My readers know that I don’t go in for autobiographical writing at my blog. But here is a brief note about my celebration of God’s living providence. Perhaps it will encourage one or two of you?
The beginning of September 2016 finds me fuzzy headed with limbs aching after moving to our new home, only four miles away from our old one. The new place has three bedrooms with space for a fourth and plenty of yard. The old house was a two-bedroomed rental where we crammed the four kids (two girls, two boys) for the past three years since coming to California from Texas. Although it had a nice view we are glad to be out of the old house (actually a modular home built in the 70’s); the plumbing was always blocking up somewhere, the wiring was downright unsafe and the walls were covered by that faux dark wood paneling which epitomes the decade in which it was installed. Added to this was the fact that our landlord was, let’s say, less than stellar. We’re glad to be out.
That said however, we must be thankful to God for providing the house for us in the first place. When we got the “green light” to move back to California in 2013 our house in Texas sold fast and we needed a place in NorCal quickly. Finances were an issue and the Lord helped us out with a house that would work. It was also situated in a community which we would not have moved to otherwise: a community in which we have made many friends and have done some (I trust) worthwhile ministry. My wife and I thought we would be living in the modular for between 6 and 12 months. God had other ideas. Our resolve has been tested.
Among these major tests I might mention two. First there was the challenge of trying to understand why God had lead us here in the first place. The ministry we had envisaged working with (or working with TELOS), quickly turned out to be a poor fit personality wise. There were several matters involving this other party’s extended family which I shall not go into here; and which were not all this person’s fault it must be said. But the upshot was that the reason I thought we were coming to California was not the reason that God brought us here, and I was left for no small period wondering if I should stay or go – although I sensed strongly that I needed to stay. The reason the Lord has us here has only really become apparent in the last eight months. I was made Senior Pastor of the Church I have been serving at and my salary was duly increased (though we still make do on far less than most people think). For however long God has us here I intend to bring an increased focus on the Bible as His Word to man and to expound it and counsel with it as best I can. The results of my efforts must be left up to Him.
The second test for the Henebury family has been the surprise of a new arrival in the clan. With limited resources, only two bedrooms and four kids already, one extra seemed too much to deal with for me and my longsuffering homeschooling wife. We have all been praying for God to somehow provide a three bedroom house for us to move in to; which is no small supplication in an area where affordable houses are scarce and the Pot “industry” artificially buoys the house prices. But our prayers have been answered. August 3rd saw the safe arrival of our beautiful daughter and August 25th saw us starting to move into our new house.
We have called our baby daughter Charis-Anne. Me and my wife do not go in for the strange attention grabbing monikers which parents – even Christian parents – burden their offspring with. She will be called “Anne.” But I attached “Charis” because despite some tough years the Lord has indeed been gracious to me and my family and I wanted to mark it clearly with a meaningful gesture. I have not been deserving of God’s kindness, but He gave Grace anyway!