Canaan Bound Brigade

My Journey to the Promised Land….

Our Detour

    

 Thank you for continuing on the journey with me!  At this point in our journey, Jeff is now officially self-employed & we are VERY excited to see what God has planned for us.  So excited that we quickly moved forward & left someone behind….God!  Oh we prayed & prayed prior to our leap of faith, but once we knew that our will was in accordance to God’s, we thanked Him & headed out on our way.  A way that we thought was on God’s path, but soon found out, it was not God’s path but a detour we inadvertently took.    

     As you may remember, Jeff formed his own company & called it Canaan Industries.  Jeff immediately went to work thinking of ways to drum up some business & set up a meeting with another company.  For the sake of not slamming anyone on this blog I will just refer to them as “the company”.  “The company’s” business was one that Jeff could partner with.  Jeff could do his lights & “they” could do their business & split the profits accordingly.  It SEEMED like a good plan.  But had we consulted on the Lord & not ourselves we would have realized IT WAS NOT!!!!  Here are some verses that we missed as a result of not being in the Word & seeking HIM & HIS will for our journey. 

Psalm 25:12 Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord?  He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

Psalm 32:8   I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 37:5-7 Commit your way to the Lord;  trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,your vindication like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

     Words of wisdom we should’ve mediated on when taking that first step of our journey.  Instead, we relied on our wisdom & fell short.  Jeff ended up partnering with “that company” & they formed their own company.  Canaan Industries was put on the back burner & a new company was born.  

      This is what I now refer to as the Sarah effect.  Like Sarah we believed God.  She believed God would grant her a son, we believed God called Jeff to quit his job & start his own company.  Sarah got off God’s path by having Hagar intercede for her with the birth of Ishmael.  We got off God’s path by forming this new company & putting Canaan to the side.  Neither new plan was a part of God’s will or promise.  Two faithful & believing people who both temporarily lost their way…

     For the sake of keeping this a post & not a novel I’m not going to go into the nitty-gritty of the mess we created.  I will say that Jeff was taken advantage of by “the company” & He lost ALL profit that HE alone had acquired while in business with them.  Basically, we had 6 months worth of income wiped away & were left with NOTHING….that’s right, NOTHING!

      We sought multiple lawyers to try & re-coup what we lost but were told in a nutshell that the money was gone & we’d lose more just for them to prove that.   Of course NOW we started praying & seeking God’s will.  After much prayer, Jeff & I both came to the conclusion that God was saying…LET IT GO!  It was money not earned by Canaan Industries, but through this new company which was not apart of God’s plan.    

     We knew God was disciplining us for getting off His path & following our own.  We knew we had to get back on His path. And that’s what we did, although this time our path was a different path then the one God had originally planned.  It was a much harder more difficult one.   Our trial had begun & we were now entering into the wilderness while continuing on to Canaan…..

    

    

    

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Believe….

     Welcome back!  First off, I’m guest posting today over at an AMAZING blog called “Always Alleluia”.  You can head over to http://alwaysalleluia.com/  if you’d like to check it out!  I found Kris’s blog while on this journey & her words of wisdom & encouragement have inspired me & helped me through some tough days.  She truly has a heart for our Lord & I’m so thankful to be a part of her blog today!

      For those of you just joining the journey, feel free to catch yourselves up by clicking on my prior posts to the right.  If you’re reading this via email, then you’ll have to click over to my blog page first.

     As soon as the next pay period arrived & nothing was deposited in our account I got my first glimmer of “reality”.  The money was no longer coming from Jeff’s prior employer as Christ was our new boss.  My first reaction was to panic & then I started seeing something every where I went….the word BELIEVE.   I first spotted it at HomeGoods.  I was in the clearance section (my favorite section!) when I saw a star pillow with the word BELIEVE written across the front.   Then on my way to check out, there was a travel mug with the word BELIEVE written on it.  Seriously?!  Next thing I knew all these secular stores were reminding me to believe.  A candle from Marshalls, a  white sign from Kohls, a butterfly pail from Michaels, a coffee mug from Burlington Coat Factory!  Every time I started to doubt what we did, poof, I’d be faced with the word BELIEVE.  I thought it was hysterical come Christmas when it was plastered all over Macy’s shopping bags.  Now don’t get me wrong, I KNOW Macy’s wasn’t telling me to believe in God & what He was doing in my life, but that’s how I took it.  What they meant to be secular, I took to be spiritual.

