Thursday, May 17, 2012

One Of The Craziest Steps Of Faith I've Ever Taken | RIP Macbook pro

2008 Opening one of the craziest gifts I've ever gotten.  

You know those stories of radical crazy obedience?  Where you you step out in faith because you feel like it's God leading you, and then God shows up and totally blows your mind?  Here's one of those stories from 4 years ago... 

It's 2008.  I had just made a commitment to go on long term volunteer staff with YWAM.  I would be staffing the school of photography.  This was my first time raising monthly support.  Before I just had to raise enough in one time gifts for short term trips, but now I had to do it monthly and think more long term.  I decided that I really wanted do this well, and not be another "broke missionary."  

Dennis Fahringer, the leader of the photography school runs an amazing school.  He has top of the line gear for his students, the most current software and brings in teachers that are excellent in their fields.  I wanted to believe God that if He was calling me to this, that He would provide for me to do it well.  I drew up a budget that would allow me to do things well and was aiming to raise that amount.  Since I was staffing a digital photography school, I wanted a new laptop, so I put that on the top of my list.  

I sent an e-mail back home to my prayer team and asked them to pray about supporting me on a monthly basis so I could really focus on fundraising while I was home.  I was so excited when I got my first response of someone saying that they would partner with me on a monthly basis!  Then reality set in and I realized that that amount wouldn't even fill up my gas tank once a week.  

I started scratching things off of my budget and tried to figure out how I could do this as cheaply as possible.  

The first thing to get booted off my list was the new computer that I wanted.  I guess I don't really need that.  

I walked outside frustrated and ran into Phil Cunningham who was raising a family in YWAM so I asked him to give me some insight on how to do this.  

He told me to "Ask people for specific things."  He said that people are more apt to give to a specific thing than just giving generally.  

Not only did I not want to be asking people for money, I didn't want to ask people for specific things.  

What Phil was saying made sense though.  After our conversation I crawled into bed.  

Then I heard it... "Jim, call this specific person, (God gave me a specific name) and ask them to buy you a computer."  

It wasn't an audible voice, but it was that still small voice.  I thought maybe it was my dinner talking to me.  

I rolled over and thought I was making things up, but I heard it again.  

"Jim, call this specific person, and ask them to buy you a computer."  

Pretty perplexed and still thinking that I ate something strange, or that I was making that up in my head I tried to get to sleep.  But I heard it again.  

"Jim, call this specific person, and ask them to buy you a computer."  

I told God that I was going to sleep and we'd deal with this in the morning, rolled over and went to sleep.  

I woke up the next morning and guess what the first thought that comes into my mind is?  Yup... 

"Jim, call this specific person, and ask them to by you a computer."  

I got up, and was reminded of the commitment I had made to God that I would be obedient to Him no matter what, threw my clothes on, grabbed my cell phone and walked outside.  

I dialed this person's number and got their voicemail.  I had never been so thankful to get someones voicemail. 

I sheepishly stumbled through trying to say what I wanted to say.  It came out something like this... 

"Hi, uh, I was praying last night, and I felt like the Lord is asking me to ask you, and that doesn't mean that you have to say yes, I'm just being obedient in asking, but would you pray about buying me a new computer?  The whole package is $4000.  Thanks, goodbye."  

I hung up the phone and felt like I had just done the DUMBEST thing I had ever done in my life.  

On our break, I received a phone call from this person.  They said: I didn't really understand what you meant in your message could you explain it again?  


I gave it my best shot again...  Well, I was praying last night, and I felt like God asked me to ask you to buy me a new computer.  I'm being obedient in asking, but that doesn't mean that because of my obedience that God is telling you to say yes... 

This persons response was: 

I was praying for you this weekend, on how I could support you, and I felt like God kept saying the number 4 and I didn't know what it meant.  But as soon as you said you needed $4000 I had an absolute peace about it where can I send the check.  

As I was finishing up this post this morning my computer breathed its last.  I took it to the mac store this afternoon and got the sad news that the hard drive and video card were both dead.  Even though we are now a computerless family, I have that peace that transcends understanding.  
 (click here to see what happened to Jess' computer.)

***Update 08/05/12 I was looking back at this post and wanted to update you!  A generous donor paid to have my computer repaired for me.  And another donor bought me a new battery.  So my computer still continues to be a constant reminder of God's faithfulness and the generosity of his people.  We also since this was written have used some money that we had been saving to get Jess a new computer too.  :)   

Engage:  What is the craziest step of faith you've ever taken?  Share with us in the comments!


  1. Dude. I remember this story and I stumbled on it tonight when God wouldn't let me sleep and is giving me dreams of future ministry possibilities. Totally don't know what it means or what to do!

    Oh, and my Mac crapped the bed the same way. Sorry bro. Love ya. Peace. Maybe I'll sleep soon.

  2. Last summer I went to my boss and informed them that I needed 5 and a half consecutive weeks off to serve at a christian summer camp where I have worked for the past 4 years. The management team informed me that as a company wide rule they could only give me 30 days off. I was faced with a decision, do I only leave my job for 4 weeks and tell the camp I could not serve the rest of the summer? Or do I quit my part time job and quite possible not be hired again when I come back and be without a job through my upcoming fall semester?  I prayed a lot and sought many fellow believers advice, and may said, "Oh four weeks of service is great!, and it is the best of both worlds you can serve a little and work some". 

    But, I kept feeling a voice questioning my motives of attending the camp if I was not content and willing to place my trust in God to provide down the road with employment that was meant for me. I visited the camp for a weekend last spring, and felt a great peace and reassurance that God was infinitely in control (Not that he ever is not, but the truth was re-enforced and brought to my attention). I informed my management team later that week that I would be quitting to serve at the camp and I was able to really share my conviction and personal belief to several of them. The time at the camp was so strengthening and reassuring that I am incredibly thankful that I was able to focus and stay for the entire summer camp program. The peace that I was able to focus and fully invest in the ministry without any time limits and reservations was truly a blessing. I praise God for his faithfulness and good gifts that he was able to bless me with an incredible time of growth ministering to the staff and campers at the camp, but also to be later re-hired and given the same job back. 

  3. I feel kinda dumb asking this, especially since you went to the mac store, and I don't know anything about a video card, but I had my hd crash on me, 3 times?, I think. I replaced it myself last year and it was only like $80. But maybe it's worth replacing the hd and seeing if someone can replace the video card too? Just an idea.

  4. i don't remember how to delete a post, but I just read your latest blog, so disregard the last thing i posted :-)

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