Friday, June 17, 2016

God's timing is perfect, His plan is enough

God's timing is perfect, His plan is enough. That is how we are choosing to approach our deployment to Texas. The flood waters are just starting to recede enough to allow people back into their homes to assess and repair the damage done. The skills we gained in South Carolina in October could be used by many in the Houston area. With this in mind, we are humbly asking God to provide the finances needed to make the trip to Texas. For now, we are tentatively planning to travel in the beginning of July. (if we raise the appropriate funds) We anticipate travel costs to be in the neighborhood of $1750.

If you would like to donate using your phone, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the "web version" there will be a "donate" button that will take you directly and securely to our PayPal account. If we are unable to raise enough for this deployment, the funds will be used for future trips with Hope Force International. Thanks in advance for your support!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

We Are Being Deployed!!!

Life has been a whirlwind this past week so I apologize that its taken me so long to post an update here. We have officially been deployed to South Carolina to assist in the clean up from the "1000 year flood". As far as we know, our job will be to help homeowners clean up the mess; remove furniture, carpets, dry wall and insulation, etc. We may also be doing food prep and distribution to the people who are working in the area. We started working with Hope Force International 2 1/2 years ago. We have been praying since then, that God would be able to use us in the area of disaster relief. Don't misunderstand, we have NOT been praying for a disaster!!! But now that it is here, we consider it a privilege to come along side those who have experienced such devastating losses and hopefully give them a glimpse of God's love through our service.

We have seen God's hand at work in this whole process. Time off from work was granted with blessings, schools have happily put kids on independent studies and only required them to take pictures and write journal entries about their experience, college professors saying this couldn't have happened at a better time. Someone in South Carolina has donated a house for us to stay in so we are not sleeping on the floor of a church or community center (even though we would have been happy with those accommodations). Hope Force doesn't usually work with families, but they have found work for all of us to do. The list could go on and on.

As you know, disasters are unpredictable. Much of the plans have to be made very last minute. We did not get the final go ahead until last week. Flights are more expensive, the closer you are to your travel dates, so even though we had some funds already raised, we still need to raise funds to offset the cost. We have our airline travel and car already booked and paid for, but some of that money had to come out of our "bill-paying" funds. We are now humbly, yet boldly asking you to consider supporting us financially. There are two ways in which you can donate. There is a donate button to the right of this page, or you can get a tax deduction if you visit and donate at the bottom of their page. Make sure to type "Short Family" in the space provided. Either way, if there is a surplus, it will be put into an account for the next time we are deployed.

Finally, we are in need of your prayers. We have experienced some opposition since we agreed to go to South Carolina. Our children have had strep throat, (we haven't had that in our family in the last 22 years, so why now?) financial challenges, etc. Please pray that God would restore health and protect those who haven't gotten it. Pray that God would provide financially and help us to be bold about what God has called us to do. Pray for safe travel. We are driving very early (1:00am) Tuesday morning to the Oakland airport, then boarding a plane at 6am, flying to Atlanta, then renting a van and driving to Lexington, South Carolina. Then most importantly, pray that God will use us to minister to those who have experienced unimaginable loss.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Do You Love Them Enough Part 2

Two years ago, Dan and I made the very difficult decision to put some of our children into public school. The reasons are many and different for each child, (a subject for another day). This is the beginning of our third year in public school. Overall, our experience has been very good. The kids have adjusted and done very well. 

I do feel that I need to make one clarification about our motivations to home school in the first place. Our decision to home school our children was not made out of an effort to protect or shelter them from the evils of this world, though there are many. Our decision was made so that we would be able to give them a firm foundation and prepare them for what the world has to offer; good and bad, and equip them to make wise biblical decisions for themselves. 

Ultimately, though, “shelter” happens….No matter how hard you try, kids who are schooled at home will be sheltered from many things that public school children experience. In an attempt to prepare our kids for what they might experience in public school, we spent lots of time talking. We discussed what it would be like to sit in a classroom with 30+ other kids, what kind of language would be used in the locker room, and how to make wise friend choices. We talked to them about anything we could imagine that they might experience. 