     Believe….a word I totally took for granted prior to this leap.   Sure I believe in Jesus & have accepted Him as my Lord & Savior as Acts 16:31 states:  “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household. ”  But now God was asking me to not only believe in Him & His Word, but to also trust Him & His Word.  You know, Mark 5:36: Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”   Don’t be afraid, God knew my heart come “payday”.  God knew the fear was starting to come & God continued to remind me not to be afraid, but to believe.  I was reminded of these 2 scriptures:

 Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

     As you can see from the pictures above, I literally bought every believe thing I came across, with exception to the black believe sign.  My girlfriend April made that for me.  I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at that sign & felt God reassuring me to believe.  I have all my believe memorabilia scattered throughout my house.    I’m glad I do, whenever doubt creeps in & Satan wants to control the voices in my head I see my Godly reminders!  In my  master bedroom & bathroom, living room, family room, kitchen, it’s all there!  That black believe wall sticker you see above, that’s in my downstairs bathroom, right at eye level if you catch my drift 🙂  Just in case anyone visiting needs a reminder too! 

     So there we were, self-employed, with the word BELIEVE reassuring us as we headed out on our journey.  A journey that soon went from following God’s will to then unintentionally following our own.  I’ll tell you about that detour next week as I’m continuing on to Canaan.

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Taking the leap of Faith…

     Welcome back! Thank you for continuing on my journey with me. If this is your first time at my blog, please click on My Journey on the right to get a little background on what I’m posting about today. (If you’re reading this as an email, you’ll need to click on over to my actual blog page) Today I’m going to share one of the MANY signs which confirmed to us that God was calling Jeff to quit his job & start his own company.

     After much prayer & reading of God’s Word we felt confident that God was indeed calling Jeff to take a leap of faith & quit his job. It was a VERY hard decision & one we DIDN’T take lightly. On Sunday our pastor preached on Ordinary Radicals. The gist of the sermon was on how God took ordinary people in the Bible & called them do radical things. He spoke on how Moses was an ordinary man who was called by God to radically lead the Israelites out of Egypt & into Canaan, the promised land.  I got chills & could feel my heart racing as I knew right then & there God was calling Jeff as an ordinary man to do something radical and quit his job. And seriously, what can be more radical than quitting his job, especially at a time when people were losing their jobs?!

     On our way to the car after church I shared that with Jeff. He shook his head as he too felt the same thing. Monday came & we spent the day praying & reading God’s Word.  That night we were confident Jeff was been called to quit his job.  We agreed he would do just that the very next day…Tuesday.

     Tuesday morning I was starting a new Bible study at my church. The format is that there is 5-6 different studies & you pick which one you want to do. I had already decided that I wanted to do a Beth Moore study. I had gotten there early & as I was waiting in my car Jeff called. He was about to resign & wanted to make sure one last time that I was on board. I instantly told him that I was 100% behind him. I told him that I kept thinking about the story of the Israelites & how I was convinced that it was his time to leave the corporate world & head out on his own. We agreed once again that this was the right thing to do & that we were doing it not of our will, but God’s. I then hung up the phone & headed into church.

    While in line to pick my Bible study I happened to notice a study that I wasn’t aware of. The study was…wait for it….One in a Million Journey to Your Promised Land by Priscilla Shirer. Insert me gasping & exclaiming, “No Way!” I instantly grabbed the book & after scanning through it knew right then & there, God was about to equip us for the our journey that we were now officially on. I immediately signed up for that study. 

