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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Running in Circles

Server error
Shut down in progress
Back at square one
Just where she started

Running in circles
Going for gold
Back at the blocks now
Time sure has flown

What was her goal then?
Did she succeed?
Here on this road
Now she can see

She was going for something
Still incomplete
Standing for nothing
She fell at his feet

Gave away everything
Nothing to lose
Kiss it goodbye now
Building a noose


"It’s not over darling
There’s still much to do
Don’t give up now
I make all things new

Give me your broken
I’ll use that too
To mold you and shape you
To a vessel for My use

Your scars may remain
But My healing shines through
They’ll speak to the world
Of what faith can do

So run to My arms now
Come and abide
I’ve pursued you so long now
So won’t you be Mine?"
-Joy Lynn Chambers

Monday, February 10, 2014

Whose Faith Follow

Hebrews 13:7 NKJV
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”

Whose faith do you follow?  For the disciples, they were led directly by the life of Jesus, Himself.  Today we have the Word of God and for those who have believed, we have the Holy Spirit living inside to instruct and guide and we do in a very real sense, make our faith our own.  But hopefully, many of us also have those role models in our lives that we can look up to, learn from and can follow.  In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul tells his followers to “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”  Philippians 3:17 says “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.”

I am thankful for the many figures throughout my life that have poured into me the Word of God, shared with me their life lessons, and have pointed me in Truth often without even having to say a word.  It starts at the top with my family and then builds from there with the church body and friends.  I could list off a number of women, specifically, that I look up to and learn from.  Some of them are closer to me than others.  Some of them, I have been extremely blessed to build a strong bond of friendship with and am able to be transparent with in order to learn and grow in a deep and intimate way to depend on Christ.  Some of them are simply great examples to me of what a woman of God is and testify of God’s work though their words, deeds, actions and reactions especially.  One does not have to pull someone aside for an intended purpose just to teach them life.  To see how these women face adversity, respond to situations and persistently trust God even when the path is unclear….their teaching speaks volumes to my young heart that seeks to learn and grow and become more of the woman of God, that He has called me to be.

So whose faith do you follow?

And secondly, is your faith one that others should follow? 

As a Christian school educator and long time camp staffer, I have had years of interaction with youth.  I have sought to be an example not just in the sharing of God’s Word, but even more so in living it for them.  I have tried to be transparent enough that they see that the journey is not always easy but pray that they also see that they journey is totally worth it.  My teens are watching and taking note of how faith works out practically and if it is something worth experiencing and imitating in their own lives.  That responsibility is not one I take lightly.

I can’t say I follow Christ perfectly in my life, but I am willing to walk with you so we can do it together.  Thank you to those ahead of me, whose faith I follow.  Thank you to those beside me, who walk alongside as we stride to be more like Him daily.  I pray for those who may follow me, that I may be faithful in my walk and in pointing them to Christ and not I (Galatians 2:20). 

The truth is we are all role model ……… who/what are we leading others to?

Until next time,
In Christ,
Joy Lynn

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Next Great Adveture

In two weeks, I will have in my possession, a new set of keys.  With this set of keys lies a whole new realm of life, dreams and possibilities.  These keys will open a door to the next chapter (or section within a chapter) of my life and I’m terribly excited…….yes, terribly excited.  Both overwhelmed and underwhelmed….nervous and anxious….pros and cons…..chopping at the bit to start while praying to slow down…..a roller coaster, indeed.

Oh right….the destination, you ask?    I will soon have an apartment to call my own…..To move into, to occupy, to fill up, and to pray over and through in order to be a light in that community, that city and the world.  This is a huge step for me.  I have now lived in New Hampshire 2.75 years (I’m a math teacher….you better believe I’d be that kind of accurate) usually living in some sort of community such as a room in someone’s house that was still occupied or a camp bunking situation.  This last summer, I got to experiment with living on my own some and it had it’s up and downs (see here), but it encouraged me all the more to pursue the next step of independence or “adulthood.” 

I no longer will hear things like “When you grow up and have your own place….” and that’s pretty exciting.  I can invite people over and I will be so close to where I work and go to church, that I’ll be able to walk to both often.  It’s centrally located relatively, being close to many directions I go frequently.  It’s affordable for me in the long-term and financially feasible.  It’s a place to make and call home after being in limbo about that.

So I’ll share with you only two (you can thank me later) of my pro/con debates in my head, because they perfectly signify the battle raging inside of me. 

1.       I get my own space without having to live in direct community.  PRO: This means when I come home after a long day and I’m peopled out, I don’t have to be social if I don’t want to be. I can come home, debrief and go right to bed without entertaining anyone.  CON: This means I don’t have to be social when I really NEED to be social.  When I get into a rut, it’s pretty easy to close myself in and it will be even easier having my own cave to hide in.  SOLUTION: I am thankful for God’s timing and that this apartment move isn’t happening until now.  Though I have lived here for 2.75 years, it really has only been the last half (.5) of my stay here where I have really laid down roots, built bridges in friendship and see my in-real-life social network expand greatly beyond the confines of my classroom.  This school year specifically, for the first time ever, I’ve had to balance school planning and downtime with a legitimate social life with gatherings like game night, dinner out and mini road trips.  So as much as I could go into a cocoon, I’m hoping my network will prove strong in being able to continue to get out and connect with others.

2.       I get to live in the real world.  PRO: For the last two years, I questioned my willingness to minister.  I DO work for a Christian school and do try to minister and love on my teens daily.  But, my sheltered world was made up of the Christian family I lived with, my Christian school that I worked at, and my church that I attend. Besides that, the world was just something I brushed while passing through the line at Wal-Mart or cruising through the drive-thru.  How can I reach the world and love it, if I’m not in it somehow?  How will they see the Light shine in and through me, if I’m hiding with all the other “lights”?  So now, I’ll have the opportunity to live in a complex where I don’t know anyone else and I pray I be a light there.  CON:  I’LL BE LIVING IN THE WORLD!  AAAAAHHHHH!!!!  Haha, ok, maybe not that dramatic, but as a single woman, living on my own is a bit of a scary thought if I think too much about it.  Not having someone to miss you if you don’t come home that night or check in with as an extra safety precaution will be something that hopefully pushes me to greater reliance on God.  SOLUTION: Trust that God will protect me from harm and even if something goes down, it’s not out of His control and is still for His ultimate glory.  Also, to pray and look purposefully for opportunities to be a light there.

And at the end of the day, that’s really what this move has been all about.  Waiting on God’s perfect timing, as I’ve been on the waiting-list for this apartment for months.  Praying that He will keep me safe and secure in His arms knowing that though I may feel alone, I’m not.  Resting in His strength because I can’t do this on my own.  And trusting that not only will He be my company, but He has granted me with many blessed friendships and family ties to keep me encouraged.

Thank you to the three families that have personally hosted me in their households while I made this move and transition to making a home in New Hampshire.  Thank you to my friends that are here and far away, for your support and encouragement.  Thank you for the countless prayers and just being there to see me through.  And most of all, thank You God, for how You’ve seen this whole journey through.  I’m in awe of how my relationship with New Hampshire began, way back in January 2011, and how I came to work at this school and how You placed me in sweet families so I could grow-up some more learning from them, and now You are leading me to lay down roots and make a home.    
This is a new journey, thanks for seeing me through!

Until next time,
By His grace,
Joy Lynn