Monday, March 5, 2012


This picture was taken at least six or seven years ago of a group who helped me pack Operation Christmas Child boxes at my former church.  Two of them are still working with me on our Northwestern PA OCC Area Team.

Packing boxes seemed a lot simpler then.  That stands to reason, I suppose, since we packed about 2,500 boxes instead of praying to pack 20,000.

I hadn't heard of an area team then, let alone thought of leading one.  We just prayed for God to provide items all year and then in October we got together over a weekend and packed boxes.

Now things are so complex in my Operation Christmas Child world and I struggle with that sometimes.

We're gearing up for the OCC Connect Conference starting in just 10 days and every year as I approach that time I can feel the spiritual battle start to threaten.  Most of that battle is one I fight against my own sinful nature.

A friend gave me a book to work through called "The 40 Day Soul Fast" and I'm hoping it will help me get over some of my tendencies to want everyone to approve of me all the time.

After reading the introductory chapters, today I read the first of the 40 daily chapters and it included a series of 24 questions about myself to journal about--just a few of these were--

Who am I outside of the roles I play?
What should I be doing with my life right now?
What is my purpose?
Who should I be partnering with?
After my death, will future generations know I lived?

Holy cow, if this is day ONE I can't imagine getting through the next 39.

In the midst of all this introspection I'm trying to work through my feelings about a disagreement going on among OCC volunteers about whether donated stuffed animals that are not new-from-the-store are okay to put into shoeboxes.  There have been some passionate posts on both sides of the argument.

The thing is--I can't seem to make peace with this.   Why can't I just trust God to lead me in this?  Why does it matter so much to me what other people do or think?

I just spent some time laying out some of my donated stuffed toys and asking myself if they could be distinguished from any I could buy at a store and asking God if using them is harming OCC in any way.  I hate being so preoccupied with this.

Ironically, in the middle of writing this blog, I'm watching a TV program about Haiti.  Seeing their joy in their poverty is phenomenal and it makes me think....

More introspection.

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