In this edition of the newly renovated Mr. & Mrs. Grover Chronicles”, you can look forward to:
1. HEY..I got my permanent residency…3 months ago!
2. Grover’s Unword of the Month
3. Things My Wife Taught Me (Video)
4. God’s Love: A Lesson in Reality
How in the world are ya? I was thinking about you this morning, right after God spent some time speaking to my heart. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason over the past several months nearly every Friday morning God seems to speak to my heart in a special way. I don’t mean that He doesn’t speak to me on other days, but for some reason, Friday mornings have been particularly significant. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way that it’s been happening lately. So I thought I would come back home and fill you in on how things have been going for us here in Ottawa.
First of all, I am happy to report, for those of you who don’t already know, that my permanent residency was approved back just before Christmas. Praise God! What was suppose to take 4-6 months, only ended up taking 3 months. Man, am I relieved about that. No more stressful border crossings. If you have never tried to cross the Canadian border as a visitor awaiting your permanent residency in another country, consider yourself blessed. Before my permanent residency was approved, it was painful to cross the border, because nearly every time I crossed the border the immigration officers made it anything but easy and comfortable to pass through smoothly. Now that I have my residency approved, it’s much better.
Did you know that job hunting is a full-time job in and of itself? Fun, fun, fun! Please pray that God would lead me to the job of His choosing and that it would be stable, and a job that I can do well. At this point I’m looking for just about anything until I can find a more permanent, stable position. I have in the process of hearing back from the local school district about an interview date for an educational assistant position with the school district. I have had a number of interviews, but no offer yet. About a week or so ago I had a phone interview with Teen Challenge in London, Ontario for a Program Director position. Pray about that one, because this seems to be something that is right up my alley. There are a number of people in our church who are currently unemployed and looking. I will keep you posted on the job situation.
Sarah is doing well and working hard with all her students at school. Please continue to pray for her. She loves being a teacher, but there are certainly times when it can be discouraging. She is really in need of a permanent position. She is working full time at the moment, but her contract is not full time. She is filling in for a maternity leave this year. For a number of years she has been trying to get a full time contract, but hasn’t been successful yet. Our prayer is that she might get one for next school year.
Church is going great. Now that the holidays are come and gone, we are focusing on preparing for our next big Kid’s presentation. This Spring our presentation is called “Sonrise”. We are excited to see how this is all going to come together. The format is going to be a bit different than the usual. We are giving the children an opportunity to do a presentation that allows them to truly worship the Lord. It’s a worship service led by the children. We’re including some of our puppet friends, narration, as well as an awesome blend of traditional hymns and choruses. It’s coming along quite well at this point.
Sarah and I had the opportunity to go down to Binghamton, NY to see the amazing trio Selah in concert. They are an excellent group. Check them out online at www.selahonline.com. Sarah and I have been big fans of theirs for a long time. We have purchased a number of their music books, soundtracks and cds. They are such a blessing and their songs are so powerful. The concert was great…and might I add that Amy Perry has some PIPES. Todd Smith (lead singer) and his wife Angie have a moving and stirring story that some of you might be interested in reading about. Let me know if your interested and I will give you the youtube link to their story. I was pretty excited to be able to meet with the group after the concert and get a picture with them. Although it was a four hour drive down to New York, it was worth every minute.
Are you enjoying the weather lately? It’s been so nice here in Ottawa. The spring is a very rejuvenating time of the year for me. It’s like I can feel that new, fresh feeling in the air. It’s wonderful to wake up and be able to have my window open and hear the birds chirping and the Canadian geese flying around. It’s quite calming to me. I’ll tell you something about those Canadian geese…THEY’RE EVERYWHERE UP HERE, all over the place. Just watch where you step when you’re in the park.
In case you weren’t aware, my family back home are apparently busy having children left and right. Gary and Chrissy just had a new little baby boy named Cameron (click on picture thumbnails to enlarge), they have my sweet little Mikaela, and NOW they JUST found out that they are having another little one due in December 2010. On top of this we have my brother Aaron who has his two girls Alexis and Aireonna, and his new gf is now expecting a little Aaron jr. My brother Chad has my adorable little nephew Jayden. SO…as you can see, they have their hands full down there in Maine, and by next December my mother will be a grandmother of 8 children. CRAZINESS. I won’t comment on how much I am PATIENTLY praying for the time that God will allow Sarah and I to have children. It’ll come….as soon as God says so.
Well, I must be getting back to the job hunt. I’m almost at the point where I’m just going to have to take a job at Wal*Mart or Costco or something until the Lord opens a more permanent door. You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. SO, please do keep in touch. I would LOVE to get a phone call or an email from you if you have time to pick up the phone or type an email. Many of you are in my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis. Thanks for supporting me with your thoughts and prayers. I certainly miss you, and look forward to the opportunity of hopefully seeing you again in the not so distant future.
In this edition of Mr. & Mrs. Grover Chronicles, take some time read about “God’s Love: A Lesson in Reality”. I hope it will bless your heart. The first part of this message was written back a couple of months ago, but the rest of it was finished today. I believe this devotion is one that has taught me and blessed me in more ways than I have seen in a very long time. Be encouraged.
Until next time…look behind you because I might be standing there waiting to go BOO (creepy isn’t it..ha ha),
Jared & Sarah Grover
Grover’s Unword of the Month
- 1. (n.) The time elapsed between slipping on a banana peel and hitting the ground.