And of course, we talked about relationships. We have always talked about relationships. From the time they were very little, we talked about saving all their kisses for the husband or wife. We spoke about guarding their heart and not giving away pieces that belonged to their future spouse. We talked about making the choice not to start dating until they were ready to think about getting married. (In a post in 2010 called “Do You Love Them Enough” I wrote how and why we did this.) 

With public school come public school dances. I realize and have heard this many times, “We’re just going as a group of friends.” And I understand this philosophy. I also remember the dances I attended when I was in school. I remember the awkward Jr. high dance where the boys would all be on one side of the gym while the girls stood on the other side of the gym. Eventually the poor boy whole drew the short straw would bravely make his way across the great divide and ask the “question”. It seemed as though he was moving in slow motion and all of the girls were wondering the same thing; Who was he going to ask. As soon as he made his choice, others would follow and eventually many would be coupled and dancing. That was the soul purpose of going to a dance. The fast dances were fun, but the slow dances were the pinnacle. And if you were so lucky as to get asked to dance by a boy you liked to a song called “Stairway to Heaven”….Well, you’d have just died and gone to …Heaven. 

Many years ago, if you had asked me if I would allow my kids to go to school dances, I would have enthusiastically answered “Yes”. In fact, one of my reservations of home schooling was that my kids would never get to experience a dance. However, I have learned so much and realized the importance of preserving those special “died and gone to heaven” feelings for the one you will spend the rest of your life with. In that gym in junior high school, tiny little pieces of my heart were being given to a thirteen year old boy who didn't deserve them. 

From the first day of public school, both of our high schoolers received very unexpected attention from students of the opposite sex. And within the first week, one had been asked to a dance. I was completely unprepared for this. I had not anticipated this kind of attention and I certainly didn’t expect them to be asked to a dance so soon. Fortunately, they were just as surprised and responded by saying, “No thank you.” When I heard what had happened, coupled with my child’s response, I was relieved. “Phew!”, I thought. “Dodged that bullet!” We talked about it and laughed about it and we moved on. The year progressed. Other dances that came and went without invitation or desire to attend. So I though we were good. Year two came and with it came a second invitation. Only this time the invitation came in the form of a proposal….complete with a sign….with a poem….candy….and soda. And if that’s not bad enough, it all went down in front of  several PE classes seated in the gym. So what could be said?! In an effort not to embarrass, humiliate, degrade this poor soul, my child said “Yes”. I received a phone call at lunch that day. The voice on the other end was my mildly frantic high schooler trying to help me understand the situation, trying to help me see the absolute necessity for the answer they provided, while at the same time, asking me to provide the “out”. Without hesitation, I responded “you can’t go”….There was a pause on the other end of the phone, then “Thanks, Mom.” 
“I’m sorry. My parents said I can’t go.” And that was that.…  

Until this year…. While our feelings about dances haven’t changed, our kids have gotten older and the idea of going to a dance has become more appealing to them. And another invitation was looming. One of our kids got a text from a friend of a friend, asking if said friend were to ask, would the answer be “yes”.  Our child responded by saying “I  have to ask my parents but it sounds like fun. I will let you know what they say”. We discussed the situation and decided to sleep on it and decide in the morning. Believe me, we were tempted to say yes. I caught wind that there was going to be another  “proposal” similar to the “candy gram in front to the PE classes” proposal. We were able to stop that train before it left the station and didn't let the proposal happen.  

For whatever reason, whether it was God or just my own concern for the gravitational pull towards worldly norms, this trend is alarming to me. What are we teaching our children? I want more than anything for my children to follow God. Part of that is that in the future their marriage would be honoring to God. What I believe is happening is that we are cheapening those relationships by allowing them to “pretend” marriage long before they are ready. They get involved with one another before they are able to control their thoughts and emotions. Let’s face it, its hard enough as an adult to do that, what leads us to believe our children are ready to handle such things. As I said in my “Do you love them enough” post, high school relationships are like “practicing divorce”. So we allow them to practice proposals, emotional and physical relationships, and ultimately… divorce. 

