June 17, 2021

3 Days, 90 Days and Father's Day | The Direct - June 17, 2021

Whales, generosity blessings, and dads all in one place

A Whale of a Story

Skeptics have scoffed at the idea that a man named Jonah was in the belly of a great fish for 3 days and 3 nights (even though Jesus believed it and referred to it!). Which is why this headline caught my attention: 'I was completely inside': Lobster diver swallowed by humpback whale off Provincetown - Have you heard about this yet?! It's a whale of a story! A commercial lobster diver claims he was swallowed whole by a humpback whale off the coast of Massachusetts late last week. Michael Packard, 56, was about 45 feet down, he told the Cape Cod Times, when "all of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black. I could sense I was moving, and I could feel the whale squeezing with the muscles in his mouth." Packard, who was wearing breathing gear, began to struggle, and the whale began shaking his head. Within about 30 seconds, the whale surfaced and either tossed or spit Packard out. Packard was taken to the hospital but suffered only some bruising. Better than 3 days like Jonah!


Generosity Blessings

Speaking of days, our 90 Day Generosity Challenge has begun! At last count, we had 366 individuals who have signed up to take the challenge with lots of first time givers. Yea God for this! So pleased and proud! And stories are already pouring in about how God is moving in small and huge ways for those who made commitments to break free from debt and be generous. Here was an email I got from Pam...

Good morning Pastor David.

I was married almost 24 years, raising four children and in 2011 went through a divorce. Of course, that left me broken, yet I held on to Jesus. He is forever FAITHFUL! I chose to take almost four years to heal before I started to date again. In 2018 I met a godly man, who is an accountant. I admired him and others who carried no debt. I have always desired to be out of debt, but didn't know how. Within time, we fell in love and then he wanted to marry me. I told him we need to go through pre-marriage counseling. We read books and did counseling at the church I attend then. But in May of 2019, our relationship started to change... and in June of 2019, he called me and broke up with me. I was so heart broken, but God is FAITHFUL!!

Two weeks after that call, during my Jesus time, I asked the Lord, "What now? What do I do?" The Lord spoke to my heart and I heard, "Get out of debt." I started to seek advice and an elder sat with me during that summer, teaching me how to budget. That fall there was a Financial Peace class, which I attended. In October I started applying for serving jobs (part time) at fine dining restaurants. I would have great interviews but nothing. By the end of January, I was done applying. I said to the Lord, "I give up, you'll provide somehow, some way so I can pay this debt off." I am a Wellness Director at a retirement home and a certified nurse assistant. Throughout the years I would pick up shifts as a nurse assistant to keep my certification. In February I was asked to pick up a shift. So I did and kept getting shifts.

But then COVID hit and the part-time restaurant jobs I was chasing, would have been useless to me, and since I have a full time job I would have not got any unemployment. At the retirement home, they couldn't have any outsiders come in to work, so I worked whatever extra shifts I could get. I would work 65-90 hours a week, between 10-21 days straight. Because of God's faithfulness and love towards me, I paid off $33,484.50 in 12 months!!!!! I'M DEBT FREE!!!!!

I was praying to pay that debt off in two years, but as the snowball was rolling it was only a year!! God used that pain as a launching pad so I could be used to share a STORY FOR HIS GLORY!

Way to go Pam!! Send us your stories of God at work. We'd love to hear them and they will encourage others to "Test God in this!" (Malachi 3:10)


Father's Day is this Sunday...

...come and celebrate the fathers and father figures in your life, especially our Heavenly father! For a variety of reasons, it will be a very special one that you don't want to miss, online or in-person - trust me.