Friday, June 22, 2012

Is unselfishness still selfish?

I finally began reading "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis this week.  I was reminded by my pastor, Matt Nelson, in a sermon illustration how much I wanted to read it.  I started Monday and I love it!  Lewis' thoughts and insights into human thought and behavior are amazing.  One concept that I came across yesterday just about blew my mind . . . the concept of unselfishness vs. charity in our relationships.  

We believe that it is a virtue to be unselfish.  Of course, it is.  Much better to be unselfish than selfish.  But have we considered the step above unselfishness?  To be unselfish - with our spouse or kids or co-workers, whomever - is a good step, but to be unselfish at it's root is still . . . well, it's still kind of selfish.  It's because a decision to be unselfish is still about me.  I decide to suck it up and let someone off the hook or do for someone else because I should be unselfish.  If I do that, it's still about me.

The higher level here is charity.  The act in question may still be the same - ie. doing the dishes even though I'm tired, playing with my kids when all I want to do is have a minute to myself, whatever - but those acts done out of charity for that person takes all the focus off me and puts it all one them.  I can do those dishes because I don't want to be a jerk (I call that unselfish, but it's still about me and thus still selfish) or I can do those dishes because I love my wife and it would bless her and free up a half-hour for her to take a walk outside and decompress from a long day with the kids on summer vacation.  See the difference?

It's love.  It's loving my neighbor as I love myself.  It's a deep concept and I've only scratched the surface, but think about it today.  Love to know what your take on it is.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Look at this great stuff happening now and in the future!!

I want to lead with praising God for a great breakthrough that Sara and I are experiencing.  I think we're finally learning to live with joy despite our circumstances!  Now, I'm not trying to say we're living in dire circumstances.  We're blessed, as always.  But we are in a strange state of limbo right now as I'm not working in vocational ministry.  Even thought that is the case, we're fine with where we are.  Some dear friends in a pastors coaching group I'm in helped me see this last week.  Several of them urged me to enjoy the journey God has me on.  Sara and I are doing just that.  I think we may be getting free from the "when, then syndrome"  that's seemed to hold us down at times before.  

Well, even though we're enjoying the journey, I am still praying faithfully for the future.  Could you join me in these prayers? 
  • Vocational Ministry - I'm asking God to open up a place for me to minister vocationally again.  I won't try and force anything.  I'll just keep praying and keep pursuing opportunities that He puts in front of me.
  • Pastors Coaching Group - I'm asking God to bring things together for me to facilitate my first Pastor's Coaching Group by the end of this year.
  • Grace from the Hospital - As you may remember, I received an outrageously high ER bill from St. Francis Hospital.  We applied for the financial aid and we're praying that they waive 100% of the cost.  
  • Missions Opportunity - I'm asking God to make a way for me to join City Church in Choluteca, Honduras this Fall to minister to the people there.  You can see more info here.  Maybe God will even lead you to partner with me.
Thanks so much for your prayers.  I love you all and would love to pray for you too.  Let me know what's going on with you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Can you help me minister in Honduras this Fall?

 I've been given a wonderful opportunity to travel to Choluteca, Honduras with my church this Fall to participate in some leadership development with some local pastors, work with a local children's program my church and our family personally supports and to meet our newly sponsored child, Lidny M. Vigil Flores. She is 8 years old and our family is looking forward to sponsoring her financially and praying for her all the way until she is a grown woman and can make her own way in the world!

I'm writing to you today to ask if you can pray for the team and I and help me to raise the funds I need to go on this trip that will surely be life-changing for me and those I get to minister to in Chaluteca. The total trip cost will be $1500 and a $400 deposit is due by July 1 with the remaining balance coming due August through October. I am hoping, with your help and God's, that I can see the full amount raised as Sara and I are not in a place to pull the cost of this trip from our personal budget. It's about all we can handle for me to pay the fee to renew my passport and miss the week of work that this trip will require. I hope and have prayed that you will consider partnering with me in this work. Here are some trip details for you to consider:
  • Dates – October 22-27, 2012
  • Location – Choluteca, Honduras
  • What we will be doing – Leadership Development with church leaders in Honduras, Children's Outreaches in the projects and community, sports camps for the kids, clean up and neighborhood outreach.
So, if you would like to help financially, you can mail a check to me. I will list the info you need below. By the way, any money you contribute to this trip is a tax-deductible contribution.
  • Make checks payable to “City Church” and write “Jason Fitch – Honduras Missions” on the memo line.
  • Mail checks to me at home address – 6323 S. 109th E. Ave Tulsa, OK 74133.
Thank you, in advance, for your help. Your prayers and any financial contributions are so appreciated. I will be sure to keep you updated on my progress and the results of our trip if you choose to partner with me. And, of course, if you have any questions about any specifics, give me a call at 918.519.0938 and we can talk. I look forward to it.

Sincerely and with love,

Monday, June 4, 2012

closed doors lead to open doors . . . I hope

Last week, Sara and I took the kids up to Six Flags in St. Louis.  It was a great trip.  The next day (last Friday) just as I was about to go back to work, my boss informed me that payday was not happening.  So, I told him I could no no longer work for him.  Amazingly, I got a call from another landscaping company within the hour and worked Friday and Saturday.  I believe I will also work a couple days with him this week.  It still remains to be seen how much work is possible with the new company, but it is something and I'm thankful.  Last week, Sara and I also settled on where we believe God has called us to serve in ministry in this season of our lives - City Church.  

I'm so longing to get back into working in my calling.  Of course I'll do whatever I have to do to provide for my family, but my heart is beginning to feel heavy not being able to work with people and help them find their place in God's Kingdom.  That's what I believe I was made to do - help people find their unique contribution they can make in God's Kingdom.  I love doing it and I'm really good at it.  For whatever reason, over the last few years, I cannot find a place or situation where that skill set can generate any kind of steady income for our family.  It's frustrating and disheartening, at times.

Some specific prayers I'm praying this week are:
  • Steady job in the short-run.  I'm asking God for a good, steady job that pays well to bridge the time until I can get back into vocational ministry.  It may be the one I just started.  I just don't know yet, so I'm still praying this prayer.
  • Get back to ministry being my job.  I did ministry as my full-time job for so long, I took for granted how much I loved it and how satisfying it is to me.  I'm asking God to make a way for me to be able to get back to ministry being my only job just as quickly as possible.  I'd be thrilled to even start with something part-time.
  • Divine opportunities to develop coaching relationships.  I am hoping and praying that a couple new pastors coaching groups will form this year through Summit Trek.  
To be able to facilitate a couple pastors coaching groups, do a little individual coaching and work as a staff pastor would be the best setup I could imagine.  I would be right in the middle of everything I love and have been gifted to do.  So, that's what I'm asking God for.  Thanks for praying with me.  I'd love to pray for you this week.  Let me know what's going on.