Becoming a Christian and living the Christian Life - Treasure Chest Ministries

"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has gone his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB

We can not live by physical possessions and earthly treasures alone. As satisfying and enjoyable as physical and material blessings are, there is a spiritual side to man that craves and requires a special nourishment of its own. When we try to live our lives based on physical needs and desires alone, the results are an unsatisfying and empty existence.

The mission, goal, and purpose of Help Us Change Their World Ministries is to impact the lives of the people in Anapra and Juarez, Mexico for eternity by introducing them to Jesus while they are here on earth. To show Jesus’ love in a tangible way while we are in Anapra and Juarez each year, we help feed, clothe, and provide some basic necessities for them. But we want to do more - and on a regular basis. We want to provide schooling for the children – possibly even college, so that the children can have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and provide a better life for themselves and their families.

This is our ministry. It has one intent. To offer hope to a world that is hopeless without Christ, and to be a blessing to those in need of and desiring a special touch from God. That will be through helps such as writings, words of encouragement, spiritual and ministry resources, sermons, and prayer.

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Ps. 56:3

Facing disappointments?
Ready to give up your dreams and settle for second best? God says don't do it. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." NIV

"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Josh 24:14-15 NIV

At some point in our lives we are going to have to make a choice. Which is is going to be? We're going to follow God's way or not. To not make the choice is actually to make the choice to reject God's way. There is no neutral ground or choice.

Desperate Housewives

There is the TV version and there is this version of the story of Desperate Housewives.

But when the right time came, the time God decided on, he sent his Son, born of a woman, born as a Jew, to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that he could adopt us as his very own sons. And because we are his sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, so now we can rightly speak of God as our dear Father. Now we are no longer slaves but God's own sons. And since we are his sons, everything he has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned. Gal 4:4-7 TLB

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." John 14:6-7NIV

What We Believe

Nicene Creed

The Apostle's Creed

Treasure Chest Ministries
If the LORD delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm; Ps 37:23 (NIV)

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Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matt 6:19-21 KJV

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For Jesus the Messiah is (the one referred to in the Scriptures when they speak of ) a 'stone discarded by the builders which became the capstone of the arch.' There is salvation in no one else! Under all heaven there is no other name for men to call upon to save them." Acts 4:11-12 The Living Bible

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6-7 NIV

What Is It Like To Experience God's Silence During Times Of Job Loss?

With the state of the economy, not only here in the United States but around the world being what it is, many are facing financial related trials within their personal lives. We can look at the job loss statistics and even if the numbers don't look to be all that bad (bad, but consider what the unemployment rate was during the Great Depression for example, or for us here in the United States, compared to what some countries are experiencing) if you are part of that statistic, it might as well be 100%. When it hits home to you, it is no longer a statistic. Just an abstract number. It is your life turned upside down.

To say that the state of unemployment is "no fun" is to make light of the seriousness of the situation. In spite of my several experiences there, I can't offer a secret formula or set of steps which will lead those currently going through it and feeling the expected emotional stresses out of the condition and set the world right for them. I can only do this. I can tell my story of God's provision and His interest in our lives. The following is an adaptation of an email message I sent to someone some months ago who had just entered a period of joblessness. Again. It is the "again" which gets us the most, I think. It's enough to go through it once but when it happens again, it becomes like the proverbial kick in the stomach. We get to the point where we feel, as this lady said in her email to me, "my pen is flat out of ink."

Doubting God's Love

When these times of trouble come our way, our natural inclination is to doubt, not particularly to doubt God's ability, but to doubt His caring for us. Tell that to a person who has never suffered trials, that God does not seem to care, and you will be severely criticized for your lack of faith. It's a very human reaction to question even God, at times. I think He allows that questioning in order to get us to fully understand His nature and the actual extent of His caring.

We can look at Martha's rebuke of Jesus following the death of Lazarus. "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." (John 11:21). She was saying, "Lord, you could have prevented this death but you did not. Why?" She knew that physical healing was fully within His power and yet for some reason He had chosen not to heal her brother. Understandably she was disappointed in Jesus.

