Finest wheat with honey

I know, what a crazy title of a blog.

The last few weeks I have been running pretty hard..but this morning I was able to slow down and take in the scriptures.  As I was reading this passage…

“But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Psalm 81:16

 

I was overwhelmed by the “finest wheat and honey” in my own life.

Just a few…

  •  My relationship with my Jesus.  He is so patient with me and continues to show me so many things.
  • My wife.  Christi is so amazing and is such a gift.  The love that God has established amongst us is beyond understanding or describing.
  •  My kids…all of them.  As a dad, I could not ask for any greater.  They challenge me and encourage me.
  • Our community/tribe/family…whether it is from the past or the today.  Our tribe has stood beside us when it was easier to walk away.  They have remembered when it was easier to have forgotten.  Thank you.

God, thank you for the finest wheat and honey you have continually poured out into our lives.  We love you!

 

 

Transitional change is on its way, and we are so excited about what God has in store for the House of Moses in 2016!

Here are the key points I want to share with you:

  •  Vanah Paul will be HoM’s first college graduate.
  • HoM will have twelve students in University in three countries.
  • The Barnes’ family will be serving in a different capacity.
  • The Hebners, who will remain in Haiti serving & leading under HoM.  
  • The need for your ongoing support and prayers.

Vanah Paul – First Graduate!

In late April, Vanah will have her degree in Aviation Mechanics. At this time she is seeking God for the place He would have her work and serve. Her ongoing desire is to one day attain her pilot license. Take a few moments and watch this video of VANAH PAUL at the beginning of her journey at the House of Moses. What a big GOD we have.

Twelve University Students in Three Countries

What started in 2011 as a community of students stepping out from a local orphanage has turned into something beyond our greatest dream. By September of 2016, HoM will have twelve students enrolled in University in Haiti, America, and the Dominican Republic. We are overwhelmed by the greatness of God’s ongoing provision. Remember, you all are a part of something that is beyond human understanding and where God is receiving all the glory. 

Barnes’ Family Serving in a Different Capacity

God is also working mightily in the lives of our family. The time is near for all students to attend University, which opens us to serve in a different capacity yet still remain integral to the House of Moses. In doing so, Christi has been stirred deeply to finish her criminal justice/social work degree and masters in counseling. This is not only a response to God’s calling but also His timing, which of course is perfect.

Our current house contract expires in July. With this, our seniors will take their Philo national exams and the remaining students will transition to University. Through wisdom from the HoM Board, our family feels that God is transitioning us to obey this calling and return to the states. This will allow Christi to pursue her higher education but also provide me to serve in the capacity of Missions & Outreach as God leads. We feel that with the past five years in Haiti, Christi and I could give much wisdom and direct compassion towards those who are serving or desiring to serve as missionaries.

So how will the Barnes remain involved in the House of Moses?

Our relationships with the students are the same as our own children yet they are away in University. We must be involved in their growth and development from afar, just as we are today. Phone calls, messaging and periodic visits will be necessary to maintain accountability and connection through their graduation and beyond as they continue to grow as Christian leaders.

 

Ongoing Financial Support and Prayers

One beautiful result of this is that ALL of the Barnes Missionary funding AND the House of Moses support can go toward student tuition and their future leadership. As some of you know, when one of your children enters college, the need can drastically increase financially. Many of you support HoM students individually while others give to maintain the day-to-day living for our students. Please know that your support will still remain important and purposeful to God’s calling on House of Moses while we are living in the states.

Full time Missionary Couple

Erich and Hannah Hebner have been serving/interning with us since September 2014 and have grown to love Haiti. We are so excited to walk beside this couple as they continue what God has started through HoM in Port de Paix, Haiti. Erich and Hannah will leave in April for their own fundraising support and return around the time we leave for the states. One hundred percent of funds raised by the Hebners will go directly to them via House of Moses.

As we return to the states, the House of Moses will be empowering Erich and Hannah to continue living in Haiti in the following roles:

* Men’s and Women discipleship
* Children’ Ministry & English classes
* HoM Community Basketball Ministry
* Overseeing HoM Short-term Mission Teams

These are exciting times for the House of Moses and we covet your prayers. Our family would LOVE the opportunity to share about missions and to advocate for the power of sustainable ministry through education, leadership and discipleship for God’s glory. Please let us know of any opportunities for us to get this word out as God opens doors. We are also excited to speak and advocate for university funding on behalf of the amazing young leaders from the House of Moses!

Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with the HoM family through prayer and support during this time of transition. We are anticipating all as the HoM students continue to reach their goals and desires that God has created them for and sending out equipped Christian leaders!

Investing in the eternal…okay but how?

How do we do that?  How can we live out this truth today?

For me, because I live in Port de Haiti, it may have different “means” but the same “end.”

When you go to the big box store today?  Ask God to place your focus on the people in the aisle and not just the things in the aisle.

At the office?  Focus on the people behind the desk first and not the items on the desk.  

And my favorite…

If you have children that love to go to that “fast food place” where they have play areas for your child to enjoy…take a minute and stir up a conversation with that person that is sitting near you.

To do this, you have to be purposeful AND you have to put down the PHONE!!! 

Have a great day.

Learning to grieve…

To be honest I have been on the “other side” of grieving most of my life.  Don’t get me wrong I have seen many people close to me die, but it was all in order of their age.  Ya know… great-grandparents, grandparents, etc.  But the passing of Waldy has changed everything.

So many emotions ran and is running through my mind.  I think about the :”what ifs” constantly.