I slipped and was on the ground in a bananosecond.
Things My Wife Taught Me
God’s Love: A Lesson in Reality
On Friday mornings I am usually up at about 5:45 a.m. to deliver flyers (Wal*Mart, Zellars, Canadian Tire, Loblaws, Best Buy, Future Shop, The Bay, etc.) to homes in my area. It’s funny because I’m not a morning person AT ALL, but God just seems to give me something special during that time. We live in a fairly nice area right next to the Ottawa river, and many of the houses are right on the river, so I get to see the sunrise as I deliver the papers. It’s such a beautiful sight.
I am in awe of God. I have so much to be thankful for. It’s amazing how easy it is to take everyday beauty and comfort for granted. I am writing this note to you from my comfortable apartment, sitting near a cozy fire, gazing at the beautiful white snow that blankets the ground as far as the eye can see. Although this all sounds and seems serene, you can be sure that my mind is much less composed than that. For the past number of weeks, God has been speaking to my heart in a way that is both strengthening my walk with Him, and forcing me to take a good healthy look at the way that I view His love. Not just His love for me, but His love for everyone. During the Christmas season we are bombarded by heart-warming stories of kindness and love that remind us that we live in a world that is lost, hurting, and in need of a Saviour. From the first moment that God spoke to my heart about this a number of weeks ago, I have been looking forward to sharing it with you.
I cannot begin to tell you how much the Lord has taught me in my journey with Him so far, but over the past couple of years He really has been working in my heart, and teaching me things that I’ve never been taught before. He’s been speaking to me in those moments of silence where I just seek to hear Him and ask Him to move me in a way that challenges and stirs my heart to action. Have you ever had moments like that? Have you had moments where you just sat in silence and really made it known to God that you were there to listen? Not even speak…just listening? For me, as most of you know, that is a very difficult thing to do sometimes, nonetheless it will shock you, the things that you will hear and learn when you just listen.
A few months ago I was headed into McDonalds for a healthy snack (HA! HA!) and a homeless man approached me and asked, “Could you spare a little change?”, to which I replied, “I’m sorry, but I don’t actually have any ‘change’ right now.” I have been approached like that many times in the past, and each time, more often than not, the first thought that comes into my head is, “not again…another guy just looking for some money to waist on booze”. I proceeded to go into McDonalds, bought my food, and came back out to the car to leave. Before I started the car, I paused, and I felt God speak to my heart basically saying, “Jared, what if that guy really did need some money for food?” I stopped and began to reflect on that for a while, and I couldn’t help but feel bad for my poor heart attitude towards the homeless man.
At that moment, I realized something more clearly than I ever had before. Our idea of reality isn’t always as “real” as we would like to think it is. In reality, there may be many homeless people out there that stand around begging for money so that they can go out and buy some booze…BUT WHAT’S THE MORE IMPORTANT “REAL” ISSUE HERE? What was Jesus FIRST reaction and attitude toward the homeless, drunkards, prostitutes, hypocrites, and everyone else? Love, forgiveness, and reconciliation!!! Here are some things that Jesus says about love and forgiveness:
47“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
In Matthew 15: 32, Jesus called His disciples to come to Him, and he told them, “I feel compassion for the multitude...”
There are two things that I want to say right off-the-bat. First of all, for all of my friends who may be of the opinion that there is often an unbalanced amount of preaching on love and forgiveness, and not enough preaching on justice and sin, understand that I am largely in agreement with you, but please continue to read this devotional and see my main point and purpose for this devotional. The message that I have to share has NOTHING to do with pushing some “lovey, gushy, ‘lets all just get along’, feel good” message onto you, so READ ON! Secondly, I am well aware that there are many people out there that are deceivers and actors and try to get us to believe that they are something that their really not, but again…this is NOT my point.
SO, you might be saying, “Grover…what IS your point”? I’m glad you asked, ‘cause here it is in a little bit more than a nutshell (It’s not that easy to put something in a nutshell, so I’ll do my best to be as clear and concise as I can). Our heart, soul, and minds FIRST reaction to other sinners (just like we are) ought to be one of love, compassion, and forgiveness. The time for the judgement of God, consequences of sin, and even the opportunity to speak out against sin will come. There will be no lack of judgement and justice from God when it is all said and done, but right now, I am asking that you consider how you typically react or treat someone who is “out of the ordinary” for you. Maybe it’s not even the “out of the ordinary” kind of people that you struggle with having a heart of love and compassion towards. Maybe it’s even people in your everyday life that you struggle with. What is your reaction to them? What is your heart attitude towards them? How do you approach them, speak to them, or even think about them? Would you feel comfortable sharing your attitude and feelings for that person with Jesus?
Ever since that day at McDonalds, my mind has not been able to shake the fact that far too often my first reaction to someone different than myself is that of scepticism, frustration, and judgement. I just don’t think that this is what God was talking about when He said, “Love your neighbour as yourself…” (Mark 12:31), and “…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report…meditate on these things.”(Philippians 4:8)
This devotion is largely about personal reflection. Please continue to stand up for what is right. Please continue to stand on your convictions and don’t be afraid or ashamed to speak the truth to people. I am in complete agreement that we are living in a world that needs to hear the complete, clear, unadulterated, and convicting Word of God without excuse. With that being said, I also believe with all of my heart that God never intended our message to be without an absolute love and compassion for those people we have an opportunity to minister to. I believe that’s reality. How about you?