Are we never disappointed in Him? Maybe it's more correct to say that we are not disappointed in Him, but rather that we are sometimes disappointed by His response to our need. We are not disappointed in His ability to affect the outcome of a situation but rather in the way He actually affects the outcome. Martha still loved Jesus and had full faith in Him and His power. That did not lessen the disappointment she obviously felt. When our prayers go unanswered, we are bound to feel the same empty disappointment. For the life of us, we can't find the answers. Martha said, "Lord, if you had been here...."

Job Losses Come Again and Again

Over the course of my working career, I have experienced five periods of unemployment. The nature of my career is such that I have often been with companies which for one reason or other fail and cease business, or are bought out by other larger companies, or go through structural changes. All of these things can and do lead to job cuts.

The first time I lost my job, my time of unemployment lasted three months. Naturally there was a lot of personal stress accompanying that loss. I had never been out of work before and all of my previous moves from one job to another had been on my own terms. This was entirely new and unfriendly territory. During that three month period, I was active in my job search and I gained several interviews with prospective employers. Still, it took the entire three months for me to be hired and return to work.

Two years later unemployment hit again. Once again, the length of time out of work was three months. Yes, I felt many of the same stresses I had felt the first time and I'm not sure I could say that I felt any more confident about the outcome. I certainly questioned "why?" just like the first time. I thought that I had learned my lessons in trusting God the first time. He had provided for our every need the first time so why would He not this time? He did, but I still felt the doubt and fear. Perhaps I am just a slow learner.

Approximately twelve years passed before I experienced my next job loss. My employer at the time had been bought out by a much larger company and I was in field level management at the time. That is not the place to be when you are the victim of a corporate buyout. This time there was something different about my unemployment experience. By this time in my life my age was becoming a factor in the job search. I work in the high tech field of medical electronics. In this field, just like any technical field, age discrimination is a very real fact of life. They may deny it all day long but it's a fact. There comes a point in the technology world where no matter your skill level, experience or talents, you become unhirable. Additionally, the fact that I had spent the previous twelve or so years in a management role rather than on the technical front lines did not help. This time, though the period of unemployment, just like the previous times lasted three months, I had far fewer interviews offered to me. It was not a matter of fewer job openings available. There were scores of job openings available. I just could not get the interviews like I had in the past. During one interview I did get, I could sense the coldness on the part of the interviewers when they discovered that I was no thirty year old. Though I was highly qualified for that position (I may have been the most qualified applicant that they interviewed) I was not considered for the job.

Nevertheless, I ended up being hired by another employer. This position lasted four years and then because of changes within the structure of the company and the particular industry that company was in, my position was eliminated. I was on my way home from a project out of town when I was paged to call in. I remember driving home after the conference call with my boss and the HR representative where the news was broken to me, praying, "Lord, I know you've never let me down before." I tried to remember all the times of His faithfulness, and my statement was more of a reminder to myself of His faithfulness than to Him. At that moment, it seemed almost as though a voice said to me, but coming as a thought to my mind. "Who says I'm going to let you down this time?" I accepted that as a correction and a confirmation of the reason for my faith in Him. God had always taken care of our needs before and this time would be no different. And like before, He was going to provide suitable employment for me.

While Others Seem To Get The Breaks......

We have all heard the testimony of someone who has experienced job loss which was quickly followed by a replacement job. Often a new job position far better than the one lost and sometimes the new job was found before the end of the day of the lost job. God is certainly able to provide such miracles and we are right to praise Him for those answers to prayer on behalf of the recipients. That has never happened to me. I have always had to use up every penny of the severance pay from the lost job and spend time drawing Unemployment pay, which as we all know is a pittance in comparison to the lost wages.

My previous times of unemployment had lasted three months. Such was not to be the case this time. This time my unemployment stretched out for a full year. During that time period, I could not buy an interview. I had a total of two interviews the entire year. In spite of scores of openings posted, and with the numbers of those listings which matched my qualifications exactly, I could get no response from any of them. Not even a phone call or an acknowledgment of my application and resume submission. That is other than the standard form letters sent out automatically informing me that my resume was received and if my qualifications matched..... Well you know the story. I was bone dry and living in a desert.