When I was a child, I remember the things I looked forward to, the things my older sister got to do ahead of me. I remember the feeling of anticipation as I waited to be “old enough”. And I know the anticipation made those experiences that much sweeter. If my parents had given me everything I wanted when I wanted it, I would not have valued those times nearly as much. I want that for my children. I want them to have time to anticipate…dream… I don’t want it to be “normal”. I want them to experience that excitement of their first date, first proposal, first kiss…. 

My point is not that we shouldn’t allow our kids to go to dances. My point is not that we shouldn’t “allow” our children to date until a certain age. My point is that we should be teaching our children that God has a plan for their life and that His plan will most likely involve getting married at some point in the future. Please let me make myself clear. Whether or not your children date before they are ready to get married is NOT going to jeopardize they’re salvation. This is not one of those issues, but if you are anything like me, you want what’s best for your children. You want them to be in God’s will and to be happy. I also don’t believe that someone who intentionally waits to date until they are thinking about marriage will necessarily marry the first person they date. I believe that they will have to invest emotionally in someone who may not end up being their future spouse. But I do not want to encourage my children to create or accept an elaborate proposal (some more fancy than a marriage proposal) to a dance…in high school….as friends. 

I apologize if I have offended anyone, that is not my goal. My goal is to challenge you to consider another way, have open conversations with your children no matter what their age, and finally, to think outside the box.

I asked our oldest son, Jordan, if he would consider reading this post and then writing about his experience as it pertains to dating and relationships. Here is his response:

