, 2017

Ready and Willing

It is a blessed Sunday here in sunny and warm, Phoenix. The skies are clear and the air temperature is very warm, indeed. I think our week looks to be about the same as the previous one — air temps in the mid 110s. *Sigh!*

We are technically in the monsoon season, but our dew points have remained low, too low for any storms to develop. The air is warm enough to fire up some big thunderheads, but until our moisture level increases, we will continue to have “sunny and hot” weather.  Perhaps now that the first week of July has arrived we will see a change in the forecast. Last week, I thought I heard a cicada chirping. The cicada’s typically start to chirp right around this time of the year. Some people say that they are the first sign of the monsoon. I am not sure whether that is true or not, but until I hear the late night buzzing, I really don’t think we will have any solid chances for good rain storms. Their late night chirping, loud daytime buzzing, seem to correspond to our wild, and sometimes, wicked weather.

It is a good day, nonetheless. I am sitting here, thinking about my day, drinking my coffee. Church begins at 11:00 a.m., so between now and then, I am relaxing with the boys and enjoying my morning routine.

God is good. He is good. I am thanking Him and giving Him praise this good, good day.

New Doors, New Possibilities

This week holds hope for a new opportunity for me. This week I have an interview for a full-time position at one of the schools where I work presently. I am not sure if this is the ONE or not, as in the job the Lord has for me; but I am thankful that God has opened this door for me to interview. I am hopeful, expectant, and anticipating a good interview, and I am expectant that if this is His choice, I will receive a “yea” answer shortly afterward. However, but until the interview happens, and an offer comes, I must continue to wait and trust the Lord for His blessed provision.

I am hopeful, however. As I said above, I feel confident that this position could be His choice. Some reasons why I think this might be the job the Lord has for me are things the Lord has said to me previously. These are:
  1. The job would be at a public university
  2. The job would be to composition and not literature
  3. The job would be online rather than on campus or a combination of both modalities
  4. The job would not come through one of the job boards for higher education
More so, in relationship to the job itself, the Lord said to expect confirmation via email, and that the confirmation wouldn’t come to me until after I graduated (in May) and after I had actual receipt of my transcript (proof my degree has posted).

When I consider this particular position, it is clear that it meets all four specific criteria. As I think about this position, I see that the job is to teach composition and not to teach literature. The job opening was not posted on a national jobs site, but rather it was posted on the school website. The offer to interview did come through an email (I did apply for it back in the early spring, but due to all the hustle and bustle of the semester, I forgot about it). The offer to interview came to me on June 29th, right after I had received my transcript. The curious thing in all of this is the fact that as I have prayed about the job opening, one thing was clear. The job the Lord had for me would not be at any other school than where I already teach. This was why, for a time, I thought perhaps the Lord wanted me to teach at Regent University. I had applied to that job opportunity back in the early spring as well, but I never heard anything back, and while that job was really a dream job (literature and composition), it also required that I move to VA and work on campus. The job at Regent meets just one of the criteria above — it was not listed on a jobs board. The other criteria, specifically teaching online was only partially met (the job was for both campus and online). Thus, it appears that as of now, the interview I have on Thursday is the best hope for fulfillment of the Lord’s word to me. At this time, I mean, at this time.

Some people might say that this scenario is just coincidence. You know, it was all just happenstance. I tend to think that what I have heard from the Lord is testimony, and that as testimony, the Lord always brings some measure of confirmation to help us to know that what we are hearing or receiving is true. I believe the Word where it says we are to test what we hear, to make sure that the word we receive aligns with Scripture. I struggle at times with knowing if what I am hearing is true or not. Sometimes I believe everything I hear, and sometimes I question it completely — almost doubting the truth. The Lord is faithful to me, and often, He will bring other people to me to tell me something — to give me a word of knowledge or confirmation — simply so that I can know the difference between truth and lies. I pray for discernment all the time. I ask the Lord for His help to discern, to know the truth, and then to accept it and walk in it. I ask the Lord for clarification, confirmation, and for the ability to confidently know the way in which I am to go.

Therefore, with this in mind, as I consider this opportunity, I can only believe that this is the job the Lord has promised to me. Today, I must stand in bold faith, believing that the word of the Lord and the testimony I have received is truth. Yes, I stand in faith, and since I know that the Lord is faithful, and that He keeps His promises — to me — to the world, I am able to go boldly into this new week with confidence and assurance of His will and that it will be done. I believe He is faithful, and I believe that He will do what He has said He will do! Amen, so be it, thy will be done! Selah!