Often trials work to push people away from God. Some will abandon God for they believe Him to be totally uncaring and incapable and thus irrelevant in their lives. "If God really cared....." It's easy to understand that sentiment. Many of us, on the other hand, find that in those times we have no place to turn but to God. Where do we go if we walk away from Him? I felt like Job (if you want to understand what it is like to feel neglected by God, read the story of Job). This may be the end of my life, but I'm still going to trust Him. What else can I do? To whom else can I go?

I have always been a lover of and a student of the Word of God and though not one who turns to it in times of trouble only, but in times of success as well, I did bury myself in the Scriptures more than ever before at this time. At the same time a sense of hopelessness was setting upon me. The World would call it "depression." It was not exactly that although there were periods of emotional depression present. I was experiencing a spiritual dryness. Something was wrong and I was struggling to find out what it was. Lord, have I done something to deserve this? Is there sin in my life which I am being punished for? Lord, if that is the case reveal it to me so I know what to seek forgiveness for. Total silence.

A Kick In The Stomach

Often during these times of spiritual and emotional deadness on our part, attacks will come. I was not immune to such attacks any more than anyone else. The attacks came my way in various forms. One particularly hurtful one came in the form of accusations from someone close. I was told that the problem was a spiritual matter and that I was suffering because of wrongs within my life. Needless to say, that caused the floor to drop out from under me. I was totally innocent and the attacker was completely wrong. I will say the accusation came with good intentions, not malice, but that did not help soothe the wound nor did it make the accusations accurate. I spent much time before God asking for revelation of my sin. Total silence from God. Nothing. I knew I was innocent of the charges but that did not make me feel better. The only thing that kept coming to mind was the instance when the disciples asked Jesus about the cause of the man's blindness. "Lord, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?" Jesus' answer was, "neither." The blindness had nothing to do with anyone's sin. That passage kept coming back to me time and time again. Besides, anyone who earnestly seeks for revelation of sin, either hidden or otherwise in their life will have it revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. I quickly learned that this mess I was in was not because of faults of mine. No, none of us are perfect and we seek daily to rid wrong thoughts and actions on our part from our lives so to say I am faultless would be incorrect, but the wrong I was accused of was non existent. That was not the cause of my situation.

The attack had an affect on me though. I am a teacher at heart and in practice. I am given to writing and instructing and in addition to my career activities as a technical instructor (as well as having done much clinical teaching) I have taught Sunday School classes and other forums on biblical subjects. It is a calling of mine. But, that calling was directly affected by the attack and I made the decision that I would never teach again. No one would want to hear what I had to say on any subject, and thus I was simply going to be a silent spectator from this point on. If I had formed opinions and insights due to much study of God's Word, I would keep them to myself. I was done with teaching.

Talents Buried In The Ground

I know that God has blessed me with talents and skills which like they should be are meant to be used. I'm never going to make the claim that I am all that smart but God has blessed me with abilities born of talents, training and much experience over the years. My professional accomplishments go beyond many people's within my career field. In biblical terms, perhaps I was like the servant given the ten talents and commanded to (because of his ability to do so) multiply them.

Now here I was with talents and skills and eager to use them but not able to do so. "So Lord, what do I do with all of the talents and skills you've given me to use?" No answer to my question. I began to feel like God had given me those talents and skills to use but for some reason now He had chosen to remove them from me. Not so much that He was removing the talents and skills but rather removing the ability for me to use them. It was as though He said, "I gave them to you to use but I no longer have any need for you to use them." I felt like there was another version to the parable of the Talents. "To the servant who had received the ten talents, the master said, 'take your talents and go bury them in the earth'." I felt like I had been put on a shelf. There is a Scripture reference to that somewhere but it applies more to a time of rest. I did not need rest. I was getting no rest from this experience. I had a different need. I needed a way to earn my bread by the labor of my hands and I was no longer allowed to do that.

"He Who Does Not Work...."

I felt like something or someone (God?) had made the decision that I was no longer going to work. Work at anything. I was to set idle on the shelf. It was not possible for me to find employment. Had McDonalds or Burger King posted an ad for a floor sweeper and I was the only one to apply for the position, I would not get the job. When God say's you're not going to work, you're not going to work and there is no way you can get anyone to hire you.