I’m sure some of you still have your doubts. I get that a lot. When I explain to people that I didn’t date in high school I often receive concerns like, “how did you learn about relationships without starting in high school?” “Wasn’t it awkward when you finally had your first kiss?” “Do you resent your parents for not allowing you to do what all your friends were doing?” And since I get those reactions on a regular basis I have no doubt that those questions, and others, are swirling around in your mind. My hope is that a first-hand account may help to shed a little light into this “strange” upbringing.
Let’s start with a very valid question,”who is this guest contributor on Trina’s blog?” My name is Jordan. I am 24 years old. I have been married to my amazing wife Desiree for 4 years now. I graduated from The Master’s College in 2012 and am currently pursuing a career with Chick-fil-A. I am the oldest, and formally tallest (see Payton), child of Dan and Trina Short; and as all of those things I am the perfect person to tell you about the value of the way I was raised. 
When I was younger, back when girls had cooties, my parents told me that I was not allowed to date or kiss; and that was fine by me. After all, kissing was gross! I grew up with that simple rule and life was good. But then my perspective on life began to change. I began to change. A funny thing happened next: girls got pretty. I found myself an awkward preteen with acne and growing pains and this strange new appreciation for the opposite sex. This was also the time that my dad recognized the need for more than just a hard and fast no dating, no kissing rule; the need for a deeper explanation about why. He told me about God’s design for relationships and intimacy and that I was not ready for that type of relationship yet so I shouldn’t even try to pretend. This logic sounded good to my junior high brain and so that was that. It actually made a very awkward stage of life just a bit easier. My parents had essentially taken a lot of pressure off of me by just explaining the basics. While a lot of my friends were concerned with girls and dates and dances, I didn’t care. I had a clear rule and it was explained to me simply so that I could understand. It also made it so that I was a lot less awkward around girls because I wasn’t trying hard to impress and I wasn’t worried about lying to my friends about how many girls I had kissed or anything like that. This is the part of the story where I usually get the first tilted heads and puzzled looks. People don’t understand how I could have possibly learned to interact with the opposite sex without the “normal” first experiences that come at that stage of life. But to be honest, because I didn’t feel the need to engage in the customary social practices of junior high I was able interact with girls on a very real level. That was the time when I first started learning how to be a gentleman.
A lot of you are probably thinking something like, “Well sure it was easy not to date in junior high. But that’s nothing compared to the pressures of high school.” And you would be right. There was a lot more pressure to date in high school both from kids who wanted me to be just like everybody else and from, shall we say, ‘interested parties.’ But again it was my parents who gave me an outlet for my frustrations and the strength and understanding to continue. The big difference in high school however was that in order to stand, these convictions about relationships had to be my own. My father understood this and began having conversations with me about what it meant to be a man who has put his faith in the words and works of Christ, what it meant to be a follower of Christ, and what it meant to honor God and others; especially to honor women. Mom and Dad talked with me a lot about what a God-honoring relationship between a man and a woman looked like and why I needed to continue to grow and mature spiritually in order to experience that. It was through these interactions with my parents that I came to completely agree with their opinions in regards to dating. And it was because I held these convictions as my own that I was able to have great conversations with kids my age about why I chose not date. It wasn’t always easy; in fact sometimes it was downright difficult. I struggled with peer pressure and different temptations; I had my failures and issues too. But the Christian walk isn’t supposed to be easy and my parents had prepared me for this fact. They had given me the tools to handle the pressures and temptations so that more often than not I was able to avoid the compromising situations all together.
Now I hope you have noticed the distinction that I have very purposefully made between my younger experiences with my parents and the ones from high school because this is something that has made a big difference in my walk with Christ, my relationship with my family, and my life choices. When I was a child they told me what to do and I needed to obey. When I was in junior high they told me what to do and explained why I had to do it, and I needed to obey. When I was in high school they had conversations with me about their beliefs, they talked with me about why they held them, and I had to choose what I was going to believe and consequently act upon. The way in which my parents related to me had to mature as I matured. They needed to make the deliberate transition from speaking to me as a child to conversing with me as an adult so that I might be a man who could make wise choices. As you will all certainly remember, the transition between adolescence and adulthood is a tricky time that requires parents to diligently balance their involvement with their restraint; to balance their instruction for the child with their trust in the child. My mom always put it this way: a high school kid is like a watermelon seed. If you hold too loosely it will slip through your fingers, but if you squeeze too tightly it will fly out of your hand. And while this may seem to complicate your parenting plans a bit, trust me, it’s worth the effort. And don’t worry; teenagers can be surprisingly forgiving if you are willing to be honest about your faults. Trust that God will honor your efforts with your kids: that He will allow your instruction to resonate deeply, that He will multiply His wisdom in you, and that He will captivate the hearts of your children. And, and difficult as it will be, trust your teens to abide by the convictions that God has brought them to. Corrections may be necessary (as they are for us all) but ultimately the respect, responsibility and guidance you give them will be used by God to bring forth fruit and maturity. Of course I understand that this little tangent I just took may seem like a departure from what I’m supposed to be writing about but I believe that this is a very important part of the “how” to grow your teens into adults who strive to honor God especially in the area of relationships with the opposite sex. But now back to the “why.”
The fact of the matter is that I chose not to date until I was ready to get married. That means that I went through junior high without learning how to flirt. I went through high school without any practice for dating, proposing or intimacy. I had zero experience with holding hands, I didn’t know how to ask a girl out, and I had never kissed anyone. I had to stand against very strong pressure and even ridicule. But that also means that I went through adolescence without the practice of divorce. I saved many of those relationship “firsts” for the girls that I was considering marrying. I learned to be a true gentleman because I wasn’t just trying to push relationships with the opposite sex. My relationship with my parents grew into one built on trust and understanding that has enhanced my experiences with, and opinions of, them even into adulthood. And most importantly, my personal relationship with God has been challenged, strengthened, and allowed to mature and bear fruit. I do understand that I am extremely blessed to have met my wife very early in life and without dating any other women; and I am not suggesting that your children will marry the first person they date because they waited or that they must never give any of those “firsts” to anyone but their spouse. I am, however, saying that if they date for the purpose of finding a spouse and wait until they are mature enough to understand and recognize the traits of a godly man or woman, that they will be giving those “firsts” to people who deserve them. Because I waited to date until I was ready for marriage and looking for a godly wife, even if things hadn’t worked out with Desiree, the fact that I found her to be worthy of that kind of affection meant that she was worth saving those “firsts” for. You may think that I missed out on all the fun and excitement of taking a date to a dance, or the valuable experiences of first dates and first kisses before “the real thing” when it actually mattered, or that I should resent my parents for not allowing me to have a “normal” adolescence; and maybe you’re right. But here’s what I know: I have never been involved in a nasty breakup, I have never had my name slandered because of the high school rumor mill, I have never given a girl a bad reputation because of the gossip I shared about her, I learned from a young age what it meant to honor and love women as sisters in Christ, I had the maturity and conviction to resist physical temptation when I did choose to date, I understood the importance of making Christ the center of the relationship once I started dating, and I have loved only one woman. Sounds like a worthwhile trade to me.