But on Sunday God led me to the 2 Samuel 12.  To save some space and time on you reading this, this is the story of King David when he son was oh so sick.  He grieved deeply while his son was ill:

“David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth[b] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.”  2 Samuel 12:16-17

And then sadly, the little boy died.

King David’s attendants were so worried about how David would respond.  You see them trying to keep the news of the death from David.  But David did find out and this his how he reacted:

“Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.”  2 Samuel 12:20 

How could David react and respond like this, his son had just died!  Did he not care, did he just place it behind him and move on?    Not at all…

You see, this verse shows the great peace that God allows us to live within.  Was David finished grieving his son, absolutely not!  His peace came from the closeness he had in his journey with God and the great trust he had in HIS PEFECT FATHER.

Oh that I may learn to rest in the great trust of my Jesus as King David did in the moment above.

 

 

 

“I don’t like being vulnerable.”

Last night I was fortunate enough to have one of those conversations with my daughter that will forever be sketched into my mind.

There was a situation that had arisen in her life that brought us together in a conversation on the “black couch.”  I LOVE these times.

I asked her a question and she responded by hitting around the core or heart of the issue.  Was she in trouble?  Had she done something wrong?  No, but I did see something in her life that I knew God was refining her in.

Oh the beauty to see the HAND of GOD at work in the life of your child.  I think this is what John had in mind when he scribbled out 3 John 4 “Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!”

As she finished with the “safe” answers in response to my question…I then asked her…

“Okay, what is at the core of the issue…what is the heart problem in this situation that you are facing\?”

Immediately, tears started flowing…not the pouring out of the eyes but the welling up and drops slowly falling down her cheek.

I then asked, “Sweetie, what is wrong?”

She responded with five beautiful words…

“I don’t like being vulnerable.”  Oh how beautiful are the words to this dad!  

Why?  Although she does not “like it”, she has learned that is what is needed in her life to deal with the deep issues of her journey that Jesus has set before her.

I told her, that what she is learning at 14, it took me 36 years to learn.  And I went on to say, there is fruit in vulnerability.  When we learn to place it all on the line, we become REAL with ourselves, destroying the thick walls that we are so good at building to protect us.

When we are vulnerable, the truth comes out, and the walls are blasted and rebuilt by our CREATOR.

Not only to you become stronger in your vulnerability but you learn to be OKAY in YOU.  In the YOU, GOD created you to be.

 

 

Beyond the safety of the bubble wrap…

 

joshbubblewrap

Remember the bubble wrap as a little kid…shoot…little kid, I still love popping those crazy things.

That is, I love popping all of them except for the ones that bring security in my life.

 

What exactly do I mean?

Well, I loved life pretty.  With all the things in place and corners neatly trimmed.  I didn’t mind people being real, hurting, struggling, etc. as long as they played by “unspoken rules” to keep me safely secured in my bubble wrap.  And when they stepped outside my “rules” I was more fixated on the way they broke my rule and made me uncomfortable than about the pain they were going through.

For example…

The other day in Haiti I was listening to someone share a struggle in their life and they dropped the Fbomb.  Yes that one…and you know what I found myself doing when that word came out…

You got it right..I was focused on the word instead of the breath of the one expressing the pain in their life.

Today, I am declaring the day when I begin to pop the “bubble wrap” of my life in Jesus.  I want to reflect my Jesus as he walked beside the broken, expressing compassion and extending grace, and not my judgmental pharisaical attitude.

After all, If I want the freedom to hurt and be ugly in my hurting, should I not allow the same freedom in others.

 

Hold me accountable and help me pop the bubble wrap in my life.

My heart overflows onto the computer screen…

I rest in not the ups and downs, victories and defeats, but in the consistency of the One who created and is sustaining it all.

  1.  Jordan is a follower of Jesus 

My heart bursts at the seams for tomorrow as I have the opportunity to be a part of Jordan’s baptism.  Not too long ago, on a Sunday night he came to me and said, “Dad, I am ready to give my life to Jesus.”  We sat and talked a while over the words of God and I prayed with him.    To know that your son is in Christ is a overjoy for me as his dad.  Not for the “heaven someday” but for the living out the truth of who Jesus is, here and now.

2.  More than basketball drills…real life.

Some of you may not know but I have been given an opportunity to coach basketball at one of the local Haitian high schools.  The major reason for doing this, was not so much teaching the basic fundamentals of basketball but even more to walk alongside the players in their lives. 

Yesterday, I had my first experience in being able to do this.

One of the best players of our CNDL Team was loafing and going half speed yesterday.  As a Coach this irritates me greatly when a talented player does such as this.  There was a part of me that wanted to “make him an example.”  I think we have all been in that place whether it was our own kids, employees, team, etc.

Instead of laying into him, I gently called him over and asked…

“Did you have a bad day?”

He responds…

“Yes, today is a very difficult day.  You see when I was three years old my father died and today was his birthday.  So it saddens me deeply when this day arrives each year.”

Wow!!  I was so glad that I was guided by the Spirit as the last thing he needed was for me to lay into him.

Instead of “making an example of him”

I needed to “be an example to him.”

I put my arm around his shoulder and walked away from practice for a few minutes sharing with him that I am here for all the players with my primary goal of wanting to walk beside them in their victories and defeats of life.

As he went back to practicing, he had a different energy about him.  As if it was okay for him to feel saddened about the day, but at the same time knowing that someone was there for him during this time.

Always HIS work and for His glory!

 

Jb