I know that thinking was poor logic for none of that made any sense. God does not work that way and neither does the normal courses of nature. In the "real world" if a company is in need of a person with particular skills and experience, and a prospective employee presents to the company what the company needs, in the natural course of things, an employment arrangement is entered into. I was not experiencing the real world though. Something else was at work and I just could not understand or place my finger on the cause of the problem.

While unemployed I believed I was not living within God's Will. I was not sinning but the state I was in was not God's Will. God's Will was for me to be working. We may approach God for many needs or desires within our lives and often God will move one way or other in response to those petitions. God's Will is sovereign and there are certain things which we may pray for which are righteous, but it is not within His will to move according to those prayers. We can think of physical healing as one example. We know with full certainty that God is the Healer and His power and willingness to heal are without question. We also know that these bodies of ours are finite and there is a point in time when we are to move on to the other side. Though He does heal, in some cases it is not His will to provide for a physical healing.

There are many things which are absolutes. Gainful employment is one of those. We may pray "Lord if it is Your Will, heal....." but we would never pray, "Lord if it is Your Will, let me provide bread for my family." That prayer would be implying that it may not be His Will for us to work to earn our bread. The idea of that doubt is contrary to Scripture. There are too many references to the absolute rightness of our earning our bread by the work of our hands. Even the prayer He taught His disciples contains the absolute, "Give us this day our daily bread." There is no "If it is Your will, give us our daily bread." It is absolutely His will. Thus it was His Will for me to be employed and yet I was not. For that reason, I felt very much out of His Will but powerless to do anything about it.

A factory may close down and leave a small town without an employer and many people are out of work because there are no jobs to be had. Similar situations exist in other parts of the world where job opportunities are lacking. I have no answer for these folks other than to feel the pain and struggles they are going through. I was not without work for lack of available work. I was simply prevented from doing what should be natural. That is, meeting the needs of a willing employer.

So what were my prospects for life after employment? Not enough of a financial buffer to think about retiring. I was too young for Social Security benefits. My online business was bringing in a little, but not enough to consider it financially sustaining. My wife proposed that we should sell the house. What do we do then? Live off of the proceeds until those run out? What then? Go live under a bridge? If I am prevented from working for the rest of my life, I can't even look to Home Depot or Wal-Mart for a door greeter position. I actually did send applications to Home Depot and other such businesses. I received no response from them. It certainly confirmed that I was not to work. Here I was physically and mentally and emotionally able and ready to work and at the height of my productivity within my chosen career field and now it looks like I'm going to twiddle my thumbs in idleness for the rest of my days. That made no sense and because it made no sense, it just about drove me batty. All I could think about was the fact that I had so enjoyed what I had been doing within my career and now it looked like I'd never be able to do it again.

And where was God this whole time? Seemingly absent from me. I reached out to Him in desperation and not one word did I hear from Him. Total silence from Him. I grasped for every hint of a "Word" from within His Word and of course He was there, but nothing answered the questions I had. Nothing but the glaring accusation, "He who does not work and provide for his family is worse than an infidel." What about those who want to work and simply are not allowed to work?

Not All Hope Is Hope

The story must continue. Again, I hope it will be a testimony to His faithfulness in those times when we just cannot hear His voice and He seems to abandon us. It was quickly approaching a year now and to this point I had one interview. That is out of the literally hundreds of submissions I had made to companies who were advertising for someone with exactly my skills and experience. Along came a prospective employer. Yes! One from within my chosen career field. A familiar company. Once again, I can work within hospitals, operating rooms, ICU, ER, and all of the other familiar surroundings. The phone interview went fantastic. "Lord, in spite of making us wait at times, You do hear and answer." That was followed by an in person interview. That seemed to go ok as well. You can't always (ok, truth is you can never) judge the outcome until it happens with these interviews. I felt such a sense of relief and certainly Sandy did as well. As the experience was trying on me, it was on her as well. A trial like this can even put stress on the marital relationship and ours was no exception.