I’m not sure there is anything else I can add to that. God will be honored when you make choices that put Him first; in your own lives and the lives of your children. The pull towards the things of this world is strong, but the will of God for us to be in this world, not of this world is stronger. Teach your children, model for them, and then walk with them. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I came to a huge realization a few days ago. This epiphany may revolutionize my life. It may be the turning point between sanity and the nut house. And here it is:

I need a stamp with washable, hypoallergenic ink that reads …“VALIDATED”…

I was driving two of my kids to a class about 20 minutes away. Within 5 minutes, one of them began a conversation that went something like this:

“Mom, I think I have a mesquito bite in the middle of a scar that I got on my knee from a raspberry I got at grandma’s house.” 

I struggled just a bit to follow her train of thought, but was able to piece it together. 

“Oh, wow, that’s a bummer.” A typical “mom” response.

“Mom, look!”….

Now before I continue, I must remind you that I was currently driving our large van and this child was in the back seat…at least 5 feet behind me. 
What I really wanted to say was, “OK, let me switch on my eyes-in-the-back-of-my-head vision and I’ll take a quick look.” But this child is old enough to know better than to ask me to look at something in the back seat while I am driving. So I said,

“You should have thought that through before asking me to look at something while I’m driving.”

To which she responded….“I did!!”

I didn’t say anything else for the rest of our drive because I was trying to wrap my brain around the fact that she thought it was important enough to jeopardize our lives in order to see this bug bite. That is when I realized that what she was looking for was validation. It wasn’t enough that I acknowledged it verbally….And then it hit me!! I need a stamp!! A stamp with big fat letters that says “VALIDATED”. 

This would solve all of my problems!! I wouldn’t even have to speak! 
“Mom, she hit me!!”

*thunk*….. right on the forehead….VALIDATED

“Mom, my foot hurts!”


“Mom, watch this!”


“Mom, I’m hungry!”


“Mom, she took my shirt without asking”


“Mom, its not my turn to do dishes!”


Can you imagine!! 

I realize this system is flawed. I realize I have more responsibility to verbally, emotionally and physically “validate” my children and their feelings. But I can dream, can’t I?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Outside the Boat

For 23 years, we have been teaching our children to obey. Its a common lesson. You expect them to obey without question or hesitation. Sometimes its a matter of safety. “Don’t go into the street.” “Don’t touch that, its hot.” Sometimes, its a matter of responsibility. “Get your chores done.” “Feed the dog.” And sometimes its just a matter of necessity. “Go take a shower.” “Flush the toilet.” “Don’t pick your nose.” Ultimately, though, when we teach our children to obey, we are preparing them for their future response to God’s calling on their lives. As our children get older, the way they learn obedience is less by repetition and more by replication. We can’t expect our children to learn something that we don’t model for them.

 That being said, Dan and I are in the midst of lessons in obedience. God has called us on this adventure that is both exciting and terrifying. We are learning to take one step at a time and trusting God to show us what’s next. He is faithful and has already shown us so many amazing things. We have met incredible people who, by their example, have taught us so much about obeying God and serving the people He so desperately loves. We have a new understanding of the way God sees all of humanity; and the level at which His heart aches for all to come to know Him.