What Could Be as a Result

So, I am not trying to run ahead of the Lord here, but it is hard not to think about what a full-time job could mean to me right now. I am trying to “not” count my chickens, you know. I am trying to rest, to remain calm, and to simply let the Lord lead, guide and provide for me. But it is difficult to not think about how a full-time job could help me, improve my situation, give me a more secure future. A job like this would:
  • Provide a steady and consistent paycheck for 9-months out of the year
  • Provide health benefits that are better in quality and cost than my current plan (Obamacare)
  • Provide a forum for research and possible scholarship
  • Provide a work-from-home job so I can be here to help care for my parents
  • Provide a robust environment whereby I am continue to improve as an instructor
First, in practical terms, simply having a 9-month position is key. It is a blessing I cannot describe. I love my work life now, but adjunct is dicey. I never know how many jobs I will be offered, and even until the class begins, there is the chance that I will lose the contract. Honestly, the Lord has graciously provided for me, but adjunct is not steady work. It is part-time and offered on an as needed basis. 

Second, the benefits include healthcare coverage and other perks are important as well. I need healthcare, and I need coverage for my son until he graduates from college. The health plan I am on now is good, but not great. We haven’t used it, even though it costs me $1200 per year. I hate to use it, so we don’t go as we should. Still, a new and better plan would be a benefit for both of us.

Third, I really do enjoy working from home. I have gone back and forth on this option for a while now. I do like teaching on campus; however, the strain of teaching on campus really takes a physical toll on me. I much prefer working from home. I love teaching from home. I love the online forum, the interaction with students, and frankly, this type of work suits my INTJ personality to a tee. I really like the freedom, and I like the control I have over my courses and the outcomes. It is a win-win in my book.

Last, I want to be a scholar, and I want to teach at a school whereby scholarship is expected. Right now, I work at a number of schools that do not require any scholarship. Of course, I am adjunct, but still, there is little requirement or opportunity to engage in scholarship. I would really like to be active in community, to do research in collaboration, and to publish and present at conferences as often as possible. 

The result of this opportunity is that my life could be changed in many subtle and not so subtle ways. My life could be transformed, and I could be promoted from adjunct to instructor, and perhaps down the road, assistant professor as the Lord leads, guides, and provides.

Hopeful but not Hesitant

I am hopeful that this could job be the one the Lord has promised to me, but if the Lord chooses otherwise, I am thankful for His permission to interview and the opportunity to be considered. I know that He has my best in mind, and my best in mind includes a good solid position whereby I can earn decent income and have a steady quality of life.

I have worked very hard to get to this place in time. I have climbed high mountains and scaled hurdles that I thought would do me in — physically, mentally, emotionally. I have survived all that was included in this level of work, and now I am ready to be promoted. I am ready to go and take possession of the gift the Lord has for me. He has said I am to go, and while I struggle to know whether that means physically getting up and going or simply going mentally, connecting with His purpose and plan, and taking hold of His offer, I am not sure. What I do know is that He has called me to a unique and wonderful purpose, and His plan for my life is good. It is so very good.

Patient and Waiting

This morning, Bryan Loritts, visiting pastor from Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Silicon Valley, CA preached a great sermon on the value and benefit of patiently waiting for God’s best. It was pure testimony — word preached — to encourage and edify the body of Christ. I listened intently because his message spoke directly to my heart and it did encourage me greatly. I felt confirmed in the waiting, in my waiting season, and I also felt relieved to know that I am right where the Lord desires me to be. I am being simmered, tempered, and with this period of waiting, I am learning how to use my gifts, talents, and abilities to greater effect. I am learning how to be what God wants me to be, and in this way, I am resting and abiding in His strength, wisdom and grace. I may not like waiting, but I understand the purpose of it. The Lord is not slow with His promises, and thus, if the Lord asks me to patiently wait, to endure, and to rest, then He is doing so for a good reason. He is asking me to be patient while He handles whatever concerns me, and that means, that nothing good will happen outside His perfect order. If I rush the process, I might end up in a job that doesn’t work out well or in a place that simply is not the best place for me. Instead, I must listen. I must obey, and I must not murmur, grumble or complain. I must be patient. I must wait. I must keep busy doing what the Lord has asked me to do. I must simply keep on keeping on until the day of the Lord and His promised good to me.

In Closing

I am ready to be promoted, and I am ready to go wherever He calls me, leads me, and chooses to plant me. If I am to remain here, so be it. I will be active in community, active in life, active in church, and I will do all that the Lord asks of me. I belong to Him. He is mine. He is mine, and I belong to Him.

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