Then I received a reject letter in the mail. The company had selected someone else to hire. What was I to think? Actually I was all out of anything to think. As the lady had said in her message, my pen too was completely out of ink.

That was before Christmas and that year Christmas for us was going to be a bit sparse. I'll state on our finances, that somehow we seemed to be ok. We've been fortunate to have had a good amount of savings, but over time that account would be depleted. I was able to sell some more things on eBay and though my online business wasn't doing that much, a few sales came in here and there. Sandy was given more hours to work with her employer so that helped. I had been able to get some part time contracting hours which brought in a little. All and all, we did ok. We never went hungry and never got behind on any of our bills and we were able to live a "normal" existence. It's just that when you don't know what the future holds, you can only see the glass eventually becoming empty. Conservation only goes so far without a source of replenishment. What do you do when the glass is empty?

Hope And Relief, Finally!

A miracle occurred in January. That company which had interviewed me back in November and rejected me called me again. The manager had made a hiring mistake. Yes, he had hired a younger guy. What did I say before about age bias in this industry? That hire had not worked out at all and the position was open again. This time another manager is over this region. I was given a brief interview which was more of a formality than anything else, and then offered the job. The long dry desert experience was over. I was back on familiar ground and not only gainfully employed, in the field I am so comfortable in and know so well.

Just When You Think The Worst Is Past....

I thought that all was well, but it was not. I had just passed through a year of great uncertainty where I seriously believed that my days of my being able to use my talents and skills were over with. I thought that now I would be back in a productive role and back in God's graces. Well though I never left God's graces (in spite of how it may have seemed to me at the time) I was not back in a productive role at all. Almost from the beginning of my employment with this company, I discovered that I was not going to be allowed to use the talents and skills I believed God had blessed me with. Neither was I secure in this job. Hardly a day started where I felt I could be assured of remaining employed at the end of the day. What I had been so expert at career wise, I now totally failed at. I could do nothing right. This was not rocket science. It was the same technology I was highly skilled and experienced at and yet everything I touched seemed to turn to junk. Every project I was assigned failed and I was ever on the hot seat.

Directly, that problem was owing to the total incompetence of the boss I had. A man who not only micromanaged us to death, but who was so insecure that he had to retain total control of every small detail of our job functions. Having been in previous employment a manager myself equaling and even higher than his position, I saw and recognized bad management. He told me point blank that he was not in the least interested in my experience and knowledge of how to deal with customer situations. He had to call the shots to the smallest detail. That is in spite of the fact that he had no career experience dealing with medical equipment or medical customers. He changed rules in midstream and directions were given piecemeal so that I could not know the end objective but only steps as they occurred or were dictated. It was common to be several steps along a project or task and suddenly find myself in hot water because the steps I was on were not where he wished me to be.

None of that really matters in the end if you are set up to fail in a job. This was not something I alone experienced with that company. I saw what was happening to some of my co-workers and I saw myself on the same path, heading towards the door. So after a couple of years I decided it was time to begin looking for employment elsewhere.

Stepping Off The Cliff

Sometimes we pray for things which we believe are totally right and yet God refuses to answer those prayers. We believe once again that God is letting us down. Martha said, "Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Jesus can seemingly disappoint us. I came across a fantastic sounding job opening. It was exactly what I was looking for and I had a great initial phone interview. I felt that this was a real answer to prayer. I could even feel the excitement in the voice of the interviewer when she learned the extent of my experiences and understood how they could benefit her company. Believe me, I could not wait for the job offer and the chance to give notice to my current boss. "You don't appreciate and will not use my talents and skills, so goodbye. I'm going with a company that will!"

Sometimes we have to put a little practical application to our faith. The old "step of faith" thing, if you will. I was told that if I was hired by the new company there was a good chance that my training would take place in France. Though their Stateside office was in the Atlanta, Georgia area, the headquarters was in France as well as the manufacturing of the product. My passport had expired several years earlier. I had previously held training and consulting sessions in parts of Europe and Asia but that had been a long time ago and now I was no longer traveling internationally so I really hadn't bothered to renew the passport.