 In Matthew, God gives us a great example of obedience.

Matthew 14 

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 

 One of the things I love about this is that Jesus didn’t call Peter out of the boat to walk on a calm ocean. He called Peter out in the midst of a storm. The wind was howling and the waves were crashing all around him. As long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was able to stay on top of the water. But as soon as he noticed the tumult of the waves around him, he began to sink. I love what Jesus says to Peter, “Why did you doubt?” Peter didn’t give any verbal indication of doubt, but Jesus knew. Doubt can be crippling.

There are so many things that have happened in the past several weeks that could have caused us to doubt. The waves have been high and the winds have been fierce. But God has been faithful. He provided when we didn’t think there was a way. He has made is calling clear.


And here we are. 

 We have stepped out of the boat. 

May we keep our eyes that are so prone to wander, focussed on Jesus. 

 We have now entered the next phase of our adventure. We are preparing to GO. We don’t hope for disaster and were happy to learn that Hope Force International doesn’t either. Within about 3 minutes of beginning of our training, the room was filled with the sound of phones ringing with weather alerts from Tennessee (the home of HFI). They immediately stopped everything and began to pray that God would spare the people and not allow those tornadoes to touch the ground.

I’m not sure why this made such an impact on me, but it made me feel that this isn’t an organization of “storm chasers”, but one with a heart for the people. For the remainder of the training, we heard over and over that they consider their calling to be a

“terrible privilege”

 To the extent that we are able, we will be working on preparing our family physically, emotionally and spiritually for what lies ahead.

 Emotionally, we need to keep short accounts with one another so that we can be ready to serve others. We need to begin to teach the kids to see others through the eyes of God and remember that He desperately loves every human being.

 Spiritually, We need to abide in the truth of God’s word and allow Him to speak into our lives on a daily basis. We need to live with love and gratitude and allow others to see the reflection of Jesus in our lives.

Practically, we need to be ready to go at a moments notice (24-48 hours) and therefore need to have bags packed and ready to go. Which means we need things like muck boots, work gloves, work clothes, bug spray, flashlights, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.

Financially, we need to start raising support so that if and when a disaster happens we can go without hesitation. The “donate” button is still available on this blog. We will be working on fundraisers and ask that you would prayerfully consider supporting us.

if I'm being completely honest.....
now that I have actually put all of this down in writing......
I can begin to hear the waves crashing and feel the wind on my face. 

 Lord allow us to keep our eyes on You in the midst of the storm and continue to pursue your will at every turn!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I said "No", He said "Yes"

