Friday, December 29, 2006

In Review....

As I take some time to reflect and breathe, I feel like I just arrived in Lakeshore the other day, the past 6 months have flown by. But I am grateful for the opportunity to be serving in Lakeshore and work along side the crew that I do. The task is big, but our God is so much bigger.

So I know I blogged a couple weeks ago what Sarah from Florida learned when she was here, but I thought I'd share a few of the many things that God has taught me, the things I have learned by experiencing and moving to an unfamiliar place and different culture, and the lessons that I learned as a volunteer working in a small church in a place a little over a year ago I had never heard of.

These are just a few of the lessons, I am sure there are things that I have learned that

1. Without trying to sound generic…Trying to do things in my own strength, might get me through a day or even a few, but the reality is if I’m not relying on God to get me through, I become easily frustrated, very tired, proud, and probably hard to work with.

2. Seeing women get excited about studying scriptures and contemplating them, will encourage and get you excited as well, at least it does me.

3. As much as I disliked cell phones before, Cell phones can come in handy when you need to talk with your sister or a friend who are 1200 + miles away. Or when you’re stuck in a gas station parking lot with a flat tire and need a couple of friends to come rescue you.

4. The more time you spend with a group of people, the more you realize they are human just like you.

5. You can make a really great friend in less than a week.

6. Maybe sounds a bit elementary, but I sometimes need to remind myself - Prayer is essential, not just in the mornings or evenings, but all throughout the day.

7. A church rat is no match for Jamie with an ironing board.

8. Sometimes you just have to do something crazy or out of the ordinary.

9. There are a few things in Mississippi that creep me out…mostly the wild life…

    • Big hairy looking spiders no matter where they are.
    • Snakes in the sanctuary
    • Rats in my bedroom
    • Roaches in the shower

10. Sometimes the most unpleasant job, you can have a lot of fun with – if the smell doesn’t make you sick.

11. I have found that toilets can be the source of a few laughs.

12. Meeting hundreds of people does not allow for a shy person to stay shy for very long.

13. Very few things can beat being under the preaching and teaching of God's Word.

14. An important truth... God has not given us everything we deserve. I deserve to be in hell. But I thank my God, His Son bore the wrath of God for the sins that I would commit.

15. It is sometimes easy, yet sinful, to take for granted the provisions that God gives us (the next breath we take, the semi-load of toilet paper, a truck full of Christmas presents) and seeing things like this everyday it's easy to say "oh this happens everyday". But when I see one of the volunteers help upload the truck and says with much excitement "man, this is awesome how God is providing" it reminds me that they are being excited over something that deserves excitement and praise to God.

16. Sharing a bathroom with sometimes 50+ men a week is pretty gross.

17. A plumber, electrician, or carpenter may take a couple of day to a week to complete a project (depending on the task at hand). But give a group of teenagers a yard to clean or a house to gut, you better have at least one more job lined up for them that day, because they are excited and will have completed that job in no time.

18. When you spend enough time with a group of people, they see every side of you. The good, the bad, and the “I'm so tired I can't help but be silly”.

19. Everyday be ready to learn something new. It might be driving a forklift, learning a recipe foreign to a northerner, learning what goes into building a home, or a theological term or concept that you were unaware of before.

20. Patience is a good thing. I think most people probably need a little more of it, myself probably the most of all.

21. If needing to get away for a little while, leave money in your room, drive to Wal-Mart, walk around for an hour, and repeat the next day. (If you skip the step of leaving your money in your room it can get expensive, especially if you repeat the next day).

22. I eat three meals a day and find it difficult when I miss one meal. I’ve learned though that if I’m not intentional to set time aside to feed myself through reading the scriptures it might not happen. I must ask myself some days where does the word of God rate with me (I feed myself food three times and sometimes find it hard to allow myself to be fed by the Word once) All that to say I’ve learned reading scriptures needs to take a much higher priority than where I put it some days.

23. The Lord’s timing is perfect.

24. Being intentional with sharing the gospel is important… ok so another elementary idea. For me it has been hard, yet helpful, to think about how many times I have shared the gospel in the course of the month. It has help to spur me on to try to make the most of the opportunities that I am given to share the gospel or at least begin a ‘spiritual’ conversation with someone.

25. Honestly, when I asked Pastor Don last March if I could come volunteer for the summer in Lakeshore I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. But I know I have learned more and been blessed more out of this time in Lakeshore than I could have imagined and much more than I’ve been able to do for the folks in Lakeshore.


Paula said...

AWESOME post, Jamie...
I am S-O glad we missed the spiders + snakes both times we were there!!! The decomposing rat in the store was almost enough to send me screaming to Picayue since I was reaching behind a shelf only a few inches away from it. yuck!!
On a serious note, your statements about relying on the Lord for your strength and prayer being essential could not have been more truthful. When my husband Barry's cancer first returned, we could not have been more devastated. God's Timing was Perfect however as we were engulfed in Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life + had just joined a small group. As we drew closer to Him through our studies, we became stronger in our Love, Trust + Faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ. We could not have survived that Summer of week long hospitalizations without staying in constant prayer with Our Father. It became apparent to us that: God IS Good ALL the time. All the time, GOD IS GOOD. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in. My prayer this New Year's is that more + more people are drawn to our Savior + His Purpose for their lives, and that Servanthood abounds from each + every state to the Glorious little beach town of Lakeshore.

Becca said...

Thanks for this post, Jamie. It's such a blessing to see what things God has been doing in others lives this past year. I'm so thankful He's been teaching you so many things during your stay at Lakeshore. :-)

Now why didn't we get to meet any of the church rats? That would have been fun!!! ;-)

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!! :-D

Jamie Dunbar said...

Actually Becca, the day after you girls moved out of the room you were sleeping in I saw a rat in there. So you could have been sleeping with it all along! Just no formal meeting.

Becca said...

aaagh are you serious!?! man we just missed him. darn. :-)
you know, that might explain the food that managed to get out of our food bag and into my sleeping bag the last nite we were there... hehehe

Sarah said...

AHHHHHH!!!! A rat in our room!!! Oh Man I am soooooo glad that I didn't see that! Yeah, you would have been amazed at how loud I can scream. :-)

Besides learning how to defeat rats with an ironing board, I'm glad that God is teaching you so much through your stay in Lakeshore. It is a blessing to read through the things you have learned. May God continue to show you more about Himself and grow you in Him this next year!!

Lov ya!