Now it looked like I might need one again and so I figured that as a step of faith in my "claiming" this job, I'd better get a passport and have it ready. I didn't tell Sandy though. I knew that she would balk at my putting out the money for a "maybe." Her rational was, if they want to hire you, then you can get the passport. I know businesses don't work that way so I went and got the thing without telling her. After I got it, I told her. No, she was not happy but I kept reminding her that I was believing that God was going to provide this job. I traveled to Atlanta for the in person interview and I really had the sense that this was one I was going to get.

I didn't get the job. Yes, she reminded me that now I had spent the one hundred or so bucks for the passport for nothing. What was I going to use the passport for now? How could I answer that? Once more disappointed in a job search.

Things happen to us which just by their strangeness seem to be of divine origin. I spent the day the reject letter came rather down. Oh well, at least I was still employed with my current job and though I knew that my future there was uncertain, at least for now I was employed. That very night I received a phone call from a company who had seen my resume on line and was very interested in talking to me. Wow! Could this be the preverbal "when God closes one door He opens another one"? This has got to be a God thing for how strange is that to get such a call out of the blue the very night the other door is closed.

To try to shorten the story a little, this employer also followed up with very good interviews but someone else was hired. Oh well, at least I'm still employed for the moment. But what is that doing for my confidence at believing I can recognize God's work in things? Twice now I believed I saw God's hand at work and twice now I was wrong. Or at least I thought I was wrong. Martha believed that God's will was for Jesus to come and heal Lazarus. She was disappointed because that had not happened. She thought she knew God's will just like I thought I knew God's will and I thought I knew how He was going to move on my behalf. I had been wrong.

A few months later I was let go from my job. For about two and a half years I had felt the sword of termination hanging over my head. The sense of loss of my ability to use any of the talents and skills God had given me which had carried through that year of unemployment and had continued through the two and a half years I was with that company. Now we're approaching four years of dryness and a sense of almost uselessness. Once again I am facing an uncertain employment future. Was that last job my last one? What would I do from this point on? Was it time to seriously consider applying to Wal-Mart or Home Depot for one of their minimum wage jobs?

This unemployment period lasted almost six months. I found two more really great employment opportunities which resulted in both great phone and in person interviews at their company locations. In the mean time, Sandy and I decided to go ahead with the plans we had made before I was laid off from the last job and enjoy that Alaska Inside Passage cruise we had already paid for. During the time we were on the cruise I kept reminding both of us that the current company I was in the interview process with would be ready to make me an offer when we got back home.

That didn't happen though. Now I had no prospects, but every day I spent my time on the job search sites and faithfully sent off resumes and cover letters. I guess I should mention that my college degree is in business management and my resume looked quite good and had been professionally advised and prepared so it was a good one and that should not have stood in my way of getting interviews. I don't think it would have mattered either way. I had also done all I could do to try to "hide" my age as much as can be done on a resume while still retaining important career accomplishments.

Why Doesn't God Answer Our Prayers?

You see, often God will purposely not answer prayers because He has something better for us. He could have arrived on time and healed Lazarus when the two sisters had requested that He come. He had something much more spectacular in mind. The thing is, He did not tell them what He was going to do. He let them suffer a little (for reasons known only to Him) of their disappointments. "If only you had come in time, my brother would not have died." "Lord, if you had given me that job, I know it would have been a testament to Your love and Your goodness. But you didn't give me the job, Lord and I don't know why." And so my disappointment continued and grew.

Remember the passport I had "wasted my money on"? I sent off a resume to another ad just like all the others. After a period of time even forgetting which company is which so after a while, they all run together. When I received a response regarding one I have to go back and try to figure out what that company is all about for I cannot recall anything about the company which is now contacting me. This job listing is being handled through an agency recruiter and he tells me that it is a company located in Quebec, Canada. To cut the already long story down to its conclusion, after some time of waiting and talking, they made the arrangements to fly me to Quebec City for the in person interview. Remember the step of faith I had put forth by obtaining the passport for one company which had not worked, now is a reality for I am able to make the trip, passport in hand. So though I thought God was going to work one way, He did not work that way, but in a way I did not expect. Now Sandy was more than grateful that I had gone behind her back and gotten the passport. Had I brought up the subject to her before hand, chances are high that I would have found myself talked out of it and thus I would not have had it when I needed it. So I guess sometimes we guys do, in spite of ourselves, make right decisions.