I Said, “no” He Said, ‘Yes” Hello world! umm…. this is not Trina Short, the all knowing and wise, Just kidding mom! No, this is her daughter Madison Short the “quintessential fire cracker,” as my mom called me in her earlier posts. I am hijacking my mom’s blog to bring to all of you lovely people another point of view of the crazy merciless and blessings that God is placing in our lives. First there are some things you should know about me, I am very ummm…..ENERGETIC, yes thats it energetic, and sometimes competitive….OK, I am always competitive. But in contrast I am a scared child at heart, I will be forever scared of strangers, monkeys, drugs, people who look scary, act scary, or even look at me with evil in their eyes. I have tried multiple times after watching ALL of the episodes of "Alaska: The Last Frontier", to get my family to move to Alaska, where there is a small population. Turns out it's really hard to live in a place where the bear population is higher than the people population. And what scares me even more than getting hurt by people, is people hurting any member of my family, including my dog. When my family started talking about doing a mission as a family, being the person to react first thinks later. I immediately said, “No” at the time I though this “no” was towards my family, but in reality in was a “no” to God. Though I didn't realize this for a while, first I had to learn who was really the boss… and it wasn't me. Sitting at the table with everyone there, my parents brought up the subject of the family mission, I immediately was panicked and tense. First my family was talking about going out of the country! Can you believe it? Do you know how many opportunities there would be for people to hurt my family? I was not about to let that happen. The more my family talked about it the more I could imagine the terrible things that could happen to us. Then almost every one in my family, except for Max, (Max and I get each other) called me out on not trusting God. Ugh I had that coming. Trusting God with my own life I can do, but trusting God with what I most love, my family, that was not easy. Time went by and I continued to ignore all talk about missions, I figured my family is too big, too poor, and too busy, for the mission life style. In high school I never went out of Fresno for a missions trip, both my older brothers went on out of state missions, though I never felt called, or was motivated. I couldn't justify going when I have friends, neighbors, school peers, that didn't know the Lord. (don’t let this fool you, that was an excuse, though at the time I truly felt that way) I was content with the work that had to be done in my home town. Another thought that I had, that effected my out look on missions, was how missionaries seemed to be very showy people, I didn't care to show people what I'm doing for the Lord, I don't do it for my reputation, its something that is between myself and God. And I believe that the meaning of Gods work, and the relationships, can be cheapened by our own image. (I am not saying I don't struggle with humility) Back to the story, my family started to raise money for the mission, and with time my families passion grew, except for mine. When I was helping my family raise money I tried to get excited…. But I wasn’t. I became frustrated, my frustration soon turned to jealousy. Jealousy for the passion my family had, jealousy for the selflessness, the trust. In my school bible study, we are studying in Jonah, yeah Jonah. The guy who said “no” to God, a coincident? I think not. In this bible study I have learned that when you say “no”, God says, “yes”. And that through my selfishness God will turn me around, put me in a fish, and teach me to trust him with everything. This is my experience reading Jonah not the first time, but the first time with consequence. Jonah 1:1-3 1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. My first response: O Jonah you are so stupid. My second response: I AM JONAH!!!!! I AM STUPID TOO!!!! IM GOING TO DIE! (kept reading) Jonah 1:4-6 4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” My first response: I’m not that bad. God isn't going to drowned me or make me really sleeping at inappropriate times. My second response: Im going to be punished!!!!!! My third response: No this is not a punishment this is a correction, or a discipline and another chance to do the right thing. Its the right amount of fear to push me in the right direction. I am a student at Sacramento State so I was not able to attend the training with the older six people in my family. But God used this time to stir up feelings that I'm not sure existed before. I felt like I abandoned my family, abandoned a God that has provided for me. I didn't quite know what to do with myself, but after I got my homework done like a good student( I didn't really I had to stay up late Sunday to do it) I found the Hope Force international website. I was swimming in my own selfish thoughts, I didn't even look at the website before. The more I read the more I wanted to be there with my family, helping beside my family. I started out saying “no” but now I cant wait to start. My original questions about all the awful things that could have happened, changed to questions about what God could do with a family like mine.… But this leads to another problem; I am still a student. So now I am praying for contentment and to trust Him. I do not admit to it being easy to trust Him, but I am praying that He will help me. The true difference between the Madison two months ago and the Madison now is I am not using my own selfish eyes to see, I am trying to see what God sees.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

We Passed!!!

WE PASSED OUR TEST!!!!!! Dan and I made it through our disaster simulation final today. We are happy to report that no one died, the building didn't burn down and I didn't break a nail!!!! We are now certified members of the Community Emergency Response Team!!! We received our official hard hat, back pack and CERT vest. I highly recommend this course for anyone who would just like to make sure their family and neighborhood would be safe in a disaster.

So what's the next step? We (Dan, Trina, Jordan , Desiree, Trevor and Alyssa ) are headed to Washington. Flight, car and hotel reservations have been made and paid for!! Praise God, now we need to raise the money for the actual training. We need a total of $1050. Like I have said before, we are excited to see how God will work this out. We would love for you to join us in two ways. One, the most important, is by praying. We know God is faithful and will resource what He calls!! The second way is that we need your support financially. We still need to raise the $1050 for training that begins in Thursday, February 20...This Thursday!!!! If you would like to donate, you can do so by clicking on the "donate" button on this page or you can give directly to our Chase Bank account 322271627

We are so thankful to all who have been praying and supporting us financially. You are a blessing to us!!!