A blog of thoughts by Kristi Finch

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Years at LBM!

A couple months ago, I sat down with Patricia Spangler from Missions Radio to share about my work with Living Bread.  It was a privilege to tell her about how I transitioned into this position and how it's been a blessing to me to serve with this ministry!  You can listen to this brief interview here!  I didn't realize it's timeliness right away, it was released within a day or two of my two year anniversary at Living Bread!

As this anniversary passed (as did the four-year anniversary of my first trip to Brazil), I remain amazed at how the Lord has brought me to this place and how he continues to remind me that he is sovereign over every aspect of my life!  Despite whatever challenges may come my way, he is in control and has a plan.  He cares about the details.  He wants me to trust him with even the smallest things that I allow to fill my mind with worry and stress.  

At the moment, I'm in the middle of a painstakingly long and discouraging process of car selling/buying.  I have finally been able to sell the car I had and am now in the process of trying to find another vehicle.  If my tone doesn't communicate well in writing, let me just tell you that car issues are among my least favorite kind of trouble in the whole world.  Despite my distain for these things, I am constantly being reminded that God has a plan, even for my troublesome car situation.  He will provide just the right vehicle that will meet my needs and in just the right timing.  I just have to be faithful and trust him throughout this process.  I don't know how it will be resolved, but I am looking forward to finding out!  

Such is the truth I am learning to apply to this scenario and everything else in my life and ministry: trusting him for financial provision, relational wisdom and guidance, discernment for day-to-day decision-making.  If I had all the answers, I'm sure I would be convinced that I don't need the Lord's guidance.  Au contraire.  I am not even close to having everything figured out, and I am abundantly thankful that I don't have to.  

So, two years later, I'm still trusting the Lord that this is where he wants me to be and trusting him to provide all I need for each day and thankful for the opportunities he has given me to be part of his kingdom work!

From my first trip to Brazil in July 2010
From my 2011 trip - This little girl's family isn't at our church any more, and I miss her sweet face!
From our 2012 trip - Tracy is one of our pastor's daughter and is such a precious child! 
This is from our most recent trip in March 2014.  Getting to love on kids when we visit is great, but knowing that they are being consistently cared for because there is a church right in their neighborhood is even better.
In other ministry news... It continues to be an exciting year for Living Bread, our 10th anniversary year!  Right now our founders, Patrick and B├írbara Hubbard, are in Thailand working with our leadership there to serve the poor and finalize our plan of ministry.  Later this week, Patrick will travel to Kenya to make some initial contacts with potential leadership team members.  Please keep them in your prayers as he travels to Kenya and their whole family returns home next week!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Keep Walking

I have a wonderful friend who I meet every week to talk together, encourage each other, and challenge each other.  We usually try to add a little structure to our weekly meetings by reading through a book together.  We've gone through all kinds of reads together, and right now we're tackling Believing God by Beth Moore.  One of the chapters I read for our meeting today really resonated with me, so I thought I'd share a little about it here.  Maybe it will have an impact on you, too.

The chapter is called "Believing God When Routine Follows Revelation."  Sometimes we have big moments with God.  But usually we don't.  Most of our lives are made up with the "normal" times in between the A HA! moments.  Most of the time we just have to keep going with what we know we should do without any major indicators we're on the right track, just trusting that we are being faithful and that it will ultimately be rewarded.  While talking about Joshua leading God's people in their fight against Jericho by walking (seemingly for no reason) over and over around the city walls, Beth says:

Sometimes God requires us to follow a fair amount of repetition for a considerable amount of time until He deems a season complete.  Then all of the sudden He seems to do something profound or miraculous, and we can't figure out what changed.
We may not see any value in the repetitive walking around the wall, but there is value in it because God told them to do it.  The great thing about this specific example from Joshua is that God told the Israelites the outcome.  He gave them a seven-day plan to follow with the guarantee that if they followed the plan, they would win the battle and overtake the city.  Unfortunately, however, we don't usually get such a prescriptive outline from the Lord about the battles we face.  We don't get the timeline for when we'll have this need met or that longing fulfilled.  We just have to trust that we need to do what the Lord has called us to do right here, right now, and he will take care of knocking down the wall that is in the way.  To this Beth says:

God often directs us to keep walking around that Jericho day after day, repeating the same fundamental steps while nothing seems to happen.  Oh, it will.  We must never stop believing it will.  But in the meantime, we've got to keep walking and keep circling no matter how many times we've done it before and no matter how many times we're yet to do it.
She goes on to discuss that regularity and repetition are not bad things but are important fundamentals of our faith.  Nor do they require that creativity and passion are set aside.  She explains:

God likes order.  He likes repetition.  A God of fundamentals, He brings up the sun every morning and the moon every evening, but His creativity within that order is gorgeously displayed in the changing sunsets and sunrises surrounding them.  The same is true for us.  Faithfulness in our Christian walk requires order, some black-and-white fundamentals, but within that order is glorious room for color and creativity.
Being faithful can seem mundane or tiresome at times, but it is always worth it.  The reward may be just around the next corner or may not be revealed on this side of eternity, but it will be rewarded.  Remember these words from Galatians 6:9 (ESV)

Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
I needed this truth today.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Days of June

I woke up this morning, and it was July!  June slipped away from me but for all the best reasons.  I spent my June days away doing the usual with a few wonderful additions to the schedule.  We celebrated birthdays and beginnings and summertime and soccer.  There were a couple surprise parties, a pirate party, group breakfast outings, group dinner outings, chocolate tastings, visits to the pool and the lake and the river.  

The biggest adventures of June were the parts where I had a couple extra tagalongs.  For a week and a half in the middle of the month, I kept my friends' two kiddos while they were traveling and working.  It has become a little bit of a summer tradition (and I hope it stays that way!), and we simply had the best time.  

Here's a little taste of my time with Scout and Jude.  So lovely in so many ways!  Check out some of our shenanigans!  (There are more on my Instagram...search #scoutandjude)  These two are so, so special to me.  Can't wait for our next adventures together!

After the 7+ hour trip from their house to mine, they were still smiling! (For the most part, anyway!)

The splash park was a big favorite!

Breakfast time was one of my favorites...though I wasn't used to waking up to a little smiling face ready to tackle the day long before I had even found my slippers yet.

I miss all those Godzilla attacks! (Please excuse the part where we were jumping on the bed...)

A little outdoor fun!  Girlfriend loved gathering pinecones and pine needles and building things out of them.

"Do you like my mustache?"

Baking and frosting cookies!  So proud of their creations!

Slip and slide with fun friends!  Loved getting to hang out with so many people!

Miss Sassypants was a well-deserved nickname.  Love. this. girl.