The interviews, both the phone and later the in person interview in Quebec went great. I know Sandy was really hoping for me to come home from Quebec with the job offer but we know that it never happens that way. There is always the period of waiting. This would be the case here as well. I was there on a Thursday and they told me that by the time they discussed it among all of the other managers there who would be party to making the hiring decision it would be the next week before anything was decided and an offer could be made. So when I arrived home that Thursday night, Sandy was a little frustrated. I attempted to assure her this time that I was going to get this job. Something was entirely different about the whole circumstances of the interviewing process and besides, I had been told off the cuff by the guy who would be my boss that "you have my vote." So the outcome was not in question. Now it was just the torture of waiting until the next week.

First thing Friday morning, the phone rang and it was the HR manager and the company CEO. They could not wait until the next week to make me the offer. They had found no reason to delay the decision. It was made for them. Talk about a time of praise and walking on the clouds.

Up to today. In November 2009 I will have been with this French Canadian company three years. It is by far one of the, if not the best career opportunities I have ever had. All of the talents and skills which God has given me I am able to use to good advantage here. At my last job I could do nothing. Here I can do it all. I was the first field service person within the U. S. for this company and I have been very busy with the task of helping build up the service operation here in the States. I have previous experience doing just that. I was directly involved in the interviewing and recruiting of our other two service reps and have been actively mentoring them all along as they learn the product and the technology. I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the favor of our Sales and Clinical Applications team here in the States as well as my co-workers in Canada. My boss has become more than a boss but a friend as well. He is a boss who is not afraid to call on me and ask my advice and opinion on certain aspects of the operation either involving customer service situations, service resources or whatever, and he acts on that advice. Not just asking as an exercise. He calls on me as a resource for which I am most honored and appreciative. Already I have been able to prepare and teach a brand new service school at the factory in Quebec (I taught it in June) and more such opportunities will follow. I could go on and on to recount the blessings I have enjoyed here and the opportunities to use what God has given me to us but this is enough to tell the story.

God does not always answer our prayers. Or it looks to us like He is not answering them. He did not answer Mary and Martha's prayers to come and heal their brother. He had something greater to perform. He did not answer my prayers regarding any of those jobs I prayed for and did not get. What if He had answered those prayers? I would not be where I am with my current job. Would any of those jobs have been good ones? As far as I can tell they would have been, but how do I know for sure? There are many things about the actions of God we never know about. The "what if this happened?" things which we will never know the outcome of. God does not always reveal His plans to us in full. Often He reveals almost nothing of the things He is working out on our behalf. In fact, we rarely know what is going on behind the scenes.

He does move though. It is the pain we must go through while that is happening which must drive us into His arms. So the more He seems to disappoint us, the tighter we must cling to His hem. That is what I have learned and continue to learn and I hope and pray that it will be the same for you.

This is my story. God does not work the same way in His relationship with each of us. God may deal with your situation entirely differently. There is one constant though. That is, God does care and He considers what is best for each of us. That may not always seem like a good thing at the time, but rest assured, at some point in time, we will know that it is. I hope that this testimony will provide some encouragement for others going through rough times.

Dan W. Dooley (2009)

If you have questions about anything you have read here, or you simply want someone to talk to about your relationship with God, or for someone to pray with you, contact me.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
"May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels."
For the sake of my brothers and friends,
I will say, "Peace be within you."
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
Ps 122:6-9 NIV

God said to Abraham:
"I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all t
he families of the earth shall be blessed." Gen 12:3 NKJV

Christian Resources

ICLnet Pointing the Way: A Guide to Christian Literature on the Internet This site contains pointers to internet accessible literature related to Classical Christianity (a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe a theology which affirms the importance of a transforming faith in Christ as God and Savior). Literature referenced is viewable online (ie. in both ascii and html format). The finest conservative Christian writings that are in the public domain. Free on line: download, read, print.

Biblical Studies Foundation Store Large Biblical resources site. Study material.

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