     After digging into my new study, I truly felt like God was equipping me to get through those first couple months as the high of “we did it!” started to leave & the reality of “oh my goodness, what did we just do?!” kicked in. I also have verses emailed to me daily from www.heartlight.org & here are some that I started getting around that time as well:

Hebrews 13:20-21: May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Psalm 121:2-4 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

     And lastly one of my favorites:

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

     So you see, when God calls you to take a leap of faith & follow Him, He DOES equip you for the journey. Everything you need to continue on & persevere is right there in His Word. You just have to open it & see for yourself 🙂 Now again, please don’t think this journey has been easy & enjoyable, FAR FROM IT!! I’ll get to the trails where even though God never left us, we truly had to stretch our faith & trust like NEVER before.  Days we questioned the whole if God is for us, then who can be against us? verse found in Romans 8:31.  Days we questioned how far God would let us fall before He picked us up. We’re still very much in this, waiting on God to deliver us.  But that’s skipping ahead of our journey.  Next week I’ll talk about the first word God put on our hearts & how everywhere we turned, there it was. A word we still cling to this day. Until then I’m,

Continuing on to Canaan……

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My Journey


     As I mentioned on my “About” page, my husband Jeff & I have been on a journey of faith since Jeff quit his job of 17 years in September of 2010.  It’s funny  when God calls you to do something, you just assume it’s going to be easy & wonderful since God’s calling you to do it….right??  Well….we have found out, the hard way, that that’s not always the case!  This journey has been VERY challenging & stressful, yet we continue to see God’s amazing hands in ALL of it.  It has not been easy as we continue to put our COMPLETE  faith, hope AND trust in God!

      I now have a new understanding for 2nd Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.  Definitely easier said then done!  We have gone from the comfort of a stable paycheck to the uncertainty of not knowing when we’ll get the next paycheck.  Let me just say I now have a GREATER appreciation for all you self-employed people!  I know for us, God wants our focus to be on HIM as our provider & thanking HIM when Jeff gets a contract.  (Jeff owns a lighting company called Canaan Industries, Inc.  He installs energy-efficient lighting in all types of businesses & commercial properties).  When you have a stable 9-5 job with a stable paycheck you kinda take it for granted since a check is deposited into your account on the 1st & 15th of the month.  It’s easy to forget God’s provision in all this.  WE had started taking it for granted & God decided it was time to change that AND as you all know change is HARD!!  We know we have a loving faithful God, but it’s hard to remember that when we’re being changed, even when it’s for OUR GOOD!!

      In April of 2010 I gave a devotion at my Bible study. This was BEFORE we even had an INKLING that Jeff would be quitting his job.  Life was stable, our future seemed clear.  My devotion was based on what I had studied that year & preparing for the “trial” I thought was awaiting me.  My oldest son would be going off to college, while my youngest son would be starting pre-school thus leaving me in an empty house after 18 years of always having someone hanging out at home with me.  Little did I know, that wasn’t the trial God was preparing me for.  God was already preparing me for the MAJOR trial He knew I’d be facing while I was yet clueless!  So here is my devotion:

     God is in Control (control meaning to have power over)

When we give our problems to God, we are acknowledging that God is in control & trusting in HIS power & thus relieving ourselves from our control & what it brings to us: FEAR, WORRY, & ENTRAPMENT.  Being controlling is a form of idolatry. When we insist on control, we’re taking our focus off of God & instead focusing on ourselves. We dwell not in prayer, but on our problems & how WE’RE going to solve them. We become self-focused rather than God-focused.

   God IS Good (cheerful, optimistic, reliable, dependable)

Mark 10:18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. Philippians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and work for (His)good pleasure. While meditating on these statements, I asked God to show me where in His Word I could find correlation. I was reminded of Psalm 23.  A psalm of David Note that I added boldness for the full effect as well as my own little commentary to once again give you the FULL effect 🙂

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.  (What exactly is a shepherd?  A shepherd is a person who protects, guides or watches over a person.)

He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul (What exactly does restore mean? It means He brings it back to the former, original condition)

He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Comfort means to soothe, console or reassure)

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

     Here’s how I ended my devotion:  I don’t know what God has in store for me this coming year, but I am constantly reminded that God is Good & God is in Control. As a result, I’m not going to worry about my future, in fact, I’m a little excited to find out what God has in store!

     Um….Ya, that’s EXACTLY what I wrote!  Coincidence?  No, God knew.  Nothing about our lives is a coincidence, its pure God & purely His plan.  My next post will tell you about the day we knew God was calling Jeff to quit his job.  A day that at times we wish we could go back to, but like God says in His Word in Philippians 3:13  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

     Continuing on to Canaan!

    
    
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